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The Best Restaurants in Adelaide, SA



“Best

Adelaide is an Australian capital that hangs its hat on a strong culinary culture, a result of both the influx of regular, fresh and high quality produce flowing in from its verdant surrounding regions and a range of talented cooks and chefs who have taken advantage of this to produce some standout dishes and restaurants.

Adelaide's dining and gourmet scene is such a major drawcard, in fact, that we ranked it 5/5 in the “Food and Drink” category of our “Which Australian City is Best for Me?” feature - the city features several hubs that are wholly dedicated to enjoying a quality bite to eat both indoors and al fresco. In all, there are few better cities in Australia in which to indulge your tastebuds than SA's capital.

But which Adelaide restaurants rank as the best of the best? Here, we take a look at our list of the Top 10 Restaurants in Adelaide, SA.

10

The Deli

The Deli Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 54A George Street, Thebarton

Cuisine: Cafe / Breakfast

Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal of the day, and while the majority of people's attention might shift towards lunch or dinner when looking for a go-to “restaurant”, enjoying a good brekky can go a long way to getting your day off to a good start. Thus, if you're looking for one of the best breakfast options for a quality bite to eat outside the Adelaide CBD, The Deli in Thebarton is an ideal choice. Featuring a cozy atmosphere despite it almost always being crowded – a sure sign of its popularity – you'll be hard-pressed to find a better price versus quality/quantity ratio for your morning meal anywhere else nearby.

"Featuring a cozy atmosphere despite it almost always being crowded – a sure sign of its popularity – you'll be hard-pressed to find a better price versus quality/quantity ratio for your morning meal anywhere else nearby."

One of the first things you'll notice in this warm and welcoming cafe is the positivity and level of service from its staff – they're friendly, down to earth, and pretty much guaranteed to remember your name on return visits, which helps set the scene for the actual eating experience to come. The Deli features a fairly wide selection of menu items that includes all the traditional staples (think sourdough, big breakfasts, bacon and eggs and other essentials) as well as a number of health-oriented alternatives that ensures all tastes and dietary needs are catered for. All of these meals are served in respectably large portions that provide great value for money, with the added bonus of lacking the “high grease levels” that tend to plague other similar establishments.

Add to this the ability for choosing your preferred form of quality refreshment – either from the range of freshly-squeezed juices and lovely coffee – and you've got a wonderful all-rounder venue that makes what might normally be an unglamorous meal of the day into a delight. Combined with the pleasant atmosphere and convenient location, as well as the option for a takeout service for those looking to eat elsewhere, and anything you could want in a breakfast locale is included here.

While cafe culture is usually most highly praised in Melbourne, don't sleep on some of Adelaide's better offerings – of which The Deli does a great job of carrying the card.

 
9

Concubine

Concubine Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 132 Gouger Street, Adelaide, SA

Cuisine: Asian

Chinese is a cuisine that tends to largely – and, perhaps unfairly – have a reputation for being a “cheap and nasty” option for those times when you're looking for a quick and over-flavoured bite to eat. While this is true in some cases, Adelaide in particular is home to several exceptions to this rule, with Gouger Street's Concubine being one of the most notable. Separating itself from the pack of Asian restaurants in Adelaide with a classy and mostly subdued atmosphere along with a wonderful layout, this restaurant is an example of Asian fine dining at its best. While it's quite high-end for your typical Gouger Street offerings – and expect higher prices as a result – what you get at Concubine is definitely worth the increased investment.

This is reflected in numerous ways – the ingredients are obviously a great deal fresher than many other restaurants of its ilk, the customer service is first-rate, and a deal of pride is visibly taken in presentation as none of the dishes have that simply “thrown-together” look that's all too common at Chinese restaurants. Concubine comes decked out with Hong Kong-themed décor without any tackiness, and this attention to detail in all the “surface” things carries over into its actual food as well.

"Separating itself from the pack of Asian restaurants in Adelaide with a classy and mostly subdued atmosphere along with a wonderful layout, this restaurant is an example of Asian fine dining at its best. "

All the hallmarks of proper gourmet Chinese food are on display here, and the menu is expansive (with the crispy pork belly, prawn wontons and soft shell crab being particular standouts), and the restaurant's substantial serving sizes mean you'll never need to over-order. Be selective with your choosing of dishes and you'll likely end up comfortably full while also helping to cut down on the cost of your bill. If you're not entirely sure which dish to order, Concubine's banquet option is a great choice for sampling a wide variety of dishes and comes highly recommended for those not wanting to confine themselves to a single set of flavours.

