What makes a good restaurant? At Broadsheet, we’re interested in how well a place lives up to its own ambitions, regardless of its age, price point or cuisine.

Maybe it offers value for money and an incredible atmosphere. Maybe it pioneered a trend, and remains the most vital example of it. Or maybe, after several decades in operation, it still offers an undeniably great experience. All are equally valid answers.

The remit may be wide, but if you’re looking for restaurants that both define and capture Adelaide’s culinary spirit, stop right here.

Restaurant Orana

Jock Zonfrillo has explored the creative possibilities of Australian native ingredients more deeply than any other chef in the world. Along the way, he's always maintained respect for the Indigenous communities that have been eating this local flora and fauna for thousands of years. Orana may be the most expensive spot on this list, but if you're looking for singular dining experience that can't be found anywhere else on the planet, this is it.

285 Rundle Street, Adelaide
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Bistro Blackwood

You'll still find saltbush and lemon myrtle on the plates occasionally, but Orana's downstairs counterpart its more about celebrating Australian multiculturalism. It's a place where Italian osso buco, Caribbean jerk chicken and American mac'n'cheese exist side-by-side, yet don't seem jarring or out of place. That's a feat in itself.

285 Rundle Street, Adelaide
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Africola

In its first incarnation, this colourful diner repped food from chef Duncan Welgemoed's homeland of South Africa. A fire in 2016 inspired a shift in focus to the northern part of the country, and a more vegetable-based output, quickly elevating Africola to the top of Australia's dining sphere.

4 East Terrace, Adelaide
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Osteria Oggi

Adelaide has no shortage of Italian restaurants, but a fresh, modern interpretation is still a rare treat. Several years on Simon Kardachi's indoor piazza is still serving some of the best Italian fare in the city – in award-winning surrounds.

76 Pirie Street, Adelaide
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Shobosho

An Asian-inspired “fire house” from restaurateur Simon Kardachi.

17 Leigh Street, Adelaide

Peel St

A vibrant space that mixes the cuisine of Asia and the Middle East with a dash of laneway attitude.

9 Peel Street, Adelaide

Press Food and Wine

A global menu made with local produce is the hallmark of this confident venue.

40 Waymouth Street, Adelaide
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Sunny's Pizza

If you're looking for a good time, don't go past this offbeat pizzeria where a dance floor often kicks off after dinner.

17 Solomon Street, Adelaide

Magill Estate Restaurant

A fine dining winery experience, without the trip to the hills.

78 Penfold Road, Rosslyn Park
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Parwana Afghan Kitchen

Rustic Middle-Eastern food made and served with love.

124B Henley Beach Road, Torrensville

Golden Boy

Polished Thai food that's made for sharing.

309 North Terrace, Adelaide
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Botanic Gardens Restaurant

Sit back, take in the view of the gardens, the food and your glass of wine.

Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide

The Summertown Aristologist

A unique cellar door for winemakers Lucy Margaux and Commune of Buttons.

1097 Greenhill Road, Summertown