In 2013 the South Australian Government approved a new class of liquor licensing, making it easier for small venues to be granted, a license to trade. The effect was profound. Before long, a swathe of great bars and impressive eateries had begun multiplying throughout Adelaide, many informed by the native terroir and panoply of cultures that call the city home.
Take a choose-your-own-adventure attitude to navigating Adelaide’s streets and laneways, as a delicious reward is around every bend. Mount Lofty Ranges skirts the city, with long stretches of stunning coastline just beyond. It’s only a short drive to McLaren Vale, the Barossa and Clare Valley regions, where you can fine-tune your palate across both big wine names and smaller boutique producers.
There’s also a lively and eclectic arts scene with some of the country’s standout annual events culminating in March. We’ve paired up with ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card to explore the top notes from the city and its wine-heady surrounds.
No question, Restaurant Orana is one of Australia’s best. Owner-chef Jock Zonfrillo is a Scotsman who sources from local farms and forages wild ingredients, with respect for Indigenous traditions. The set degustation commences with a series of alkoopina, or snack-sized morsels, before continuing with artful plates built from the likes of mangrove seeds, native thyme, Goolwa pippies, finger lime, green ants, lilly pilly, Davidson plum and tea tree.
The 25-seat restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, but you’ll need to book.
285 Rundle Street, Adelaide
(08) 8232 3444
Johannesburg native Duncan Welgemoed has caused a stir with his East Terrace restaurant, Africola. Since opening in 2014 the original South African-meets-South Australian menu melds fire-pit cooking techniques, intriguing ingredients, bold cocktails and small-scale wines. The venue has had a recent refresh, with a new design, new kitchen toys and a new North African focused menu.
For this second chapter, Welgemoed hones in on Madagascan, Moroccan and Ethiopian cuisines, plating up curiosity-rousing dishes such as pork belly with hibiscus pineapple; mushrooms with brown butter, coffee and cardamom; and coconut pudding with hot-buttered tea and rosella.
4 East Terrace, Adelaide
(08) 8223 3885
Russell’s Pizza is a South Australian institution. Located on the main street of Willunga, a small town 45 minutes south of Adelaide, Russell’s is a rustic establishment resembling an old tin shack of corrugated iron and vintage furniture. Pretty much any table will position you near an open fire, whether indoors or out in the courtyard. This dining experience forgoes plates and cutlery in favour of hands and napkins, and beverages are BYO.
The infamous crusty pizzas range from a classic margarita to a Turkish-style number topped with slow-cooked lamb, Kangaroo Island sheep’s-milk yoghurt, pickled lime, tomato, cucumber, mint and dukkah. Russell’s is only open Friday and Saturday evenings, and you’ll likely need to book way in advance. Gather some friends and pack an Esky (like the locals do) for the road trip, perhaps stocking up your wine supplies at the many surrounding cellar doors on the way.
13 High Street, Willunga
(08) 8556 2571
Clever Little Tailor
This handsome bar was among the first venues to nab a small-venue liquor licence in April 2013. The space is a mesh of rustic stone and brick walls, slick leather booths, concrete tables, exposed rafters and front windows that open to the street. Clever Little Tailor offers top-notch drinking and bar snacks – cheese, smoked almonds, olives and salumi. Local and international boutique spirits, including an extensive selection of Japanese whiskies, sit alongside prime Australian, minimal-intervention wines and craft beers. The team has recently added Pink Moon Saloon, a skinny, wooden, forest chalet on nearby Leigh Street.
19 Peel Street, Adelaide
East End Cellars
East End Cellars owner Michael Andrewartha opened this bottle shop in 1998, and added wine bar The Tasting Room in 2014. Inspired by the enoteche of Europe – where you can drop by for a no-fuss espresso, sandwich and glass of wine – The Tasting Room serves small plates and excellent wine. Its range extends to 10,000 bottles, spanning both local and global producers, from boutique emerging wineries to the well established.
On the menu of locally cured salumi, rillettes, terrines and cheeses are the bar’s infamous toasties filled with the likes of sopressa, bresaola, scamorza and tomato chutney. There are weekly flights from a feature winery and regular tastings to educate your palate.
