It is a known fact that Adelaide has some seriously good eateries. But ask yourself, when was the last time you travelled more than an hour from the CBD to get a great feed? It’s time, city-dwellers. There is a literal smorgasbord of world-renowned options, dotted around our great state. Fritz looks at the best regional eats that are well worth the drive.
Del Giorno — Port Lincoln
Ever driven seven hours for seafood? We have. When it’s as good as what is on offer at Del Giorno’s, great feats are required. Situated on Tasman Terrace with unobstructed views of the coastline, Del Giorno menu takes full advantage of the Spencer Gulf’s pristine water quality, sheltered bays and exceptional water flow. Try the Kinkawooka Mussel Pot (arguably the restaurant’s flagship dish), served with fresh mussels, chips and your choice of mayonnaise – and crikey, it’s to die for. Or try the Mori Tuna steaks, Port Lincoln’s biggest export, served on poached potato and caponata salsa.
No. 4 — Robe
This great little cafe may be a 3+ hour drive away from the CBD, but it’s a journey worth taking. Not only is it a beautiful drive along the coast, but this beauty is also pup-friendly so make sure you bring doggo along for the ride (they even have their own pup menu – Wag & Bone). Recently renovated, this gorgeous restaurant and art-gallery uses ingredients from local, boutique and family-run producers. If you’re looking for a Sunday High Tea with a SA twist – No.4 is the spot. You will be served local savouries, sweets, and organic tea – or a glass or two of prosecco. If you don’t opt for high tea, go for the Lobster Scramble, probably the fanciest breakfast you’ll ever have. We recommend making a booking to be safe.
Bremerton Cellar Door — Langhorne Creek
Only a 50-minute drive from the CBD, this cellar door is one of the most interesting in the region. Bremerton is run by sisters Lucy and Rebecca Willson, arguably the only sister-run winery in Australia. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll no doubt meet one or both of the sister-act when you visit – they’re absolute characters, and super passionate about their product. While there, try Bremerton’s premium wine range, and have a casual bite to eat in the restored 1866 stone barn set against the gorgeous Langhorne Creek vista. Bremerton pride themselves on having good, honest tucker as the likes of gourmet pizzas and seasonal platters. They’ve even got a dreamy dessert menu – a feature you don’t often see at a cellar door. The sweets match the wine beautifully too – think dessert pizzas, brownies and affogato.
Port Elliot Bakery — Port Elliot
Anyone who’s been to Port Elliot knows about this little doozy, the constant queue out the door testament to how popular this little pastry haven is. Built in the 1860s, the bakery still uses the original wood-fired oven to bake their daily goodies. Apart from amazing pies, pasties and sausage rolls, they also have a range of signature products, including the Pizza Pie, Honey Stick, and Iced Berliner. Trust us – you won’t want to leave the place without one of these in your hot little hands. A word of warning – this is an extremely busy bakery, so a visit can feel a bit like a military operation, especially during the holidays. But fear not, you’re getting some of the best baked goods in the state. Promise you won’t be disappointed.
The Salopian Inn — McLaren Vale
If you haven’t been to The Salopian Inn yet, you are doing yourself (and McLaren Vale for that matter) a disservice. By far one of the finest eateries in the state, the restaurant has a rich history of being run by strong women (currently by head chef Karena Armstrong). We’ve eaten there too many times to count, and each was as good (or better) than the last. The pork buns and chicken confit are highlights of the near-perfect menu, which changes regularly. They have a gin collection (260 different gins to be exact) that would make F. Scott Fitzgerald ruin his pantaloons. The kitchen sources local ingredients for the seasonal menu, including fruit, vegetables and herbs from Armstrong’s own organic garden – and boy can you taste the difference. We recommend you treat yourself to the ‘feed me’ option, duck down to the cellar to pick your poison (the wine), and follow it with a few top notch gins – a truly world-class experience.
The Davery Establishment — Murray Bridge
If you’re a city-dweller, you are forgiven for not knowing about The Davery Establishment. Nestled in the heart of Murray Bridge, this wonderfully retro-styled eatery is fun and fresh. They make a mean coffee, the vibe is always upbeat and the food is always amazing. The menu has all your brunch staples, with the Mushroom Ragout or the Eggs Hemingway among our personal go-to’s. The Davery also has a food truck which you will almost certainly find on Saturday mornings at the Murray Bridge farmers market.
Pipers of Penola — Penola
Some dishes are worth the drive. Next time you’re in Penola (approximately four hours from Adelaide, depending on whether you stop for a pie in Keith on the way) treat yourself to a meal at Pipers of Penola. This fine-dining restaurant is set in an old church and chef Simon Bowen nails the art of hearty. We particularly dig the double cutlet pork loin, white bean and hock ragoût, braised leek, apple waldorf slaw, bourbon and mustard sauce. It’s like a flashback to childhood. Let Simon’s wife Erika pour you a glass of fine fortified and you’ll forget all about the cold.
The Anchorage Hotel — Victor Harbor
Victor Harbor just wouldn’t be Victor Harbor without the good ol’ Anchorage Hotel. Built in 1906 as a guest house by James Halliday, the seafront-facing hotel is still one of the best places to eat in the area. The nautical-themed eatery gives the feeling of being at sea, as does the menu – especially when you order a drink at the boat-turned-bar. The Fleurieu Seafood Chowder is undoubtedly a menu highlight, as is the Barossa Saltbush lamb shoulder tagine. The menu changes seasonally, but you can’t really go wrong with their consistently excellent cuisine. And if you want to make a weekend of it, the Hotel offers very reasonably priced guest rooms.
Enchanted Fig Tree — Kangaroo Island
This legendary restaurant does exactly what it says on the tin – you dine under an enchanted fig tree. The banquet-style lunch spot is truly special and celebrates the produce of Kangaroo Island (including figs harvested from the restaurant’s namesake) and local wines, made by owner and renowned chef Rachel Hannaford. The set-menu dining experience is seasonal, running from December to June only. As you would imagine, bookings are essential and hard to come by. Do not let this dissuade you though, as it’s a must-do when visiting K.I.
The Sevenhill Hotel — Clare Valley
When visiting the Clare Valley wine region, make sure you leave a spot on your busy wining and dining schedule to eat at this gem. About an hour and a half from the CBD, the Hotel’s porterhouse steak alone is reason enough to make the journey. The hotel has an option to dine in the wine cellar too, which may sound dark and dingy, but is actually a very warm and cozy experience (with blankets for those who feel otherwise). The modern Australian fare on the menu is a crowd-pleaser through and though, and because it’s in Clare, it goes without saying that the wine selection is magnifique.
Have we missed your favourite regional restaurant? Let us know in the comments below.