A meal out with the brood needn’t be (too) stressful – the key is to find those special places that have broad appeal and Adelaide has plenty on offer. Here are our favourites.
La Trattoria has been an Adelaide institution since 1975 and many Adelaide parents will remember dining here themselves when they were kids. But it’s not just nostalgia that keeps the generations returning; it’s the crowd-pleasing Italian fare and relaxed vibe. Plus, provided everyone finishes their dinner, there’s icy scoops of gelato to devour.
346 King William Street, Adelaide; (08) 8212 3327
Adelaide Central Market
At Adelaide Central Market, the vibrant bustle of sensory stimulation – smells, sights, sounds – keeps everyone entertained. Peckish tummies can take advantage of the stalls that offer sampling or, for a proper family feast, take a seat at one of the restaurants, such as Comida or Lucia’s Pizza & Spaghetti Bar. Both turn over tables quickly, which is ideal with hungry kids.
44 - 60 Gouger Street, Adelaide; (08) 8203 7494
Lost In A Forest
It’s a relaxed, homely affair at Lost In A Forest: you can recline on a patch of lawn in summer; in winter there’s a roaring fire inside for maximum cosiness. While the adults work their way through the diverse wine list, the kids can work their way through some of South Australia’s tastiest pizzas (bacon ‘n cheese will surely please picky eaters) before taking a look at the kitchen garden.
1203 Greenhill Road, Uraidla; (08) 8390 3444
With sprawling gardens to explore and a Story Book Trail that features a Harry Potter Quidditch Tree and a troll bridge, Carrick Hill is compelling. The on-site café has a decent kids menu – spaghetti, scrambled eggs on an English muffin, ham and cheese toasties – and there’s solid brunch and lunch fare for adults, as well as picnic platters and more upscale options like parsley and parmesan-crumbed King George whiting and Kangaroo Island lobster dumplings.
46 Carrick Hill Drive, Springfield; (08) 8379 1265
They do some of Adelaide’s best sushi but this West Terrace haunt isn’t highfalutin. Instead, the welcoming vibe, the unpretentious location, the picture-led menu, the easy parking and the array of Japanese dishes – sashimi, sushi rolls (simple avocado ones are great for little hands), chargrilled skewers and noodles – add up to a very family-friendly venue. Looking for a healthier Friday takeaway dinner? They also do delivery.
60 West Terrace, Adelaide; 1800 787 447
The dumplings are filling, the weekend trolley-service is efficient and fun to watch and the umami of the varied steamed and fried dishes should please most kiddies. The adults will love it, too – there’s a fairly extensive wine list that showcases Australian drops.
401 King William Street, Adelaide; (08) 8212 8383
Patch Kitchen & Garden
It’s kid heaven at this charming Stirling eatery. Inside, there’s a selection of books, toys and games; outside there’s a sandpit and plenty of space to run around, plus a veggie garden and chicken coop. The menu is seasonally driven: grown-ups can enjoy the likes of beetroot and goats’ cheese salad or southern fried chicken pieces and options such as zucchini, egg and cheese frittata or sausages and mash with peas and gravy will satisfy smaller stomachs.
143 Mt Barker Road, Stirling; (08) 8339 8087
The Edinburgh Hotel & Cellars
The spacious, sun-drenched beer garden at The Edinburgh Hotel in leafy Mitcham is a winner with families. There are tasting plates and a range of modern pub classics such as Wagyu rump with rosemary potatoes and a two-person seafood platter, while the kids’ menu covers simple pastas, burgers, schnitties and crumbed fish – all served with chips, of course.
1-7 High Street, Mitcham; (08) 8373 2700
Golding is a family-owned winery perfect for visiting tribes. There are expansive lawns, ideal for game-playing, and the regular live music performances are suitable for all ages. The kitchen serves up an easygoing mix of wood-fired pizzas, sliders, and grazing platters. If the grown-up versions don’t appeal to the littlies, there’s kid-dedicated options including a six-inch pizza with ham and cheese and a grazing plate of fruit, veg, hummus, cheese and ham.
52 Western Branch Road, Lobethal; (08) 8389 5120
Freak shakes, burgers and eye-popping desserts sit alongside brunch classics at this urban-styled hotspot in Hyde Park (pictured top). That means you can remain virtuous with smashed avocado or eggs or sourdough while the kids geek out in sugar-rush heaven with a pretzel-and-popcorn-topped milkshake (that you can steal sips from). Naturally, you’ll need a trip to the playground post-lunch to let them run-off all that energy.
144a King William Road, Hyde Park; (08) 8271 2003
This article was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated.