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October 11, 2021

New diner Dirty Doris opens in Aldgate

Self-described as a “grimy diner”, Dirty Doris is looking to shake up the Adelaide Hills hospitality scene.

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  • Words: Katie Moularadellis
  • Pictures: Johnny von Einem

Dirty Doris, a new all-day diner opening at the old Aldgate Café site, will offer something a little more left of centre than the polished eateries of the Adelaide Hills.


Dirty Doris
6 Strathalbyn Road, Aldgate 5154
Mon—Thu: 6:30am ’til 3pm
Friday: 6:30am ’til 10pm
Saturday: 7:30am ’til 10pm
Sunday: 7:30am ’til 3pm


“Steak for brekky or pancakes for dinner – no judgement here,” says owner Denny Bradden.

“There’s a lot of the same up here,” laughs front of house manager Andrew Moncrieff, referring specifically to the abundance of pizza restaurants. “We do not need more pizza.”

Denny and Andrew met working at Patch Kitchen & Garden seven years ago, before their paths diverged.

Denny spent five years working as a chef at The Lane in Hahndorf, while Andrew went on to manage Lost in the Forest in Uraidla. When Denny approached him looking for a manager at the diner though, he jumped at the chance.

“I saw a wonderful opportunity in Aldgate for something new and different. And it is fun to be involved from the start,” says Andrew.

Denny was eager to have him as part of the team.

“I needed someone that I knew and trusted,” she says. “It’s a really good opportunity to work together and I’m lucky that Andrew didn’t really know what he wanted to do in the next year.”

Having worked at the Aldgate Café as a teenager, when the venue came onto the market Denny immediately wanted to make a move.

“I’ve had my eye on that space for a while,” she says.

Dirty Doris opened in early October and its offering spans pancakes, steak, and fried chicken, all on offer from open ’til close.

When questioned about the name, Denny laughs.

“Well, I couldn’t call it Denny’s without a massive lawsuit,” she says.

“Doris is actually my grandmother’s name, so it’s a tribute to her. Although I don’t think she would be very pleased about the fact that I’ve added ‘dirty’ in front of it.”


The menu will showcase local produce, offering not just classic diner grub, but spins on old classics with dishes like miso carbonara.

There will also be a rotating sandwich menu.

“When I say sandwich though, I really mean anything on bread,” Denny laughs. “What isn’t a sandwich?”

Of course, a diner isn’t a diner without coffee. A brand new Synesso coffee machine sits atop the new timber benchtop, pulling shots made with Monastery beans. There is bottomless batch brew on offer too, with house-made baked goods to match.

Coffee is poured into ceramic mugs handmade by Denny’s aunt.

As for the other drinks, Dirty Doris has you covered with local wines, cocktails, and milkshakes.

Seats are available at the bar, which faces into the kitchen. Small tables fill the rest of the space, including out the front and in the lush back outdoor area. The floors are tiled with old-school black and white vinyl, accented by red, timber, and steel fittings.

“We want to create that bar feel, appeal to the hospo crowd as well, so workers from the pub can come across and get a feed once they’re done,” explains Andrew.


At the front of the venue, there will be a small retail space where you’ll be able to purchase house-made sauces and preserves, along with bags of coffee beans – everything you need to enjoy your own Dirty Doris-style breakfast at home. Keep your eyes peels for Doris’s Steak Sauce, the first in a range of many.

While Denny has more plans in store for the diner, she and Andrew first want to see how customers interact with the space.

Dirty Doris is located at 6 Strathalbyn Road in Aldgate and opens seven days a week.

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