With a solid selection of wines that staff are always all-too-eager to top up in an entirely unobtrusive way and a menu that's varied and original enough to separate itself from all the tired Chinese cliché dishes, Concubine more than justifies its price point and stands as one of Adelaide's standout Asian restaurants.


8

Andre's Cucina and Polenta Bar

Andre's Cucina and Polenta Bar Adelaide

Location: 94 Frome Street, Adelaide, SA

Cuisine: Italian

Italian food is one of the most widely-loved cuisines on the planet, with a range of tastes that are generally universally enjoyed and thus feature prominently on lists such as these; Adelaide is home to many quality Italian restaurants, with Andre's Cucina and Polenta Bar ranking highly among them. What differentiates Andre's from many other Italian establishments is the distinctly Northern Italian blend of flavours – of which polenta, which features in the restaurant's name – is a main calling card. While all the expected Italian dishes are available, they each come with their own distinctive twist that makes dining here a memorable experience.

"What differentiates Andre's from many other Italian establishments is the distinctly Northern Italian blend of flavours – of which polenta, which features in the restaurant's name – is a main calling card."

While the menu is comprehensive in its own right and each individual dish is done well – including some of the softest gnocci you're ever likely to eat - the easy to recommend go-to for most visitors will be the excellently-priced degustation menu that Andre's offers. The ideal choice for those who are looking to indulge, you'll get to sample the restaurant's unique take on the likes of salmon, duck pasta, gorgonzola polenta and even buffalo mozz capped off with dessert all for an entirely reasonably $59. This is a highly reasonable price and true value for money given the level of quality on offer here.

The rest of the menu is impressive in its own way, and is largely gluten free which is a selling point for many, although it's not cheap; mains hover between the low-$20 spectrum up to $40 for the larger offerings. As with many Italian restaurants, the wine list is a key focus of the menu and that on offer at Andre's doesn't disappoint either – it's comprehensive and features some interesting and rarer additions from the likes of Venice and Piedmont that serve as wonderful couplings for many of the dishes available. Dessert-wise, be sure to try the original coffee banana donuts which go down a treat with an accompanying hot drink.

Andre's also offers a half-serve option on meals for those stuck between choice of different dishes; it's a wonderful feature that makes experiencing a wider variety of tastes during your visit possible. If you're looking to attend for the set menu, be advised that the restaurant's cosy size and popularity mean it's almost always busy, and as a result it's better to book the later of its two daily sittings in the evening so that you can maximise your time to digest between courses.


7

La Tombola

La Tombola Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 61 Unley Road, Adelaide, SA

Cuisine: Italian

Another Italian entry on our list, La Tombola adds another quality offering to the array in Adelaide as one of the longer-running venues in the city that has been around for a substantial number of years. There's a variety of reasons for this that range from the very friendly and down-to-earth ownership, the relaxed atmosphere without the high-strung trappings of 5-star dining, and – of course – the food on offer itself. While each of these features are a positive in their own right, it's when they're all combined that La Tombola reaches a level of dining pleasure that sets the restaurant apart.

"There's a variety of reasons for this restaurant's popularity that range from the very friendly and down-to-earth ownership, the relaxed atmosphere without the high-strung trappings of 5-star dining, and – of course – the food on offer itself."

The restaurant is renowned for providing service that involves actual, proper care that is never put on or fake, from the waitstaff to the highly-involved owner who goes out of his way to ensure all guests are enjoying their experience. Service with a smile and a welcoming atmosphere is one thing, but it's also extremely prompt and fast even in busier times, so you'll never be left too long waiting for a meal. Once you do receive your meal, you'll no doubt be impressed by the many beautiful and original taste combinations on offer here that tantalise the tastebuds without being overpowering or too strong, including some of the most mouth-wateringly tender steak you're ever likely to get your teeth on.

La Tombola boasts a smaller and more focused menu than many other restaurants, which means that each dish has been perfected and refined to its best possible state; while some may complain about a lack of variety before actually tasting one, any of those concerns will soon be allayed. While the complimentary dishes are all well done (including some of the best homemade salami you'll ever come across and which makes something as simple as a bread-and-salami side highly enjoyable), it's the mains here that will linger in your memory. Our particular recommendation? The fettucini with bug tails is a true standout.

