Start your day with a beautiful breakfast, relaxing brunch or a quick coffee and pastry pick-up from our favourite spots around McLaren Vale in South Australia.
Uncovering one of the best spots for breakfast or finding the perfect cup of coffee is always a highlight. “It’s a top priority to start the day right,” says Dom Ossa, co-owner of Dawn Patrol Coffee in Kangarilla. Owners Nick and Dom roast exceptional single-origin coffee which they wholesale in the region, but they also serve coffee and offer tastings and local pastries on Sundays.
“We are really starting to develop a strong coffee culture in our region and local coffee roasters are becoming a specialty. We’re so lucky to be part of a region with amazing local produce, quality restaurants and wine. We also have great cafes and casual eateries, like Harry’s Deli and Mullygrub in McLaren Vale, there are some great spots in Aldinga, and Willunga is definitely a go-to breakfast spot,” says Dom.
Not only is coffee roasted locally, but much of the produce sourced to make the freshly prepared breakfast delights are local too. Many cafes list the producers on their menus and offer vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan options too. Not sure what to order? Ask your host, as they know the most popular dishes and also often share their personal favourite.
To make your mornings (or afternoon pick-me-ups) simple, here are some top spots to grab a local brew, a baked treat or relaxed morning of deliciousness.
CANTINA 61, Seaford Rise
Savour breakfast and top-notch coffee in a cosy suburban setting. Don’t miss the ‘Godmother’s Creation’, a popular dish combining a traditional Aussie brekkie with Greek ingredients (think scrambled eggs, cucumber, labne, zaatar and tomatoes – yum).
FLAVA FOOD AND COFFEE, Christies Beach
Right on the Esplanade at picturesque Christies Beach, Flava has the whole family sorted with their all-day breakfast menu and separate children’s options. There’s gluten-free toast options, as well as a range of coffee, milkshakes and even champagne.
BREEZE CAFE & BAR, Aldinga Beach
Enjoy breakfast, coffee and cake overlooking the sea at this family and pet-friendly Esplanade favourite. They’ve got a delicious smoothie menu, and if you’re after something a bit more substantial later on, they have a lengthy list of pizzas too.
WILLUNGA FARMERS MARKET
As far as breakfasts go, the market has everything morning dreams are made of. From freshly baked toasties, to healthy brekkie bowls and the classic bacon and egg sandwich, there’s something to suit all market-goers. Sip on your coffee and enjoy your breakfast as you stroll.
MULLYGRUB, McLaren Vale
Starting out as a popular local food truck, Mullygrub has brought their truck ‘grub’ favourites to a modern cafe setting. The Eggs Benedict with house-smoked salmon is divine, while the Reuben sandwich with house-smoked brisket is a must.
McLAREN VALE AND FLEURIEU VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
Locally-brewed Villeré coffee, light meals and homemade cakes or slices are available from the Visitor Centre daily. Sit inside and enjoy the winter fire or relax outside under the vines on the deck and admire the stunning vineyard views. Make sure to grab a local treasure in the providore/gift store on your way out and a map to tour the region.
AGATHA’S, Port Noarlunga
This ‘Porties’ stalwart has been a popular brekkie spot for years, particularly with locals on weekends, known for their colourful plates and quirky courtyard. Their smoothies and burgers are some of the best in the region and there’s a separate vegan menu too.
FOUR WINDS CHOCOLATE, Willunga
A tiny boutique that offers artisan pastries baked in the traditional french technique, as well as chocolates and cakes (open Saturdays only). Enjoy with a coffee from the Golden Fleece Cafe next door.
THE FARM, Willunga
Lovers of peace and quiet – this is your spot. With breakfast and lunch on offer Friday to Monday, you can sit amongst the gorgeous garden and soak up the surrounding views. Make sure you browse the providore too.
GOLDEN FLEECE CAFE, Willunga
This Willunga staple is always busy, the outdoor area and adjacent gardens perfect for little ones and pooches. The full brekky here is enough to keep you going for a day of exploring and the smoothies have a cult following.
THE 1839, Willunga
Open on weekends, this converted church is the ideal spot to watch the world go by. Coffee and a lazy brunch at a courtyard table are just the ticket for a relaxed weekend.
THREE MONKEYS FINE FOODS, Willunga
A one-stop-shop, you can enjoy a vegetable rosti (regulars favourite) and then take away a picnic lunch. Their providore is always stacked to the brim with goodies. Don’t forget to check out the cute courtyard out the back, complete with fish pond.
DAWN PATROL COFFEE, Kangarilla
Specialising in single-origin, freshly roasted coffee, they offer filter tastings and local pastries (from Four Winds) every Sunday. Their rustic cellar door and roastery has gorgeous countryside vistas. Stop by to learn more at the tasting bar, sip a coffee in the yard or listen to a record on the couch inside.
Many of us can’t start the day without our coffee, and when you’re exploring somewhere new, it can be tricky to find a good brew.
Whether you want to whip up a coffee in your B&B or sample one from an expert milk-frother, here are some local roasters to look out for.
Dal Mare, McLaren Vale: Dal Mare Coffee Roastery/Cafe, Foodland (beans only).
Dawn Patrol Coffee, Kangarilla: Dawn Patrol cellar door, The Salopian Inn, Harry’s Deli, Penny’s Hill (The Kitchen Door). Goodness Coffee Co, Aldinga: Goodness Roastery and Cafe.
Villeré Coffee, McLaren Vale: From Humble Grounds (Willunga Farmer’s Market), Three Monkeys Fine Foods, Coriole, McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre.
A couple of local coffee shops that have caught our eye include:
- Viscous Coffee, Christies Beach have a passion for exceptional espresso based beverages, siphon brews and cold drip inventions.
- Gooby Goose Cafe, Happy Valley are quickly developing a loyal following, priding themselves on great coffee, friendly service and delicious bite-size treats.
- Coffee Factory Cafe, Port Noarlunga serving specialty coffee and brekkie all day including vegan options like their apple pie pancakes.
That all-important bakery stop-off is an integral part of exploring any region. Here are some favourites: