If you never thought it possible to fall in love with a city, you’ve obviously never visited Adelaide.
From the minute you leap off the plane, Adelaide will woo you like a loaf of freshly baked bread, teasing your tastebuds with the promise of homemade treats and fine wine.
And unlike a short-lived high school romance, it will deliver too. Adelaide has come to be known as one of the most exciting foodie cities in the world. Innovative, exciting cooking is the language chef’s speak, pushing boundaries by using fresh, local ingredients in ways you could never imagine. Foodies all over the world are dropping a pin on this gastronomic destination, hearts melting with every drop of local wine, and with every mouthful of Adelaide’s avant-garde cuisine.
It’s hard to know where to start in a city full of tantalising surprises around every corner. So here’s an itinerary that will guarantee you the most delectable foodie weekend of your life, in the charming city of Adelaide…
Discover boutique cellar doors
Adelaide is the wine capital of Australia so it should be of no surprise that while visiting, you will sample some of the finest drops of wine you have ever tasted. Here’s where you should go:
Bursting with over 80 cellar doors, there’s no shortage of choice in Barossa. Just a 50 minute drive north east of Adelaide, with vineyards galore, it’s a delight for all of the senses. If you’re into red wine, you may have found your heaven. Due to its Mediterranean climate, the Cabernets and Shiraz’ that Barossa boasts are pretty hard to beat.
Try: Seppeltsfield’s Cellar Door for an intimate wine tasting experience, through four separate circular tasting alcoves known as ‘PODS’, this innovative wine-maker creates a unique setting and ambience so you can taste wine in a whole new way. Known as being one of the top cellar doors in the region, it’s not one to miss.
Known as being South Australia’s most accessible wine region, McLaren Vale is only a quick 40-minute drive from the Adelaide CBD, with the bonus of stunning beaches along the way. Here you find some of the best Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay as well as lesser-produced varieties such as Tempranillo, Marsanne, Rousanne and Sangiovese.
Try: d’Arenberg Cube. A stunner of a five-storey building, the Cube features a new tasting room, several bars, a fine-dining restaurant and private tasting rooms. It’s nestled in the vines, overlooking the rolling hills of Willunga. All d’Arenberg wines are basket pressed with red wines foot trod during fermentation. They offer over 70 wines and over 30 grape varieties, so you’ll be guaranteed to find your perfect match.
Again, the Clare Valley is just a short car ride away from the center of Adelaide, with a 90-minute journey granting you access to over 40 cellar doors. This region is known as the heart of Australian Riesling, and, quite frankly, it’ll steal your heart. If you love white wine, Clare may be your gastronomic home as it’s known for its exceptional whites.
Try: O’Leary Walker Cellar Door. O’Leary Walker Wines has a pretty simple philosophy – source the best grapes from the best vineyard sites and craft great wine. Enjoy a glass or two of their exceptional wine at The Cellar Door and relax in their comfortable space while you sip away, taking in the amazing views of the Watervale Region.
Indulge in destination dining
In South Australia, eating is an experience that should never be taken for granted, and should never EVER be deemed boring. If you want to experience food that makes all of your senses come alive, Adelaide is the beau for you. Note: expect jealousy from all your foodie friends back home; your Instagram account is about to get a lot more hits.
Named Australia’s best restaurant for a reason, Orana has to be at the top of your dining list. Known for both its delicious and beautifully crafted food and its innovative use of indigenous ingredients, you will never view food the same after dining at Orana. Sit down and embark on an immersive dining experience featuring many unfamiliar native ingredients, over the course of 18 different dishes. It’s one to be enjoyed in the present but also a memory to be savoured for the future.
Eat: Mt Lofty Ranges
Escape to the hills and sample the finest pan-fried hapuku or grilled lamb rump with charred leek and sheep’s yoghurt, on the veranda at Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard. Let your taste buds be taken captive while you gaze at kangaroos who hop merrily around the grounds beneath. This holistic dining experience is tranquillity and taste at its very finest.
Eat: Adelaide’s Central Market
An experience different from any other, Adelaide’s Central Market is bursting with culture and food and full of surprises. One favoured spot is Lucia’s, a cute Italian deli that is also a hugely respected Adelaide institution. Founded after World War II, it is now run by Lucia’s children but still features the same old school flavour. Or enjoy a bit of experimental cuisine, such as edible mealworms and insects from Post Dining. The little critters are embedded like ancient fossils in the brownies. It turns out chocolate goes very well with roasted crickets, which are toasty and nutty and have a pleasing crunch. For those who are after some classic smashed avo – your tastes will be catered for too. With many other places to experience, you could get lost in the variety and flavour that is Adelaide’s Central Market.
Heart happy and belly full, a better weekend is hardly imaginable. And, with Air New Zealand, you can enjoy complete ease of access to the humming city with non-stop flights (4 non-stop flights per week from Auckland), making South Australia the perfect weekend getaway. Click here to book your holiday.