Prices here hover around the mid-to-upper tier range for mains, with the majority in the low-30's, and the wine list is also substantial although on the higher end of the scale. A final, added bonus is the convenient parking that can be had at the back of the restaurant, making access even easier.

If you're looking for tried-and-true Italian food coupled with authentic service and a jovial atmosphere without any of the overly trendy trappings, La Tombola is a great choice.

6

Alphutte Restaurant

Alphutte Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 242 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, SA

Cuisine: Swiss

One of Adelaide's more interesting restaurant offerings comes courtesy of Swiss-themed Alphutte Restaurant, featuring a cuisine that most wouldn't initially consider when planning an evening out in Adelaide. This is one of those true “special occasion” restaurants that you take people when you're aiming to impress; the impeccable service, unique theming and quality of Alphutte's offerings make it a great venue to celebrate or enjoy a commemorative evening out. Small, quaint and a distinctly European atmosphere makes for an intimate locale that's a true “must experience” for culinary aficionados in Adelaide.

While many may not have a clear imagery of what exactly Swiss food is, one of the key words is, quite simply, “meat”: meat lovers will be in their element here as there are an array of mouth-watering cuts available all done to perfection (vegetarians are also reasonably well catered for, however). The Chateaubriand steak in particular is absolutely exquisite and melts in the mouth like butter, and it and all other meals are served with freshly cooked vegetables that augment the meat nicely. The restaurant is far from only restricted to meat-based dishes, however; Alphutte's duck with orange is a standout dish with distinctive flavouring, their scallops are marvellous, and desert-wise their bread and butter pudding is to die for.

"Meat lovers will be in their element here as there are an array of mouth-watering cuts available all done to perfection (vegetarians are also reasonably well catered for, however)."

One of the hallmarks of Alphutte is its excellent service – including being personally greeted by the owner at the front door – and never being rushed to complete your dining despite an overall smallish restaurant size. The number of tables here are low which adds a feeling of exclusivity and intimacy, and the tables themselves are well spaced out in a layout that helps keep noise to a minimum. The décor is intentionally rustic and harks back to the older days of dining, with hybrid wooden/leather chairs set to a classical music backdrop that oozes class – a fact reinforced by the select-your-own style wine cellar.

Make no mistake, this is a high-end offering so expect to pay appropriately; and while it may not be a venue you'll be able to afford to come back to monthly, its one-of-a-kind nature make it an essential Adelaide restaurant to experience at least once.


5

Parlamento

Parlamento Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 140 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA

Cuisine: Italian

Our final Italian entry on this list sits in a great central location near Adelaide's casino and its major railway station, making it one of the easiest to recommend restaurants for those wanting a quality bite to eat that's easily accessible for most first-time visitors staying in the city. Boasting an overall great value for money compared to some of Adelaide's other Italian restaurants, Parlamento, simply put, offers one of the city's best overall plates of pasta – which is what Italian dining is, essentially, all about. Dishes here are of an extremely large and generous proportion that adds yet more value, and the friendly and upbeat vibe makes it an extremely solid all-round restaurant with few faults.

This consistency extends from entree through to dessert, and you'd be well served to go all-out and enjoy a multi-course meal here; their grilled scallop starter is a must and a worthy introduction for what's to come. Parlamento's steaks in particular are wonderful, featuring a massive size (reflective of the restaurant's portion sizing in general) and universally tender meat, while many of the other mains that incorporate pasta are a joy for a reasonable price.

"Boasting an overall great value for money compared to some of Adelaide's other Italian restaurants, Parlamento, simply put, offers one of the city's best overall plates of pasta – which is what Italian dining is, essentially, all about."

Their crab pasta is a highlight, while more unique dishes such as squid tubes stuffed with prawn provide alternative and more outlandish meals for those so inclined. Dishes can be ordered in both main and entree size which adds an extra layer of flexibility to your dining options, as well. BYO is welcome at Parlamento with a corkage fee that's very reasonable, while the wine list is comprehensive and adventurous enough to please all but the fussiest of connoisseurs.

Staff-wise, everyone is friendly with nothing too much trouble and no issue too small to attend to, and they convey an energetic vibe that is reflected in the restaurant's overall atmosphere. While it can be noisy, it's more of a suits-the-atmosphere noise reminiscent of a restaurant in Italy itself rather than the obnoxious kind of noise, and to be expected given Parlamento's central location – particularly should you take the option of dining outside.

