To the Haters of Adelaide:

So I found myself in Australia the other day, as you do. I was there for Oz Comic Con (go to there, it’s AWESOME), and although I’ve been lucky enough to spend a fair amount of time in Australia over the years, this time around I was going to have a few days free to get the lay of the land. Namely in Adelaide.

I understand some of you Aussies are exhibiting a wee bit of sibling rivalry with South Australia’s capital, but jealousy can be an ugly thing. Sure, Sydney’s gorgeous, and Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city in its own right, and Perth has beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for laying out and sunburning your stupid Canadian ass on. But you all are awfully hard on little Adelaide. She’s charming in her own off-colour way, interesting with lots to say and a lot more to show than just endless rolling hills of planted vines and growing grapes all ready to churn out some pretty serious wine (I loved her before I even knew her). Yes, it’s been said that Adelaide has more serial killers per capita than any other city in the world, but those serial killers know how to EAT!  Like, besides humans!

Maybe because of its history with producing exceptional wines, Adelaide knows it’s best to concentrate on what’s fresh and homegrown. Whatever the reason, I have to say that Adelaide’s farmer’s market surpasses Vancouver’s Granville Island in terms of selection, its restaurants are eclectic and original, its people are charming as hell, and the weather isn’t too shabby either. It deserves a visit if you’re headed down under, not only for wine country literally a half hour away, but because its chefs deserve to be recognized and celebrated. I’m going to show you why:

Exhibit #1 is because of Mesa Lunga and Sangria Bar. Walk down Gouger Street past all the Chinese restaurants enticing you with peking duck hanging in the windows (go in there on another day and chow down, they’re packed for a reason) and step into Spain at Mesa Lunga. Tapas galore, perfect sangria, a communal circular bar to share with your pretty-looking neighbours… If I lived in Adelaide, this would be my Cheers. Order traditional Spanish tapas like manchego cheese with quince paste and toast, or chorizo in romesco sauce, or divine little chicken empanadas and crispy, saucy potatas bravas. Or get a little down with your bad self and order the duck shanks with toasted hazelnuts, or Australian lamb ribs with a sherry vinegar sauce, or a smoky and rich prawn and speck pizza with salsa verde. It’s all good. My favorite?  Soft shell crab fried to perfection on a soft little white bun smeared in a zesty aioli sauce. GIVE ME NINE OF THOSE PLEASE.

Potatas Bravas
Potatas Bravas
Prawn and Speck pizza- Ole!
Prawn and Speck pizza- Ole!
Soft shell crab slider
Soft shell crab slider


Exhibit #2 of evidence that Adelaide is the knees to the bees: Press Food and Wine. This is my other hang out in my parallel life where I live in Oz and make wine for a living. Press is loud, super fun, packed with serious foodies, and even better, right next to an awesome cocktail lounge called Proof if you find yourself without a reservation and having to wait for a table.  The wait is worth it, worth it, worth it (that was three times worth it, pay attention).  Chef Andrew Davies isn’t afraid to go oddball, even offering an offal category on his menu filled will all sorts of strange like fried lambs brains, cows tongue, and lovely sweetbreads roasted with anise. If that makes you wanna vomit, all it means is that Chef Davies isn’t squeamish about using every part of the animal, and that makes him not wasteful too. Plus, if he can make a lamb’s brain taste great, imagine what he can do with more de regueur menu items, like pappardelle with crab, tomato, and chilli, or a nice plate of steak spiced up with kimchi butter and served with frites and bearnaise sauce.  OR…. a cheeseburger, grilled to something out of a dream and topped with caramelized onions, sharp cheddar, a layer of bacon, pickles, crispy lettuce, and an oh-so-lovely special sauce. You know how I feel about burgers.  And this was one of the top five I’ve ever had. Ever. I wanted to make out with it. Put it in a blender and drink it. Put a ring on it and marry it. What I wouldn’t give for another one, just one. I loved it more than all my ex boyfriends put together.



Exhibit #3: WINE COUNTRY.

So Adelaide has three wine regions to choose from: The Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley, and McLaren Vale. McLaren Vale was the one we chose, literally 30 minutes out of the city and known for its shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. These aren’t your juicy California syrahs or cabs; they’ve got old vines producing them, and they’ve got bite, sorta like an old dog that doesn’t feel like it needs to impress you with tricks anymore. Their rieslings are surprisingly dry as well, but the sparkling reds were the standout- fruit forward, refreshing, and special. I would’ve smuggled some home if I wasn’t so worried about those beige suede Louboutins in the suitcase. The overall favorite winery for us was Penny’s Hill, a smaller, younger vineyard that dazzled us with literally everything they were pouring, which included wines produced by Penny’s Hill as well as The Chook Vineyard, which does a fabulous sparkling shiraz and a beautiful rosé.  Shoutout to Ekhidna Wines for a stellar sauvignon blanc and providing a gourmet lunch in their sunlit dining room overlooking the vineyard. Life’s tough, bros.

