At first, James McIntyre just wanted a tiny coffee shed and some lawn. But when he found out the drab concrete park across from University of South Australia was owned by SA Power Networks and not the council – which might have cramped their style – he acquired the lease and dreamed bigger.
Today, Peter Rabbit is one of Adelaide’s buzziest cafes; its corner block holds a lush garden filled out with lemon and avocado trees. At the rear, there’s a well-appointed shipping-container-turned-cafe, with herbs planted on the roof. It makes for a big contrast with the humming electrical substation next door, and indeed this is one of the most relaxing spots in town. When the weather’s fine, it's hard to beat a brunch cocktail on the deck, or at one of the garden tables.
Head chef Samuel Joelnetan serves a hearty menu that’s primed for an early start or a long lunch. If you’re here for the former, a highlight is the focaccia with roast tomatoes, whipped lemon ricotta and honey jazzed up with oregano and fermented garlic. Later, it might be a soba noodle bowl with yellowfin tuna, edamame, pickled ginger and a soft-boiled egg.
Peter Rabbit also doubles as a function space, and can be booked for long lunches; canapes and cocktails from the iconic caravan out front; and even full-venue soirees with grazing tables, drinks menus and a disco ball included.
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