Hungry for more than just breakfast - or lunch? Brunch is where it's at - in the heart of Adelaide, in the suburbs, by the beach or in the Hills.
If you're not an early riser but still need a decent it of caffeine to get you moving, then we've got you covered for the best places for brunch - that time of day that's not quite breakfast or lunch. In the city, by the beach, suburbs or Hills, from sweet to savoury, it's all here for the munching - or is that brunching?
The Loose Caboose, Hindmarsh
Sitting just beyond the green belt encircling central Adelaide
, The Loose Caboose is worth tracking down for its unusual location in the high-ceilinged, heritage-listed Bowden Railway Station.
It could easily rest on the allure of its quirky surrounds but instead it turns out serious coffee and brunch fare. Caffeine aficionados can order a pour-over (check the menu board to see which single-origin filter coffee is on offer that day) or order a house-blend espresso bursting with toasty caramel notes and hints of hazelnut.
Those who take their coffee white will be sipping Jersey milk from the Fleurieu Milk Company. Kale tragics can order The Hulk (a kale, cucumber, celery and pineapple combo) or the tropical mojito that blends kale and pineapple with coconut water, mint and lime.
Then it’s time to study the all-day brunch menu. Sweet tooths could be tempted by the Nutella and cookie-coated French toast with custard and vanilla bean cream, or buttermilk hotcakes with caramelised banana, salted caramel, walnuts and ice-cream.
Savoury dishes are kicked up a notch: the smashed avo is served with radish, feta, beetroot puree, lemon and a herb-crusted free-range egg on toasted sourdough. Benedict-style eggs feature braised smoked ham hock and apple-cider hollandaise. If it’s a sunny day in Hindmarsh, make a beeline for a table on the outdoor deck.
SAD Café, Adelaide
Ebenezer Place – a back street in Adelaide’s East End - is a fine example of the wave of inner-city renewal that has attracted exciting new ventures from hospitality entrepreneurs.
The good news for hungry diners is that if fancy sandwich emporium Hey Jupiter or Afghan street-food stars Kutchi Deli Parwana don’t take your fancy, it’s just a few steps to SAD Café on the same thoroughfare.
Here, creative thinking adds sparkle to a limited menu. Bagels come dressed with the likes of hummus, bacon, fried egg and shiraz sauce or cream cheese with fig and almond jam. The gluten-free “curry scramby eggs” are served on a savoury pancake with avo and tomato.
Vegetarians can rejoice in concoctions such as the two-cheese wild mushroom quesadilla served with hummus, avo, cucumber salsa and a pineapple chilli puree. There’s also a no-meat burger stacked with smoked mozzarella, cucumber and radish salsa, lettuce and avocado mayo.
Vegans can get stuck into mashed peas and grilled mushrooms with heirloom carrots and dukkah served on sourdough. The drinks list, as long as the food menu, includes cold-drop and pour-over coffees, home-made chai and iced tea, and single-estate herbal teas such as nettle, rose petal and lime flowers.
Cool and quirky, you'll find The Loose Caboose inside the heritage-listed Bowden Railway Station at Hindmarsh.
The Big Table at Adelaide Central Market
Without doubt Adelaide’s Central Markets are probably the best of their kind in Australia. Smack bang in the centre of the city, they’re fast-paced and chock-full of the best produce from across the state and further afield.
Equally fast-paced is the vibe at Big Table, which while not an actual “big table” is big on flavour and service. Being in the markets means everything is supremely fresh and while dishes like the Big Brekkie are not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing in presentation, they’re packed with flavour.
Think of a delicious breakfast with thick fresh bread for mopping up the juices or green eggs and ham or even French toast. Warm comfort food such as porridge complete with cinnamon, honey and banana is also a hearty start to a morning spent wandering the markets. Bear in mind that this is not a place to linger, it’s pumping with the energy of the markets and you’ll want to get out there yourself as soon as possible.
The Haus Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills
If pizza or burger action sounds like your kind of brunch, head for The Haus Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills
The busy indoor/outdoor eatery serves all-day pizza topped with Hahndorf double smoked bacon, free-range egg, Spanish onion, semi-dried tomatoes, Swiss brown mushrooms, mozzarella and BBQ sauce. The same bacon and eggs go into the brekky burger on a toasted brioche bun, along with tomato chutney, onion jam and rocket.
