Adelaide’s Inner East is famous for its hip cafés, high-end boutiques, luxury pubs in historical buildings, and the tree-lined Parade shopping and entertainment district.
Throughout the Inner East area, cafés dominate. Healthy highlights include Corner Store Cafe, The Lost Deli, Nagev, and the incredibly Instagrammable Argo on The Parade, all offering plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes. For a quick, cheap eat, try Nordburger, with its classic American fare, as well as its companion Rainbow Island, for milkshakes and sundaes. Alternatively, head to Pasta Deli for affordable and delicious pasta and paninis. For a quick drink on the go, bubble tea chain Chatime is close-by – grab a membership card and you’ll get a free drink on your birthday. To finish your night with a nice sit-down dinner, visit either Cinnamon Club or Taste of Nepal – both offer banquets, which are perfect for sharing with friends.
Scattered around the Inner East, you’ll find a variety of pubs in beautiful old buildings, such as The Colonist and The Republic, both perfect for a night out. Almost every pub will have drink specials or a ‘happy hour’ within allotted times, so look online and see when these take place to save some money. Afterwards, head to Little Bang Brewing Co. to enjoy beer tasting, or the Ball Room, a pool lounge that stays open late. Popular with students, the Ball Room features a foosball table and a video jukebox so you can control the music.
You’ll never be bored in the Inner East, with ample entertainment venues to enjoy. At Kingpin Norwood, you’ll find bowling, laser tag and an old-school arcade, all with a fully licensed bar. Plus, from Sunday to Wednesday after 7pm, there’s all-you-can-play games of bowling or laser tag for $30 per person. Along The Parade you’ll find Hoyts cinema – look for Saver sessions to get cheaper tickets. Or, for something a little different, there’s the nearby Brick+Mortar Creative. This funky café serves up coffee, has a retail space for independent designers and hosts regular workshops. For example, the Eastside Startup Series networking events for the business-minded, or modern calligraphy for artistic types.
The Parade precinct and Burnside Village shopping centre are the Inner East’s main shopping destinations. They are home to some of the best designer and high-end shopping in Adelaide, including Zara and Tommy Hilfiger. The East also has many other options including second-hand stores like the St Vincent de Paul charity shop and Sally’s Seconds; A Trip to the Moon, a cool lifestyle store; and Dillons, the largest independent family-owned bookstore in South Australia. Getting groceries in the area is easy – Norwood Foodland has an extensive international food selection, and independent greengrocers and butchers are readily available.
Norwood Library is a quiet space to escape and sit down with a book. Open Tuesday through Sunday, you’ll find free wi-fi, a section for language resources, Kindles available to loan pre-loaded with eBooks, and even PlayStation and Xbox games to borrow. At Payneham Library, you have access to the English Language and Literacy program, with classes held during school terms to practise language skills.
Whether you love to lift weights, practise pilates or relax with yoga, you’ll find plenty of venues offering each on The Parade. If you prefer to swim, try the Norwood Swimming Centre, with outdoor lap pools shaded by huge gum trees. The Centre also has outside barbeques and picnic tables – perfect for a leisurely afternoon by the pool with friends. If you’d prefer swimming lessons first, the Norwood Swim School, located on The Parade, has classes for all ages and skill levels.
Situated right on the edge of the Inner East, surrounded by the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, is the eye-catching National Wine Centre of Australia. This public exhibition building showcases winemaking in South Australia, with a permanent, interactive exhibition, and the Wine Discovery Journey tour teaching you everything you need to know about wine. The Centre also hosts a number of events throughout the year – from comedy shows during the Fringe Festival, to Champagne Fest, a luxury celebration of all things bubbly. The building’s unique architecture and fantastic vineyards are a must-see, even if you’re not a wine fan.
Norwood Town Hall, built in the 1800s, is the Inner East’s most recognisable landmark. With its Edwardian architecture and unmissable clock tower, the Town Hall’s Concert Hall was even featured in the Oscarnominated film, Shine. The space has a wide range of events on offer, from book talks with world-renowned authors, concerts by international musicians (especially during Adelaide Festival in March) and symphony orchestra performances, to cultural events, antique fairs and handicraft markets.