These are the restaurants, eateries and brasseries located in the postcode 5000 and surrounds that are best enjoyed in the great outdoors — the pavement.
Adelaide’s best summer alfresco dining
This year, 2022, is the year for being outside. After two years of enduring COVID-19 lockdowns and dreadful rains — and relentless Instagram posts of people enjoying European breaks over June and July (we’re looking at CityMag reporter Angela Skujins in Greece) summer 2022 is here.
It’s our time to shine.
And what better way of making our neighbours across the ocean jealous than dining outside and enjoying the fruits of our labour — wine and beer — in the sun.
Here’s where you should be with your loved ones and even more loved-dishes over the break.
Alfresco is Italian for “in the fresh air”. In light of this, we had to include the 47-year-old don of city kerb-side dining La Trattoria. Located in the literal centre of CBD, King William Street, the restaurant boasts outside dining with white tablecloths, heaving crowds, sauce-soaked pasta and enviable proximity to the Adelaide Park Lands, for the much-needed post-meal digestion stroll.
On more than one occasion while dining in the casual outdoor dining section of eleven, someone has leaned over to me to say of the courtyard, which is surrounded by tall buildings on every side, “It feels like we’re in Melbourne“. This, as we sadly know, is high praise when coming from the constituents of our far too humble city. Though walled in, eleven’s outdoor section is spacious and has a most dramatic entrée. Coming in from Waymouth Street, you’ll walk through the Arbor Lane tunnel that runs beneath 11 Waymouth Plaza, pass the restaurant proper, and skip up the steps of the platformed seating area. You’ll feel simultaneously on show from this higher perch, yet removed from the rest of the riff raff.
There is no people more elegant than the French. There’s no point arguing it. We Australians can only dream of such effortless sophistication, but we can pretend to be on the cobbled streets of Montmartre while sipping rosé and enjoying chargrilled capsicum gazpacho at inner-city French wine-bar, La Buvette. With inside and outside dining options available, and Parisian bistro chairs comfortably shaded by Gresham Street’s large buildings, it’s the perfect place to people watch and add a touch of elegance to your uncouth antipodean day.
Another French addition, East End Parisian brasserie Hey Jupiter on Ebenezer Place is known across the city — and social media — for its trademark mint green aesthetic, which stretches from the inside the eatery to its street-facing alfresco dining area. Oysters and champagne should be enjoyed at least weekly over summer. Follow this well-balanced meal from Hey Jupes with a walk through the nearby Adelaide Botanic Garden to really give your vitamin-D deprived, reptilian La Niña skin some love.
Though the Halifax-Sturt corridor is a well-travelled route, most of its eastern end feels comfortably quiet and suburban. All the better environment to enjoy the home-style cooking of chef and co-owner of Herringbone Quentin Whittle. There’s not an enormous section of outdoor dining at the restaurant, but it’s worth nabbing a street-side table when you can.
A new addition to the CBD, Bar Riot has taken over the tenancy formerly occupied by Madre (and Feliciano before that). Founded by Riot Wine Co in collaboration with Palmer Hospitality, the owners say they want the place to be a bar of choice for locals, even offering flagons of wine poured directly from the 1000-litre egg, which sits next to the restaurant’s kitchen, to people who live in the area. The restaurant’s menu is built around little plates – always the more interesting dishes on offer – and is therefore perfect for sharing. Gather together a collection of your most fun friends, sit them on a long table outside, and order a few of everything amongst the Gilbert Street ambience.
There’s nothing like popping a Vegemite gougére in your mouth and chasing it with a glass of fruity pet-nat. You can do this at Goodwood wine and snack bar Good Gilbert. With the Capri Theatre’s lights sparkling across the road, and Beam e-scooters parked nearby for a timely getaway, it’s a perfect mix of old and new. For an added bonus, it’s only a 10-minute walk from the local pool. Go for the convenience and stay for the rotating wine and food menu.
Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room
“You come to me, on the warmest day of the year, and ask to dine outside?” This isn’t verbatim what Vito Corleone said in The Godfather, and nor is it what Fuggazzi Bar & Dining Room would say to any patron wanting to sample its New York Italian-inspired menu over summer, we just decided to exercise our creative licence. Although this restaurant’s main drawcard — aside from the food, which was recently sampled by Axl Rose — are the enchanting interiors, the outside tables offer a humble, pared-back experience. When the inside is all booked out, we’ll happily devour a chip sandwich and Rhubi Gimlet in the sunshine.
Few restaurants in Adelaide match the fun and exuberance of the original Plus 82 restaurant, Pocha, located under the Black Stump on Grenfell Street. The first time CityMag noticed this restaurant, it was because of a rowdy batch of customers dining at the outdoor tables in the red-brick sunken garden were very loudly enjoying themselves. Away from the prying eyes of people passing through the city (except for those with ears perked up for a good time), you can truly relax and enjoy the high-energy hospitality of the restaurant.
Golden Boy is just one of Rundle Street and North Terrace’s stable of undeniably good, un-passable restaurants. The gorgeous terraced white haunt offers ample inside and alfresco dining options, but the real benefit of dining outside is that while enjoying a sweltering Thai green curry or spicy braised pork shoulder, that cool breeze will cool your sweat-slicked body. The large benches, shaded by leafy fronds, also permeate a South-East Asian canteen feel. Best bring your mates for this feast, and to pop into the Cellar post-meal for a lychee martini.