As a tip, it's a great idea to combine a meal at Parlamento with an evening of entertainment at the neighbouring Theatre for a thoroughly enjoyable night out for both the stomach and the eyes. Price, portions, and position are the 3 P's that work in concert to make Parlamento another fine example of Adelaide's quality Italian dining.

4

Jasmin Indian Restaurant

Jasmin Indian Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 31 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, SA

Cuisine: Indian

Got a taste for spice? Or simply a fan of the distinctive flavours of continental Asia? Then you'll want to pay a visit to Jasmin Indian Restaurant during your time in Adelaide – an establishment that offers authentic Indian food at its finest and manages to blend the traditional with a dash of creative infusions by its chef to form some truly impressive taste sensations. Located in Hindmarsh Square in Adelaide's downtown area, Jasmin is a restaurant where every criteria you look for in a dining experience ranges from “good” to “great”, including what are reputed to be some of the hottest curries in all of Australia.

This isn't to say that Jasmin gets by on simply bashing you over the head with spice to get its tastes across – quite the opposite, in fact, as the majority of the restaurant's dishes lack the overpowering quality that can be a turn off at so many Indian dining spots. Instead, Jasmin's flavours are refined and delicate as opposed to strong and overbearing, with mild versions of all dishes available on request so that the spice-averse can also appreciate the quality on offer.

"Jasmin's flavours are refined and delicate as opposed to strong and overbearing, with mild versions of all dishes available on request so that the spice-averse can also appreciate the quality on offer. "

Menu offerings are diverse and incorporate high quality versions of Indian staples such as tikkas, butter chicken, blue cheese naan and curries galore; they're all upmarket versions of common dishes done exceptionally well. There's also a wide array of dishes available for vegetarians, and none of them feel lacking in effort or presentation when compared to their meat-based counterparts.

In terms of layout, Jasmin lies “underground” with no windows or view to speak of, but its tasteful décor and romantic ambience make up for this – the restaurant has a sophisticated feel that retains an atmosphere of intimacy. As with all the other restaurants on this list the service here is impeccable, but the Jasmin staff have the principle of “timing” down to an artform – drinks come out at just the right time, and dishes are neither taken away too quickly or left too long without being replaced.

The fact that the restaurant is a favourite venue of the Indian Cricket Team every time they play a match in Adelaide speaks volumes about the quality of Jasmin – if it's acclaimed by people from the homeland, you know you're on the right track for a quality Indian meal.

3

Taste of Nepal

Taste of Nepal Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 300 The Parade, Kensington, SA

Cuisine: Nepalese

For this little gem you're going to have to head a little out of Adelaide itself, but if you're after another restaurant that offers unique tastes that the rest of the city's dining spots can't offer then you'll want to make the drive to Taste of Nepal. Located around a 15 minute drive outside the CBD, Taste of Nepal provides quality Nepalese food that takes the best features of most Indian cuisine and adds a different spin on the majority of its dishes to create a range of tastes most westerners will not have experienced before. This involves a subtle use of spices that Taste of Nepal has down to a tee, and adds an infusion of flavour that makes every dish its own unique experience.

Dishes here are always perfectly cooked and packed with flavour, and there are several essentials on the menu that first-timers will want to try; while there's an array to choose from their undoubted specialty is a goat curry that's one of the more distinctive dishes you'll have had in a while (though it tends to be quite spicy, so ask for VERY mild if you're not a spice fanatic). If you're unsure what to order, the staff at Taste of Nepal are very helpful with menu choices given most people's lack of familiarity with Nepalese cuisine; alternatively as an easy out, their King Banquet option is good choice for extended all-around sampling.

"Dishes here are always perfectly cooked and packed with flavour, and there are several essentials on the menu that first-timers will want to try."

Food at Taste of Nepal comes in good portion sizes – although they're ideally designed to be augmented with various sides – and the freshness of the food and ingredients contained therein makes a notable difference throughout. Cap off the evening of dining with a special spiced tea and you've got a nice and very Nepalese-style finisher for the evening.

Theming of the restaurant is based around traditional Nepalese culture that comes with an associated incense-tinged atmosphere which is cosy and cute in its own way, and the restaurant's layout itself is spacious and spread out enough that it never feels cramped despite its nearly-always busy nature. Meanwhile service is quick, friendly and professional – it's some of the consistently best in Adelaide given that the restaurant has been in operation for several years now.

If you're after something different both food and atmosphere wise and not looking to break the bank to do so, head out and get yourself a Taste of Nepal one evening in Adelaide.


