Things to do in Adelaide: The ultimate foodie itinerary

How to taste your way through Adelaide.

Visiting Adelaide for the first time, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Everyone seems to have a recommendation for Melbourne’s dining scene or Queensland’s relaxed holiday destinations. But entering winter in an unfamiliar city, I was exceptionally keen. After spending a long weekend away in Adelaide and its surrounding wine country, here are the best things to do in Adelaide, from where to eat and drink, to where to stay in style.

WATCH: South Australia’s Lake Eyre from the sky

How to get to Adelaide?

Getting to Adelaide from major city centres across Australia is super easy, with a range of transportation options available. In terms of flights, Virgin Australia operates 11 domestic routes to Adelaide (seven year-round and four seasonal) from various domestic airports. For those in Victoria or the Northern Territory, pending where you live, could turn their Adelaide holiday into a fun, road trip, taking in the sights and making the most of the journey.

Adelaide Central Market
Adelaide Central Market (Credit: Adelaide Central Market)

Things to do in Adelaide: Tours

The bustling energy at Adelaide Central Market will keep you on your toes as you stroll around the bundle of restaurants and produce stores. From The Yoghurt Shop selling the best dairy delights in town, to Si Sea at stall 76 flaunting the best clams one will ever eat, there’s something for every foodie. Exploring the multicultural scene of the Market can be a full day affair. I could honestly spend an hour at just House of Health picking up fresh fruit and veggies! For a full experience of the market’s wonders, I suggest booking a market tour. Our guide Stephanie was so lovely and full of interesting tales of each vendor’s store or restaurant.

Entering Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens, I quickly fell in love with the beautiful surroundings. The exquisite Victorian style Palm House is perfect for a photo opp, and one could easily spend all afternoon just taking in the beauty of the plants and trees, and learning the stories behind each one of them. I absolutely recommend the Adelaide Aboriginal Cultural Experience with Bookabee Tours around the gardens and at the South Australian Museum. Our guide Haydyn Bromley was so passionate to teach and was simply fantastic.

Down the Rabbit Hole Wines
Down the Rabbit Hole Wines (Credit: Down the Rabbit Hole Wines)

Things to do in Adelaide: Eat

Lunch is best spent at Down the Rabbit Hole Wines in McLaren vale – a 40 minute drive from the city centre. The restaurant boasts a taste of Byron Bay in South Australia with its laid-back aesthetic with touches of natural fibres across the space, and rustic dishes sporting local organic produce. My favourites from the weekend lunch menu are the pasta in a beautiful broccoli sauce, and the flavoursome chicken with olives, tomato and onion. If you’re keen for a few glasses of their fabulous wines (I loved their 2022 Blanc de Blancs), you can sit back and relax in luxury with Door to Door Chauffeurs to get you to your next destination.

I quickly fell in love with Leigh Wine Street Room and Osteria Oggi – two perfect spots for a filling feed. For a sophisticated yet relaxed dinner at Leigh Wine, you can feast your eyes and palate with plates such as wagyu gnocchi and fried tapioca with black garlic, pairing them with impeccable wines. Lunching at Oggi, one can satisfy their insatiable appetite for carbs with their incredible pastas – from spaghetti alla carbonara to oven baked reginette. I highly recommend the succulent blue swimmer crab linguine with crustacean, tomato and salmon roe. For a post-lunch pick-me-up, I say go for their espresso martini. Yum!

d'Arenberg Cube in Adelaide
d’Arenberg Cube in Adelaide (Credit: d’Arenberg)

Things to do in Adelaide: Wines

It’d be rude to go to South Australia without visiting wine country! I was blown away by the pours at McLaren Valley’s Maxwell Wines. Their Vineyard Sustainability Tour & Tasting is everything, where you and your group can experience behind the scenes of their winemaking – visiting the vineyard by cart and exploring their unforgettable drops in a tasting. Their restaurant’s stunning interiors are enough to suck you in for the day, with their cosy fireplace and gorgeous views of the estate. A highlight was their canned sparkling mead which is 100% natural and equally as delicious!

For a completely different experience in wine tasting, there’s the famous d’Arenberg Cube – a quirky love note by winemaker Chester Osborn. The ground floor’s Alternate Realities Museum gives off Andy Warhol-vibes with its sensory wine room and quirky art pieces. The cube as a whole is a labyrinth ultimately leading to the top floor where you can drink and dine. There’s even a space to blend wine, creating your very own drop! My DIY wine could’ve been better – but practice makes perfect! 

Hotel Indigo
Hotel Indigo in Adelaide (Credit: Hotel Indigo)

Things to do in Adelaide: Stay

Adelaide’s vibrant Hotel Indigo in the heart of the city centre was right on the pulse with its modern interiors mixed with courageous splashes of colour and whimsical décor. I instantly fell in love with my spacious room, overlooking the city and the mountains just beyond. Their brekkie menu is lush, with passionfruit yoghurt, eggs and bacon, and delectable sweet treats all on the menu. And if you’re really feeling like a princess (like me), you can have it carried upstairs to your room!

Although I’m still feeling rather full, I can’t wait to taste what Adelaide has to offer all over again.

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