Lunch of bread served with crushed spiced hazelnuts, olive oil and balsamic,
Lunch of fresh bread served with crushed spiced hazelnuts, olive oil and balsamic,
fresh and crispy calamari with house-made aioli,
salt and pepper calamari with house-made lime aioli,
crispy pork belly with microgreens and feta,
crispy pork belly with microgreens, feta, grapes, and pistachios,
filet mignon with truffle pea puree and yam fries with a pile of caramelized onions,
filet mignon with truffle pea puree and yam fries with a pile of caramelized onions,
and free range chicken breast stuffed with cheese and almonds atop a beet and potato rosti and garnished with a mango compote and crispy prosciutto. For real. FOR REAL.
and free range chicken breast stuffed with cheese and almonds atop a beet and potato rosti and garnished with a mango compote and crispy prosciutto. For real. FOR REAL.


Lastly, I give you Exhibit #4: The Adelaide Central Market. This is a food lover’s paradise, a cook’s wet dream, the one stop shop for all that is fresh and holy when it comes to preparing a fabulous meal. It’s filled to the brim with cheese counters heaped with every type of cheese and smiling faces ready to cut you a piece if you so desire a tasting, piles of ripe exotic fruit enticing you with sweet and pungent aromas that would make Chiquita Banana blush, bakeries stacking bags and bags of fresh, still-warm croissants for purchase, served with their own tubs of just-whipped butter. There are nut stands roasting salty cashews weighed by the ounce and crammed into white paper sacks, glorious wild mushroom stands with cooks standing at the ready with butter and hot frying pans and fresh porcini seasoning salt, frying up a few for you to sample. There are even little restaurants and takeout stands offering gourmet sandwiches stuffed with prosciutto and brie, or tuna salad and roasted squash (AMAZING), or fried egg and bacon buns first thing in the morning. I was floored.  And on a tear like a serial killer, buying everything in sight I could rationalize eating in a hotel room and swooning over all of it like a blood-thirsty maniac. What a place. What a world. What a pig.



g'day, mate!
g’day, mate!


I won’t even go into the fact that we stumbled on a friggin food truck and wine festival down the street one hazy afternoon that threw me into even more of a passionate love with Adelaide.  Just trust me when I say haters be damned: this place is where it’s at if you want to get fat. I cannot wait to return and sample the rest of it, if it’ll let me back after cleaning out the market. And as for that burger?  CALL ME.





(the  Gary's)
(the Gary’s)

89 Comments Add yours

  1. Kenth Pedersen says:

    Sounds like one hell of a burger. Thank you for another great story Jewel.

  2. Keely says:

    Oh my. That burger picture is definitely in my TOP 5 best burger pictures I’ve ever seen on the internet.

  3. Emma says:

    I have to admit I was absolutely one of those Australia’s who was very “meh” about Adelaide until I moved there for work a few years ago. I realised there might be something to like about the city on my first day when I saw seemingly every office workers openly drinking wine at lunch on Wednesday, and just outrightly fell in love on my first visit to Central Market.

    If you ever do make it to the Barossa, make sure you visit Rockford Wines – if only to try their AMAZING basket-press shiraz (or any others of their fabulous wines)

    1. Anonymous says:

      Try the Rockford Alicante!!! And I’m a bloke!

  4. Jesús Blanco Soto says:

    Awesome story, thank you so much for taking the time to make us salivate with your descriptions and pictures all the way on the other side of the world. I kind of wanted to see you stuffing your face with that burger though! 😉

  5. Ms.Cooksalot says:

    Now I know where to eat if I ever get to Adelaide! Sounds amazing! Btw I’m currently in LA and I went back to Rustic Canyon again, based on your review of it a few years ago. It was just as excellent as last time 2 years ago. As were the other two restaurants in that group, Huckleberry and Milo & Olive…

  6. Richard says:

    the central market is the bomb! take it from an Adelaideian.

  7. Grant says:

    As an Adelaidian who has a long standing love affair with Vancouver it was especially pleasing to read your impressions of my home town. You certainly found some of our best – but left plenty more for your next visit! Press, Proof, The Central Market and what I’m thinking was a ‘Fork on the Road’ (Food Truck Event) – excellent effort!

