Food foraged from forests, sustainable seafood plucked straight from the ocean and onto your plate, food scraps transformed into fine dining and a love of local, seasonal produce.
South Australia’s sustainable dining scene is flourishing. From low food mileage and minimal food wastage to ethical production, South Australia’s restaurant scene is leading the way when it comes to sustainability and conscious consumption. Do your bit for the environment and your taste buds with our guide to the best sustainable restaurants in South Australia.
1. Gather at Coriole, McLaren Vale
Gather at Coriole head chef Tom Tilbury relies on close relationships with the region’s producers to create his seasonal grazing menu. Focusing on celebrating local ingredients at the McLaren Vale restaurant, Tom sources regional, ethically harvested, sustainable and foraged fare from trusted farmers and artisan producers wherever possible, including meats, seafood, vegetables and fruit. The kitchen garden which surrounds the restaurant is also an integral part of the menu and provides an idyllic setting for a regional feast nestled between Coriole’s original 1850s homestead and ironstone barn. Recently, Coriole has even expanded to a small-scale farm site in McLaren Flat to meet the restaurant’s needs. To top it off, Coriole utilises solar power, recycled and rainwater and produces its own compost.
2. Fino Seppeltsfield, Barossa
At Fino Seppeltsfield in the Barossa, the menu showcases regionality and seasonality whilst supporting small-scale, sustainable producers. With 95% of the restaurant’s produce sourced locally, this deep connection to provenance and the Barossa region is evident on every plate. Bonus, Fino is located in the heart of Seppeltsfield Estate and shares the original 1900s bottling hall with Seppeltsfield’s cellar door, so your guaranteed good wine sourced from the surrounding vineyards to accompany your meal. If you’re in the city, the new Adelaide iteration of the popular restaurant, Fino Vino, shares the same love of local food.
3. Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Adelaide
In the heart of Adelaide, the lush surrounds of Botanic Gardens Restaurant are at the forefront of the fine-dining menu. With a garden to plate philosophy to minimise food wastage, you’ll find acclaimed chef Paul Baker harvesting vegetables and herbs from the surrounding 51-hectare kitchen garden to hero in every dish. Plucked straight from the garden and onto the plate, the multi-award-winning restaurant compliments this bounty with ethically farmed, local produce. That theme carries through to the drink selection, too. The restaurant’s own Botanic Blonde beer and vermouth are crafted with ingredients direct from the garden, and the same can be said for the botanically inspired cocktails. It’s garden to plate dining at its most simplistic, and sophisticated.
4. Penfolds Magill Estate, Adelaide
Decadence meets sustainability at Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant. Head chef Scott Huggins takes inspiration from seasonal produce and Penfold’s wine to create his fine-dining restaurant menu, with about 80% of ingredients sourced directly from local farmers. Ingredients such as mushrooms, watercress, vegetables, herbs and flowers are foraged from the bordering gardens, which in turn are fertilised using composted kitchen waste. Combined with breathtaking views over the historic Penfolds vineyards and Adelaide city, the multi award-winning restaurant is one of our favourite spots to settle in for a long lunch.
5. Peel St, Adelaide
An ever-changing menu is a testament to the sustainable ethos at city institution Peel St, where bountiful plates with a heavy focus on vegetables showcase the freshest, in-season South Australian ingredients. Here, simple cooking pairs perfectly with big flavours, as plates brimming with fresh produce are pumped out of the kitchen by chefs Martin and Jordan. The menu is heavy on Middle Eastern, South East Asian and Mediterranean style dishes and constantly changes based on what is in season and abundant locally.
6. Topiary, Adelaide Hills
Tucked in the foothills of the Adelaide Hills, Topiary’s commitment to sustainability starts from the ground up. A family-run restaurant, every scrap of food has been deliberately selected and prepared from root to leaf, and nose to tail. Century-old techniques of culturing, churning, curing and smoking mix seamlessly with a menu featuring foraged edible weeds like nasturtium, wood sorrel and wild fennel. Whatever can’t be picked from the surrounding gardens is sourced locally, a nod to their philosophy of minimising waste, supporting those around you and respecting the environment.
7. Etica, Adelaide
You can even get your pizza-fix with sustainability in mind at Etica. Translating to ethical in Italian, low food mileage and traceability is at the heart of the menu at this Adelaide institution. The small and carefully curated menu of classic Napoletana-style pizzas ensures the team always knows exactly where their food is sourced, with a belief that only by understanding where your food comes from can you truly enjoy it. Upstairs, sister restaurant Allegra shares the same ethos with a wholly-plant-based fine dining menu showcasing local, seasonal produce which will impress even the most apprehensive carnivore.
8. Café Troppo, Adelaide
Similarly, at Café Troppo on the fringe of Adelaide’s CBD, the menu is inspired by the changing seasons and what is available locally. The environmentally ethical café serves exclusively home-grown, organic and sustainable produce sourced from around South Australia. The all-day brunch menu features Clare Valley free range-eggs, vegetables sourced from biodynamic Ngeringa Farm in the Adelaide Hills, coffee roasted in Port Elliott, local artisan breads, Fleurieu Peninsula dairy and only South Australian made beer, wine, cider and spirits. To reduce food waste, they’ll even trade your excess home-grown veggies for coffee – sounds like a pretty good deal to us!
9. Africola, Adelaide
Locally sourced food underpins the fiery African menu at Africola. Executive chef Duncan Welgemoed curates the menu with quality South Australian produce. Biodynamic vegetables are sourced from Ngeringa Farm in the Adelaide Hills, hand-harvested pipis plucked from the pristine waters around the Coorong are courtesy of Goolwa PipiCo and seafood is sourced from Australia’s seafood capital on the Eyre Peninsula. Add Welgemoed’s flare and the result is bloody delicious.
Sustainable wineries, breweries and distilleries
What’s a delicious, sustainable food without good wine to match? Wash down your meal with our guide to the best sustainable wineries, breweries and distilleries in South Australia. Still hungry for more? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Adelaide.