Adelaide is old money. The only city not to be founded by convicts (just saying), it has the unfortunate reputation of bit stagnant with the whole ‘happening’ thing. Fortunately, it’s changing – and no, we’re not talking about Mad March. Here’s 11 reasons to leave the house in Adelaide all year round, and they all begin with ‘B’: runner-up in the Alphabet, winner at life.
THE BEACH: The Annex Cafe
The first project of new kids in the hospo neighbourhood, Tash and Laura, The Annex Cafe is a warm touch of humanity in an area thats sadly become a bit of Gold-Coast esque borefest. Serving exclusively vegetarian dishes, it has a growing reputation as a gentle hole-in-the-wall. The coffee and fresh juice coming out from these girls has locals peaking. There is something distinctly cultured about the atmosphere; having earned street cred as a hangout for the few remaining Glenelg hippies, the backward cap and Cotton On singlet look has been healthily displaced by bare footed ukulele players. Also keep an eye out for the sweet strings being plucked here every few months — they’re apart of Alice Fraser’s genius initiative — The Cafe Series.
THE BREAKFAST: Paddy’s Lantern
Basic breakfast that’s bloody brilliant — if we’re going to continue with the B thing, which we are. Avoiding the rusty-chic look, this sleek and clean caffeine warehouse is tucked away in the cities sleepy South-West. The coffee is quality, the guys inside are very proud of what they do — as they should be; the food is great, and comes at a reasonable price. Everything here to start the day in the best way possible. Don’t listen to that sell-out from playschool, Coco Pops has nothing on Paddy’s Lantern.
THE BAKERY: Boulangerie 113
First things first, Boulangerie is French. French for breadshop. And you pronounce it Bull-On-Ja-Ree, and not Bull-Ang-Eree. Now that we’ve got that out the way, let us tell you about this Goodwood gem. Fresh bread is baked daily and not just any fresh bread, but incredi-bread. Offering a range of sour doughs which include 100% Rye and contemporary fruit loaves with hazelnuts and fig. What the breads lack in yeast, they make up for in wow holy crap oh my god taste that remember a happier time factor. Boulangerie owner Jeremy Mavromatakis has locals fist pumping for pizzas and pastries — complex last name, simple baking, sweet work J.
THE BREWS: Clever Little Tailor
Clever Little Tailor could be described as “Yeah, really Melbourne”, what with its 1920s-esque vibes, laneway location and fondness for charcuterie. But Melbourne comparisons are so passe, aren’t they? So we’ll quickly dispense with that (SA GREAT). Nab a booth, grab the drinks list, and get on with some really good drinking at Clever Little Tailor already. It’s all exposed brick, hanging ferns and with the sort of design choices that make the eye happy. It’s a small bar that you want to sit in all damn night. And it’s the kind of place where bar staff Know Their Shit and are Up For A Chat and as a result make a Really Damn Good Cocktail. It’s a one-two-three punch combo that makes one loudly assert “I don’t know what this is but it tastes good in my mouth and I’m going to stay here forever” (true story) (I’m still here) (someone call my Mum).
THE BLENDS: Please Say Please
Think of Please Say Please as the NBA All Stars of the Adelaide coffee scene. Cleverly, bean-brainiac and Bar Nine nutcase Daniel Freer has sidled with fan favourites Ian Callahan (Bar Nine) and James (Paddy’s Lantern), to help fill the desolate void between the CBD and Hutt Street. It’s cosy, so perhaps take you’re roasted happiness and trek elsewhere to complete your novella/e-book/screenplay. Also, major brownie points from us Melbournians for using Proud Mary coffee.
