February 15, 2023
5 mins Read
With so many world-class wineries and restaurants to choose from, it’s easy to forget that McLaren Vale is a rural region at heart. But there are plenty of more down-to-earth delights to be found throughout the valley, and warm country hospitality is always on the menu at these welcoming McLaren Vale cafes that offer breakfasts packed with local produce and a seriously tasty caffeine fix in the heart of wine country.
The expert baristas in this former tractor shed lavish as much attention on the impeccably poured house brews as the surrounding cellar doors do on their finest wines, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find the best coffee in McLaren Vale here.
Guided tasting flights showcase espresso or filter coffee made from 100% traceable, sustainably sourced beans that are roasted in-house, and even the decaf packs some serious flavour.
Expect single-origin brews like the Mexican Centennial Bourbon from Veracruz with delicate notes of grape, melon and blueberries, and if you’re feeling peckish there’s also a tight food menu with bagels, pastries and sweets.
There’s a pleasantly rustic feel to this welcoming Aldinga cafe in a heritage-listed blacksmith’s workshop, but the staff pulling shots from the La Marzocco machine are as switched on as any inner-city baristas.
Sustainably gets top billing, from ethically sourced beans to recyclable coffee cups, and the food offering includes filled croissants, vegan pies and a cake cabinet that caters to just about any dietary you can name.
There are even wheat-free gourmet dog treats for four-legged companions, and if you’re looking to take a souvenir home you’ll find a small selection of records for sale alongside locally made earrings and ceramic keep cups.
There are no reservations at this friendly McLaren vale cafe on the main street of Willunga, so you’ll have to be quick to snag a prime spot in the sunny courtyard out back. But it’s worth it for decadent breakfast treats like crème brûlée French toast with desert lime curd and stewed quandong or prosciutto, blue cheese and peach toasties.
Drinks-wise, creamy coffees are accompanied by a selection of organic teas and tisanes the owners sell under The Dandy Tea Co. label, and if you’re after something to go they can also put together grazing boxes of local cheese, pâté, snacks and small goods perfect for a picnic.
Some days you need a shot of caffeine to start the day; some days you need something a little stronger. Fortunately, this flower-filled cafe started by two local women caters to both needs with rich, creamy coffees that look good enough to eat and dangerously tasty $10 mimosas on Saturdays.
The breezy courtyard shaded by gum trees just off McLaren Vale’s main street is a delightful spot to start the day, and if you don’t have time to sit down with one of the irresistible baked treats, get your coffee to go in an edible cup made from oats and grains that have been dipped in chocolate.
There’s something for everyone on the extensive menu at this airy venue that draws a crowd every day of the week for locally roasted coffee and seasonal meals bursting with colour.
McLaren Vale food producers feature heavily on a rotating menu that includes standout dishes like smashed avo with pickled beetroot, feta and toasted pepitas and heavenly breakfast bao buns stuffed with sweet chilli pulled pork, egg and smoky tomato sauce.
The equally filling lunches are washed down with an excellent selection of local wines and beers and if you’ve got little ones in tow, they’ll love the dedicated kids’ menu and free story time every Monday morning.
Another longstanding Aldinga favourite, this organic grocery store is packed with essentials like fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, honey and olive oil, and the attached cafe does a mean line in filling breakfasts and lunches.
Grab a seat in the roomy courtyard and join the locals enjoying the sunshine with a cold-pressed juice or fruit-packed smoothie as you decide between health-conscious options including housemade granola or something a little more indulgent like the loaded toasties.
And if you’re popping by closer to lunchtime, find out why the mouth-watering veggie burgers have attained iconic status among locals.
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