Sorry, Sydney, But Adelaide’s Restaurants Are Actually Far More Chic

Osteria Oggi

A cosy wine bar with a curved ceiling that feels like you’re in a tunnel. A retro Italian restaurant that’s become an institution in the city. And an earth-tone eatery with interiors to rival The Carlisle in Brisbane.

These are just a few of the venues I dined at on a recent weekend in Adelaide, which saw me flying in from Sydney on one of Virgin Australia’s now 11 daily domestic routes, which you can book yourself here (full disclosure: I was a guest of Virgin Australia and South Australia).

While Adelaide is known for its fresh produce and flavourful cuisine — the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide awarding more than 30 of its dining destinations hats this year — I was blown away by how aesthetically pleasing the venues themselves were.

Leigh Street Wine Room

Though Leigh Street Wine Room specialises in natural wines from around the world, its focus is on drops from South Australia.

It also serves food, though, and the dishes are worthy of a spot on this list.

Made almost entirely in-house and with organic produce, the menu is only a Chef’s Selection. There are five plates to share, including caramelised onion focaccia and hummus, pickled octopus and gnocchi fritti with Wagyu bresola.

Dine on the ground floor on either side of a long bar, or on a balcony overlooking the bar below. Glance up to see the venue’s curved ceiling.

Leigh Street Wine Room
Image: Leigh Street Wine Room

Osteria Oggi

‘Oggi’ means ‘today’ in Italian. Traditional Italian cuisine inspires the dishes served at Osteria Oggi, but the team focuses on using the best available produce, and creating dishes that fit the modern tastes of today.

Diners can choose from a four-course or five-course tasting menu, or from the order a la carte menu. There are small dishes, pasta, mains, sides and desserts, including a must-try tiramisu affogato.

The venue itself will have you transported to an Italian courtyard. Wood beams holding dripping ivy dangle overhead, with booths tucked into the wall for an intimate dining experience like no other.

Image: Osteria Oggi

Lucia’s Pizza and Spaghetti Bar

In 1957, Lucia Rosella opened Lucia’s Pizza and Spaghetti Bar, and it remains an Adelaide institution to this day. In fact, Rosella is often credited as one of the first people to introduce authentic southern Italian cuisine to Adelaide.

The restaurant features rows of wine, and a tan and black checkered floor. Next door, there’s a shop where you can buy some of the delicious ingredients included in the dishes.

Lucias Pizza and Spaghetti Bar
Image: Lucia’s PIzza and Spaghetti Bar

Kiin Restaurant

In Thai, ‘kiin’ means ‘eat’. It’s an appropriate name, given the food served at Kiin is predominantly Thai cuisine, with influences from across Asia.

Kiin’s interiors are as warm and delicious as the food. With a cream and brown palette, linen lampshades stretch the length of an eight-person table.

Kiin’s winter ’23 menu features local oyster with spiced coconut vinegar and lime oil, grilled kingfish collar with chili jam and hot and crispy fried chicken wings with satay gravy.

Kiin Restaurant
Image: Kiin Restaurant

Bloom Café

Once upon a time, Thebarton’s Bloom Café was a tram barn. Now, it’s a café and function space that features a beamed high ceiling, Japanese hanging lanterns and Scandi-style, light wood tables. Desert plants dot the space. The meals here match the picture-worthy interiors, beautifully presented. Highlights include a roasted pear topped with vanilla bean ice cream and spiced orange syrup, barbecued South Australian king prawns and heirloom zucchini casarecce with truffled manchego.

Bloom Cafe Adelaide
Image: Bloom Café

Related: 7 Heaps Good Sandwiches in Adelaide That Pair Perfectly With a Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee

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