  8. Trieu says:

    Nice to see you enjoyed your time in Adelaide and yes, it may be a small and quiet place and not much happens here, but hey! everything is in reaching distance including the CBD, which most would say is small and cramped up but oh well, as I was saying, everything in walking distance

  9. Mark says:

    Thank you do much Jewel for your kind comments about my home town Afelaide. Know you have free accommodation here with me and my kids anytime you wish to visit. I don’t have much but what I do have is yours when you stay

  10. Kim Cass says:

    I too travelled down to Adelaide for Comic Con. We were living down there in 2012′ and I must say I didn’t know what to be more excited about..Comic Con or Adelaide Cental Markets…heaven on earth. I have Coeliac Disease and Adelaide has gluten free food in abundance! Considering the small population in comparison to Brisbane little holds her own and even kicks butt! I miss it all the time and I’m a born and bred Queenslander…but also count myself as a South Aussie..with pride!

  11. Taryn says:

    Love this! As an Adelaideian am so glad we put on our best for you — and you haven’t even tried the Barossa or Clare yet! Haters be damned indeed.

  12. Adrian Jenkin says:

    As a born and bread Adelaidian and proud Crow Eater thank you for this wonderful post. I was cut up not to be able to get to see you whilst you were here.

  13. Matt dent says:

    You come back next time I make sure drop ya a wine for ya you are now part of my list of awesomeness who I met plus you rock and did get to Maggie beers farm to eat there next time rock jewel proud to met ya

  14. Barnaby Grant says:

    Welcome to Adelaide!

    My wife and I lived in the city square for a year, just around the corner from Gouger Street. Even so, there was always more to explore, more to do, and of course, more to eat.

    Lovely to see visitors finding the same delights!

  15. Tracy says:

    You produce photos of Wirra Wirra yet no mention or review that you have been there!

  16. Sarah says:

    As an Adelaidian I am ashamed to say I have never heard of Press nor Proof! That’s not surprising though as I don’t go out to eat much (I have pretty much every food allergy under the sun), but I am sitting here drooling over my keyboard after seeing some of your photo’s. Life, she is cruel. I am quite excited to look up this cocktail bar though, after my favorite place closed down about 6 months ago I have been searching for somewhere new to fill the void. Thanks for sharing, and its lovely to hear someone saying nice things about Adelaide. We get ragged on a fair bit.

  17. Mach says:

    Oh NO! They got Gary!
    As someone from Melbourne that only goes over to Adelaide for Oz Comic Con, it’s not hate, just sibling rivalry? But maybe it’s because I grew up in a wine making area outside of Melbourne.

    I’m glad you enjoyed your time, and your panel was as delightful, even if you did get asked if you were there for the Jewel panel.

  18. Jamie says:

    I live in Sydney, but grew up in Adelaide and still try to make it back as often as I can. It’s great to see that us Adelaidian’s aren’t the only ones that get it .. 🙂

    Strangely, I love Vancouver. I was there for two days back in 2009, and it felt like a really comfy place (maybe it reminded me of Adelaide?).

    I’m glad you loved Adelaide, and there is definitely more to see and try there!

  19. Jon says:

    I remember going to Adelaide as a kid in the mid-80’s… wonderful city, and I really enjoyed the shoreline. I don’t remember much about the food back then, but I remember other sites and sounds and smells there.

    Good to read a bit more about the city.

  20. Laura says:

    You’re not the only one defending my lovely home town!

    Love your blog Jewel, and it was a pity I missed out on your panel – hope you’re back in Adelaide again soon!

  21. Peregrine John says:

    Hate Adelaide? How the heck does anyone hate Adelaide? Or odder still, prefer Melbourne to it? No one’s paying me to fly around the world these days, so I’m unlikely to visit any time soon, but I would if I could. The food, the people, Cleland Wildlife Park, access to really amazing opal… what’s not to love?

  22. Meredith Robbins says:

    So glad you enjoyed our little city! Wish I could have seen you at comic Con but funds were low. heard about you from all my friends though!!

  23. David says:

    I really should remember to NOT read these 30 minutes before I get out for lunch. I’ve never been this hungry… well, since yesterday at this time at least.

  24. John says:

    Wonderful article.

    You missed the Adelaide Hills.

    Nice pinots and savs, now growing Italian varietals as well.

    It is Adelaide’s closest wine region. 15 mins from CBD.

    Check it out next time.

    1. Derek says:

      Well said, John.

      Happy to host you in the Hills. Brilliant food and wine area. Stunning scenery , equal to the Black Forest. We first landed here in 1988 and stayed.