2

George's on Waymouth

Georges on Waymouth Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 20 Waymouth Street, Adelaide, SA

Cuisine: Mediterranean

“Fine Dining” is something of a cliché term that's thrown around far too loosely sometimes, but there's no better way to describe the experience on offer at Adelaide's George's on Waymouth – an upmarket, sophisticated establishment with obvious and strong Mediterranean influences that pulls no punches when it comes to quality. The name of the game here is blending high standards with a dazzling level of diversity in menu offerings, and it doesn't disappoint – European fare is taken and both cooked / presented in a wonderful way with inventive use of ingredients and a dose of imaginative flare.

George's on Waymouth has been a long-running favourite amongst business diners entertaining clients for a reason – the restaurant conveys an overall upmarket feel and serves as a spot where it's nearly impossible to have a disappointing meal. This is carried on further by the restaurant's attentive and professional service without being overbearing – representative of the restaurant as a whole – and they're all incredibly knowledgeable about the menus (both food and wine). Add to this the fact that serving sizes are quite big for a restaurant of this reputation and quality, and it's a spot that's hard to fault without being pretentious.

"“Fine Dining” is something of a cliché term that's thrown around far too loosely sometimes, but there's no better way to describe the experience on offer at Adelaide's George's on Waymouth."

Each of their standout mains offer something tantalising, whether you opt for the delicious Black Angus scotch fillet, the expertly-done venison carpaccio, their signature lamb dish, the delectable duck or any other offering, and some of the Greek-inspired flavours make each of them unique enough to stand out in their own way. As with most other quality establishments, George's offers a degustation menu that provides customers with a sampler of various gourmet tastes that would be wonderful to be able to experience on a regular basis – each of which come matched ideally with perfect wine selections. This can be had for $88 per head, which is an entirely reasonable price given both the quantity and quality.

If you're after a meal at what has become something of an Adelaide icon that comes with a classy yet relaxed ambience and lovely interior, and are willing to open your wallet somewhat, George's is basically unmatched in this regard.

1

Orana

Orana Restaurant Adelaide

LOCATION: 285 Rundle Street, Adelaide, SA

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Topping off the pointy end of our list comes another fine dining experience that provides a showcase of Adelaide's dining scene done right – Orana manages to be upmarket yet lively, original yet ambitious, and innovative yet reliably enjoyable. “You get what you pay for” is often a euphemism for “prepare to be ripped off”, but at this Modern-Australian-themed degustation extravaganza it's more of a way of saying “treat yourself – you won't regret it”. Orana is truly a world-class restaurant in South Australia's capital that can compare with the best offerings in Sydney and Melbourne and which piles courses upon course into an endless wave of tastes and textures that comprise its degustation offering.

While the combinations of ingredients and flavours might seem unusual at first, this is part of the enjoyment – throughout the experience you'll mix native Aussie food with matches that are unconventional yet which work brilliantly; the further you are willing to go outside your taste comfort zone at Orana, the more impressed you're likely to be. Snack-sized bites intermingle with main courses served on hand-crafted dishes for an experience that screams “quality” at every level of the dining experience, with the chef themselves making appearances at your table to outline what you'll be eating and why it will delight you.

"Snack-sized bites intermingle with main courses served on hand-crafted dishes for an experience that screams “quality” at every level of the dining experience"

Native Aussie ingredients are utilised in a way that simply wouldn't occur to most, yet it's what makes the likes of smoked beetroot with goat cheese, cockle shellfish, kangaroo with mountain pepper, local squid with sea pearls and other seeming oddities such an enjoyable meal. Each of these are mixed with an eclectic mix of wines that make for an extravagant dining adventure that's reminiscent of Michelin-style dining experiences all located within relatively sleepy “little” Adelaide. Big-city thinking and dining comes with big-city pricing as well, however if you look at a meal at Orana as an extended adventure rather than just consuming food, its individuality makes the investment worthwhile.

In all, it's 15 courses of pure dining joy in total for a price of $155 per head; not exactly cheap, but given the small size of the venue (only a few tables) and the talents of both the chef best-possible-service of the expert waitstaff, this is perhaps the utmost of Adelaide's dining offerings that is an “experience” in every sense of the word. You won't be blamed if you're left thinking “is this really Adelaide?” by the end of it, and thus Orana claims the top spot on our list.

In addition, if you're looking a full catalogue things to do in Adelaide and surrounds while you're staying, including some of the best tours, attractions and activities, be sure to check out our main region section to browse for more information online.
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