A shortlist of Broadsheet’s top 10 CBD venues doing great dishes to conquer your appetite without emptying your wallet.
Bocadillos from Comida – $10
Comida is steadily amassing a cult following among market-goers for simple, honest Spanish dishes. $10 lets you pick from the daily bocadillo (sandwich) specials, which are assembled to order with home-cooked ingredients. Roasted pork, quince, manchego, pickles and herbs, or chorizo, romesco, piquillos and pickle have featured in the past, and the board continues to be updated with new options.
Stall 11, Adelaide Central Markets
Slow-cooked meat rolls at Chicken & Pig – $8.50
Chicken and Pig is making carvery cool. Choose a roll ($8.50) or a box ($15.00), load it up with standout salads, succulent slices of lamb, chicken or pork, and finish with “red sauce” or “green sauce”. Meats are slow-cooked in the wood oven at partner restaurant Pizza e Mozzarella Bar across the road. Everything arrives hot and ready to serve, minutes before doors open. While proteins are the star attractions, heirloom vegetables; black rice with brussels sprouts; or fennel and orange salads play an integral supporting role.
78A Pirie Street, Adelaide
Mon to Fri 11am–sold out.
Nano Sticks at Nano 2 Go – $8.80
RIP the focaccia. In 2003 when Nano was just a pokey Hutt Street hangout, it reinvented "bread with fillings” by baking its own oil-brushed dough slabs and packing them with quality ingredients. The venue called it The Nano Stick, and it stuck. Not for the carb-counters, Nano Sticks (all $8.80) come with chicken schnitzel, lettuce and homemade mayonnaise; prosciutto, tomato and cheese; and eggplant parmy with sugo and cheese – and more.
23 Ebenezer Place, Adelaide
Mon to Fri 8am–3pm
The cheeseburger toastie at Larry & Ladd – $9
Larry’s toastie game is among the strongest we’ve seen. The Cheeseburger, with American cheddar, nails the taste of a classic burger, reimagined in toastie form. The little coffee-focused shop is unquestionably hip and always packed with punters devouring organic ciabatta sangas, all capped at $9 or under. For vegetarians, the truffled-mushroom option is the one.
Shop 36 Regent Arcade, Rundle Mall, Adelaide
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
A three (or more) course meal from Nanna Hot Bake – under $10
Nana bakes the tastiest Asian buns. With prices from $1.60, and rocketing all the way up to $2.80 apiece, you can treat yourself to a three-course feast all for less than $10. We recommend the lemon-tuna bun as appetizer, before the heartier barbeque pork for a main. For dessert, try Nana’s coconut tart.
Shop 30 Market Plaza, Adelaide
Mon to Thu 7am–5pm
Sit Lo pho – $6.50
Sit Lo is the kind of takeaway joint you actually don’t mind dining in – if you can find a seat. The busy little Bank Street venue prides itself on serving quality dishes (such as its MSG-free beef or chicken pho – $6.50 for a small, $10 for a generous large) and receiving every customer like a well-loved regular. We recommend the Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk, too. It’s syrupy, sweet and unsurpassable. Its website also allows customers to streamline their lunch break by ordering online.
30 Bank Street, Adelaide
Mon to Thu 11am–9pm
Fri & Sat 11am–10pm
Bagels from The Beigelry – $8.50
Choose from a range of classic New York combos such as pastrami with mustard; cream cheese; and turkey and cranberry; or the modern Aussie classic, smashed avocado and feta, all for $8.50. The bagels ($3.50 unfilled) are baked every day and the shop trades until sold-out – usually around 3pm.
Shop 19 Topham Mall, Adelaide
Mon to Fri 8am–3pm
The lunch special from Fancy Burger – $10
Fancy Burger is proudly South Australian, just like its produce. The CBD store – tucked down the end of Synagogue Place (off Rundle Street) – dishes out a burger-n-chips deal for $10 every weekday between 11am and 1pm. The three options are an SA beef burger with herby mayo; a grilled-chicken-breast burger with homemade salsa and trimmings; or a vego burger. Thick-cut fries with rosemary salt complete the meal deal.
17 Synagogue Place, Adelaide
Sun to Thu 11am–9pm
Fri & Sat 11am–11pm
Tofu roll from Miss Mai – $7
You can't walk 100 metres through the CBD without tripping over a dozen cafes doing Vietnamese meat rolls. But the only line we're joining – and there will be a line – is for Miss Mai’s. Peak hour pumps to feed hungry city workers.
9A James Place, Adelaide
Mon to Fri 11am–3.30pm
Pizza + a drink from Romano's – $7
Romano's Pizza is in Southern Cross Arcade. The daggy decor may not have been updated since the 1970s, but neither have the prices. For $7 you get two slices of oven-fresh pizza plus a can of soft drink. The kiosk is usually busy around lunchtime, so the trays are refreshed regularly. Potato and rosemary gets our vote, and pairs perfectly with Romano's Special of pepperoni, tomato and bacon.
Southern Cross Arcade
52–64 King William Street, Adelaide
Mon to Fri 8am-5pm