      And when John says 15 minutes, he means 15 mins! ((Except maybe on a Friday night between 4.30 and 5.45 – when lots are trying to reach the Hills.)

  25. Jenna says:

    When you’re next back in Adelaide ensure you check out the Adelaide Hills Wine Region, also BTS Cupcake Cafe on Gouger St (literally opposite the entry to the Central Market), Burger Foundry on The Parade do a great chilli dog. Also check out Rundle Street, lots of exciting little places to eat.

    Though when you’re next in Victoria you MUST check out Barangaroo Wines near Horsham 🙂

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Adelaide!

  26. Ash says:

    Excellent post. However, you’ve neglected another wine region-the Adelaide Hills! Home of amazing cool climate wines and even closer than McLaren Vale. You need to check it out 🙂

  27. Luke says:

    Lovely article! That burger does sound simply divine! You must come to the Barossa Valley next time however. Its a little bit further from town, about an hours drive, but well worth it. Rockford Wines has a sparkling shiraz which is simply unbeatable and there are many other world class wineries worth your time.

    Thank you for such a great write-up, South Australia is a wonderful place and I wouldn’t live anywhere else.

  28. Hamish says:

    Nice review of a fantastic city. You missed a wine region though. The closest to the city. The Adelaide Hills! Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and some amazing wooded Chardonnay. Also check out some small bars and eateries when you return. Peel St and Clever Little Tailor are a good start.

  29. Jess says:

    Love this article, but Adelaide/SA has more than 3 wine regions – forgot about Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek etc!!

  30. Dawn says:

    I am a born and bred Adelaidean and i couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Yeah like every city we have our rougher parts but what city doesn’t. Thank you for loving Adelaide so much, cause we love you just as much. All i know that people who have never been here for one reason or another, come to Adelaide and fall in love. We have so much here that other states underestimate us but thats ok, those who take the time can discover all our wonderful, hidden gems. Come back and see us soon….and i’ll see you at the next convention with a lovely cheeseburger for you..YAY!

  31. Sarah says:

    Only one of the many burger joints in Adelaide. Cone back and I’ll take you to all of them, trust me when I say you’ll go back 50kgs heavier haha. You’ll want one of every burger from each burger joint ;P

  32. Travis says:

    Thanks Jewel for spending the time in our awesome city and exploring what it has to offer. I’ve travelled a bit and it always seem that what I miss most about my home town is the food. We are very lucky. Come back anytime!

  33. paul says:

    If you think the food truck festival was good, they have “Tasting Australia” going on in Victoria Square for the next week, literally a five minute stagger from the Central Markets. Tons of food from eateries in the countryside, not far from Adelaide. Best. Lunches. Ever… for this week at least 🙂

  34. tim says:

    I think you’re confusing your Adelaide wineries with your South Australian wineries … but you didn’t mention the Adelaide Hills Wine Region which is actually in Adelaide I believe (outskirts)???

  35. Nadia Giebel says:

    As a South Aussie, I’m glad to hear you had fun 🙂 we actually have a couple more wine regions but they are just that bit further from Adelaide, the Limestone Coast and the Riverland. (if you ever head to the riverland I will quite happily tour you around) Also next time your in Adelaide try to get down Goodwood road and get to Eggless Dessert cafe…it’s totally awesome, they have a different menu every month, divine food, and cater for a range of food intolerances.

  36. Alex says:

    I’m an Adelaidian, and I saw you at comic con, both days for autographs (got some for friends too) and I saw your panel on the Sunday (the day you were asked if you were going to your own panel by a volunteer). I have heard of Press but never been there – constantly hearing wonderful things about it. The Wine regions are spectacular and I do love it. I used to live on the edge of the Barossa and there were some wonderful treasure to find ‘off the beaten track’, same with McLaren Vale.

    There was one real treasure in Adelaide you should see (especially if you’re back for another Comic-Con) and that’s the Farmers Market on Sundays at the showground (yes where comic-con is held but on the other side). My friends and I were sitting around having lunch after your panel eating Bush Tucker Ice-cream (Such as Lilly Pilly and Wild Ginger or Desert Lime) thinking ‘OMG Jewel Staite would Love this!” … we may have even told you about it when we got back to comic-con for more signatures.

    And theres a wonderful Greek restaurant at Westlakes called Zaks … they do amazing food, especially if you go with a group of friend and share!

  37. Lizzie says:

    You are welcome in our lovely town anytime, Jewel! My group of girlfriends have been eating out together on the first Friday of every month for the past 31 years, and now, when it is next my turn to pick, you have given me a couple of great ideas!! Of course, if you happen to be in town on any of those Fridays, you are absolutely invited to join us… fantastic South Australian wine included!! 😉

  38. Michael says:

    Great article! Like most Adelaideans I suffer from an excess of civic pride, and am thrilled to hear when any visitor likes it too.

