Literary City Guide | ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
— Dorothea Mackellar


Joanna Chudy

Joanna is a tourism and marketing student from Adelaide who owns way too many cookbooks. She loves spending time cooking, walking, creating, travelling and drinking coffee. You can follow Joanna on Instagram here @wanderdreaminspire. (All photos by Joanna Chudy.)



Relationship to Adelaide: I moved here to study three years ago after growing up in country South Australia.

Writer you’d like to invite for dinner:  Enid Blyton *time travel required

Chef you’d like to prepare the meal: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Writing soundtrack: Anything acoustic!

Pen or Pencil? Pen

Coffee or Tea? Coffee, always!

Paperback or Hardback? Hardback

Good Reads


Imprints Booksellers. This is pretty much a literary heaven – to me it is the definition of a perfect bookshop. Big enough that it holds an extensive range, but still small enough to be selective. Décor includes beautiful hardwood floors, faded rugs and wooden bookshelves, as well as a well-loved leather chair for perusing your latest find. The owners are very knowledgeable and always happy to help with any questions!

Adelaide’s Pop-up Bookshop. Currently located in the Adelaide Central Market, they have also ‘popped-up’ in cafes, hotels and markets in and around Adelaide. Dedicated owners Nick and Kate selectively stock good-quality second-hand literature. Expect to find classics and one-of-a-kind treasures. While you’re there take a wander around the market, tasting some of South Australia’s finest produce!

O’Connell’s Bookshop. Second hand and antique books. A great place to come if you are looking for a rare or out-of-print book.

Matilda’s Bookshop, Stirling. Though not strictly in Adelaide, this one can’t go by without a mention! Come here to escape the city and discover an impressive range of cookbooks. Also check out Chapter Two Books while you’re in Stirling.


State Library Mortlock Wing. Possibly the most magical place in Adelaide, this historic wing of the State Library (now also a museum) is a must see! You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time - think Victorian era Hogwarts. Shelves are lined with old hardback books, this is the perfect library to visit just to sit, read, and take it all in.

Adelaide City Library. Recently opened, the Adelaide City Library is located smack-bam in the centre of Rundle Mall – perfect for a pop-in or afternoon browsing the shelves, with a wide range available.


Adelaide Writers Week. This free event runs for a week each year, celebrating all types of writers, whether they be poets, journalists or novelists.

SA Writers Centre Inc. It runs regular workshops and events for writers and writing enthusiasts alike. 


Mad March. If you want to see Adelaide as its busiest, most vibrant self, come in Mad March and you won’t be disappointed. Among other events, you’ll find the Fringe Festival, Writers Week, Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide and the Clipsal 500.

Adelaide Central Market. If you’re like me and love fresh, local food, the Central Market is the place to be! Visit one of the food courts for a delicious meal, or forage your way through the stalls to create your own picnic. Then head on over to Victoria Square, sit down on the grass and let the feast begin!

The Hungry Hippo Board Game Café. This place is located in Adelaide’s West End, and has all the board games you can think of, from the old classics to new inventions. Whether you are looking for friendly competition or a competitive battle, it’s a great place to spend a relaxing few hours sitting with friends, enjoying good food and fun times!

The Loose Caboose. Visiting this restored railway station café is an experience as much as it is a chance to fuel up! Delicious house roasted coffee, an open kitchen, and a unique location – what more could you ask for?

Good Eats


E for Ethel. This cute little café on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide is like a home away from home. They make a good cup of coffee, and you feel like you can linger with the friendly staff and owners making you feel instantly at ease. Also, they sell all kinds of local, sustainable design and gifts.

The Espresso Room. While their coffee is fantastic, it’s the hot and iced chocolates that you should come here for. Real melted Belgian chocolate…need I say more? And, if you can’t forego your caffeine hit, at least go for a mocha to get the best of both worlds.

The Coffee Branch. This coffee shop is always busy, and for good reason – they make seriously good coffee! Maybe not the place for a long sit-down indoors, but on a nice day have a seat outside and enjoy the comings and goings.

Booknook and Bean. Nestled in Adelaide’s renewed Topham Mall, you’ll find that magical mix of books and coffee! They have a wall of second hand books to peruse or purchase while you drink your coffee, and all the book proceeds go towards Kiva micro-loans, which is a big plus!


Argo on the Square. A sister to the original Argo on the Parade, these guys make healthy, delicious brunches and lunches to be reckoned with. A great go-to for a delicious, nutritious and filling meal, right on Victoria Square.

Andre’s Cucina and Polenta Bar. Delicious, simple and fresh Italian with a seasonal menu, so you know you’re going to get something great!

Rundle Street. Take a wander down Rundle Street any night of the week for a delicious range of restaurants. Make sure you peek down some of the side streets as well, there’s so much to find, from burgers to three-course meals. 


The Howling Owl. This is a café by day and bar by night, with a design studio next door (Urban Cow Studio) and comedy and music venue upstairs (The Rhino Room). Truly the ‘Jack of all trades’. It always have a great selection of cakes, biscuits and slices, too.

Bracegirdle’s House of Fine Chocolates. This is definitely the place to go if you want to indulge in some delicious chocolate, or linger with a friend.

Steven ter Horst Chocolatier. Located in the East End of Adelaide on Rundle Street, you’ll find indulgent, rich and delicious handmade truffles and gateaux.

JOANNA's 5 Favorites

1. Favorite view: Overlooking the city from Windy Point, or the riverbank precinct at night 

2. Favorite place to write: I love to write from the comfort of my desk at home.

3. Favorite museum: The Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design.

4. Favorite coffee shop: So hard to choose just one, but probably The Espresso Room.

5. Favorite thing about Adelaide: Even when you are in the CBD, you are never far from the beach or beautiful Adelaide Hills walking trails.