If there’s one thing to take away from the new arrivals coming soon to Adelaide, it’s that the suburbs are having their moment. More and more people are choosing to eat and drink in their own neighbourhoods – just as they long have on the east and west coasts – bringing new energy to the ’burbs. From established operators expanding into new communities, to a relative newcomer about to make his mark on the city’s dining scene, here are our picks for the back half of 2023, in alphabetical order.
Since publication in July, several of these spots have since opened. Click the link below each paragraph to see how each restaurant lived up to the hype.
Alt, Hyde Park
As part of the team behind Burnside’s popular Lockwood General, Adam Robinson’s got form in bringing something a bit more youthful and buzzy to Adelaide’s leafy and well-heeled suburbs. He hopes his next venue, Alt, will do the same for King William Road. Opening any day now, it’ll bring a new kind of wine bar to the strip. Robinson, who lives in the neighbourhood, wants to cater to the locals while drawing young imbibers from across town. The intimate spot will have a wall of wine storing hundreds of bottles, plus elevated cocktails and considered small plates, including devilled eggs.
Alt Bar opened at the end of July. Head here to read more about Alt Bar.
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East End Cellars, Norwood
Longstanding CBD wine bar, bottle shop and restaurant East End Cellars is opening a second venue in the new Norwood Green apartment complex on Magill Road in late August, joining a ground-floor lifestyle hub that’ll also include a physiotherapist, Pilates studio and a second site for Frankly Bagels. You can expect all the things that have made East End Cellars an Adelaide institution: top wines, excellent Euro-style plates and an extensive retail shop, but in a smaller setting with village-like vibes.
East End Cellars Norwood opened in September. Head here to read more about East End Cellars Norwood location.
Four Sides Bar and Kitchen, Hyde Park
After opening Bistro Francais early last year, Fabien Streit, Nazzareno Falaschetti and Baz Rampal are already embarking on a second project, just a stone’s throw away. Taking over the former Local Wine Co site and the tenancy next door, the venue will have a dual personality, with one area tending towards relaxed bar-style dining and the other offering a more upmarket feel. And unlike Francais, it won’t be bound by the rules of any one cuisine. The drinks list will be similarly freewheeling, spanning everything from sake to home-brewed kombucha.
Four Sides Bar and Kitchen opened in August. Head here to read more about Four Sides.
When the Bar Lune crew acquired the space that would become their Unley cocktail bar Dolly there was no room for a coffee machine, so they decided to take the lease next door, too. In August the team will open Spread, a panini and coffee bar in the neighbouring site on Hart Avenue, which will operate Monday to Saturday, from 6.30am to 3pm. On Friday and Saturday nights the vibe will shift to an intimate bar with a handful of seats and menu items based off the ingredients used during the day (think charcuterie alongside tinnies and stirred cocktails).
Spread Deli opened in September. Head here to read more about Spread.
These three venues will open in the next few months.
Nina Restaurant, CBD
Adelaide chef Leonardo Loureiro spent Adelaide’s seven-day lockdown in 2021 perfecting his Basque cheesecake recipe before launching his online bakery, Basque by Leo. It became an immediate hit. But his plan was always to put down roots with a bricks-and-mortar business. Enter Nina, a Spanish-inspired restaurant on the ground floor of the Sofitel’s new apartment complex. It’s largely under wraps still, but it looks like you can expect share plates, sangria and, yes, Loureiro’s silky smooth cheesecakes.
Messina, Kent Town
Since launching in Sydney in 2002, the east coast’s favourite gelato chain has expanded to 28 stores across the country and two in Hong Kong. But, apart from the occasional pop-up, Adelaide has been waiting a while for a taste of Messina on home soil. Good things come to those who wait, though: in spring, the brand will not only open its first permanent Adelaide store – it’ll also come with an adjoining Italian restaurant. The new venue will be in the old Alchemy Ironworks site on The Parade, and feature Messina’s signature 40-flavour cabinet and range of gelato cakes. The restaurant will follow Messina’s from-scratch mentality with “lots of fresh pasta made in-house”.
So Long, Marianne, Brooklyn Park
What started as plans for a small neighbourhood wine bar out the front of much-loved Richmond cafe Karma & Crow has morphed into an ambitious project encompassing a microbrewery, restaurant and bar in Brooklyn Park. The first part of the equation – brewery Yellow Matter – opened in June in the former West Torrens Council Chambers. The second part, restaurant and wine bar So Long, Marianne (named after the Leonard Cohen song), is expected to arrive later this year. Like Yellow Matter, it’ll have a fit-out by Studio Gram and a totally vegetarian menu that’ll change constantly (so much so, there won’t actually be a printed menu).
And one you’ll have to wait a little longer for…
The Boiler House, Tonsley
Little Bang co-founder Ryan Davidson wants to make his next venue the most sustainable microbrewery in the country. The pint-sized production facility is expected to open in mid-2024 at the Tonsley Innovation District, the sprawling state-of-the-art hub home to more than 1700 employees across multiple companies and industries. For Little Bang, which will still operate out of its current Stepney premises, the new site – previously a boiler house used to power Mitsubishi’s assembly lines – will be a “little incubator” where the team can road test new ideas. Beyond experimental beers and seltzers, Davidson is keen to implement a raft of eco-friendly energy-saving measures. Under the current plans, the space, which currently resembles a “1950s art deco nuclear power plant”, will also include a cafe, a bottle shop and a restaurant.
Additional reporting by Tim Watts and Kurtis Eichler.
This article was originally published on July 26, 2023 but was updated on October 6, 2023 to update the fact that venues have since opened.