    A minor correction though, there are four wine regions located nearby – the Adelaide Hills wine region being the one that you didn’t mention. It’s bloody terrible living in the suburbs and being only 15 minutes away from world-class wineries in the hills. The city centre is only 25 minutes away from most of them. We cope somehow.

  39. Jenny says:

    Come back and visit in February/March, Jewel. We do arts as tasty as our food. And then there is the Barossa Valley, the drier climate makes red wines that don’t put up with any name calling of our state.

  40. Ceara says:

    Lovely article! As someone originally from Queensland who has spent time in QLD, NSW, and Vic, SA is the state that really feels like home for me.
    You did miss a wine region even closer to Adelaide though – the Adelaide Hills wine region. I live in the middle of it. Lots of lovely cool weather wines, but not terribly well marketed so people travelling from interstate often don’t realize it’s here 🙂
    You can have choco vino at the Hahndorf Hill winery – wines paired with some of the best chocolate in the world, lunch at Howard Vinyard or have a delicious organic grazing platter or wood oven pizza at Nergina winery, paired with a lovely organic red.
    Hopefully you find your way back to SA again soon and get a chance to visit the hills!

  41. OzzieJen says:

    Just a minor thing guys…some of what you are all talking about is NOT Adelaide. It is regional South Australia. There’s much more to South Australia than Adelaide, lovely city though it is. People in the Barossa and Clare Valleys would definitely not take kindly to being identified as being ‘of Adelaide.’ They are proudly regional South Australians.

    1. roger says:

      it think someone already made this point.

  42. Kerrie says:

    Shhh don’t tell everyone. They might all want to move here! Lovely article. You didn’t mention the Adelaide Hills wine region – the closest to Adelaide. Make sure you check it out next time!

  43. Stuart says:

    Adelaide has two other lesser known but equally awesome wine regions, Langhorne Creek and Adelaide Hills. Get out there next time you’re in town.

  44. Dann Lennard says:

    Actually…as an ex-South Australian now living in Sydney, I can assure you that nobody HATES Adelaide. They just don’t care about it. The usual comment I hear from co-workers is, “Oh…Adelaide. Yeah, I must visit that town one day. I hear it has nice wineries. What else can you recommend about the place?”
    “Er, the wineries..?” I reply, then scratch my head and add, “And…ummm…”
    And they never go. And you wanna know why?
    Because if you’re FROM Adelaide, once you leave Adelaide, you never want to return. That’s why you left the fucking town in the first place.
    And if you’ve never lived in Adelaide, you have no reason to visit there, because everything you could ever want or need is SOMEWHERE ELSE.
    But the roads are great. Impossible to get lost with the grid pattern there.

    1. RCJ says:

      Dann, PLENTY of us have left Adelaide and returned. It may not be the centre of the universe, but it’s an exceptionally civilised place to live. People look you in the eye here, smile, even talk to eachother! Amazing, but that kind of community is valuable to some people.

      And once we pay our comparatively small mortgages, there’s money left over to live really well – eat, drink, enjoy nature, travel (because seriously, how many times a year do people actually go to the ‘best’ games at the MCG, or the biggest gigs, or have dinner overlooking Sydney Harbour?) If you can’t find something to entertain you here, then frankly you’re hard to please.

      Adelaide is not a ‘second choice’ city for most of us.

    2. steve says:

      Umm no. Left to work in California for 7 years.
      Returned to …. Adelaide. I Love It.

      But you continue to enjoy wherever you have ended up.

    3. Chad says:

      As someone who has lived in both Adelaide AND Sydney… why would one choose a smoggy, noisy, filthy concrete jungle over a beautiful, easy to navigate, cheap and clean city on sandy beaches surrounded by green rolling hills is beyond me. Next time I discover that “everything I could ever want or need” is lung cancer and Hepatitis B, then I’ll move back to Sydney.

    4. Anonymous says:

      Wrong. I left Adelaide for Melbourne. Lived there for 5 years but couldn’t wait to return. I’m now back in Adelaide and won’t be leaving anytime soon.

  45. JW says:

    Dammit – now you’ve let the world in on our little secret…

  46. JW says:

    … and, by the way, it was such a pleasure to meet you at Comic-con!

