14 of Adelaide's Most Iconic Dishes Everyone Should Try at Least Once
Iconic dishes in Adelaide to add to your culinary bucket list.
From iced coffee to the giant pigeon statue, frog cakes to the Malls Balls, the number of icons that South Australia boasts is unparalleled. This trait continues throughout Adelaide’s food scene, with our restaurants creating some truly standout dishes that keep people coming back for more.
If you’re visiting Adelaide for the first time or have lived here your entire life, it’s time to get inspired with some of the best starters, mains and desserts to add to your foodie bucket list and not waste any time in ticking them off.
These are the 14 standout dishes that every Adeladian should try at least once.
Gnocco Fritto at Fugazzi
Dine in decadent style at Fugazzi on Adelaide’s ever-popular Leigh Street and immerse yourself in their furnishings of velvet, leather and marble, with a buzzing atmosphere to match. Open late 7 days a week, cosy up in booth seating, grab a bottle of excellent wine and start your meal with one of their most popular small plates: the Gnocco Fritto. The fried and fluffy bread is drizzled in whipped ricotta, honey, black pepper and salt - all complimenting each other to create a flavour sensation. It's so good, you may want to order two!
27 Leigh Street, Adelaide
While this dish is definitely of German origin, no trip to Adelaide is complete without a drive out to South Australia's award winning taste of Bavaria at the Hahndorf Inn. Settle in to the 2-storey 1863 hotel with its exposed stone walls and wood-panelled ceiling, and prepare to feast. Go big and try it all with the 'Original' Taste of Germany - a platter feeding up to 4 people loaded with bratwurst, sausage, pork hock, kassler, mashed potato, sauerkraut, pretzels, mustard and gravy. Pairs well with a stein of beer. Prost!
35 Mount Barker Road, Hahndorf
Southern Rock Lobster: Fishbank
It’s catch of the day, every day at Fishbank - which has quickly claimed the title of being one of Adelaide’s best seafood restaurants. They serve up mouth-watering fresh seafood dishes for dinner 7 days a week, including freshly shucked oysters, sashimi and caviar alongside small and larger plates, but the Southern Rock Lobster has to be the star of the show. Order a half or whole lobster that’s grilled with roast garlic and tarragon butter, or a whole wok fried lobster with asparagus, ginger, black beans and basil for an aromatic taste.
2 King William Street, Adelaide
Pasta: Osteria Oggi
There's a reason why Osteria Oggi is considered Adelaide's pasta mecca. There's also another good reason why CNN named it as one of the 10 top new restaurants in the world in 2016. It's all about the pasta. Guanciale carbonara, campanelle with scorched leeks, radicchio, squacquerone cheese and hazelnuts, house made maccheroni swimming in a rabbit ragú and gorgeous fluffy gnocchi, everytime. Complete with cobblestoned floor, arches, meat room, private cellar, intimate booth seating, a 20 metre concrete bar, and mezzanine-level kitchen, well, you'll just about think you've died and gone to Italian heaven. It's truly some of the best pasta you can try in Adelaide, and a selection of standout dishes that everyone needs to order, at least once.
76 Pirie Street, Adelaide
Wagyu and Roasted Bone Marrow Burger: Bread and Bone
There's no denying the beauty of the perfectly cooked wagyu and bone marrow burger from Bread and Bone. Made with 200g wagyu patty, provolone, truffle aioli, pickled shallot, bacon jam and sandwiched in a charcoal bun, it is absolutely incredible when paired with a glass of red wine. One of the standout dishes every Adelaidian should sink their teeth into - and pronto!
15 Peel Street, Adelaide
Spicy Corn Ribs: NOLA
Take in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feel of New Orleans without leaving Adelaide at the impeccable NOLA bar and eatery. Their New Orleans inspiration can be felt in everything they do, from the rich coloured interiors and bold neon lighting, weekly live music sessions, whiskey selection and of course, the food. Their focus on creole and Cajun soul cuisine shines a light on their menu including their standout dish to try in Adelaide; the spicy corn ribs. Fried and rolled in spicy garlic butter with NOLA spices and completed with parmesan, suitable for vegans and gluten free, it’s like a firework going off on your tongue!
28 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide
Pipis: Kuti Shack
Tucked away into the sand hills of Goolwa Beach sits the charming Kuti Shack eatery. Formed by a team with a passion to do incredible things with local Fleurieu produce, in particular the Kuti (also known as pipis and cockles), their team of chefs that have previously headed up some of South Australia’s finest restaurants are creating exciting new and innovative dishes with sustainable, local indigenous ingredients, starting a Pipi revolution. The standout dish here has to be their wok tossed Goolwa pipis flavoured with their chilli jam, lemongrass and warragal greens, presented in their shells ready to be enjoyed with friends and a complimenting glass of white.
