The Fringe is upon us, the ‘Festival State’ beckons. Indeed, it is finally that time of the year again, when the peaceful (albeit too much sometimes) town of Adelaide rouses from its slumber and blooms into a fanfair of arts, music and mayhem.
If you’re a hungry out-of-towner (tsk*), or a local who “just can’t remember the name of that restaurant..” – then read on, as this writer shares a few personal food favourites within the borders of Adelaide’s CBD.
Brunch. East Terrace Continental (ETC) – a local hotspot for all-day brunch (think big breakfast, fresh pasta, smoothies..). I must stress the IMPORTANCE of ordering their banana pancakes soaked in butterscotch sauce and cream – some knee quivering action here. Nearby, hidden in the crevices of Ebenezer Place, is Nano Ready 2 Go, which features a menu that leans towards the simpler side of life. This writer tends to always order the spaghetti vongole in tomato sauce – an uncomplicated “slurp me up” number. A trek towards Hutt Street reaps its rewards as one settles into artisan pastries and cakes at the petite haven that is Au Matin Calme. The Moet (Champage Mousse Cake) and lemon tart are personal dears. And just a few blocks away is Chianti Classico, arguably Adelaide’s finest dining establishment – breakfast there is a stately affair.
Mid-Range. If you’re looking for a ‘nice-ish’ meal that won’t break the bank, potter over to Wasai for homey, cosy, no-frills Jap. Alternatively, fuel up on mussels, chips and noteworthy Europeans brews at the Belgium Beer Cafe. Amalfi rustles up some decent Italian, but if the belly’s calling for pizza, give Est a go. Thin, crusty with off-beat topping medleys – grab a bottle of vino and settle into this ant-sized eatery late into the night (a heads-up that food takes a while when they’re busy).
Cheap n’ Cheery. Yiannis on Hindley – the saving grace of UniSA West students, where charcoal spit-roasted meat finds its way into what many believe is Adelaide’s most delicious yiros (translation: kebab, souvlaki for those interstate; the name debate rages on but we’ll save this discussion for another fair weathered day). For an oriental fix amble along Gouger Street or Moonta Street, where you’ll find a sprinkling of Asian restaurants of various descriptions. Truth be told, the Asian food scene in town is fairly average, but one can be guaranteed a decent filling at the least. Alternatively, scoot over to Central Market and create a picnic basket of fresh fruit, bread (Dough), olives and cheese (The Smelly Cheese Shop, Say Cheese) and collapse in one of Adelaide’s many inner-city parklands.
Smart-casual/fancy. Apart from the aforementioned Chianti, one should hunt out Leigh Street – COS Restaurant and Rigoni’s are worth a try. Other notable lunch eateries include Georges on Waymouth, Bisto Dom and Pranzo (uber quick service here, if word-of-mouth is anything to go by). Newcomer Celsius also presents a reputably slick offering. The Greek is next on my must-try list, judging from its welcoming exteriors and the whistling of favourable reviews.
Adelaide, what are some of YOUR favourite inner-city dining secrets?
Amalfi 29 Frome Street. Au Matin Calme 210 Hutt St. Belgium Beer Cafe 27-29 Ebenezer Place. Bistro Dom 24 Waymouth Street . Celsius 95 Gouger Street. Central Market 45 Gouger Street. Chianti Classico 160 Hutt St. COS Restaurant 18 Leigh Street. East Terrace Continental 6 East Terrace. Est 30 East Terrace. Georges on Waymouth 20 Waymouth Street. Nano Ready 2 Go 23 Ebenezer Plc. Pranzo 46 Exchange Place. Rigoni’s 27 Leigh Street. The Greek 75/79 Halifax St. Wasai 9/15 Field St. Yiannis on Hindley 270 Hindley St.