“What good new restaurants should I try?”

Broadsheet’s editors field this question, or a variation on it, almost every day. While we’d just as soon recommend one of Adelaide’s straight-up best restaurants or a long-standing institution, the pull of a hot new place is hard to deny.

So here it is: our edit of the best new restaurants in Adelaide from the past 12 months, updated monthly. Some of these places are redefining the way we eat and will go on to become classics. Others will be shorter lived. Either way, these are the spots we’re enjoying eating and drinking at in November.

Related Pages:
Best Restaurants in Adelaide
Best New Bars in Adelaide
Best New Cafes in Adelaide

Nido

Earlier this year, Hyde Park institution The Pot closed after 20 years. Owner Simon Kardachi decided it was time for a rebrand. Now the space is home to Nido (“nest” in Italian), a neighbourhood pasta bar. Find traditional, home-style dishes such as pork ragu and a knockout riff on vitello tonnato (a traditional dish of cold sliced veal with a creamy sauce) called “rootello bonnato”, with kangaroo instead of veal. Order big and settle in, or pull up a stool at the bar, sip a drink, and pick at a plate of salumi or pillowy gnocco fritto (crisp fried dough).

Shop 2 160 King William Road, Hyde Park
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Joybird

We never stood a chance. Joybird’s partners comprise an Avengers-esque who’s who of Adelaide’s hospo scene. There’s serial restaurateur Simon Kardachi (Melt, Nido and 10 other venues); Ollie Margan, the cocktail connoisseur behind Maybe Mae and West; and Adam Liston, of Leigh Street blockbuster Shobosho. Add to that a Studio Gram fit-out, and you’ve got as close to a guaranteed success as you can get. Joybird trades in nostalgic comfort food: it’s a classic suburban chook shop, gussied up. Red Rooster menu items meet Shobosho technique, with a price point falling nicely between the two. On top of that there’s a drinks list with a good range of cocktails and interesting wines.

164 King William Road, Hyde Park
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Madre

At this sequel to McLaren Vale’s Pizzateca, all of the pizza dough is made using seawater flown in from the Mediterranean. A bit extra, sure. But there’s method to the madness. Firstly, it’s illegal to use local seawater and secondly, Mediterranean seawater has a different salinity to what laps our shores. The final product at Madre is one of the best pizzas around town. Highlights include a fior di latte-topped margherita; a pork sausage and fried eggplant number; and another with fresh mortadella, pepper pecorino, ricotta and pistachio pesto. It all comes in a pretty pastel-pink and blue dining room.

57 Gilbert Street, Adelaide

Leigh Street Wine Room

This new wine bar (with food that’s too good to ignore) is actually in an old city drycleaner. The only hint at the space’s past is the cheeky “dry cleaners” sign out the front. Inside, things are long and cavernous, like a luxe-lit cellar. Hundreds of bottles watch over the terrazzo bar, the main stage for the food and drink you’ll be served. Co-owner Nathan Sasi has cheffed both here and in Sydney and Melbourne and draws on that experience for an impressive and enjoyable menu. There’s chicken-liver parfait with vermouth jelly, and crumbed, fried cubes of pigs head with pickles. A whipped cod’s roe dip with crackers and a knockout rigatoni with tripe and sweetbreads round things out.

9 Leigh Street, Adelaide

Quetzalcoatl Mexican Restaurant

Salisbury’s Taco Quetzalcoatl is renowned as a bastion of Mexican cuisine in Adelaide (and in Australia). Since receiving widespread recognition in 2018, visitors have flocked and the crowds haven’t let up since. That demand gave owner Margarita Galindo cause to open a new, larger location closer to the city centre. Quetzalcoatl Mexican Restaurant in Unley is everything we loved about the original, with an expanded menu and enough seating to suggest you and your friends might just be able to get a table. The house-made salsas, traditional tacos, burritos, empanadas, tamales, quesadillas and enchiladas are still unparalleled.

153 Unley Road, Unley

Part Time Lover

This breezy Palm Springs-inspired all-day diner off King William Road is in a disused glass-roofed gazebo. The refined but warm interior – all blond wood, pleasing straight lines and statement stonework – looks as though it’s come straight out of California. It’s a great spot for a coffee, a light bite, or a fully-fledged meal later on. The menu is crowdpleasing and thoughtful. It’s divided into three sections: vegetables, fish and meat. We enjoyed the sticky barbeque pulled eggplant, and the Port Lincoln raw kingfish with zippy green chilli, cucumber and sesame. For something less light, go for the JB cheese fries: crispy fries under grated parmesan.

Pilgram Lane, Adelaide

Stem

This is a sprawling wine bar and restaurant distinct from the other offerings on the western end of Hindley Street. It’s in a warehouse space filled with lush greenery, moody exposed brick and brushed concrete. The food here leans Mediterranean, with a focus on woodfired pizzas, share plates and some larger dishes (such as “lasagne-style” gnocchi, and roast pumpkin with pepitas and pistachios). The climate-controlled wine cellar has capacity for more than 1200 bottles. Right now there are around 400, but new bottles are coming in all the time.

188 Hindley Street, Adelaide
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Yiasou George

Formerly refined bistro Charlick’s, Yiasou George is all about approachable, Mediterranean-style cooking. It’s not solely Greek, as the name might suggest; it draws on Italian, French and Middle Eastern influences too. Think crisp fried quail with rose petals, and potato gratin with Comté (a French cheese made from unpasteurised cow's milk). It’s more friendly neighbourhood diner than slick CBD restaurant; it has tavern-style hospitality from warm, laid-back staff that is likely to pour you a free shot of ouzo when the evening shifts into gear.

30 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide
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