Best places to eat in the Adelaide Hills
Sep 03, 2020
When it comes to a pub fed, Australia’s love a chicken schnitty.
From July 20, South Australia’s borders will be reopened for domestic travel – being the first to allow for domestic travel behind NSW and Victoria.
With the Adelaide Hills being ravaged by fires earlier this year, followed by the lack of tourists because of the COVID-19 pandemic response, South Australia will be ready and waiting for domestic travel once again.
From next month, the wine and food bowl will have their arms open, inviting us to visit as it rebuilds from a tough start to 2020.
“Fire-affected businesses deserve our support – as do all the others,” says Mikyla Gilbert, a third-generation resident and champion of the Adelaide Hills. “They are all hurt by peak-season closures and low visitor numbers.”
“Getting people back on all of our doorsteps, will put us all in a better place to support each other,” she says.
Family of Sheree and Saul Sullivan, of Udder Delights, lost everything, and, fire licked so close to their Lobethal cheese factory, that smoke and power-related damage forced them to jettison a heartbreaking 48,000kg of cheese.
While community rallying has been “exceptional”, Sheree is concerned for many far-worse-off businesses in six and 12 months down the track.
She likens it to a death in the family. People visit, they help. Time wears on, and that support subsides.
“We need people to keep on coming,” she says.
After Saturday morning netball, Sheree and her two daughters like to warm up over pastries and hot chocs at Uraidla and Lobethal bakeries. She also favours local pubs for a midweek night off.
Crafers resident Nicola Brice, a vegetarian ever seeking ethical food, enjoys the local bounty of “Adelaide’s best organic options”.
These locals have helped us compile a list of favoured food and wine outings in the Adelaide Hills:
PUBS IN THE ADELAIDE HILLS
BALHANNAH HOTEL, BALHANNAH
“The chicken schnitzels here are the absolute best,” says Sharon. The hotel also has a special gin menu, cocktails for $12-$16, super food bowls, and, weekday lunch specials.
CRAFERS HOTEL, CRAFERS
“Our local,” says Sheree who takes the family to the historic pub for the “cheeky, no-cooking-tonight dinner” covering all tastes from burgers to souffle. “It’s a comfortable, friendly space.”
YUKI IN THE HILLS, ALDGATE
The “so fresh” seafood and sushi are excellent, says Sharon, of the bustling Japanese restaurant. Central sushi bar chefs produce nori rolls and sashimi to order. Also, good ramen.
THE HAUS, HAHNDORF
You have to try the new brekkie pancake platter, says Mikyla, and, there is a new Adelaide Hills bushfire-affected wine list so you can choose supportively.
LOT 100, HAY VALLEY
It’s bucolic outlooks, indoors and out. The food is mostly slow-cooked from the spit or wood oven. Taste five locals: Hills Cider Co, Mismatch Brewing, Vinteloper, Adelaide Hills Distillery (78 Degrees Gin), and Ashton Valley Fresh “not just juice”.
SHOPPING IN THE ADELAIDE HILLS
THE ORGANIC MARKET AND CAFE, STIRLING
Nicola loves the “messy, old-time style”. People behind the scenes are people involved in the production, she says. “Everything is beautifully cooked there and then.” Dine, then shop at grains bins, using your own containers.
NATURAL LIVING CAFE , MEADOWS
Natural homewares and the garden are main attractions, complete with a sandpit for the children. Plenty of vegan and allergy friendly options, or, try a Devonshire tea.
THE ATELIER , CRAFERS
Have a vegan cake, says Nicola, then shop for art and jewellery too. “It has a wonderful story. A young woman started making these cakes, and has built a lovely business.”
VINEYARDS IN THE ADELAIDE HILLS
GOLDING WINES, LOBETHAL
One of the hardest-hit wineries, it has a beautiful cellar door set against gardens and rustic stone walls with grazing food from the Market Kitchen. Ask about the pallet picnic. Some experiences postponed.
MT LOFTY RANGES VINEYARD RESTAURANT, LENSWOOD
Shaded decks, central open fire, and stunning rolling hills envelope this all-charm cellar door and restaurant. Exceptional food showcases the region and dovetails with boutique cool-climate wines.