Beach Road, Goolwa Beach
Crispy Chicken Tea Sandwich With Peri Peri Drippings: Africola
With dishes so iconic they even have their own recipe book available to purchase, Africola has some of the most unmissable dishes in Adelaide on their menu. An absolute must-have have is their Crispy Chicken Tea Sandwich with Peri Peri drippings; crustless white bread slathered with chilli-spiked mayo, filled with crispy roast chicken skin and flat-leaf parsley, alongside peri-peri chicken drippings just waiting to be dunked into. This plate is served as a snack to begin your flavour-packed culinary journey, with the remainder of their menu items to be enjoyed in the lively surroundings on Adelaide’s East Terrace.
4 East Terrace, Adelaide
Pizza #01 (Margherita): Sunny’s Pizza
You can never go wrong with the humble margherita, and Sunny’s Pizza are here to make sure of that. Open 7 days a week, the restaurant is an experience in itself with neon lighting, disco balls and pumping music to get you in the mood before you’ve even sipped your cocktail. Order up their Pizza #01 and indulge in the soft, fluffy crust encasing the perfect blend of tomato, mozzarella and a healthy dose of basil that instantly makes you understand why this is one of Adelaide’s standout dishes and warrants the ‘#01’ naming on their menu. Need further proof that you need to try this Adelaide dish? How many other pizza restaurants have you been to that have collaborated with a Michelin starred chef or two?
17 Solomon Street, Adelaide
Kingfish Sashimi: Golden Boy
If you are a fan of Thai food, fresh seafood and good vibes, then Golden Boy on North Terrace is a must-visit on your food tour of Adelaide. Settle in for a flavour-packed lunch or dinner and start your order with their self-proclaimed favourite dish of Kingfish Sashimi. You’ll spot this dish as the first item on their menu, with the kingfish complimented with nam jim, coconut cream, kaffir and zesty finger lime flavours that pack a punch. With flavours and textures like these, there’s a reason for their multiple award wins including five time ‘Best Thai Restaurant’ accolade.
309 North Terrace, Adelaide
Oysters: Coffin Bay
An otherworldly experience all together, a trip over to Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula can only mean one thing: Coffin Bay Oysters. Experience, indulge and discover the joy of fresh oysters in a way that suits your style best with a boat tour. From group trips to private charters, you can wade through the crystal clear turquoise waters and explore the working oyster farm that surrounds you at your own leisure. Enjoy a dozen freshly shucked world class oysters paired with local beverages, and relax as you cruise the Coffin Bay waterways to take in some of South Australia’s most stunning coastlines and landscapes.
146 Esplanade, Coffin Bay
Doughnut of the Month: Port Elliot Bakery
A completely iconic Adelaide foodie experience month in month out, a trip to Port Elliot Bakery for their Doughnut Of The Month is an absolute must. Alongside the usual bakery offerings (that never disappoint) sits their ever-changing speciality doughnut flavour that’s only available for a limited time each month. Expect the unexpected with this standout dessert in Adelaide and savour classic and unusual flavours, or get lucky with a seasonal special, with previous flavours including Vietnamese coffee with coconut sugar and coffee cream, peppermint cookie with crushed Oreo and topped with a mint Lindt ball for Christmas, and the sweet crunch of Froot Loops.
31 North Terrace, Port Elliot
Petit Dejeuner au Champagne: Hey Jupiter
Immerse yourself in the joys of France with the delectable Petit Dejeuner au Champagne (aka breakfast with Champagne) at Hey Jupiter Brasserie Française. Spoil yourself and a friend with a 375ml bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne along with a breakfast feast of boiled free range eggs, pastries and toast, Ham, Comté, Bonne Maman jam, smoked salmon, fresh
fruit, coffee or tea, juice. The charming interiors and alfresco seating area will take you to the streets of Paris as you cheers to good health and to the enjoyment of an iconic dish found in Adelaide. C’est bon!
11 Ebenezer Place, Adelaide
Banjaan Borani: Parwana Kitchen
Prepare yourself for a sensory explosion in the form of Parwana Kitchen’s signature eggplant dish, the Banjaan Borani. Perfected over the years, the Afghan cuisine is one step away from spiritual enlightenment and is available to enjoy for lunch or dinner in their Henley Beach Road location or on certain evenings at Plant 4 Bowden. The Banjaan Borani is made up of an eggplant simmered in fresh tomato sauce and topped with garlic yoghurt and mint, to be completed with rice, some Torshi (spicy pickled vegetables) and Naan bread. If you’re inspired by this standout dish, you can recreate it at home thanks to the Parwana Book of recipes.