Following a revitalisation effort, the historic suburb of Port Adelaide has evolved into a creative and vibrant hub loved by locals and tourists alike. By Kaitlyn Stork
From hidden art spaces to pay-it-forward coffee shops, Port Adelaide SA has certainly earned it’s trendy status in recent years. Here are some of the most fashionable spots to shop, eat and play in the home of the Power.
Fontanelle Gallery and Studios – Art gallery in Port Adelaide SA
Beautifully bold, Fontanelle is a stand-out on St Vincent Street. Stark, geometric black-and-white with a fuchsia accent, this historic building houses a modern and innovative artistic hub. The original location opened in Bowden in 2012 (now Sister). However, Fontanelle’s Port Adelaide site opened its doors in 2017 under the direction of Brigid Noone. Today, it continues to create a supportive artistic community in Port Adelaide.
Stop in on a hot day and peruse their current gallery – they’ve featured works by the likes of in-house artist Arlon Hall and Sydney-based Chris Dolman – and find out about their latest public art project. Or pop into one of their artist-led workshops or open studio drop-ins, to work on your latest creative piece. Get some expert advice and spend time chatting with other artists as you access your inner creative.
Art lovers should also check out our round up of Australia’s best galleries.
Michonne – Port Adelaide’s stylish wine bar
Nestled into an elegant 1876 building, Michonne is a wine-lover’s dream. Once you pass the alfresco seating, the three-level, wine bar will draw you in for more than a quick drink. Serving 30+ Australian and international wines, Sue Finch and Mark Maclellan host an incredibly atmospheric space, favoured by locals. Offering up light bites from savoury flatbread pizzas to melt-in-your-mouth chocolate lava cakes, the wine bar creates an all-around experience.
The exposed brick walls remind you of the venue’s history while you sip on local wines in their cellar. Each Saturday they offer live music, often featuring local artists. They will gladly help host any small event you dream up. Nestle into one of the vintage couches with a charcuterie board and a glass of rosé, enjoying the hum of conversations under the music.
La Popular Taqueria – traditional Mexican restaurant in Port Adelaide SA
Just across from Michonne sits an unsuspecting restaurant set up in an old computer-repair shop. But looks can be deceiving, as the best traditional Mexican food of Adelaide hides inside. Support from Renew Adelaide, a not-for-profit organisation which provides rent-free spaces throughout the city for new and interesting ventures, helped Daniella Guervara move her operation.
La Popular Taqueria began life as a pop-up underground diner in her home in 2017. Lovingly called Mi Mero Mole, Daniella’s eatery has been serving up tacos the way they should be made; with beautiful, fresh ingredients. She takes her handmade tortillas and fillings seriously, bringing an authentic taste of Mexico to South Australia. Her dedication to authenticity prevents the inclusion of kitschy sombreros and fills the space with true warmth.
Tacos filled with cochinita (slow-roasted, marinated pork) and mole con pollo (free-range chicken smothered in a spicy chocolate sauce) can be chased by creamy non-alcoholic horchata, Mexican beer or arguably the best margaritas in all of Adelaide. Indecisive diners can sample a flight of tacos. Settle in one evening in the colourful space, order some guacamole for starters and enjoy the vibes.
Red Lime Shack – coffee for a good cause
Stroll down St Vincent Street and you’ll stumble upon Red Lime Shack, an eclectic café with a strong sense of community. Opened in 2012, this open-plan space is more than merely a place to grab a flat white. Owner Steph Taylor recognises the value of community and giving back. Within the shop you can buy a suspended coffee, based on the Italian tradition of caffé sospeso. You purchase one coffee for the price of two so that one may be given to a person in need.
A rotating gallery of local artists adorns the walls, and they have clothing collection bins. Created with a heavy focus on quality flavours while still remaining healthy, all food made in this café is vegan. When you’re feeling decadent, enjoy their signature raw lime pie, or enjoy a bite of their carrot and hempseed bread. Don’t worry, they have a zero-waste kitchen as well as completely compostable consumer packaging.
Pop in, snatch an organic Campos coffee and settle into one of their comfy couches for a leisurely read from their book exchange. Perhaps you’ll fall into conversation with a stranger and end up staying for more than just a coffee.
Cult & Harper – Port Adelaide’s hidden art space
Still on St Vincent Street, there sits a simple door. This unsuspecting exterior opens up into an eclectic space; it’s walls splashed with bold Keith Haring-style pieces and fluorescent neon signs. Welcome to Cult & Harper, the brainchild of artistic directors Lisa King and Jarrad Jackson.
Cult & Harper opened its doors in 2017 to boost Adelaide’s growing artistic community. What started as an online space for artists to share their work evolved into a 400-square-metre warehouse with assistance from Renew Adelaide. The creative space features a quirky retail store, stocked full of hard-to-find brands in Adelaide. Plus, an art gallery with rotating curators, multiple art studios, a photography studio and a bar that opens for events.
Take a quick peek at their Instagram to see who’s on, then head over for a night full of incredible artwork and open minds.
Low & Slow American BBQ – Southern hospitality in Port Adelaide SA
A quick diversion off St Vincent Street will lead you to a low-fuss dining spot that looks like it was picked straight out of the American South. After developing a cult following as a food truck, Low & Slow American BBQ opened up a permanent spot in 2015. Loyal fans continue to create the hype that gives this eatery a fun atmosphere and incredibly long wait times. Reservations are strongly suggested.
Friends Angus Henderson, Angus Kiley and Jim Morrison are responsible for bringing Southern-style barbeque to the streets of Adelaide. After road-tripping across the US, the trio fell in love with America’s iconography, barbequed meat and beers. They even managed to infuse their staff with some good-old Southern hospitality.
All of their meat is smoked for up to 18 hours, making it fall-off-the-bone finger-licking good. It can be a bit tricky to pick just one to enjoy. That’s why their banquet menu exists, offering samples of everything your heart desires. Pick up a reservation and enjoy the atmosphere with a good beer and some exceptional pulled pork. What more could you want?
The city of Adelaide has slid under the radar for far too long. Credit where credit is due – Adelaide deserves it in spades. Here are a few more fun things to do in South Australia’s capital.