  47. Krista says:

    A dear friend (from Adelaide!) shared your blog with me this morning and I’m so glad to hear you found so many delicious and great things in Adelaide. 🙂 I’m a Canadian living near Brisbane and hope to get to Adelaide within the year. You’ve given me such fantastic ideas of things to do, see, and EAT. 🙂

  48. Tom Birch says:

    Dann Lennard so glad you are out of our state with that attitude but sounds like you are a little homesick? Best hidden gem in Aus. Come for mad march when the fridge festival is on. Drive out to goolwa and cruise the coorong via kayak or boat. I have travelled all over the world and nothing is as picturesque a place in my opinion. Where the river Murray meets the sea. You cruise the river and can walk back over the dunes to a vast stretch of golden beach. Watch The Australian movie Storm Boy to get a feel for it! Cheers

  49. Jayne says:

    Thanks for the Adelaide love! If you find yourself back this way, check out our highly underrated Adelaide Hills wine region for delicious cool climate wines. It’s not as famous as the Barossa, Clare or McLaren Vale, but closer, every bit as pretty and frankly the quality of the wines kick McLaren’s collective arses. The Stanley Bridge Tavern just outside of Hahndorf is a brilliant little local secret: top notch chef-ery in an unpretentious little country pub.

  50. Ruthy F says:

    Thanks so much for this sterling write up about Adelaide Gary! 🙂 We loved having you, as much as you enjoyed visiting.

    I live up north in Queensland, and met you at Oz Comic Con in Adelaide….I love going to Adelaide and have visited a few times now, and have explored the McLaren Vale region, Victor Harbor, Hahndorf, all areas that have allowed me to fill my tummy with amazing food….I fully understand your love of what Adelaide has to offer.

    Well done and come back to see us soon xx

  51. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for coming to Adelaide and writing this amazing blog.
    We do get an awful lot of hate from our bigger neighbours. Sure they have bigger cities, attract more overseas guests and musical acts and far too often we’re forgotten about. Hopefully this will convince more people to pop over and say hello. We’re a nice bunch of people.

    1. Dann Lennard says:

      You don’t get hate, actually. You get indifference. East Coasters simply don’t care about Adelaide. #fact 🙂

  52. Matt says:

    On your next visit, if you’re an asian food fan, I strongly recommend you try a little, dingy, hole in the wall in the Central Market called Asian Kitchen – on a Friday, for lunch.

    Word is that Cheong Liew, once called “one of the ten hottest chefs alive”, when he was running The Grange at the Adelaide Hilton, was a regular there and used to take his friends visiting from interstate / internationally.

    Why? Because only on Fridays, and only until they run out (hence, go for lunch or you might miss out), they make an exceptionally good sarawak laksa (make sure you order the sarawak laksa, not the regular kind).

    That’s a recommendation you just can’t buy.

  53. Boba Fett says:

    Adelaide has wine, comic con, the market – but you forget the gem that is the wineries in the hills just behind hahndorf.

    shaw and smith is the perfect place to lose an afternoon.

    The con was great too!

    great review!

    regards esb fett.

  54. duritz says:

    We call it RADelaide for a reason. 🙂

  55. Laura (on behalf of the whole of Adelaide) says:

    We love you too Jewel.

  56. Andrea Madeley says:

    No No … it’s all lies. Nothing ever happens here. There are no wineries or stunning wines. There are no amazing eateries nor amazing fresh food markets. It’s just a big mine really — honest.

    Adelaideans Not Into Sharing Adelaide

    Thank you Dann – the cheque is in the mail.

  57. Glen H says:

    Hi Jewel, great blog! Press Burger is amazing, you forgot to mention the awesome onion rings that come with it. Also, many other wine regions in South Australia – Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek, Kangaroo Island…plus others…

    I really recommend checking out Kangaroo Island if you have not been there before, you wont regret it. Awesome food, amazing scenery and wildlife and some spectacular locations and views.

  58. WW says:

    Don’t forget the whole fabulous area north of Adelaide! No one seems to think that there is this wonderful region to explore north of the city. There are some gorgeous wineries tucked away in the Flinders Ranges along with unexpected places to find some of the best food in the state! Follow the road less travelled to find some other gems of the state. Gorge yourself silly on Golden North Icecream in Laura, wash it down with something fizzy from F.C. Grubb in Gladstone. Chill out at Hickory’s Run near Stone Hut for a feed that will leave you bragging for days, and wash it down with a glass or 5 of the Flinders finest from Orrocks Winery on your way through Murraytown or from Bundaleer Wines at Jamestown. Laze around for a while in Melrose under the majesty of Mount Remarkable, before experiencing some of the best the outback has to offer in Black Jacks in Orroroo. See? There’s even more to Awesome Adelaide than just the hills. All within just a few hours drive too!

