Owner Daniel Freer’s passion for the caffeinated bean drew him to bring top-of-the-line coffee to the middle of the CBD. PSP (proudly) uses Melbourne’s Proud Mary beans, and sporadically offers tasting flights. Its toasties are entirely worth your time – truffled mushrooms and Gruyere cheese is a knockout. Check out Freer’s typography and talent for puns – they shine bright on the chalkboard and menu.
Clever Little Tailor is one of Adelaide’s best nightspots for great booze and conversation. Staff members have brains filled to the brim with drinks knowledge, and they’re happy to share it with you to nail your cocktail every time. Try a Negroni with a shot of cold-brew coffee for a pick-me-up.
EST is a tiny, intimate place with a wood-fired oven warming things up from the inside. Here you’ll find comforting Italian food and a fail-safe wine list. The prawn pizza and the Gorgonzola gnocchi are winning dishes. Cosy and open late, EST is one of the best ‘first-date’ places in Adelaide.
The Wheaty is a pub with a constantly changing beer range that never fails. The bartenders have studied up on the intimate details of each beer, and can easily recommend a wine if you’re not sure which direction to head in. Take your drink out into the beer garden if the weather’s nice; it’s a relaxing haven.
You might recognise Andre from the first season of Masterchef, but reality-television beginnings or not, there are other great reasons to head to his restaurant for dinner. Fitted-out to look like nonna’s pantry, the atmosphere is always electric here. The ever-changing and seasonal fish or red-meat carpaccio is a permanent standout, but the best thing to choose is the $62 menu fisso – it means “fixed menu” but the only thing fixed is the price and structure. Let the staff tailor your dining experience, so you can try the dishes best suited to you.
The Howling Owl is a cafe by day and gin bar by night. The gin range is vast, but it does, on occasion, offer tasting plates with different gins, tonics and garnishes, so you can find your gin soul mate by trial and error (errors not included). It also has a notable, entirely South Australian wine and beer list – the hometown pride is strong here.
Spot Bambi’s Kitchen by the mismatched vintage tables and chairs out the front. The coffee here is consistently good, and it also makes fresh juices if you’re feeling guilty about whatever sins you may have committed the night before. Try the Hot Juice; a blend of beetroot with apple and ginger, served hot. The “big breakfast” range has excellent vegetarian/vegan options, and is made with care.
Lunch: Thanh Thanh
18 Field Street, Adelaide
(08) 8212 8788
Thanh Thanh is just off Gouger Street, in the middle of Adelaide’s Chinatown district. Here the pho is huge, cheap and always fresh. The place looks like it hasn’t been renovated since the 1980s, complete with red, plastic tables and mirrored panelling. The entrance is easy to miss, but it’s worth the search.
It’s time to have a lazy, Sunday-afternoon beer. The answer: The Exeter Hotel. This pub thrives. It’s the everyman’s pub and, a true institution. Its wine list is an unlikely hero in a gritty pub setting, plus it has a weekday lunch menu filled with sound pub classics. It also has almost the entire Coopers range on tap. You don’t have to say a word more than, “Pint of pale, thanks” (Adelaide tip: say the title, not the colour of the label), and the Coopers Pale Ale will flow from those beautiful taps. Drink a pint in the dappled light of the beer garden – it’s the tangible happy place of many Adelaideans.