You may think Adelaide is a strange place for a food post – perhaps I am slightly biased since it’s my home town but this city in South Australia is a hidden gem, and slightly off the well worn tourist track.
Adelaide, commonly referred to as Australia’s most liveable city, is easy to navigate around. From the central business district, you can drive to a wonderful stretch of beaches in just 20 minutes or alternatively retreat to the Adelaide Hills in the same amount of time.
South Australia is internationally recognised for its wines, from the Barossa Valley and Coonawarra, which are famous for their reds and the Clare Valley for its rieslings – a visit to Adelaide is not complete without a trip to the wine regions.
One of my favourite things to do in Adelaide is visit the Adelaide Central markets. The Market, all under one roof, buzzes with life and colour and is a real melting pot of international cultures. You can find food for all tastes – delicious gourmet cheese, sweet smelling bakery products, seafood and fresh meat and poultry.
Don’t be put off by the strange name – the Smelly Cheese Shop is one of the best cheese I have visited and smells for all the right reasons. Dedicated to the true cheese connoisseur, the shop stocks the best local and international cheeses which are air-freighted direct. From swiss emmantalers, stilton, gorgonzola and even cheese made from buffalo milk, there is literally a cheese to suit the fussiest of connoisseurs.
My favourite coffee spot in the Adelaide Central Market is the Big Table, which has operated in the Central Market for over 15 years. Sit on one of the high stools, order a coffee and green eggs and ham and watch the world go by. You couldn’t get a better market experience.
It would be a sin to go to Adelaide and not have fish and chips on the beach. Soto’s, on the main strip of Semaphore beach is without doubt the best fish and chips in Adelaide. The fish is well battered and crispy, the chips hand cut, twice fried and well seasoned. Make sure you ask for the chicken salt (the australian answer to the perfectly seasoned chips). But be prepared to line up – you don’t get fish and chips this good that easily! Take them down to the beach to enjoy the view and watch the sun set.
The great coffee debate….. I will add more fuel to the fire for South Australian versus Victorian rivalry. Although not as good as Melbourne, where it is actually quite hard to find a bad coffee, Adelaide actually performs quite well in the coffee stakes. There are more specialty tea and coffee places popping up around town which delight the caffeine junkie like me.
I discovered a couple of cool new spots on my last visit which are definitely a stop. The first is Bar 9, on Glen Osmond Road. Affectionately described as “a coffee nerds shed”, Bar 9 is a grassroots espresso bar serving ethical and quality driven roaster, Five Senses Coffee. These guys definitely know their coffee, they even roast a few singles on site. The quality does not stop at their coffee, even their milk is sourced from a boutique farm in Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills. It’s full bodied and creamy flavour is a dream for that perfect cappuccino. And the proof is in the pudding….
Another new found favourite is My Friend Louis on Magill Road, which happens to be an antique and collectors’ dream with its many antique and designer shops. There’s a great vibe to this place and the best thing is that it’s linked to eclectic home decor store Louis Bond.
On a nice sunny day, get there early and get a spot in the rustic courtyard and enjoy a coffee and some of the finest treats from the breakfast menu, you won’t be disappointed. The coffee is not as good as other cafes in Adelaide, but the venue definitely makes up for it.
It may not be as glamorous as an afternoon tea at the Ritz, but the Lenzerheide Restaurant is a perfect spot for afternoon tea. Established in 1989, the award winning restaurant offers a sumptuous menu in a fine dining atmosphere.
The high tea started with a glass of sparkling wine, followed by a selection of finger cut sandwiches and decadent sweet treats.
Adelaide you will be missed but I will be returning soon for more adventures. I will be packing lots of tim tams in my luggage to get me by in London.