Fleurieu Peninsula Eating, drinking and dancing
+61 (0)8 8554 3504
It's no surprise that people drive all the way from Adelaide with the express purpose of eating fish 'n' chips at Flying Fish. Nooked into the sandy curve of Horsehoe Bay, it's a breezy, modern room serving gourmet seafood lunches and dinners. Takeaway offerings are equally respectable if you'd rather hit the deck or sit on the sand (try the Coopers beer-battered flathead).
No. 1 The Foreshore, Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot, South Australia
+61 (0)8 8323 8769
The Salopian Inn
Before McLaren Vale made a splash as a wine region, the little Salopian Inn (1851) was brewing beer and feeding hungry travellers. Not much has changed, with the McLaren Vale Beer Company now based here alongside the region's best restaurant, ably directed by chef Billy Dohnt. Expect adventurous agrarian offerings, such as Coorong Angus beef cheek with eschalots and duck-fat potatoes, offset by an enviable wine list.
Corner of McMurtie and Main Roads, McLaren Vale, South Australia
+61 (0)8 8323 7958
As the name suggests, this main-street cafe is utterly besotted with cheese, but that doesn't stop it from delivering the best coffee in McLaren Vale, plus cakes, quiches, pastas, burgers, big breakfasts and antipasto platters. Pull up a sidewalk seat and watch the wine-tasters wander by.
150 Main Road, McLaren Vale, South Australia
+61 (0)8 8554 3187
Cockles on North
This day-turns-to-night cafe occupies pole position on the corner of Port Elliot's two main streets. But really, with food this good it'd still draw a crowd if it was lost in the back blocks. Launch into a fix-you-up breakfast on the sunny streetside deck – all recycled timber and stainless-steel balustrades – or thumb through surf mags inside over crepes, risotto, pasta or a big salad.
Corner of the Strand and North Terrace, Port Elliot, South Australia