“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 March.

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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Mum Cha

Rundle Street has seen a spate of closures recently. So Mum Cha, a fun all-day dumpling house, is just the breath of fresh air that the strip needed. It comes from a crack hospo team whose combined CV includes Mother Vine, East End Cellars, Amalfi and the Stanley Bridge Tavern. Diners here can order a selection of handmade dumplings and pan-Asian favourites while grabbing off-menu specialties from the dim-sum carts racing around the narrow two-level venue. The classic yum-cha service on weekends is not to be missed.

279 Rundle Street, 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. Inside, marble meets wood, leather meets iron and rugged brick and stone walls are left bare. It does a great job of fooling you into forgetting that you’re in the centre of town. 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. The wine list is predictably excellent, and there’s also a range of Fino sherries available.

82 Flinders Street, Adelaide

Noi Vietnamese Eatery

Quang Nguyen is a well-known dessert chef. Along with wife Thy, he’s responsible for cafes Devour Cafe Patisserie, Shibui Dessert Bar and Third Time Lucky. Noi is a change of pace for Nguyen. Co-owned with his siblings, this Vietnamese-meets-Australian restaurant is an homage to the kind of food that the Nguyens grew up eating. The lamb ribs, coated in a Vietnamese spice rub then finished on the grill, represent barbeques in the backyard. Similarly, the lemongrass-and-turmeric chicken is reminiscent of trips to a suburban chicken shop. It’s all set within a modern space that’s ideal for groups.

306 Glen Osmond Road, Fullarton
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Seamore's

In 2014, Henley Beach’s notorious Sandbar nightclub finally called it a day and switched to being used for functions-only. It left a gap in the area’s nightlife. Seamore’s – which took over the old Sandbar space – fills that void. It’s an expansive crowd-pleaser that fits all kinds of tastes and moods. During the day, enjoy a killer meatball sub on the big balcony, which affords sweeping views over the beach. Later on, head inside to the Italo-disco-meets-’70s-surf-club for a pizza with a Negroni (which are dangerously on tap). A DJ booth and a disco ball to the side suggest that this space isn’t ready to hang up its dancing shoes just yet.

255 Esplanade, Henley Beach

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

Gunbae Chicken and Beer

Korean fried chicken is getting more and more popular across town, but Gunbae is one of the best. The menu is blissfully simple: chicken (brined for 12 hours before being fried), beer and Korean sides including kimchi pancakes, mandoo salads and rice balls. The interiors are equally spartan, all the better for focusing on the true task at hand when visiting Gunbae: making sure you secure more pieces of chicken than your mates do.

11-29 Union Street, Adelaide

Buk Buk Southern Hot

Fried chicken is popping up around town at the moment, but Buk Buk is a noteworthy new addition that’s worth paying attention to. Its specialty is Nashville-style hot chicken, which involves drenching chicken in a buttermilk hot sauce, coating it in flour, deep-frying it, then brushing it again with a spice mix. The result, usually served on a slice of white bread with pickle slices, is hot (although there are some milder options). Pair your chicken with sides such as mac’n’cheese and waffle fries, and enjoy it all with a cold beer.

1/254 Grange Road, Flinders Park

The Guardsman

This all-day dining hall at the old Adelaide Railway Station is a triple threat. The Guardsman faces out to the station concourse; it’s a thoroughfare which stays busy all day. So it made sense for The Guardsman to be a cafe, bar and restaurant that opens early and closes late. It pulls off all three. Whether you’re a commuter looking for a coffee and a small bite, or you’re from farther afield and want to sit down to a steak and a Martini, you’ll be well catered for here.

125 North Terrace, Adelaide
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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

Blue Velvet Artisan Pizzeria, Pastry and Dessert Lab

Most pizza joints specialise in one particular style – New York, Neapolitan, al taglio – but not Blue Velvet. Two distinct styles with different preparations are served up here. Both are equally worthwhile. There’s the alla palla pizzas – large, thick and rectangular. The autolisi pizzas are more typical, but just as good. But there’s much more than pizza on offer; The Pastry Lab is worth its own visit. Many of the pastries here are made with vegan-friendly ingredients in place of butter, eggs and milk (although you wouldn’t be able to tell). Pizza and pastries under the one roof may seem like an odd choice, but we’re not complaining.

70 Henley Beach Road, Mile End

Aces Pizza and Liquor

This new Italian bistro has an old soul. That’s thanks to the hearty portions, the red, white and green colour palette and the borderline cheesy neon signs. With pizza names such as Legalize Marinara and Napoli Dynamite, Aces gives off the impression that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s not the case. Duncan Welgemoed (of Africola fame) is executive chef here, and he’s designed a menu that impressively tiptoes the line between home-style comfort food and cheffy flair. All pizzas and pastas are 20 bucks, there are great weekly specials and the drinks list is fun and approachable.

61-63 Grote Street, Adelaide

Gang Gang

This all-day deli and burger spot first debuted at the Central Market in 2018. Following the success of that pop-up, Gang Gang hit the road as a food truck. Now it has a permanent space. Good news for everyone looking to enjoy the team’s Asian-leaning, plant-heavy ‘burgs on a regular basis. The cheeseburger and the fried-chicken burger are some of the best in town, but vegan options don’t play second fiddle: the Indonesian-inspired crispy tempeh burger is a knockout. To drink, coffee comes from local roaster Two Fish and sodas are made in-house.

69 Unley Road, Parkside

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

Viet Next Door

This is one of the most beautiful new restaurants in town. The fit-out is neutral-toned, sheathed in granite and not what you’d expect to find among the no-frills diners of Pennington. This modern Vietnamese menu nods to traditional recipes, but it’s where it clashes with other cultures that things get interesting. There are cheeseburger spring rolls; garlic egg noodles with blue swimmer crab; and a hearty, spicy beef stew with pillowy gnocchi. For dessert, go for the panna cotta – Vietnamese filter coffee (condensed milk included) is swirled into it.

73a Addison Road, Pennington