Whether it's for a quick coffee, a decadent brunch or a long, lazy lunch, these regional SA cafes are the place to be.
10 Great cafes in regional SA
FRED Eatery is a warm and lively cafe offering an impressive list of delicious all-day breakfast options and lunchtime meals. Many of the dishes are packed with veggies and loads of flavour. The “little of a lot” early brekky option will definitely hit the spot with your choice of poached or fried eggs, crispy bacon, roasted mushrooms, wilted greens, chipolatas, balsamic roasted tomato and toasted sourdough. Those with a sweet tooth should try the “Frenchy French toast” with banana, caramelised yoghurt, Canadian maple syrup and roasted almonds. Feeling extra naughty? Add grilled bacon. Guests can dine in the ground floor areas, outdoor courtyard or mezzanine lounge.
This cosy cafe with relaxed and contemporary vibes is the perfect spot to grab some brunch or a cup of coffee and a sweet treat. Located in Port Elliot, Beaches cafe offers a selection of healthy fresh meals including delicious salads, smoothie bowls, and toasties. The coffee machine is constantly working its magic with beans from local roasters Dawn Patrol Coffee. Have a browse of the sweets in the cabinet and treat yourself to a scrumptious tart, muffin, or slice of cake.
Darling’s Food with Passion Cafe
With more than three decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Darling’s knows a thing or two about creating a good brew. This popular Tanunda meeting place is well recognised for its fast service, early opening hours and offering the latest coffee innovations. The team serve delicious Kindred Coffee, roasted by Adelaide-based Davey Trotta and Alex Loft using sustainably-sourced single-origin coffee beans. The cafe’s new coffee machine, a La Mazocco GB/5 X, is the first of its kind in South Australia, ensuring the perfect cup to be enjoyed alongside one of their delicious home-baked treats prepared daily, including an array of muffin varieties and Portuguese tarts.
Flinders Food Co.
Start the day right with a coffee and quandong tart at one of the Flinders Ranges’ most innovative eateries. Having undergone extensive renovations in early 2021, the Hawker-based favourite has been revamped and reborn with a new dining, bar and alfresco area. Championing local and South Australian produce, owners Louise Lynch and Doogal Hannagan aim to please all appetites, whether it’s the Brisket Beef Burger or the smashed pumpkin with native currant coulis and bush dukkah. Open early for coffee and from Wednesday to Saturday for tapas and dinner.
Millie Mae’s Pantry
A quaint and much-loved spot in Penneshaw, Mille Mae’s Pantry prides itself on supporting island locals, from apiarists and winemakers to food producers and artists. Sit in the rustic garden with a coffee, local beer, wine or gin, and enjoy a light lunch or healthy breakfast. Owner Jan Ordway appreciates the value of home cooking and buying local, inspired by her parents and grandparents who kept chooks, a veggie garden and cooked jams, chutneys and preserves the old-fashioned way.
Cactus Kangaroo Island
One of the most popular brunch spots on Kangaroo Island, Cactus in the heart of Kingscote is the perfect spot to fuel up on a big brekkie or replenishing lunch. The food options are varied and meal sizes are generous, with vego and vegan options available. Cactus moved locations earlier this year, and is always brimming with diners, so be sure to make a booking before you visit. The big breakfast is a standout and guaranteed to satisfy hungry bellies with bacon, poached local eggs, toasted ciabatta, house-made baked beans, oven-roasted mushrooms and spinach.
This is where the Mount Gambier locals queue, listening to the tunes played on the old piano out the front while their coffee brews. The Blue Lake city’s first walk-up takeaway coffee outlet has serious Melbourne laneway vibes, with its hole-in-the-wall servery window and timber arched door inspired by church confession boxes. The cafe’s CNFSN logo (Confession without the vowels, or “vows”) adds another quirky spin to this entirely secular community magnet serving Seven Miles Roaster’s Bear & The Beard Coffee – specifically chosen because every bag sold sends a donation to children’s charity Bear Cottage. There are big hearts at this coffee hub.
Tucked away on a Robe backstreet, specialty roaster Mahalia Coffee offers exotica by the cupful in amongst the warehouses. The roasting house is well worth tracking down for its award-winning brews and gourmet lunches, with distinctively-packaged Mahalia Coffee blends and single-origin beans also available in bulk. Plush lounge chairs are surrounded by shelves overflowing with china, books and giftware, while the glass-panelled courtyard has direct access to one of the coastal town’s favourite playgrounds. Win-win!
Boston Bean Coffee Company
A mix between a stylish cafe and a micro-brewery, this surprise spot not only offers a top-class cup, but you can also take the beans away with you. Its owners roast their own world-class coffee in Port Lincoln along with running a website to sell coffee to the nation. The enormous coffee menu encompasses different roasts and single origins with coffee beans coming from Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Brazil and Peru – with a mix of flavours from all those origins to get the perfect blends.
Alicia’s Coffee, Cake and Flowers
Locals sit on rustic benches nibbling on homemade brownies or tucking into corn fritters with eggs and bacon. This charming spot in the small central town of Wudinna is constantly changing its seasonal menu from dumplings to curries or spaghetti and meatballs. Fresh coffee, home-baked treats and flowers are all on sale. Take-home meals are also now on offer.
This information was first published in SALIFE FOOD+WINE+TRAVEL 2021
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