South Australia’s capital benefits from the bounty of its surrounds: the Barossa, Kangaroo Island, and the Clare Valley. There are many great places to dine in Adelaide, but we’ve whittled it down to 10 of the best restaurants.
Since 1985, Chianti has been a South Australian favourite, thanks to the polished service, inviting decor and, perhaps most importantly, the authentic and refined Italian menu. To boot, Chianti serves arguably the best breakfast in town.
160 Hutt Street, Adelaide; (08) 8232 7955
The Henry Austin
Newcomer The Henry Austin is making a splash for its unique approach: modern Australian food served yum-cha style. Dishes that include hot-right-now ingredients, like green ants and magpie goose, appear tableside to be accepted or moved on. If you’re like us, you’ll say yes to everything, because chef Shane Wilson is talented, his food mouth-watering, and the place charming. Just order the banquet.
29 Chesser Street, Adelaide; (08) 8223 2998
When Jock Zonfrillo, a native Glaswegian with Italian heritage, opened Restaurant Orana in 2013, who knew he’d be credited with putting Adelaide back on the food map? Year in, year out, his imaginative degustation menus, featuring local and native ingredients, are praised by critics and locals alike. In the evening, expect up to 20 courses; the “short” seven- to nine-course menu served at Friday lunchtimes is an excellent deal.
Level 1, 285 Rundle Street, Adelaide; (08) 8232 3444
Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar
Smart, buzzy and intimate, Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar is one of Adelaide’s under-the-radar gems. Mix and match between the printed offering and the consigli (recommendations) on the blackboard. Order polenta — the house speciality —and make a note to ask about the gnocchi: it’s made fresh Wednesday through to Saturday, but is never written on the board.
94 Frome St, Adelaide; (08) 8224 0004
Botanic Gardens Restaurant
Set among lush greenery, the Botanic Gardens Restaurant is a picturesque, light-filled dining room where chef Paul Baker woos with South Australian produce and ingredients foraged from the surrounding gardens. It’s open for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, but long lunches (Tuesday to Sunday) are when this establishment shines.
Plane Tree Drive, Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, Adelaide; (08) 8223 3526
Press Food & Wine
It’s not the attentive service or the central location; the real strength of Press Food & Wine lies in its broad appeal. Walk in downstairs, or make a booking for upstairs. Eat à la carte, or graze on smaller plates. The steaks are excellent, as is the selection for offal-lovers. But then it’s hard to go past raw dishes like kingfish sashimi. The burger cries out to be ordered, but what about the signature crab pappardelle? One visit is never enough.
40 Waymouth Street, Adelaide; (08) 8211 8048
Duncan Welgemoed’s vibrant African-inspired hotspot, Africola, has been charming the food cognoscenti for two years, but a recent refresh has upped the game again, with cleaner, more modern interiors, and a revamped menu that’s shifted focus to North Africa. Never fear, the famous peri-peri chicken remains.
4 East Terrace, Adelaide; (08) 8223 3885
Image: Thomas Boehm
“Generous, abundant and bursting with robust flavours”: that’s the food philosophy of Peel Street chef Jordan Theodorus. And whether it’s slow-roasted lamb shoulder, banana blossom chicken, or falafel fatoush, or any of the Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired dishes, the ever-changing blackboard menu lives up to the credo. The location isn’t too shabby either: bang in the heart of city’s bustling West End laneways.
9 Peel Street, Adelaide; (08) 8231 8887
CNN named Osteria Oggi as one of the world’s best new restaurants in 2016; lofty acclaim, but worth it. The house-made pastas are perfection, the small plates tempting and inventive (order the lardo soldiers), and the Italian-styled wine list modern and complementary. Overall, it’s simple, stylish, authentic, approachable and honest. What more could you ask for?
76 Pirie St, Adelaide; (08) 8359 2525
Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant
When Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant reopened its doors in 2013 after a $10 million refurbishment, it easily reclaimed its place as one of Adelaide’s most impressive fine-dining establishments. An eight-course degustation here features South Australian produce with matched wines. There’s also the option to upgrade to Penfold’s icon wines, including Grange.
78 Penfold Road Magill; (08) 8301 5551