THE BOOGIE: Tijuana Showgirls
Hola Tijuana Showgirls. Bienvenidos a Adelaide. ¡Muy Bien! And other things we learnt on Dora The Explorer. This venue personifies ‘gentrification’. Before becoming a Mexican-themed dive bar with a cover charge and good looking clientèle, we’re pretty sure it was a strip club with a dingy sign written in Comic Sans MS. I guess there is a God after all. Inside it’s fun. The people are the ‘let the good times roll’ smiley sorts with good shirts, thats fun. The walls are covered in quirky Mexican shit, thats fun. The drinks and delicious and not outrageously priced, that’s fun. Every Friday, trendylicious beat dropper Lauren Rose does her thang and that is really fun. Groove is in the heart, ah ah ah ah.
THE BEATS: Cats (Friday at Rocket)
Hindley street isn’t great, unless it’s 3am and you’re at Zambrero om-noming on some gluggy rice goodness. The best escape is up and into Rocket Bar — *cue Elton John*. It’s roomy, hip and has a gnarly rooftop space from which you can glare down at the Shisha smokers below. Friday nights are best for live music, impressive names are pulled aplenty - Flume, The Preachers, Nina-Las-FUN TIMES anyone? Check the FB page for updates.
THE BURGERS: Chuck Wagon
The viral craze of ‘dining in a diner’ has infected North Adelaide and alas we have adventurous Americana in amicable Adelaide. The second project of Mothers Milk pioneer, Stefano Timpano, the burgers at Chuck Wagon will have you Wagyu-ing your tail-feather with joy. The starters here are also worth telling your friends about (Portobello mushroom chips, don’t mind if I do) and all work nicely with the local selection of ale and cider. If you’re feeling up to it, there’s also a twelve patty challenge, otherwise known as the ‘Chuck Wagon Commando’. We imagine it’s a pleasant way to die.
THE BITES: Taste on Rundle
Rundle Street does Adelaide proud. It’s a slick middle finger of sophistication to anyone that has anything bad to say about the South Australian capital. Joining other East End eateries such as Sad Cafe, Horner & Pratt and EST Pizzeria, Taste has nestled just up from the Pulteney Street junction and it’s serving some suitably sensational snacks. It’s Vietnam meets Melbourne, but its in Adelaide. What are you gonna do? I’ll tell you what, stroll on there, buy a fresh loaf, chow down a chocolate croissant and while you’re at it, get amongst their pride and glory — the bánh mì. That’s what.
THE BARBEQUE: Ghost Ships
How much did it suck when Jade Monkey and Two Ships closed? Heaps. RIP, sunrise, sunset, injustice etc. It’s not all bad though, if from the shadows of a construction site comes Luke Davey’s latest venture — Ghost Ships.
Housed on the second floor of the Crown & Anchor Hotel, Ghost Ships (Get it? Ships? Ghosts? Ey? Ey?) sports a huge balcony looking over Grenfell Street, good vibes, live music, and a Weber. All of the above is probs worthy of getting into a gleeful hand-clapping frenzy over, but it’s frankly the little barbeque that has us most excited. “Mr Brisket” is at the helm, cooking up bits of roo, lamb, and other tender delicious critters. Each wooden board serving of meat comes alongside salad, dips, sauces, breads and pickles. Colourful, flavoursome, it’s tactile eat-with-yer-hands, sauce-on-yer-face kind of eatin’. See also: amazeballs.
THE BUBBLES: Two-Bit Villains
Fun fact: the balcony level of Adelaide Mall is a veritable treasure trove/wonderland/shit-hot balcony of independent happenings. Two-Bit Villains is but one genuine delight of a discovery up there. Run by Sass Ryan and Liam Hughes, Two-Bit Villains started out its life as a rockabilly clothing spot a couple of years ago. The clothes and accessories are still there in all their rockabilly glory, but with a couple of new additions to the cosy space. Said additions are: a veg/vegan-friendly eatery (burgers, onion rings, om nom), and a soda bar. No, really — soda bar. Homemade sodas, whipped up from absolute scratch. When asked how one goes about making sodas from scratch, the moustachioed and amiable Liam responded with a laugh. “It’s a … long, long process.” Whatever the arduous system, don’t go changin’. We can confirm this homage to the soda bars of old (seriously, when did they stop being a thing?) is flippin’ tasty.