South Australian Vineyards: Where the locals dine

South Australian Vineyards Insider
Dinners on veranda of a restaurant in McLaren Vale. (Photo: Michael Coyne / Lonely Planet Images)
Dinners on veranda of a restaurant in McLaren Vale
From the humblest bakery to the most expensive bistro, almost any restaurant that you walk into in South Australia is likely to serve up excellent food.

Adelaide Hills

Now into its thirty-fourth year, Maximilian's must be doing something right. With amazing European-influenced food, open fires, vineyard views and a selection of perfectly-cellared rare vintages, it's not hard to see what. Get to the restaurant early and partake in some wine tasting, then choose a favourite estate grown wine to accompany the meal. Bookings a must.

Located along with Petaluma Winery's cellar door in Bridgewater's old stone flour mill, complete with ancient looking wooden water wheel that still turns, Bridgewater Mill is a great place to sample some of SA's cold climate wines accompanied by excellent cooking.

Right in the middle of Hahndorf, the German Arms serves up hearty German food and has what is probably one of the best breakfasts in the state. For those wanting to cleanse their palate after a day at the vineyards, the Arms has a nice selection of beers, including several German imports.

Barossa and Clare Valley

Many wineries have large lawns and tables in their grounds that are perfect for a picnic — accompanied by a bottle of recently purchased wine, of course. One of the best places to pick up a picnic is the Pheasant Farm. Run by celebrity cook Maggie Beer, it has ready-to-go gourmet picnic hampers.

Salter's Kitchen is part of the Saltram Winery and a great place to stop for lunch during a Barossa wine tour. A wood oven pizza accompanied by a glass of wine on the restaurant's deck is perfect on a sunny afternoon.

Continuing the modern Australian flavour theme, this time with some inspiration from the Middle East, 1918 Bistro and Grill is a landmark in Barossa eating. It's a great destination during the colder months when the fire is crackling, red wine flowing and the aromas of food fill up the old cottage.

With an interesting menu that adds a local twist to international cuisine, Skillogalee Winery Restaurant sits amidst the vines and gardens of the winery. A good option for lunch in the Clare Valley, try the vine pruner's lunch for a selection of local delicacies or get a picnic basket to take away.

McLaren Vale

Located on the main street in McLaren Vale, Market 190 is a popular place for a relaxed lunch sampling some of the local produce. The restaurant is one of the few that actively caters to children — there is a cubbyhouse and toys for children in the garden.

Named after the nearby shipwreck, Star of Greece is one of SA's most famous restaurants. Colourful and eclectic inside, the uninterrupted sea views from the restaurant are stunning, making it an incredibly romantic place to watch the sun set over the water and get stuck into the Greek influenced menu and extensive wine list. Make sure you book ahead.

Coonawarra and Padthaway

Set in the formal dining room, Padthaway Homestead — serves up the region's finest dining experience. Sitting in front of the open fire, sipping tea from the silverware or carving into a tender piece of limestone coast lamb is a recipe for indulgence.

Got any other wine and dine suggestions? Have your say using the comments form below.

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User comments
re Padthway Homstead Coonawarra Padthway is a seperate wine area to Coonawarra. Coonawara is 100 km south of Padthway with many more winery cellar door sales available than Padthway. A bit more homework is required before articles are written, would not go amiss.