  59. Alex says:

    Alright, it’s fair to say you’re welcome back to ‘RADelaide’ any time. Next time you come by, I suggest you try some of places around the city that I’ve discovered when I was studying in the city.
    There’s two nice places just off Rundle Street; Fancy Burger (they’re very fancy) on Synagogue Place and the Chocolate Bean (and I MEAN chocolate) on Union Street.
    I’ve found that the Chinatown Food Court will never disappoint a hungry stomach, but if you’re in the mood for Indian, I’m told Indian Temptations in Blair Athol is amazing.
    If you feel like breakfast when it’s lunchtime, you can get all-day breakfast at a cute coffee shop called Avila on Hindmarsh Square. See if you can get the comfy table in the back, where the light is just that little bit dimmer.
    If you want the true ‘aussie’ experience, I strongly implore you to head to one of our beaches (we have negligible deadly marine life, unlike SOME capital cities of Australia) like Glenelg, Henley, Aldinga, Semaphore… even Maslin if you’re feeling particularly adventurous (google that one first to avoid a bit of a shock). It’s absolutely tradition for beach-goers to make a feast of fish, chips and traces of sunscreen because everything is eaten with the hands.

    All in all, I loved your article, I hope to see you in the area again, and I’m glad you enjoyed my home city.

  60. Ben says:

    Hi Jewel, loved having you here in little old lovable Adelaide. I saw you talk at comic con and got your autograph you were and are amazing. Loved that you included a picture on here of the ‘Gary’s’ lol Hopefully will get to see you again in Adelaide soon for comic con or another convention. I do love Adelaide too and thank you for such a great review of it.

  61. Kate says:

    As an Adelaidean now living in New York, I still do miss burgers from home. I get bewildered by all these Americans queueing up outside places like Shake Shack – they don’t know what they’re missing! However, even with all the amazing food that is here, I don’t think anything makes me more homesick that pictures of the Central Markets.

  62. Kirsty says:

    Love. My. City.

    You’ve summed up the food and wine part of Adelaide brilliantly.

    And yes, Comic-con was so awesome 🙂

  63. dann says:

    Adelaide, my home town, I miss you. I moved to Melbourne 15 years ago and am very tired of the crap dished out to Adelaide for no good reason.

    I was back there recently and just had to visit the Central Market, on a Friday night, as you do. I was on a mission to replace a broken Chinese serving spoon that I’d purchased there 30 years ago.

    The same Chinese grocery shop was there, it looked excatly the same, the same exotic Asian groceries were sitting on the same shelves … and lo, up the back, in the same place I’d bought the original, was a little pile of Chinese serving spoons.

    I felt like I was in a time warp. And I swear, it was the same lady who sold it to me on my way out the door. It made me feel all warm and homey inside. Amazing!!

  64. Chad says:

    The best thing about Adelaide (apart from the clean air) is that people haven’t discovered it yet. Finding amazing food & wine in cafe after cafe all down the Fleurieu Peninsula, from Port Elliot to Second Valley, Normanville & everywhere in between. No queues, no crowds, no traffic. 40 minutes from Adelaide & you’re in rural paradise with views over to Kangaroo Island. Seafood, wine, clean air & not a bit pretentious. I feel like saying “shhhhh!” every time I read a story about my original home town. Easy to navigate, cheap to get around, green and clean. I miss it!

  65. Cindy Lee says:

    SO much to love about li’l ol’ RADelaide!!!! Very glad you got to indulge in our little piece of paradise but sssshhh we need to keep hush on our beautiful secret treasure <3

  66. Stewart says:

    Jewel, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I can show you things around and about Adelaide you won’t believe

  67. Jeremy says:

    Sure, give me more reasons to head back to Australia! To the list Adelaide is now added for places to visit.

  68. It was great to read you blog about Adelaide it is a pretty amazing place and living here is a journey of food and wine that can last a lifetime. Next time your here you should check out some of the Barossa wineries as there are some that are truely amazing. Also of note a short trip out of Adelaide is Harndorf a classic German town that has Amazing food and wine as well as every Beer you could ever dream of.

    I have travelled the world widely and had amazing food in so many places around the world but there truely is no where like Adelaide.

    Next time your down here you should go on a few tours there are plenty on offer and if you wanted Im sure more than a few of us would be happy to show you around.

    Have a great day.

  69. Benjamin Richardson says:

    Yea, but outside of some tasty food and a youtube channel from people who only eat bananas; what does Adelaide have to offer??? WHAT ???

  70. Kristie says:

    The Riverland is another awesome wine region of SA! It’s also where ost of the country’s fruit comes from.

