Adelaide’s hidden gem cafes offer a range of unique styles. There are community-orientated, sustainable venues as well as those inspired by cuisines from around the world.
Bring your camera to snap pics of the fairy wing wall and leafy creepers at this enchanting cafe. They have whimsy aplenty and serve up big breakfasts, casual lunches and wood-oven pizza.
You have probably walked past the new go-to hip street in the heart of Adelaide CBD Peel St a million times without ever giving it a try. This hole-in-the-wall restaurant oozes a cool and laid back vibe with high open ceilings, exposed bare brick walls and two large blackboards with their latest menu offerings. The food here is made for sharing with Middle Eastern and modern Asian influences, think cured ocean trout with fennel, pink pepper and horseradish or banana blossom salad with shredded chicken, peanuts, chilli jam and lime leaf.
When Arian and her family first saw the space for their cafe it was in need of some major work – a lot of paint, a new floor and a few electrical upgrades. But they knew this was their dream and the opportunity to create something of their own. They got the owner to act as a guarantor for them so they could take on the lease, and the rest is history.
Arian’s husband is a designer and they wanted the interior to reflect that. They worked with a local interior design firm and came up with the idea to use recycled timber with an industrial feel and to bring in some natural light. They also wanted the service to be warm and welcoming.
This is a family run business and they truly understand the value of the human connection. They love to focus on the local community and share their passion for delicious and amazing coffee. The name of the cafe reflects that too – Ayla means oak tree, halo of the moon and beautiful and brilliant. Ayla’s mother was a big influence in their lives and they dedicated the cafe to her.
iTL Italian Kitchen
As you stroll through Adelaide’s leafy streets and beach suburbs, you’ll find a wide range of cafes serving up local goodness. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty lunch, afternoon coffee pick-me-up or a leisurely brunch with friends, there is a cafe to suit every taste.
iTL Italian Kitchen is the latest lustworthy dining destination in Adelaide, offering a blend of classic and contemporary Italian cuisine with local produce. Located at SkyCity, the restaurant is designed to bring people together with its sleek and stylish interiors. Designed by local practice Genesin Studio, concrete and terrazzo interweave with walnut timber and Palladiana mosaic flooring for an elegant, yet casual setting. A palette of soft yellow and burgundy adds to the sense of warmth. Featuring tubular steel bar stools and long dining sofas, the space is complete with a custom burgundy acoustic ceiling from USB Boral.
This modern, upscale venue is a true standout in the heart of the city. The cafe and bookshop share a nurturing, community spirit with locals, hosting everything from reading groups to creative writing classes. Their menu is a showcase of South Australian produce, with local suppliers featured on the likes of their brioche bun with smoked bacon and egg and the elderflower whipped pannacotta.
The name ‘Ayla’ means “oak tree, halo of the moon” and a tribute to their grandmother’s love for cooking and family. This is reflected in the café’s menu, which features dishes made from family recipes. From savoury crepes and pizza to sweet treats and cocktails, this is a truly special place for those looking for a hearty breakfast or quick lunch. You can even sit back and watch the world pass by with a takeaway coffee from the outdoor seating area.
Located in the heart of Mylor, Sibling is a cafe that has a lot to offer. They serve all-day breakfast, lunch from noon and of course, coffee! They use local produce wherever possible and are big on healthier options, like butter and coconut oil instead of vegetable oils. They also limit the use of bleached flours and sugars. Their delicious baked goods – chocolate brownies and lemon tarts – keep locals coming back.
This modern Australian cafe is a hidden gem that is not to be missed! Located in North Adelaide, this trendy eatery has a bright and colourful fit out with a menu to match. The menu features a range of modern dishes that are perfect for sharing including fried corn ribs in maple bourbon butter and gumbo, as well as chicken, brisket and duck satay. There is even a selection of wine and cocktails to wash it all down.
If you’re in the mood for something a little sweeter, try their popular Cronut Pudding with warm vanilla galliano custard, orange, saffron and pistachio cardamom ice cream. The team at Brother Bear Wholefoods are passionate about healthy, local and creative food, which is evident in their menu and ethos. They also make an effort to support local growers and artists, as well as regularly collaborating with brands that promote organic products.
If you’re a fan of local produce, this cafe is the perfect place to stop for a coffee. Their menu uses locally sourced ingredients for their breakfast, lunch and dinner items, including smoky smoked pork, Ashley Park lamb and Mayura Station wagyu. They also have a range of vegan and gluten free meals, so everyone can enjoy their tasty fare.
The Messy Tomato
The Messy Tomato is a local favourite in many of the Adelaide Hills towns. The focus here is on building community through beautiful food and excellent coffee. You’ll find that the menu is full of delicious sweet and savoury delights, all made on site. From savoury lunch options to classic burgers and even superfood salads, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes here. The coffee is made by the wonderful team at Coffylosophy who make their own natural soap from their recycled coffee grounds, they also love to support other local businesses as well.
Bloom Winwood’s sister cafe Peter Rabbit is a relaxing spot for a coffee pick me up on the outskirts of the city. With a more laid back feel to it, this is a place where you can kickstart your day with a classic breakfast or get a bit more experimental with their much bigger lunch menu. From popcorn cauliflower with a gourmet twist to crunchy fried chicken burgers and udon noodles with larb, this is a great cafe to try something new.
You’ll probably pass this one on the way to work or school but it’s definitely worth a visit. Their large windows open up to the street and it’s a popular spot for brunch and lunch with locals and workers alike. They’re always posting new limited time only specials on their social media so be sure to check them out online first.
You’ll likely walk past this trendy, vibrant newcomer to the scene on North Terrace a million times but it’s definitely a spot that’s worth popping in for a quick coffee or a leisurely brekkie. You’ll be able to find them serving up some delicious food including halloumi, buttermilk hotcakes and poke bowls from their brunch and lunch menu.
If you’re ready to leave your brunch comfort zone, head to Le Souk. The place is a beautiful gem in the city center where you can enjoy Algerian, Moroccan, and Middle Eastern cuisine. They also serve halal food. Their food is delicious and unique. Their menu is full of a variety of choices, including baklava and mint tea. The prices are reasonable and the staff is friendly. They also offer a delivery service.
A city circled by 18 world-renowned wine regions, Adelaide’s restaurants play off that chessboard-like identity with a creative, experimental, ‘you can’t box us in’ spirit. From mushrooms grown beneath the earth in a McLaren Vale cave to French pastries served alongside a glass of Champagne, you can find a taste of all things culinary at the heart of the city.
It’s a love of fresh, local produce that’s at the core of many of Adelaide’s most popular cafes. It’s a theme that’s fully expressed at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens Restaurant, where the multi-award-winning chef Paul Baker harvests vegetables and herbs from the 51-hectare kitchen garden to add to the delicious dishes on the menu. Then there are the drinks, where the Botanic Blonde beer and vermouth are infused with ingredients from the garden.
The bright, airy restaurant sits on a terrace overlooking the waterfront in Port Adelaide. You can enjoy the calming water views, as well as the enticing breakfast menu, which includes Aussie favourites like brekky burgers and granola, along with more unusual options such as shakshouka and scrambled eggs with kimchi. You can also grab a seat on the deck and watch the dolphins glide through the water while you dine.