Australia’s Restaurant of the Year for 2023, Restaurant Botanic has landed Adelaide a spot on the world map for destination dining. Head chef Justin James’s impressive career has seen the Michigan born cook work in some of America’s best restaurants including Blue Hill at Sone Barns and Eleven Madison Park, before working in Melbourne’s Vue de monde. Taking on the role as head chef at the newly renovated Restaurant Botanic in 2021, James moved to Adelaide determined to create a new world-class dining experience in Adelaide. Achieving exactly that less than two years later, James has quickly earned the attention of the country receiving a number of prestigious accolades including Australia’s Restaurant of the Year and one of six restaurants in the country to take home the esteemed Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat rating of 18. Nestled amid Adelaide’s botanic gardens and inspired by the flora and fauna found in this inner-city oasis, a reservation at Restaurant Botanic is so remarkable making it a must on any Australian itinerary. With 20 combinations dished out as part of a curated tasting menu, you can expect to find things like green ants, finger limes, paperbark parsnip pie and bunya bunya branches on the menu. Be warned though – this is not a meal for those short on time with the minimum dining experience lasting four hours.


Just 15 minutes away from the CBD in Adelaide’s beautiful foothills, Penfolds Magill Estate has long held the title of being one of Adelaide’s best restaurants. A finalist alongside Restaurant Botanic in the Gourmet Traveller best Restaurants for 2023; Penfold Magill Estate boasts an enviable chef hat award. The prestigious accolade sees restaurants given a score out of 20 based on their food alone and aims to recognise exceptional chefs. No restaurant has ever received a score of 20 making Restaurant Botanics 18 a prized rating. Magill Estate is also the birthplace of Australia’s most prized wine, Penfolds Grange, so you’re guaranteed a great drop to compliment your feast. Worthy of interstate travel solely for its dining experience, reserve a table at this award-winning restaurant and enjoy breathtaking views over Adelaide city and Penfold’s historic vineyards.


Where do celebrities eat when they come to Adelaide? Fugazzi of course. Pull up a seat and you might just rub shoulders with the likes of Nigella Lawson, Cate Blanchett, The Killers, Jimmy Barnes and Axl Rose. This New York-Italo inspired bar and dining room embodies the term moreish, from touches of velvet and marble to artistically curated cocktails and hand rolled duck cappelletti. Be sure to try their version of Australiana cuisine with their Roman Vegemite finger or go all out with a Wagyu scotch fillet.


One of the hottest tables in town, Africola is best enjoyed when shared. Let the spices of Northern Africa unleash your adventurous spirit by trying something wonderfully unfamiliar. Opt for the sumptuous four course chef’s selection, or fill your table with plates like golden dahl, sprouted lentils, fried cauliflower, sardine with harissa, falafel and marinated eggplant. Chef Duncan Welgeoed’s raving fanbase has not only attracted glowing reviews but celebrity diners including Novak Djokovic and Phoebe Bridges – making Africola one of the hottest restaurants in Adelaide.


Experience a touch of Bordeaux in Adelaide at the Sofitel’s in-house restaurant – Garcon Bleu. A ‘progressive Australian restaurant with a deep French influencer,’ head chef de cuisine Gianni Delogu has carefully crafted a menu that respects its French culinary roots with a modern twist. A true local collaboration, ingredients are sourced from passionate South Australian providores, wine produces, farmers and fisherman for a best in the region and season approach. Kick things off at the bar with a glass of champagne, before making your way to a table with stunning elevated views of Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills and our coast. Bon appétit!


If your experience of Japanese cuisine is limited to plastic sushi plates rolling around a conveyor belt, then head to Leigh Street’s Shōbōsho and prepare for a flavour revelation. The Japanese-inspired menu blends smoke, steam and fire – the ancient traditions of Japanese yakitori. Raw, cured, pickled and fermented dishes complement smoky flavours with sashimi, noodles, yakitori, dumplings and bao on the menu.


Touch down in Adelaide and begin your foodie adventure, jumping straight into a taxi to 2KW Restaurant and Bar. Boasting postcard-worthy views of the CBD and beyond, put your suitcases in the cloak room, pull up a seat on the balcony and let the food do the talking. Head chef Sam Christopher has a passion for native Australian ingredients, using local produce pairing sumptuously paired with South Australian wine. This award-wining restaurant – and central location within Adelaide city – makes it the perfect first night dinner reservation and introduction to the foodie city and state, South Australia is renowned for.


Intimate, boutique and constantly evolving – Nido is one of the best restaurants in Adelaide if you’re in search of an Italian feast. With former Shōbōsho head chef Max Sharrad – named Young Chef of the Year in the 2018 Appetite for Excellence awards – taking the reins, Nido’s menu is underpinned by an Australian interpretation of traditional Italian flavours. The popular Hyde Park haunt serves up some of the best pasta in town – made daily on-site. The gnocco fritto – golden pillows of fried gnocchi bread – is a must. Nido also moonlights as an aperitivo bar, with an impressive wine list exclusively featuring Australian and Italian wines.


Step into the glamourous European bar and dining room – Press Food and Wine – in the heart of Adelaide on Waymouth Street. Marble, timber and brass refine the rustic former print factory, alongside the addition of a curvaceous marble bar, allowing for an intimate dining setting. Beyond the kitchen doors, you’ll find local legend Tom Tilbury leading the kitchen and driving a menu focused on ethically harvested and sustainable South Australian produce. While Tilbury describes his cooking as ‘plant-influenced,’ in addition to a colourful variety of vegetable dishes, you can also expect wood-grilled seafood and dry-aged cuts.


