A Skip and A Hop Through Adelaide’s Cafes

Me at Public

Last month, I had around 3 days to spend wandering around Adelaide and so decided to visit some of the cafes on offer in this quiet, chill city. Most of the cafes only open till around 4.00pm on weekdays though so it is a good idea to go early. Quite a few are closed on Sundays too.

My general thoughts on the cafe scene in Adelaide is that the coffee is great, food is creative, fresh and delicious and ambience is relaxed and casual. Cafes can get busy but for some reason it seems like there just aren’t that many people out and about.

Here are a few of the Adelaide cafes that I managed to visit during my short time there.

1. Public


Public is a big, light-filled cafe with floor length windows in the middle of the Adelaide CBD. The interior is wonderfully spacious and the cool marble tables and finishings are warmed up by the wood tones in the bar and other furniture. The sign and other details finished in black give a classy feel to the place.

Public 3

This place popped my almond milk-based coffee cherry, and I must say, I rather enjoyed it. The milk had a nice nutty flavour which complemented the acidic, robust coffee which made for a well balanced cappucino (AUD$3.5 + $1).

Public 1

I liked the food too – ordered a Green Bowl (AUD$16, + $4 for truffled mushrooms) and delighted in the perfectly poached runny eggs on a bed of fresh kale, asparagus, quinoa and lovely, citrusy pomegranate.

Public 2

J’s Breakfast Cassoulet (AUD$19 + $3 for sauteed spinach) was pretty delicious as well – I loved the warm, comforting tomato sauce and beans, and the wonderfully crispy toast.

They open late on Friday nights for dinner and drinks, so do check out their website if you are going to be in town for a weekend!

12 Franklin Street, Adelaide
Open from Mondays to Thursdays from 7.00am to 5.00pm, Fridays from 7.00am till late and Saturdays from 8.00am to 2.00pm. Closed on Sundays.
Tel: 8231 8151

2. Exchange Specialty Coffee


This cafe is absolutely lovely. Taking up a corner space with its glass windows and outside seats on a side street, Exchange Specialty Coffee is reminiscent of the stylish cafes in the upscale streets of London.

Exchange 2

Whatever it is, this cosy cafe knows how to serve up a beautiful plate of food. My French Toast (AUD$18) was so ridiculously pretty that I almost couldn’t bear to eat it.

Exchange 1

The toast was crispy at the edges and incredibly fluffy and eggy on the inside, and soaked up much of the maple syrup drizzled on it. I was happy with the fresh berries and the strawberry mousse that was light and not too sweet, a wondrous creation.

Oh yeah, and the coffee (AUD$4 for a 6oz drink with its seasonal espresso blend) was good too.

Shops 1 & 2, 12-18 Vardon Ave, Adelaide
Open from Mondays to Fridays from 7.00am to 5.00pm, Saturdays from 8.00am to 4.00pm and Sundays from 9.00am to 4.00pm.
Tel: +61 8 8231 8151

3. UR Caffe

UR Caffe

UR Caffe is one of the cafes that have chosen to make its home in the quieter side of the city in North Adelaide, instead of in the busier centre.

UR Caffe 1

The vibe is warm and unpretentious, enhanced by the brightly coloured drawings on the wall and friendly service by its mostly Thai staff.

UR Caffe 3

Coffee and food here were good – I liked the piping hot breakfast items we had – a three-egg omelette with smoked salmon and hot tomato sauce (AUD$17.90) and an eggs benny with haloumi and Swiss brown mushroom,  asparagus, chilli and teriyaki sauce on sourdough toast (AUD$17.90).

UR Caffe 2

They were tasty and had a hint of Asian spice and flavours, which was enjoyable without being too confused (which some fusion dishes can sometimes be, you know what I mean).

117 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide
Open from Mondays to Fridays from 7.30am to 3.30pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 8.00am to 3.30pm.
Tel: +61 8 8267 3553

4. La Moka

La Moka

Nestled right in the middle of one of Adelaide’s hip pedestrian streets, Peel Street, La Moka is a small hole-in-the-wall sort of place where one can drop by for a shot of coffee or a quick meal.

La Moka 2

We only had some coffee (long blacks) and pastries here – the place has heart, but the coffee was a little burnt and the pastries a little bland and cold.

But anyway, this place seems like it is more of a bar and dinner kind of place, so perhaps it would be better to visit La Moka at night.

16A Peel Street, Adelaide
Open from Mondays to Thursdays from 7.30am to 4.00pm, Fridays from 7.30am to 2.00am and Saturdays from 5.30pm to 2.00am. Closed on Sundays.
Tel: +61 406 729 164

5. E for Ethel

E for Ethel

I love their suspended coffee idea here where you can buy a coffee to put on the tab for a stranger in need to have someday, and the quirky handmade goods pedaled from the shelves (which also double up as decorations).

E for Ethel 1

The cappuccino (AUD$4 for regular) was of regular Adelaide standard (i.e. not bad) but I didn’t quite like the (gluten-free) Lemon Curd Cheesecake (AUD$6).

E for Ethel 2

The meringue and cheese were both quite heavy and not particularly tasty, so for the first time in a long time, I left a cake unfinished. Nice place with free WiFi to chill out at though.

Shop 7/116 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide
Open daily from 9.00am to 4.00pm, closed on Tuesdays.
Tel: +61 8 8367 0312

6. Big Table

Big Table

Okay this is not really a cafe per se I suppose, but it’s certainly a great place for coffee and food. I heard a local proclaiming it as serving the best coffee in Adelaide.

Big Table 3

I’m not entirely sure about that, though the cappucino I had was indeed aromatic and invigorating.

Big Table 1

I also really enjoyed my Corn Fritters with Avocado, Bacon and Dill Mayonaise (AUD$15.90), which though arrived rather late (slight order mix-up, owner was polite and apologetic), was full of awesomely flavour-rich and fresh, plump bacon.

Everything in the dish came together in a complementary fashion (dill + cream = aMAYzing), providing me with a satisfying meal before I continued on to explore the market.

Big Table 2

A quirky, casual place that is evidently frequented by locals, that has been operating in the market for over 20 years..

Stall S39-40, Adelaide Central Market
Not sure of their operating hours, but the market is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so probably best not to visit then.
Tel: +61 8 8212 3899

This concludes my little cafe tour around Adelaide. There are many, many more which I wish I had time to visit – till next time, I suppose? 🙂


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