Hahndorf bacon can also be added to an order of jaffa waffles – plain or choc-chip waffles served with Belgian chocolate sauce, candied orange and Chantilly cream. Vegetarians can plump for the pumpkin sourdough with avocado, basil pesto and dukkah, the mushroom ragu and chargrilled broccolini on sourdough or the eggs Florentine.
Acknowledging that not everyone’s a coffee fiend, the drinks menu includes Belgian hot chocolate, freshly juiced local fruit and veg (The Green Haus is a blend of cucumber, spinach, lemon, ginger and green apple) and two sparkling wines from just down the road.
Mister Sunshine’s Café, Thebarton
It could be the formica tables or maybe the vinyl fifties-style chairs or even the mountain prints adorning the wall which aren’t reproductions of the great Ansel Adams’s work but what it all adds up to is pure kitsch Americana.
More pertinently, Mister Sunshine’s Café in downtown Thebarton exudes happiness and especially for those keen on a late brunch. For starters the coffee is pretty handy but then there’s a great mix of brunch treats whether it be French toast served with poached fruit and labne or something more hearty such as poached eggs and bacon.
Rare to find in most cafes is a vegan menu but you’ll find one at Mister Sunsine’s. Moroccan spiced chickpeas are a highlight on a bed of blanched spinach and ciabatta with a poached egg on top or avocado for the vegans.
Beyond the great food and invigorating coffee, the house spritzers are a must and rather refreshing. Also refreshing is the super-friendly service.
Maxwell's Grocery, Aldinga
In the rather beautiful Aldinga village on the Fleurieu Peninsula
lies one of the state’s real brunch pleasures. It’s organic, sublimely fresh and local with a wonderful mix of organic fruit and vegetables keen on filling their basket but also wonderful sweets and a great brekky roll.
In fact, for anyone keen to kickstart their day, the brekky roll with free-range local bacon and eggs served with vine-ripened tomato and Beerenberg tomato chutney is a first stop in a moreish brunch ritual. Complete it with wonderful organic coffee and a treat such as a choc orange slice and raw vanilla cheesecake with lemon curd from Fleurieu Kitchen.
Try the green juices, which are crushed fresh every day and are packed with all the goodness you could hope to have in one hit. And after you’ve got the day going in the best possible way, browse Maxwell's grocery store and you’ll discover a quirky mix of homewares beyond the wonderful food items.
The Organic Market and Cafe, Stirling
The bluestone houses are reason enough to pass through the slightly cooler and rarefied air of Stirling but an even better reason is a visit to The Organic Market and Café.
Firstly, there’s a great local market highlighting and promoting the best local produce but more pertinently for brunch enthusiasts, a late morning outside under the trees is one of life’s great pleasures.
Begin the journey with slick, friendly service and great coffee before trying a savoury or sweet breakfast. The vibe is pretty laidback but the food is anything but with many local artisan producers and their wares highlighted.
Brunch fans can obviously kick-off with great coffee or a fresh juice but from there things work a little differently. The blackboard menu features the best seasonal produce (organic and conventional) and it’s complemented by a good selection of muffins, cakes and tarts. Weekends are good for salads but try the daily hot dish, which changes regularly.
Queenies Store, Largs Bay
Largs Bay sits on the tiny Le Fevre Peninsula, 20 minutes from Adelaide's city centre, with views over the Gulf of St Vincent. What makes it extra special is a visit to Queenies, which earns extra points because it hosts its own Laneway music festival
While that gives it a certain cachet in itself, Queenies lays claim to being an actual brunch restaurant among other things. Reason being is they keep brunch happening pretty much all day.
The food is plentiful with excellent fresh veggies and grilled haloumi cheese a particular morning highlight. A late brunch means getting access to a fuller menu such as great seafood, lamb skewers and fresh local seafood so it’s worth fighting the pangs of hunger a little longer.
And after you’ve finished, a nice constitutional along the beach to walk it off or to build up an appetite for round two.