The Best Restaurants in Adelaide

Updated 3 months ago

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What makes a great restaurant? Maybe it pioneered a trend, and remains the most vital example of it. Maybe, after several decades in the game, it still feels as fresh and relevant as ever. Or maybe it’s been open less than a year and already feels like a future classic.

All are equally valid answers when it comes to determining the best restaurants in Adelaide. That’s why our list includes lively wine bars and other dressed-down eateries alongside the usual fine-dining institutions. The remit may be wide, but if you’re looking for restaurants that both define and capture the city’s culinary spirit, stop right here. These are the absolute best.

  • Jake Kellie’s fire-powered restaurant harnesses a four-tonne wood oven and a fleet of grills to cook dishes starring SA produce. Enter for modern Australian barbeque at its finest. Plus, thoughtful drinks and plenty of fiery open-kitchen action.

  • Emu on the cob. Garden flower and ants. Restaurant Botanic serves one of the most exciting tasting menus in the country, driven by produce from the surrounding 51-hectare gardens. Executive chef Justin James is at the peak of his powers here.

  • Named after the Afghan word for butterfly, this homely diner tells the migration story of its owners through comforting Middle Eastern cooking. A meal here feels like being welcomed into a family member’s home, and it’s one of Adelaide’s essential dining experiences.

  • This hilltop boozer may look vintage from the outside – but its dizzying wine list and modern Australian pub grub say otherwise. The festoon-lit beer garden is a destination in its own right, offering gorgeous views of the city at night.

  • Not only does Magill Estate serve one of the country’s finest degustations, it’s also a proving ground for some of our best kitchen talent. Executive chef Scott Huggins harnesses fire, seasonal produce and the backdrop of Penfold’s historic vineyard to create a dining experience like no other.

  • The genius pairing of Taiwanese flavours and natural wine is brought to life at this intimate spot on Willunga’s historic high street. From its sleek fit-out to the compact menu, Muni is a lesson in elegant restraint.

  • In the old Pirie Street Subway, this hawker-turned-restaurant continues its vision of regional Thai cooking in a sleek, modern space. Come for elevated takes of classic curries, grilled meats inspired by the country's north, and plenty of fiery wok drama.

  • Set inside an old printing house, this influential eatery was among the city’s first to champion nose-to-tail cooking back when it was a novel concept. Local and ethical produce is still the focus, as is a dedication to SA wines and sharp service. An elegant dining room ties it all together.

  • Among McLaren Vale’s vineyards is an 1851 homestead covered with climbing greenery. Inside, chef Karena Armstrong oversees a cuisine-hopping diner that continues to thrill after a decade in the game.

  • A freewheeling Italian joint that's inspired by tradition – but never bound by it. Bandit’s woodfired pizzas and housemade pasta are among the city’s best, and the drinks list spans Italianate cocktails, amaro and solid non alc options. Salute!

  • Don't let the name or the fun atmosphere fool you. When you try Golden Boy’s energetic modern takes on Thai cuisine (and cocktails to match), you’ll know this place isn’t messing around. Go for the Tuk Tuk menu – you won’t regret it.

  • On a leafy Adelaide corner is one the city’s benchmark diners. Quentin Whittle’s borderless menu looks to Asia and the Middle East for cues – but everything’s done in a way that feels effortless. This is casual, modern Australian dining at its best.

  • The old bottling hall at a famed Barossa winery doubles as an airy destination diner where veg is the star. The bookends to your meal – the cultured sourdough and crema Catalan – are Fino’s irrevocable signatures.

  • A former drycleaner is the setting for one of Adelaide's most exciting drinking dens – a cosy, cleverly designed natural-wine bar serving world-class vino and inventive plates by a young chef with Michelin Star cred.

  • Run by a husband and wife duo since 1985, this Malaysian favourite has a special place in the hearts of market-goers and laksa fans alike. Come on Friday for the special Sarawak soup and taste the difference.

  • Fino at Seppeltsfield is a Barossa icon, 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 elegant, with next to nothing wasted. A 100-strong wine list is backed up by a range of sherries.

  • There are countless reasons to visit McLaren Vale. This “oztalian” pizzeria by a winemaking family is right up there. The Italian wood-fired oven is the restaurant’s beating heart, and turns out some of the best slices in the state.

  • Perusing Peel Street’s giant blackboard menu feels like an Adelaide rite of passage. On it you’ll find dishes mixing Asian and Middle Eastern influences, with a dash of laneway attitude. Sit at the bar, order well and enjoy the hum of the space.

  • 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.

  • You'll ask yourself the following when you enter this neon-lit gem: is Sunny’s a pizza joint that also happens to feel like a house party? Or is it a bar with DJs and primo pizza? Happily, the answer is “yes” to both.

  • Simon Kardachi’s fire-powered hotspot serves charcoal-grilled skewers like they do in Japan. Cold dishes are also a big part of the equation – not to mention a sando to rule them all. Visit tiny sibling Sho for more yakitori action.

  • The standard-setter for Neapolitan pizza in Adelaide. The rest of the selection – including antipasto, pasta and desserts – is tight and considered. The same goes for the wine list of Italian and South Australian drops.