Sandwiches are here to stay. You might argue they never left? That may be the case, but the simple concept of things between bread has never been revered quite like this. Even full-service cafes are centering sangas. Blame The Bear? Blame the turn towards comfort food in trying times? Or blame no one, because this trend is most welcome. But it’s not just sandwiches. There’s a larger movement away from extensive menus that cover all bases, and instead doing one thing and doing it well.
Here are six of the best new cafes (and one bakery) that have caught our eye this year (so far) in alphabetical order.
Any Given Sunday, Cheltenham
Despite sitting between a reviving Port Adelaide and village-like Croydon, Cheltenham has been long under-served when it comes to quality cafes. So it’s easy to see why this corner store turned homey cafe has been so wholeheartedly embraced by the locals. The community vibes are strong: local producers feature prominently on the concise menu, which features White Horse coffee, pastries and bread from Skala Bakery, and some classic Nippy’s flavoured milk. On weekends, the team serves gibanica (“gibbo for short”) – a traditional Serbian pastry made by co-owner Alex Perisic’s mother with a secret family recipe. The glistening, buttery filo with cheese filling usually sells out by 11am. In keeping with the site’s former life, you can also pick up breakfast supplies like eggs, cereal and milk.
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Cherry Bomb Cafe, Ashton
Three years ago, Tanya Schroeder bought the Ashton Post Office and started selling coffee and baked goods from the eclectic space. It was an unexpected setting for a destination cafe, but the quaint spot drew people from far and away. Earlier this year Schroeder converted her 1870s stone house next door – formerly the local general store – into the cafe’s new iteration, Cherry Bomb. The new site retains the quirky, homey vibes of the original but with a bigger and better set-up. What were once bedrooms and living areas are now cosy nooks for customers to hang out (with comfy couches, roaring fires and shelves lined with over 100 books). The menu keeps the wholesome Hills vibes going with coffee that’s roasted down the road, warming soups, toasties and cherry pie made with fruit from nearby Ceravolo Orchards. Plus, on-theme sweets like cherry and ricotta cake and cherry brownies baked by former Peel St chef Hannah Jeffery. And soon, Holy Mother of Bagels baker Aaron Caporn will take over the enormous 151-year-old scotch oven to turn out sourdough loaves and other bakery fare.
Dante’s Deli, Glenelg
Adelaide’s sandwich scene is on a roll. Following the arrival of Pinco Deli, Carton Deli, Good Neighbour Deli and Our Boy Roy, this tiny beachside contender arrived in Glenelg earlier this year, inspired by the al fresco grab-and-go panino bars of Italy. The menu reflects the Italian inspo with fillings like sopressa, fior di latte, tomato, peppers, mayo and basil, or mortadella, capocollo, provolone, pickled veg and pesto, both in fresh Turkish bread. Plus, a mushroom ragu toastie with provolone and shredded mozzarella. There are also tuna melts and a chicken-salad sanga with Kewpie mayo, dill pickles, shallots and green oak lettuce. The trio tapped Goodwood’s Boulangerie 113 to supply the bread and pastries and Hark Coffee to provide the air-roasted beans. For those who would rather eat in, there’s a dog-friendly, ivy-clad courtyard out the back with around a dozen chairs.
Nauti Buoy, Henley Beach
The beachy name and location might suggest this is a place best frequented in summer. But with a cosy fireplace and a new winter menu, Nauti Buoy is an ideal port in a storm. The beachside cafe is the work of Dylan Auciello, Danny Cooray and Harrison Raphael, the team behind Loverboy nightclub and Studio Spring pilates – but they’ve always dreamed of having a cafe. They’ve teamed up with co-owner and chef Renee Lind, previously of Peter Rabbit, who’s serving up dishes like seashell pasta with Najobe pork shoulder ragu, beer-battered Port Lincoln King George whiting with chips, a kimchi and cheese jaffle, and a crowd-favourite panko-crumbed chicken sandwich on rye. She’s even making the plates it’s all served on. On Fridays and Saturdays, Nauti Buoy stays open till late for snacks, wine and cocktails, including sangria and a spicy coconut and pineapple Margarita.
Our Boy Roy, Clarence Park
Our Boy Roy wears many hats. This colourful corner spot manages to squeeze in a coffee and sandwich bar, a buzzing 100-seat cafe, a delicatessen and a general store all under one roof. On the food menu, it’s largely about the sandwiches. You might find a meatball and sugo panini, or a chunky deli meats sanga as well as a bowl of breakfast gnocchi and a pillowy, thick and syrupy hotcake (singular). As for the coffee, owner Michael Cotton has an exclusive deal (within SA) with pioneering Sydney roaster Single O, which also supplies his Semaphore cafe, High Tide. Beyond the usual espresso options, you can enjoy batch-brew filter coffee via a self-serve tap and screen – ideal if you’re on the go. Before you leave, don’t forget to grab a bunch of fresh flowers, or eye the enormous range of craft hot sauces and chilli oils.
Prove Patisserie, Stepney
Prove Patisserie has been supplying its coveted pastries to the city’s best cafes since it launched in late 2020. Now – after moving operations from a co-working space in Port Adelaide – owners Anna Rogers and Megan Bowditch (who’s also the head pastry chef) are selling their luminous line-up of croissants (plain, pain au chocolat, choc-raspberry and almond), scrolls (cinnamon, butterscotch and the occasional baklava special), and seasonal danishes (like rhubarb and pistachio, and pear and honey crumble) at their own shopfront in Stepney. Since relocating, the team has also started baking bread – 100 per cent sourdough plain, seeded and rye loaves, plus baguettes, ciabatta and specials like olive and rosemary fougasse – which has been selling out every Saturday. Luckily, the team’s just expanded its retail hours to include Fridays too. But we recommend getting in early to be safe.
One of Adelaide’s best coffee roasters, Dawn Patrol, has teamed up with Boy & Bloom to open a tiny new CBD spot in an unlikely location. And, while it’s early days still, we want to shout out new arrivals Rodeo and Aye Frank – another couple of notches on Adelaide’s sandwich belt.