Few things in life are as fine as good pub food, a delightful drop and pretty surroundings – the Adelaide Hills are bursting with beauties ready to knock your socks off!
Love a good parmie, complete with a fresh salad and crispy fries? Perhaps you’re more of a slow-cooked-beef-brisket-that-melts-in-your-mouth kinda gal… either way, there’s a pub waiting for you, just a dash up the freeway.
Of course, menus change — but as a Hills dweller I’ve sampled a lotta pub grub up here, so here’s my pick of a blossoming bunch…
The Uraidla Hotel
1196 Greenhill Road, Uraidla | WEBSITE
I count devouring a Ploughman’s Board with a pint of Uraidla’s Draught Helles Larger amongst my hobbies. With wholesome and fresh produce that comes largely from their on-site garden, vegan and veggo friends are well catered for (looooove their Charred Cabbage) but I can also happily make a meal out of a pot of their Smoked Paprika and Sea Salt Shoestring Fries with relish and aioli… yummmo!
This eclectic watering hole showcases heritage stone walls, fireplaces, a light-filled Glass House, and pre-loved furniture which make you feel like you’ve stepped into art deco heaven. Catch a sunny arvo when they have live acoustic music in the garden and you’re in for a treat.
Image credit :: The Uraidla Hotel
The Stirling Hotel
52 Mount Barker Road, Stirling | WEBSITE
What’s not to love about this bustling hotel in the heart of Stirling?
I’ve been known to inhale a Burrito Bowl here in under 10 minutes flat, pushed the boundaries of my jeans with their bottomless pizza nights, and be one of the last to leave after lengthy dinner dates with girlfriends in this Hills institution.
Take your pick from a meal in the bistro with high tables, comfy couches or booths by an open fire; get toasty on lounges or long benches on the deck; watch the mouth-watering magic of the wood oven in the pizza bar; or fancy it up in the dining room.
Image credit :: The Stirling Hotel
The Crafers Hotel
8 Main Street, Crafers | WEBSITE
Their pan-fried Gnocchi with rabbit, pancetta, tomato ragu and parmesan is the best thing I’ve eaten.
The Black Angus Scotch Fillet will have meat-eaters humming with happiness, and their Beer Battered Yellowfin Whiting takes fish and chips to a whole new level.
With French Head Chef, Stephane at the helm, you can’t go wrong with any of the perfectly crafted dishes. You can even head into the cellar to select from premium local and imported vinos to go with it.
One of the most historic pubs in Adelaide, it’s all high ceilings, stone walls, cosy booths, big chairs by the fire and uber friendly staff who make a bistro or bar experience one that’ll keep you heading for the hills.
Image credit :: The Crafers Hotel
Stanley Bridge Tavern
41 Onkaparinga Valley Road, Verdun | WEBSITE
As a burger fanatic, I can vouch for their line up in a heartbeat — whether it’s a cheeseburger, chicken schnitty burger, halloumi burger — you’ll be licking your fingers the moment you’ve devoured it.
They do great soul-warming food exceptionally well — like their slow-roasted beef brisket or slow cooked duck, which goes down a treat with a hearty glass of Shiraz.
And in the warmer months, you can soak up the sunshine in their recently renno’d outdoor area overlooking lush paddocks which is perfect for kids to roam free.
Image credit :: Stanley Bridge Tavern
Aldgate Pump Hotel
1 Strathalbyn Road, Aldgate | WEBSITE
Back in the day, this historic pub was the recharge station for bullock drivers, travellers and colonists. Still the perfect pit stop to this day, you won’t want to leave once you sink into one of their Beef and Guinness pies, the zingy Thai Beef Salad when it’s on the Specials board, or any of their home made desserts.
Owned by local family, the O’Donnells, The Aldgate is a kids’ paradise with an outdoor play set and awesome kids’ menu including a Steak on the Hot Rock. Using no fats or oils it’s a popular choice for littlies wanting to see their food cooked right before their eyes.
There’s exciting stuff ahead for the team, with plans underway to include an all-weather dining area overlooking the main street in this quaint village… I’ll be first in line to check it out!
Image credit :: The Aldgate Pump Hotel
3A Main Street, Lobethal | WEBSITE
This Malt House, brewery and cellar door is a skip away from the traditional ‘pub’ but good beer and great food mean I’m counting it.
House favourites include Buffalo Wings — think American style spicy chicken wings with blue cheese sauce and a dash (or more) of spice; the Cuban Sandwich – pastrami, shaved ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on grilled baked bread; and a BBQ Pulled Pork Burger, bursting with Bierhaus smoked pulled pork, coleslaw, cheese…. nom, nom, nom.
All beers are brewed onsite, with at least 20 on tap at a time so options are wide open for what to pair with their delectable menu.
Image credit :: Lobethal Bierhaus
The Bridgewater Inn
387 Mount Barker Road, Bridgewater | WEBSITE
These guys and gals are about open arms, good food and drink, just the way a country pub should be. Full of down to earth charm, it’s ideal for a juicy Bridgey Burger or a generous schnitzel, chased by a Sticky Date pudding… again, stretchy pants highly recommended.
It’s a pretty pad to have a traditional pub meal any time of year, but particularly so when you can make the most of the tiered beer garden overlooking Cox Creek.
Image credit :: The Bridgewater Inn
Finding it hard to choose which one to visit? Best bet’s to choose one a month and visit them allllll for some tongue-tingling-tummy-jingling good grub!