  71. Benjamin says:

    Bonjour Jewel! I’m super happy to hear you made it down to our co-discovered French region, the Fleurieu Peninsula while visiting McLaren Vale via our magic city of Adelaide. Without doubt, the Fleurieu is produce heaven (Willunga farmer’s market is a prime example) while the region is one big adventure playground. Make sure you look me up next time you visit SA to sample the best food and booze in the Fleurieu’s hidden and unknown spots – it would be an honour to have you out on tour, completely off-piste! 🙂 Safe travels! Benjamin

  72. Nik says:

    I’m a Brit living in SA after 5 years in QLD. I live a 5 minute ride from Mclaren Vale. I wouldn’t live anywhere else in Aus, and i’ve traveled round the country a lot. We have everything here – great climate, food, wine, beaches, culture. Not sure i’m glad the rest of the world is catching on as i also like our peace, but nice it’s finally being recognised.

  73. Mark Piggott says:

    You should visit Newcastle, NSW. Even though its close to Sydney, its nothing like it. We have the Hunter Valley vineyards, the best beaches in the world, beautiful Port Stephens and a laid back attitude.

  74. Emma says:

    South Australia has a lot to offer. The city of Adelaide is leisurely and picturesque with places to eat, drink, shop – independent cinemas are the only kind you’ll find in the CBD, gardens, the museum and art gallery, state library, great comedy venues, great live music venues with a diverse live music scene (what’s your taste? Rockabilly through to grindcore there are musos doing it) The beaches are beautiful, the hills are wonderful to drive in, Adelaide is the gateway to Central Australia, with the Flinders Ranges on the way to the Red Centre. What else? Oh there is great diving sites at Yankalilla, Port Lincoln for shark cage diving… There is a lot SA has. A festival for every month of the year, and the place comes alive in March. The annual Fringe Festival and the bi annual Adelaide Festival are spectacular events.
    I live here and get bored and wish I lived in Melbourne sometimes but it’s not so bad. I’ve threatened to leave since I got here at 14, but 16 years later and I haven’t gone “home”.
    It’s not to everyone’s taste, the drivers are the worst in Australia (besides Broome) and sometimes it will just do your head in (a one way expressway comes to mind) but its a good place to be.

    So that was in response to the haters asking what the place has to offer. A little backward but not so backwards that you can’t find a way to have an idyllic lifestyle here.

    PS Jewel try the Laksa at China Town Cafe in the central markets and the salt and pepper eggplant at Wah Hing on Gouger Street next time you’re here 🙂

  75. Judi says:

    Jewel, thank you for your comments on Adelaide (late though I am in coming to the party). I had previously forwarded this blog onto my husband, an American who loved living in Adelaide and loved you as Kaylee in Firefly. Unfortunately he didn’t make it to see you @ Comicon due to ill health, & even more unfortunately he has recently passed away.

    That brings me to why I’m writing to you (in the hope that you are still reading the comments on this blog). My husband was a huge SciFi fan. He grew up as a child of the Space Race in the US, and, as he said, by the year 2000 there were supposed to be colonies on the moon & flying cars. He always wanted to know where his flying car was, dammit!! In his view, the settlement of space that was offered in Firefly was nearer to anything that the more “sterile” view offered.

    I would like to ask if you could look at & forward (somehow) the following link . My family & I would like to try to send at least a small part of Wulf to space. To help make him one of the “pioneers” in space travel, as he would have so loved.

    I thank you (and anyone else) for any assistance you can give us to try to make this dream happen.

  76. Dave says:

    Hi Jewel,
    Next time you’re in Adelaide come along to the Showgrounds Farmers Market and we will sort you out with some bushtucker ice cream.
    Check our flavours out at


  77. TheModestGentleman says:

    Well well it sounds as if you’re fond of Australia in general, wonder if we can convince you on staying? Perhaps on a tropical coast line? Or a stones throw away from the burger you mentioned above.
    Regardless thank you for giving us Aussies a good rap

  78. Justin Brown says:

    Most of the good stuff in Adelaide is a bit out of town. The inner city is quite boring. But places like Hahndorf in the hills are awesome.

    On the other hand:

  79. Darren says:

    Adelaide is an amazing little major city in Australia. Some of the best Australia wines come from South Australia.

  80. Scott says:

    Thanks for sticking up for our out of the way town Jewel. Glad i stumbled across this…..always looking for great places to eat out. My wife and i love Hugh Hamilton wines at Mclaren Vale. We are part of their Black sheep club. After all theres a black sheep in every family am i right! Have to try them next time you are at the con. Missed you at the last one. Glad you are back to the blog again!

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