Three days in Adelaide, four days in Sydney
My partner and I will be traveling to Australia in February, and are looking for relatively inexpensive (we're 20-somethings traveling on a budget), fabulous places to nosh. I've seen that there are lots of posts re: Sydney, but I haven't found all that much about Adelaide. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Central markets are a good place for cheap and good, also the chinese restaurants around the market are great T Chow used to be the best but that may have changed. Ask around people will be happy to help.
Adelaide does have a good inner suburbs restaurant scene, it is small but does change a lot. As Stan says check out Gourmet Traveller, their blog section is good for clues. In general Adelaide should be quite cheap compared to Sydney. Wine list are usually very strong there and BYO was pretty common, as it is a wine region lots of great local choices. Do find a good bottle shop and ask advice, they will know what they are talking about.
There are so many good cheap places to eat while in Adelaide.. Here's a link to the Radelaide website food section, http://www.radelaide.net/food/, which can be looked at by cuisine types or resturant name.. It's a young funky website, so perfect for you guys & most listings have a price range listed in them, and it ranges from budget options to a bit more of a splurge..
Another good website is this one, http://www.webmenu.com.au/Adelaide/, which can be viewed by cuisine or by location..
If you're looking for a particular cuisine let me know & I'll make some suggestions..
+1 on Central Market. The best time to go is Saturday morning, but the market is also open on Tues, Wed (not a great day though; only limited trading) and Fri-Sat. You can definitely find something cheap and delicious inside the market, or get ingredients for a picnic (like in the Botanic Gardens). +1 also on Chinatown, which is centered around Gouger Street on the south side of the market. T Chow is great, as is East Taste and the super-fantastic and ridiculously cheap dumpling place just around the corner from Charlie's Pho on Grote Street.
Avoid Rundle Street... cheap, but boring and tasteless for the most part. Sparrow in North Adelaide isn't that cheap, but their menu is based around small plates, so is lovely for a glass of wine and a few nibbles. Also, try Apothecary on Hindley Street in the city also for small plates and fantastic cocktails. Cork Wine Bar on Gouger for a quick glass of wine. Also, Cibo anywhere in the city for coffee! If you need any other recs for Adelaide, just ask!
I'm assuming you are staying directly in the city of Adelaide so...
The central markets are a great place to wander, buy items for a picnic etc. If you can grab a stool at the bar or a seat at a table (it gets busy, especially Saturday mornings) Big Table is a great place for breakfast. Lucia's has been around for over 50 years and serves great Italian coffee, they also do reasonably priced pasta, pizza and soup for lunch. Also try a warm custard tart from Obun Chef (in the Food Court area) - they're addictive and an Adelaide favourite!
Gouger St has many great asian eateries, most reasonably inexpensive. Ying Chow is a favourite, with most dishes under $10. Do not miss the shallot pancakes for entree, and for mains try crispy skin chicken, sizzling venison, BBC and eshand beef or eggplant. It's open 5pm til late into the night but gets extremely busy - you may want to call beforehand to book a table. Don't let the decor turn you off, the food is fantastic!
Mesa Lunga on Gouger St (www.mesalunga.com) has some amazing Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean food. You can have quite a reasonably priced meal here if you order carefully, say for instance if you get a few tapas dishes to start then a pizza to share. The churros (Spanish donuts to dip in melted chocolate) for dessert is amazing!
By the same owners and just around the corner is British India which serves up traditional Indian curries as well as 'spiced-up' British dishes like shepherds pie and fish & chips. The Thali Room, next to British India, does Indian tasting plates for a good price, if you want a slightly more budget friendly option. See http://britishindia.net.au/
Farina Kitchen & Bar on Hindmarsh Square is a relatively new modern Italian restaurant with a Friday night special of a (small) pizza and glass of wine for $15. A quick look at their website (http://www.farina.net.au/) doesn't have this listed anymore - it appears it's now $10 a pizza for lunch - but the pizzas are very tasty and worth it! The same people own Sparrow Kitchen & Bar in North Adelaide as sporkster mentioned above. http://www.sparrowkitchenandbar.com.au/
I also suggest you avoid Rundle Street. Cheap, but most are not value for money. If you are shopping in the area however, try Nano Ready 2 Go (in Ebenezer Place, a little laneway that comes off Rundle Street, with some interesting independent clothing stores) for $5.50 takeaway pizza slices.
The Gilbert St Hotel is a great place for 20-somethings and they have a fantastic restaurant (more of a pub bistro) that is very reasonably priced for the quality of food. They won Best Burger in SA last year. Book for dinner, then hang around as they have a DJ often after 9pm - it gets quite busy but still friendly and not too overcrowded.
Dragonfly (Victoria Sq, www.dragonflybar.net.au) is a hip, arty place with vego, organic etc options, gets quite busy after 5pm. The same owners also have La Boheme (Grote St), a tiny bar with great cocktails. In the evenings also check out Sangria (the bar next to Mesa Lunga). The Grace Emily (Waymouth St) is a favourite amongst Adelaide 20-somethings - a great, quirky pub with live music.
In case you weren't aware, the Adelaide Fringe Festival (comedy, arts etc) is running from 19 Feb - this is when Adelaide really comes alive. The Garden of Unearthly Delights (Rundle Park, East Terrace, near Rundle Street) opens a week earlier on 11 Feb and has lots of sideshows, games, comedy acts, food, etc. During the actual festival there are events all over the city - just pick up a free Fringe guide or check out www.adelaidefringe.com.au. You may also find it a little harder to get into popular restaurants during this time without booking ahead.
Let me know if you have a particular cuisine you like and I can give you even more suggestions. I'm also a huge coffee fan, so if you like coffee let me know and I can suggest places to visit and avoid.