Green, open parks, cheap and cheerful restaurants, high-end coffee, one of Adelaide’s most infamous feeds, and the beautiful River Torrens, North Adelaide has it all.
As you enter North Adelaide from the CBD you will pass two of the city’s most famous venues: the freshly-redeveloped Adelaide Oval, which plays host to a wide range of sporting events, from cricket to boxing, and also hosts some of the biggest names in music today; and the iconic St Peter’s Cathedral, which is a magnificent work of architecture as well as a place of worship.
Along O’Connell Street, you’ll find a casual, ‘lunch with friends’ atmosphere. Here, more expensive (but delicious) restaurants like Thai-inspired Gin Long Canteen co-exist happily with the cheap and cheerful options of 24-hour institution, Bakery on O’Connell, and traditional late-night takeaway joints.
If you’re after a slice of the north’s best pizza, look no further than Tommy Tomatoes. This fun, open-plan pizza joint serves up creative pizzas in a welcoming setting. Whether you’re after the classics, the four-cheese ‘Jenny Craig Special’, or vegan and gluten free options, you’ll find it at Tommy’s.
It sounds awful, looks worse but tastes delicious. It’s the AB – made on a base of hot chips, layered with yiros meat and topped not just with garlic sauce, but also with BBQ sauce. The AB’s origins are contested, with both the Blue and White Café and the nearby North Adelaide Burger Bar claiming to have invented it, but whatever you do, just give it a try.
North Adelaide’s other main street – Melbourne Street – is a little trendier. It’s home to excellent breakfast and brunch options in UR Caffé and E for Ethel and a really top-class coffee house at First Pour. A little bit of late-night culture comes out here too, with the ever-popular Elephant Walk dessert lounge open for romantic post-dinner drop-ins.
Want to learn something you’ve always dreamed of? Then head back to school at the Adelaide Chocolate School. Learn how to make chocolates, pralines, truffles, and other goodies, which you get to take home at the end of the course—if they last that long.
The North Adelaide Community Centre is centrally located just off Tynte Street and offers a range of services including free Internet access, library borrowing, community gardening, bike hire and regular courses in everything from English language to dancing.
For the more fitness-minded, take a dip at the North Adelaide Aquatic Centre, open seven days a week, with sessions starting at just $6.50 for students. It even holds group fitness classes and a fitness centre, and has all your exercise needs covered. Grab your racket and have a hit at the Memorial Drive Tennis Club, which boasts 27 courts, as well as a gym, spa, and sauna. Join one of their social clubs, and mix with players of all ages and skill levels.
The North Adelaide Family Practice has your health needs covered, and you’re also near Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s hospital.
FREE & FRUGAL
Bordered in the south by parks and vast, grassy outdoor areas, there’s plenty to do outside in North Adelaide. Those keen on running should definitely go for a run around the banks of the River Torrens, or “Karrawirra Parri” in the Indigenous language, and experience the city from the water. For a more measured run, check out the University Loop, a tree-lined 2.2km running circuit with distance markers every 200m.
If all this exercise has made you thirsty there’s drink specials to be found, with the North Adelaide Hotel pouring $6 pints all day, every day; and for a cheap schnitzel, head to the Lord Melbourne Hotel, where one will set you back just $9.90.
Relaxing in a comfy seat with popcorn more your thing? Catch a movie at the delightful art deco Piccadilly Cinema, with adult tickets going at just $12.