For a city that has as much to see, do and eat as Adelaide, it would be wise to spend more than one day exploring. But if 24 hours is all you have to spare, this itinerary will give you a great taste of what Adelaide has to offer.
9am – Breakfast at Karma and Crow
Richmond’s Karma and Crow is located between the airport and the city, so it makes a perfect early introduction to Adelaide’s food scene. Chef Katrina Richard set herself the challenge of creating a menu that strays away from the traditional egg-centred brunch: try the sticky roast pumpkin with chilli kale, whipped feta, baba ganoush and caramelised chickpeas, or the ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter, maple syrup and three types of labneh (strawberry, white chocolate and berry). Coffee from local roaster Elementary will further prepare you for the day ahead.
10am – Adelaide Central Markets
Next stop: an essential visit to the city’s culinary core. Visiting Adelaide without visiting the Central Markets is like visiting Rome and not eating pizza. Make the most of free samples, from vendors such as The Mushroom Man’s Mushroom Shop and Say Cheese. You’ll also need to collect some snacks for the road. Charlesworth Nuts and Nanna Hot Bake are Adelaide classics that travel well, or pick up some sweet treats from Jamface (by Poh Ling Yeow) or bakery and patisserie Dough. Second coffee of the day should be from Lucia’s, a pizza and spaghetti bar that introduced Adelaide to Italian cuisine (and espresso) back in 1957.
12pm – Lunch at Lost in a Forest
After the markets, head 30 minutes east into the sleepy hills of Uraidla. Walking into a 130-year-old church and being greeted by the smell of wood-fired pizza is an experience that many would wish for and few receive, but Lost in a Forest’s opening aroma is just the first sign of a good lunch to come. Whether it’s the Jesus Fish pizza or the popular Sprout ‘n Speck, toppings are locally sourced and imaginative, such as the Banh Mi that comes topped with 12-hour cider-braised pulled pork, crackling, Sriracha mayo and pickled vegetables.
You can also ask for extra heat and get an accompanying pot of Africola’s hot sauce (more on that later) with the Buzzbomb pizza, which also features housemade chilli-infused honey. There is an impressive range of “tinnies” from around the world and an extensive wine list, curated by part-owner Taras Ochota of Ochota Barrels.
2pm – Have a wine at The Summertown Aristologist
On your way back down the hill towards town, pop into The Summertown Aristologist and choose a wine to take home from the walk-in cellar.
The venue combines the passion and expertise of two Basket Range winemakers, Anton van Klopper (Lucy Margaux) and Jasper Button (Commune of Buttons). There’s a focus on natural wines, which are low in sulphur and produced in an organic and sustainable way, many from Button and Klopper’s own labels. (They can be shipped to anywhere in Australia, if your baggage allowance is at its limit.)
4pm – Swim at Seacliff
There’s still a lot more eating to be done so hitting up one of Adelaide’s many beaches is a good way to make some room. Seacliff in particular is known for its calm conditions, ideal for stand-up paddle boarding. Boards can be rented for $25 per hour.
6pm – Drinks and nibbles at The Henry Austin
Once de-sanded, start your evening at The Henry Austin by choosing from one of their thousands of wines that reside in their bottle shop. You can pay corkage and enjoy it in the restaurant with a small plate, such as Smoky Bay oysters with native finger lime and sea blite, served yum cha-style (waiters bring the dishes around and, if something takes your fancy, you take it).
Alternatively, head downstairs to the HA Bar and kick off the night with a cocktail.
7pm – Catch a festival show
Summer in Adelaide means festival season. Australia’s largest arts event, the Adelaide Fringe, runs from 17 February to 19 March at venues all over town, bringing with it an always ambitious range of performances and installations – anyone with a show can register to be involved. Music fans will find solace in the indie-centric St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival on February 3rd at Harts Mill in Port Adelaide, as well as the sprawling world music and dance influenced WOMADelaide, happening in Botanic Park, March 10-13.
Then there’s the jewel in the crown, the Adelaide Festival. With more than 31 shows across 17 days, the ambitious 2017 program from festival co-directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield features an enormous range of acts, including a gritty interpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard III by Berlin’s Schaubühne Theatre.
Look out for Lula Del Ray, a multi-faceted cinematic experience that creates real-time animation through the use of overhead projectors, shadow puppetry, actors in silhouette, live-feed cameras, multi-channel sound design and an onstage music ensemble.
The Adelaide Festival runs from March 3-19. You can get to and from the shows on foot or by hailing an EcoCaddy – a rickshaw-style bike operating within the city for $10 a pop.
8:30pm – Dinner at Africola
After the show, waltz into Africola where you’ll experience a colour and flavour explosion, courtesy of Duncan Welgemoed’s exploration of both southern and northern African styles of cooking.
Enjoy some of that hot sauce you might have sampled earlier in the day at Lost in a Forest, or simply leave your culinary choices in the kitchen’s hands. You might find yourself dining on pickled veg, charred peri-peri chicken, octopus or Goolwa pipis, but either way there’ll be a lot of fire.
10:30pm – Walk around the Garden of Unearthly Delights
By now you should well and truly be an Adelaide convert, and perhaps uncomfortably full. But the kicker will be a stroll through the Garden of Unearthly Delights, which begins in the gardens at the east end of Rundle Street in the CBD.
“The Garden”, as it’s known, amounts to a boiling pot of Adelaide Fringe shows, food, characters and art. It’s part performance venue, part carnival and market, all contained within parklands in the heart of the city. If you don’t make it by the time it finishes on March 19, just pop across the road to New Orleans-style bar Nola for a whiskey or craft beer and watch the locals pass by.
Midnight – collapse into bed at Minima Hotel
Head a few minutes north up to Melbourne Street and enjoy a well-earned sleep at Minima Hotel, where each of the 46 rooms has been transformed by a South Australian artist, based on their interpretation of the theme “creativity and creation”.