THE SPLENDOR OF Sydney and Melbourne’s arts, culture, and food scenes may call to travelers heading down under, but the South Australian capital of Adelaide has just as much to offer, and with fewer tourists to boot. Referred to as “Radelaide” by locals, this city has some of the southern hemisphere’s biggest arts and culture festivals, easy access to rolling vineyards, and golden sandy beaches from which to watch the sunset.
The east end of Rundle Street, the main shopping drag in central Adelaide, has some great second-hand stores (called “op shops” in Australia) including Australian Red Cross (284 Rundle St.) and Fox on the Run Vintage (238 Rundle St.), where you can also peruse vinyl and newer wares from local, ethical Adelaide makers. The quiet laneway of Ebenezer Place is home to Treadly Bike Shop (5 4/10 Ebenezer Pl.), a must for bike lovers. And if you’re on the lookout for prints and jewelry, there’s Naomi Murrell (5 Ebenezer Pl.). Colorful creations cover the walls at Urban Cow Studio (10 Vaughan Pl.), which features the work of 150 local South Australian designers. Beautiful and sustainable wardrobe essentials made with natural fibers abound at the Good Studios (94 Gilles St.). Dive into contemporary Australian literature at the wonderful independent Imprints Booksellers (107 Hindley St.).
The coffee game is strong in Australia, and Adelaide is no exception. On a warm morning, sit outside on stools at Exchange Specialty Coffee (Shops 1-3, 12-18 Vardon Ave.) and pair a pourover coffee with breakfast. Snag an afternoon cup of joe and a pastry at Monday’s Coffee Store (7/38 Gawler Pl.) where the service is incredibly dialed in. In the southeast part of town, on a tree-lined street, Fawn Coffee (269 Gilles St.) is a quaint and popular cafe where everything is baked in-house.
FOOD AND DRINK
The Adelaide Central Market (44-60 Gouger St.) has been the city’s food hub since 1869. Walk through the stalls of local olive oil, cheeses, and produce, then grab a quick bite at Jamface, a homey cafe that makes its own preserves. In Australia, pubs are neighborhood gathering places and Adelaide is full of them. For traditional pub fare that’s done with local ingredients and modern twists, hit The Stag Public House (299 Rundle St.). Try cocktails with local spirits at Clever Little Tailor (19 Peel St.). At Africola (4 East Terrace) you can dive into an excellent, spicy, South African-inspired menu that’s best enjoyed alongside the selection of local, natural wines. Two-Bit Villains (150 Rundle Mall) is a 1950s soda fountain-themed diner serving up vegan versions of BLTs, burgers, and potpies with a side of kitsch.
Adelaide is a designated UNESCO City of Music, and if you plan your trip accordingly, you can enjoy one of the many festivals that Adelaide is known for, like the Adelaide Fringe, where you can see everything from music to burlesque, or WOMADelaide which showcases music, arts, and dance. Experience the world of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute (253 Grenfell St.), the country’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts center. The creative studios at JamFactory (19 Morphett St.) provide not only space for local designers and craftspeople to create, but also exhibition and retail space so visitors can be inspired by all of the creative energy.
Adelaide Hills is a little like California’s Wine Country, full of rolling hills, vineyards, and local produce. Stirling is an easy bus ride from the city, and is a great access point for the Adelaide Hills. If you can rent a car, spend a day exploring the area. The small town of Uraidla is home to Lost in a Forest (1203 Greenhill Rd. Uraidla), a unique wood-fired pizza restaurant that boasts some of the region’s most creative and wild wines.
The center of Adelaide is surrounded by the Park Lands, the largest inner urban park system in Australia, and you can walk and explore all of it. The River Torrens Linear Park Trail goes from up in the Adelaide Hills all the way through town and out to Henley Beach, making it easy to rent a bike and cycle to the shore, or go on a morning run along the river. Beaches like Glenelg, Semaphore, and Seacliff are just a short drive or tram ride away. While the waves aren’t conducive to surfing, the long stretches of sand are perfect for swimming, lounging, paddleboarding, and walking.
By Anna Brones
Photographed by Morgan Sette
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
More from BUST