Generous plates of fresh, seasonal food have made Peel St an Adelaide dining scene institution. The menu is heavy on Middle Eastern, South East Asian and Mediterranean style dishes and constantly changes based on what is in season and abundant locally. Tucked among the impressive bar and restaurant offering which lines its namesake, Peel St is ideally positioned for long lunches and after work dinners.


Osteria Oggi is another must-try for pasta aficionados. Tucked away on Pirie Street, this local pasta powerhouse is famous for its hand-crafted pasta made fresh daily. Beyond the pasta, this modern Italian restaurant dishes out appetizers and salumi, through to the pasta, slow-roasted meats and fish, and Italian desserts with a twist. Oggi’s sleek design was also awarded the top gong at the prestigious World Interiors Awards for Restaurant Interiors in 2019. Oh, and there’s a cheese trolley. Need we say more? Mangia Mangia!


Bountiful plates packed with flavour await at Golden Boy. An energetic atmosphere, authentic but polished Thai menu and impressive cocktail list makes Golden Boy a popular dinner haunt for locals. Feast on favourites including wok-tossed mussels with Thai basil, chilli jam and lime, mushroom stir-fry with sawtooth coriander paste, garlic stem and green chilli and eight-hour beef cheeks with tangerine jus pickled ginger. Make sure to try the roti with pandan custard for dessert.



Inside Adelaide’s most popular laneway Leigh Street, this Japanese architectural style bar is best described as an ‘inner-city oasis’. Serving seasonal cocktails, high end tins, a curated wine list – including vintage wines and spirits – this small bar packs a punch for flavours. Taking the idea of a ‘small bar’ literally (it’s less than 4 meters wide) Pink Moon Saloons distinct mountain hut façade is as inviting as a warm ski-lodge after a long cold day. Despite its size, it’s the perfect stop for an intimate night for two, or a large group for a celebration.


If you’re searching for a rooftop bar complete with sweeping city views, find yourself the best sunset seats in the house at Merrymaker. Located next to the bustling Adelaide Central Markets, Merrymaker is the highest and one of the best rooftop bars in Adelaide. Situated on the rooftop to the unique boutique hotel, Hotel Indigo, Merrymaker showcases 25 different gins, creative cocktails and some of SA’s best wine and craft bars. For those visiting Adelaide, book your stay at Hotel Indigo and have one of Adelaide’s best views a quick elevator ride away.


Tucked away, hidden in the tunnel off Peel street – Maybe Mae feels like it has been here forever. It does the basement bar thing so right – from its wood-panelled door, to its seductive green leather booths and an art deco inspired timber and mirrored décor – that once ensconced, is hard to leave. Maybe Mae is a world-class speakeasy with a decidedly Adelaidean vibe: sophisticated but down-to-earth.


Anchored in Adelaide on Gilbert Place, Hains & Co is a nautical themed bar specialising in gin, rum and cigars. One of the more popular bars in the Adelaide CBD, cocktails include the essentials you’d expect from a gin and rum bar – including a Dark n Stormy, a Citrusy breakfast martini and house-mulled cider. You can also find a range of tap beers that frequently change and comes in sizes such as dingy, tanker and tall ship. A food menu is also available with the cult favourite since day one being the house made sausage rolls with shiraz and black pepper chutney. You can also purchase and enjoy cigars from Cuba, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to enjoy on the front deck. So, what shall it be sailor?


A former dry cleaner turned wine bar in Adelaide, Leigh Street Wine Room takes inspiration from the intimate and lively wine bars of Paris, Rome and New York. No matter the occasion, this hole-in-the-wall wine sanctuary delivers on their philosophy of ‘good food, good wine, good times’. The Leigh Street bar features an iconic sweeping arched ceiling and terrazzo tiled floor with their biggest draw card being their ‘wall of wine’ – some 400-odd bottles of minimal-intervention drops waiting to be drunk.


Southern European vibes in Adelaide? Look no further than Paloma Bar and Pantry – a bar inspired by the Mediterranean and the southern coast of Spain. Serving up fresh drinks with house-made preserves featured in crowd favourites Aperol Spritz, and of course the Paloma. The wine list naturally hones in on Southern European varieties, from local and international producers, so you can pretend you’re in Europe while enjoying a glass of a albariño or nebbiolo.


With its stylish handmade timber façade and leather-clad mezzanine booths, there’s something cheery and welcoming about Clever Little Tailor. With its front windows that swing open into the street and a smattering of tables and chairs, it’s the perfect spot for alfresco imbibing. Chalkboards tell of wine specials and the regular drinks list offers a good selection of boutique beers, some top-notch whiskies and other spirits. Put this on your ‘cool bars in Adelaide’ hit-list.


Nola offers a New Orleans way of living with bright neon signs and jazz beats with booths and wooden stools lining the bar area. With a focus on beer and whisky, you can expect that and then some with their extensive drinks list. New Orleans-inspired cocktails and a giant blackboard displaying a selection of rotating draught beers, close your eyes and be transported from Southern Australia to Southern USA. For those feeling a little seedy on a Sunday morning, they also serve hair-of-the-dog cocktails and brunch to get you through.
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