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.

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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

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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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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A suburban aperitivo bar with handmade pasta and a tight Italian wine list.

Shop 2 160 King William Road, Hyde Park
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Magill Estate Restaurant


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

78 Penfold Road, Rosslyn Park
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Leigh Street Wine Room


A former drycleaner is now the setting for an exciting drinking den – a cosy, cleverly designed natural-wine bar serving world-class vino, house-made charcuterie and cheese, and inventive share plates.

9 Leigh Street, Adelaide

Parwana Afghan Kitchen


Rustic Middle-Eastern food made and served with love.

124B Henley Beach Road, Torrensville

Golden Boy


Don't let the name – casually taken from a Thai brand of fish sauce – fool you. This is one serious operation. From the excellent Thai food – just get the chef's choice menu and let the staff make food decisions for you – to the high calibre Asian-inspired cocktails and fun atmosphere, Golden Boy is not messing around.

309 North Terrace, Adelaide

Fino Vino


Fino at Seppeltsfield is an icon of the Barossa, so expectations were high for its first urban outpost. Good news: this charming 70-seat wine bar and restaurant delivers. The food is simple and changes often, and every part of the animal or vegetable that comes through the kitchen is prepared in-house, with next to nothing wasted. And the wine list is predictably excellent.

82 Flinders Street, Adelaide

The Summertown Aristologist


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

1097 Greenhill Road, Summertown
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Restaurant Botanic


The rebranded Restaurant Botanic features 12 different menus (to cater to different diets) that draw from the surrounding gardens. Plus, a cocktail list featuring a koji Old Fashioned, wattleseed Espresso Martini and a “Chef’s Negroni” with mezcal, whiskey and Campari.

Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide

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

Soi 38


Housed in the old Pirie Street Subway, this food-stall-turned-restaurant continues its legend of regionally-focused Thai specialties in a sleek, modern space. Come for elevated renditions of classic curries, flame-grilled meats inspired by Thailand’s north, plus a little bit of fiery wok drama.

74 Pirie Street, Adelaide