While you were busy making easy jokes about A-town, it was quietly getting awesome. The City of Churches has been quietly doing interesting stuff for a while, but now it’s reached a point where it’s impossible to ignore. Cool bars, great restaurants, happening cafés: those Lonely Planet recommendations weren’t some weird joke.
See and do
Rundle Mall, the main shopping strip linking Hindley Street and Rundle Street, is in the midst of a redevelopment (so, on the plus side, most of the traders are offering discounts to lure people into ignoring the inconvenince of fenced-in walkways). Somewhat better organised is the upcoming Adelaide Food & Wine Festival: nine days of drinking, eating and special events over April 4-13. Check out the website for all of the event and ticketing details (). Or if you’re about a little later, Tasting Australia hits Adelaide on April 27-May 4, and you should pay special attention to the range of events in the Barossa. Pick us up some shiraz while you’re there, thanks.
Pirie Street’s Pizza e Mozzarella Bar does quality Italian in the heart of the CBD – wood-oven pizza, fresh-made pasta and meats, with unusual and excellent sides (their pickled octopus is particularly excellent). Lovely staff too. 33 Pirie St, Adelaide 5000. 08 8164 1003. Gouger Street is Adelaide’s Chinatown, and unsurprisingly the dining is excellent.
Concubine is mid-priced fine dining with a gorgeous wine list full of magnificent local drops. The dumplings are exquisite, as is the braised Barossa pork belly. 132 Gouger St, Adelaide 5000. 08 8212 8288.
And it might seem counterintuitive, but one of the best meals is also among the cheapest: $9.50 will get you a plate of Dry Ho Fun at the Laksa House in the food court at Adelaide Central Market. Rice noodles, seafood, chicken, veges, bean shoots, a liberal dose of sambal – excellent stuff. Shop 1 Market Plaza Food Court Adelaide Central Markets, Grote St, Adelaide 5000. 08 8410 7099.
Adelaide’s got small bars popping up left and right since the new license was introduced. Clever Little Tailor is part of the vanugard of small bars taking over Peel Street, with friendly, knowledgable staff and a classic liquor-bar atmosphere that has made it a firm favourite of the hipsterscenti. 19 Peel St, Adelaide 5000. 0407 111 857.
Proof appeared last year, the latest brainchild of the one-syllable-loving folks behind Melt and Press, and has become quite the fashionable wine bar – although it also does excellent cocktails. 9a Anster St, Adelaide 5000. 08 8212 0708.
And the Jade Monkey has settled in nicely in its new home, and has extended its hours to become a fine place for a cheeky drink, as well as maintaining its heritage as one of the city’s very coolest live venues.160 Flinders St, Adelaide 5000. 0402 299 301.
The Crowne Plaza in Hindmarsh Square is new, shiny, central and very fancy – gym, sauna, pool, the Redsalt Restaurant downstairs, and lovely, well appointed rooms. It’s not cheap – around $170 for the cheapest midweek rooms – but you know what? You’re worth it. 16 Hindmarsh Sq, Adelaide 5000. 08 8206 8888.