If you're visiting Adelaide and want to experience something unique about the city, then start by sampling some of the city's dessert bars. While a few other cities around Australia have a couple of late night dessert spots, none can rival the variety found in Adelaide. From Spanish churros bars and chocolate havens, to vegan friendly sweets and technical masterpieces; you'll find it all once the sun goes down.
Macaron Pot at the Aviary
The Founding Fathers
Back before dessert bars were even a thing there were still two places you could get something sweet in the wee hours of the morning. Two of the best known places were Elephant Walk and Spats.
Elephant Walk is on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide, and is often open till the early hours of the morning. Their menu is simple: waffles, sundaes, banana splits, and most of their menu items come with a vegan option. The main reason people come here is for the atmosphere. Private booths with mood lighting and sunken couches mean you snuggle up close. It's a little bit kitch and a little bit sultry.
Strawberry Shake at Elephant Walk
Spats has a similar feel, but without quite as much amour. Cakes, crepes, and ice cream abound, and Spats enhance their retro vibes with the psychedelic swirls of sauces they use to decorate their plates. They don't serve culinary masterpieces, but they're definitely a part of Adelaide history.
There are the three dessert bars that made dessert a thing. Month in and month out they offer fresh and interesting menu, using exciting flavours and approaches.
Eggless was the first, the opened back in 2009 and every month they offer a new menu and it's all completely egg free. Many of Eggless' desserts are traditional homestyle desserts like pies, cakes, and puddings, panna cottas are popular too. The difference at Eggless are the creative flavour combinations like their rose panna cotta, pandan coconut cake, or pumpkin pie. They usually open at 8pm, and there will be a line forming out the front before the doors can even open.
Banana & Caramel at Eggless
There's also the Aviary in Norwood and Devour in Prospect, they're a couple of years older than Eggless but have both helped shape Adelaide's dessert scene. Devour's head chef comes from a fine dining background, and is always experimenting with new flavours and techniques and Aviary's menu is always inspired by the fun things in life.
For some people dessert means one thing: chocolate. Adelaide certainly has a few chocolate cafes if that's your idea of a perfect late night treat. Whether you're in the city, or a little further afield, there are plenty of options.
In the CBD Cocolat and Chocolate Bean are a short walk from each other, in the East End of the city. Chocolate Bean can do you a hot chocolate in almost any flavour, and they also have vegan cupcakes and cakes. Cocolat not only serve up crepes and chocolate cocktails, but there's also a gelati bar for those hot nights.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake at Chocolate Bean
Bracegirdles have four different locations, McLaren Vale, Glenelg, Marion, and Toorak Gardens. They're well known for their chocolate platters and their chocolate fondue. Steven Ter Horst takes a slightly more chic approach to chocolate, then there's Chocolate Taperia and the soon to open Chocolateria San Churro who serve up a side of churros with their chocolate.
New Kids on the Block
The list of dessert bars is always growing, and so there will always be new ones to add to the list.
Astonish is the work of a Le Cordon Bleu graduate who came to Adelaide from Sydney to open a dessert bar. It's a charming little spot in the south end of the CBD with some star dishes.
Onyx is another newbie, but one with it's head screwed on tight. While Onyx do serve savoury food their dessert menu is equal, if not longer, in length. The desserts are highly skilled, but most importantly delicious. At Onyx you eat with all of your senses, and best of al you can have a cocktail too.
Sticky Date Pudding at Onyx
So take your pick when you're visiting Adelaide, and try and set aside one night to sample the dessert bar scene. Most dessert bars are located in the CBD, or just a short drive away, so they're all very easy to get to. You can check out a more comprehensive list here.
So find out what Adelaide is making all this fuss about, and try out one of the local dessert bars next time you're in town.