My home town of Adelaide might not be as well-known as some other Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne, but it sure can hold its own when it comes to cuisine. In fact, Adelaide is becoming increasingly popular as an epicurean hotspot – and it’s no surprise.
With fantastic wine regions, innovative restaurants and plenty of fresh produce, Adelaide is a playground for gourmands. In case you need any more convincing, here are my top five foodie hotspots in and around Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.
The Central Market
It’s impossible to talk about food in Adelaide and not mention the Central Market. It’s the southern hemisphere’s largest undercover fresh produce market, and an Adelaide icon. Many of the stalls here have existed for decades, often run by the same family for generations. Others are more recent additions, offering innovative flavours and goods.
Many people who live in the city do their daily shopping at the Central Market, but it’s also the place to pick up something special. Whether it’s Russian piroshkis, delicious artisan cheeses or locally produced smallgoods, there is certainly no shortage of amazing things to try at the market.
It’s not just food, either. The indie gin distillery Kangaroo Island Spirits recently moved in, offering tastings of their delicious spirits (adults only, of course!). You can even pick up a book from the old secondhand bookstore.
I highly recommend grabbing a book and some cheese and making your way down to have a picnic in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens or by the River Torrens.
Adelaide is a proudly multicultural city, reflected in our food! All over the city, you will find fabulous restaurants from Afghan to Uyghur, but perhaps the easiest place to find delicious multicultural delights is on Gouger Street in the city’s west.
On this long stretch of street (the Central Market opens out onto it), you will be dazzled by the selection of amazing restaurants. Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai are particularly well-represented, but other options include Indian, Malaysian, Greek, Japanese, Argentinian and Mexican.
Gouger Street is definitely a favourite amongst Adelaide locals as well as visitors from afar. Not only are the restaurants absolutely scrumptious, but the atmosphere is great too. Adelaide’s warm weather is perfect for alfresco dining, and you’ll find half of the city lining the streets to enjoy the variety in food on offer here.
After a tasty meal, there are also many cocktail bars, sweet shops and ice-creameries to finish off your culinary experience.
The Barossa Valley
If you ask wine enthusiasts to name well-known Australian wine, you’ll probably hear the names Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds and Wolf Blass get a mention. Each of these wineries hails from the Barossa Valley, about an hour north of Adelaide.
There are several options to get to the Barossa Valley. Self-driving is perhaps the best way (as long as you can find a designated driver who doesn’t mind skipping the tastings), or else there are various groups or private tours that depart for the region every day.
Once you make it to the Barossa, you’re in for a treat. There are dozens of amazing wineries in the Barossa Valley, from the big names to tiny artisan producers that only sell directly from their cellar door. Best of all, Barossa winemakers are incredibly friendly, and never snobby. They’re always happy to share their wine and chat, whether you’re a wine expert or a total novice.
There are also some great food places in the Barossa. I love Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop for a relaxed picnic-style lunch or check out the hip Ferment Asian for a delicious and stylish dinner.
FORK on the Road
This one isn’t a place so much as it is a phenomenon – but you really can’t miss it! A couple of years ago, a food truck obsession gripped Adelaide, leading to an explosion of quirky, cool and delicious offerings.
Usually clustered around Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga or at designated “meet-ups”, the food trucks in Adelaide offer a dazzling selection of street food options. From the humble cheese toastie (grilled cheese to our American neighbours) to delicious Cambodian rolls, visitors have a choice of many unique offerings, freshly made and covering different street-cuisines of the world.
Arrive at lunchtime, and you’ll probably see a long line of suits waiting for their order. Best of all, the newly-renovated Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga has lots of bench seating where you can stop, relax, and enjoy your lunch.
The fork on the Road also runs frequent events which feature live music, as well as, of course, food trucks! It’s worth checking out the Fork on the Road events calendar as they are often held in interesting places, and in conjunction with other events.
A newer addition to Adelaide, the d’Arenberg Cube has already made big waves. Located in the McLaren Vale, another one of South Australia’s premier wine regions, this architecturally designed building is undoubtedly one of the most exclusive in Adelaide!
Inside, you enter a true wine lover’s paradise – with a delicious tasting room and hands-on wine experience, as well as a wonderful restaurant. Featuring a delectable menu, great views and an incredible wine list (of course!), it is high on the list of must-visit foodie hotspots in Adelaide.
As well as their restaurant and cellar door, D’Arenberg also frequently hold events and workshops. One popular option is a wine blending experience, where you can have a go at creating your own wine. But if you don’t fancy creating one, perhaps you’ll enjoy a guided tasting, learning how to appreciate and understand great wine correctly?
D’Arenberg is about 45 minutes from downtown Adelaide. One option is to get the train to Seaford and then it’s only a short Uber ride away, or you can pick up a guided tour from the Adelaide city centre.
As you can see, there is no shortage of amazing treats for your taste-buds in Adelaide.
About the Author: Georgie Mack is a blogger and writer originally from Adelaide, Australia, but currently living in the Cornish countryside in the UK. She loves wine, history and travel with value; that is, travel that’s good for the wallet and good for the world! You can follow along with Georgie’s adventures and get inspired for your own travels on Instagram.