There once was a time when locals would travel to the eastern states to satisfy their culinary cravings. While I’m sure some still do, Adelaide’s food culture has since matured and we’ve become a foodie destination ourselves. In fact, we have more cafés and restaurants per capita than any other place in Australia. With access to arguably the best produce in the world, and being the wine capital of Australia, the quality of food in Adelaide is nothing short of world class. Tourists from interstate and overseas are coming here for the dining experience, many of whom, stay at the highly acclaimed AccorHotels.
Below is a list of ten restaurants that you must visit while staying in Adelaide.
Not only is this place known for their amazing freshly made pasta dishes, but they’ve also won awards for their restaurant interior. You’re greeted at the entrance by a 20 metre long concrete bar which leads to an Italian piazza complete with a cobblestoned floor, arches, arbour, meat room, private cellar, and intimate booth seating. The menu is comprised of sophisticated Italian food inspired by traditional dishes, that only use the best seasonal produce.
Their recent win of 2019 “Best New Restaurant Award” at the Savour Australia Hostplus Awards, came as no surprise to anyone that has been there. Located at the iconic Ayers House, Henry’s Table is a modern incarnation of the famous Henry Ayers Restaurant. The food is international, which is in line with the multicultural backgrounds of their kitchen staff. Each and every dish is executed to perfection, and when you combine that with great service and intimate ambience, the experience will be memorable.
Don’t be fooled by the small space because the food will blow you away! Set in the hustle and bustle of the rejuvenated Peel Street, the appropriately named Peel St uses an easy but winning formula; the food is simple, fresh, delicious, generous and full of flavour. The constantly changing menu is written on a blackboard wall, and uses the best locally sourced ingredients. Chefs; Jordan Theodoros and Martin Corcoran, create a menu from their diverse food experiences and cook what they love to eat.
Botanic Gardens Restaurant
It’s almost like a fairy-tale to have a restaurant in the middle of public gardens. Located in a heritage rotunda, Botanic Gardens Restaurant offers 180 degree views of the garden and ponds within the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Running the kitchen is acclaimed chef Paul Baker, who specialises in modern Australian cuisine using locally sourced, ethically farmed, and sustainable ingredients. To minimise food wastage, the restaurant follows a “garden to plate” philosophy, which forms part of their innovative, ever-changing seasonal menu.
Lantern By Nu
Anyone on the Adelaide food scene would know of chef Nu Suandokmai. Restaurants such as Nu Thai, Golden Boy, Gin Long Canteen, and Mrs Q have benefited from his diverse culinary prowess. Now that he has his own restaurant, he’s kicking some serious goals when it comes to Thai street food. The dishes on offer are exceptional and are sure to take you on an authentic culinary journey of Thailand.
This restaurant has been around for as long as I can remember, and their longevity can be attributed to their consistently delicious food. Mastering multiple cuisines can be challenging for most restaurants, but chef Montie Waraich nails it every time with vibrant dishes and fresh flavour combinations. It really is a journey of South East Asia in this contemporary and casual setting.
When the star chef leaves the award winning business, it can usually mean turmoil for the restaurant. Not so in the case of Golden Boy. They’ve gone from strength to strength when it comes to contemporary Thai food, and are still a favourite among many today. Like all good eateries, they only use the freshest seasonal produce, and their pastes and relishes are made in-house. While seating in the restaurant may be limited, it extends to the hipster Botanic Bar next door.
This is the go-to place for steak in Adelaide for the last 25 years. Gaucho’s is undoubtedly an Adelaide institution and was one of the first Argentinian restaurants to appear on the scene. The award winning restaurant is known for their chargrilling, which is the cooking process used on most of their menu. They also make the best chimichurri sauce you’ll ever taste, so much so, you’ll spread it on everything!
Can’t afford the world class dining that is Orana upstairs? Have no fear, you can still get your native Australian ingredients in a more casual setting at Bistro Blackwood. Like all successful eateries in Adelaide, it has a constantly changing seasonal menu with indigenous ingredients and techniques used in the cooking. The restaurant was created to complement the famous Orana, but is a must-visit destination on it’s own.
Press* Food and Wine
Opening back in 2011, Press has been a top Adelaide restaurant ever since. What’s their secret? It’s their ever changing menu that uses the best seasonal local produce. Split over two levels, their inviting dining space is casual on the ground level, and more formal up above. The food here is exceptional, the service is faultless, and everything comes at a reasonable price.
Coming up with this list of restaurants was no easy feat, as I’m sure local readers will agree, there are plenty other eateries that should have been included. I guess that’s an indication of how lucky we are to be living in Adelaide. With so many quality restaurants to choose from, there really is something for everyone. Why don’t you make Adelaide your next foodie holiday destination? You won’t regret it!