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December 20, 2023

Bringing a backstreet beachside borough to life

Western neighbourhood café Burro serves up big portions, top-shelf paninis and great coffee in the back blocks of Henley Beach.

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  • Words and pictures: Claudia Dichiera
  • First picture: Ivano Panazzolo

It’s hard to miss the green and coral terrazzo floor tiles when walking into the otherwise white interior of this western suburbs cafe.

But co-owner Ivano Panazzolo says this flooring addition was one fortunate fumble.


113 Marlborough Street, Henley Beach 5022
Every day: 6:30am ’til 3:30pm


“We wanted to do polished concrete flooring,” Ivano says.

“So when we dug up the tiles, we actually found the terrazzo, the original flooring, which was a bonus and probably the main point of the shop.

“You don’t get this floor anywhere much anymore, and if you do, it’s going to cost a whole lot of money. So that’s the main feature of this place.”

Along with the terrazzo flooring and white walls, the front counter is curved with green ombre tiles, making the bright premixed drinks on display pop.

Opened in October, Burro is a located on Henley Beach’s Marlborough Street, away from the hustle and bustle of Henley Square.

“If you have to go get a coffee around here it’s either Grange Road or to Henley Square [but] it’s too busy, parking’s an issue,” Ivan says.

“This is a good community, a lot of schools, there’s a hospital around here — people are friendly.”

Burro is a small venue with huge portions.

“Our portions are big so no one leaves hungry,” fellow co-owner Jason Russo says.

The current menu favourite is the trusty smashed avo.

“Lots of people have a smashed avo on their menu, but it’s the way that [we] present it,” Ivano says. “You know, you’ve got to get your value for money… we’ve got the radish, we’ve got the cucumber, we’ve got the lemon.”

Speak of the devil

But head to Burro for the paninis. As Jason says, “people are chasing the best panini in Adelaide”, and end up here.

“Our paninis are the centrepiece of our menu,” Ivano says.

“We think our real point of difference is we cut our meats fresh, make our cotoletta and Nap sauce in-house to truly incorporate our Italian heritage.”

CityMag’s top pick was the number four, filled with prosciutto, pesto, mozzarella, tomato and basil.

Like any successful café, coffee must stand out. Ivano knew they could get a regular following by doing this so they use their own blend of Coffee in Common beans.

The number four sitting graciously on the countertop

Ivano pauses our conversation to jump back on the coffee machine and help out the under-the-pump staff  — it’s a Tuesday morning and the line nearly snakes out the door.

Ivano says this is normal.

“We knew we’d be busy, but just not as busy,” he says.

“Constantly every day, every week, it’s just exceeded the next, and it’s only coming into summer, so it’s probably only going to get busier.”

“Without being arrogant, we always felt our food and coffee can set us apart from others in the area. No one is open seven days a week until 3:30 and providing an extensive menu likes us,” Jason says.

The name Burro has two meanings.

“Firstly, we are located on Marlborough Street,so we thought Burro was a cool play on words,” Jason says.

“But borough is also given to the [five] pockets of New York City.”

As Jason owns Commune 1 and Bodega, where Ivano has worked alongside him for many years, they felt they contributed to the western suburbs borough of Henley.

“People know, we’re good operators, we work hard,” Ivano says about his working relationship with Jason.

“Ivan and I have worked together for a long time, and we work so well together. I focus on more on the business side of things and Ivan is the real workhorse — no one works harder than he does,” Jason says.

“We are lucky to have him.”

Burro is located at 113 Marlborough Street, Henley Beach and is open every day from 6:30am until 3:30pm.

Connect with the business on Instagram for more.

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