23 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide
(08) 8232 5300
A large wooden sliding door conceals this hidden cocktail bar – once pushed back, it reveals a striking circular entrance that hints at the Art Deco interior that lies beyond. Low, tiled ceilings, half-circle leather booths, timber detailing and carpeted floors comprise this moody drinking den. The green-glass globes that hang overhead were custom made and that level of detail extends to the drinking.
The menu dances between classic and experimental – local herbs, homemade fruit vinegars and house kombucha elevating boutique spirits. There’s a small selection of bar snacks, or you can head upstairs to burger wizard Bread & Bone Wood Grill for something more substantial.
15 Peel Street, Adelaide
Sticky Rice Cooking School
Located 30 minutes outside the CBD in Stirling, this cooking school has smartly tacked on three villas to its offerings, meaning you can rest at the bed and breakfast after class. The school opened in March 2013, and each villa draws from either Balinese, Thai or Japanese influences. Each one has been designed with seamless indoor-outdoor living in mind.
French doors open from the interior to a private courtyard and garden, and there’s a tub in the bathroom with a view of the Zen garden. Under-floor heating and the outdoor fire pit are welcome treats in cooler months. The full kitchen allows students staying to test out their newly acquired recipes – which span Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish, Moroccan and Japanese cuisine.
96 Old Mt Barker Road, Stirling
(08) 8339 1314
The Watson Art Series Hotel
Well-positioned for trips into the city centre and out to the Adelaide Hills, The Watson is set in a transformed Transport Department building. The interior draws inspiration from Indigenous artist Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson, whose colourful artworks pepper the premises.
There are 24 self-contained suites and long-stay one- and two-bedroom residence apartments. Rooms are kitted out with bookshelves of art tomes and magazines, and there’s an on-site restaurant, pool and gym. There are also smart cars available to hire, making it tempting to zip away to the McLaren Vale or Barossa Valley wine regions for the day.
33 Warwick Street, Walkerville
Adelaide Central Markets
At 3.15am on January 23, 1869 a bunch of market gardeners set up shop between Gouger and Grote Streets for the first time to sell their homegrown produce. They sold out by 6am. This was the birth of the Adelaide Central Markets.
These days this historic undercover market houses 80 traders spanning fresh fruit and vegetables; seafood; smallgoods; nuts; meat and poultry; cheese; breads; and health foods. From Tuesday to Saturday visitors to the lively hub of globally influenced foodstuffs can pop in for coffee and their weekly grocery haul, or linger to dine at the clutch of cafes and eateries ranging from sushi to pizza to Latvian and Algerian fare.
The market is a go-to source for native-Australian ingredients, and often hosts cooking demonstrations, workshops and seasonal festivals (think truffles).
This annual celebration of music, art and dance has been running since 1992. Its next stint in Adelaide’s Botanic Park is March 10–13, 2017.
The four-day festival draws artists from all over the world to form a melting pot of both traditional and contemporary performances from various cultures. An onslaught of bold, new creative work is rounded out by more than 100 global food vendors; bars; and retail and charity stalls.
The festival strives to be zero-waste – in 2016 98 per cent of waste was diverted from landfill – and $2 from every ticket is invested into native tree plantings to offset the ecological footprint of the festival. Tickets to 2017’s festivities are already on sale.
Come March, Adelaide Festival overlaps with Adelaide Fringe and WOMADelaide to see festivals take over the city.
Running March 3–19 in 2017, this multi-arts festival also encompasses Adelaide Writers’ Week – a free six-day literary event. The annual festival’s bold programming covers challenging theatre, mesmerising dance and emotionally heavy classical and contemporary music, as well as striking visual arts and new media from an ever-evolving suite of international artists.
This guerrilla arts festival began in 1960 when a bunch of artists decided to stage their own event in rebellion against the tightly curated attitude of Adelaide Festival.
Today it continues to foster new talent and independent performance from both Australian and international artists. Its eclectic program carries an air of liberation and experimentation, and spans cabaret, comedy, circus, theatre, dance, film, music, puppetry, visual arts and design.
The four-week celebration will pop up in unassuming warehouses, laneways, empty buildings and parks, as well as in theatres, hotels, galleries and cafes. The next event is February 17 to March 19, 2017.
This article is presented in partnership with ANZ. The ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card gives you a complimentary return domestic flight each year (until the card is cancelled), when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
Eligibility criteria, T&Cs, fees, charges and flight restrictions apply.