By Marc Llewellyn
On Aussie Rules football weekends Adelaide is electric with excitement and anticipation as supporters stream towards the magnificent Adelaide Oval dressed in their footie colours. The city’s two national AFL teams – the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide – share this famous oval, which is located in the parklands between the city centre and North Adelaide.
Win or lose, the party continues afterwards in the city’s restaurants, bars and nightclubs. While the players are most likely recovering at home after the big game, this doesn’t stop you making the weekend of it and joining in the festivities.
Here are some tips for places to hang out, either after the game or on non-footie evenings, as recommended by some of the city’s leading AFL stars.
“I’m a big fan of the Archer Hotel in North Adelaide,” says Ollie Wines, a midfielder with Port Adelaide. “It’s a five minute walk from the stadium and there’s usually something going on after the games. They sometimes have a bit of a street party too.”
Also close to the stadium, in Adelaide’s vibrant West End, is Ollie’s favourite little bar, called Bank Street Social. This underground brick-walled venue specialises in South Australian craft beer and cider and boutique South Australian wines. It also has one of the largest premium spirit collections in the city.
Fellow Port Adelaide midfielder Travis Boak recommends spending time in Peel Street, in Adelaide’s West End. Along with Leigh Street, which runs parallel to it, Peel Street is more of a laneway than a main road.
“It’s an awesome strip for a drink, or something to eat, and it’s a lot closer to the [football] ground,” he says. “Bread & Bone pretty much does the best burgers in town … and there are funky bars like Clever Little Tailor, Maybe Mae, and Alfred’s Bar.”
Peel Street also features more of Travis’ favourites.
“La Rambla Tapas Bar has great tapas if you’re after a snack,” he says. “If you want a proper meal Peel St Restaurant does modern Australian food to share. Gondola Gondola does share-food too, but with an Asian theme.”
His teammate, ruckman Jackson Trengove offers other suggestions.
“In terms of somewhere to go after a game the Game Day Village, just outside the ground, has always been a favourite for my mates,” he says.
The Port Adelaide Game Day Village is open for several hours before team games, and well into the evening. There is a giant marquee, a well-stocked bar, music, and food trucks serving succulent street food.
Meanwhile, Adelaide Crows midfielder, Brodie Smith, is also an enthusiastic supporter of the city’s famed alleyway bars and eateries.
“As players we don’t get to head out much after games, but there are definitely some cool areas to go,” Brodie says. “All the little restaurants around Peel Street and Leigh Street are pretty popular and within walking distance of the oval.”
His Crows teammate, ruckman Sam Jacobs is a big Gouger Street fan, because of the many cafes and restaurants featuring food from all over the world.
“I’m a big fan of Asian food, so you can’t go past Gouger Street in the city,” Sam says. “There are so many places to choose from, that range from fast and easy to fine dining, so no matter who you are you’ll find something to suit you.”
Chelsea Randall, who plays forward for the Adelaide Crows in the AFL Women’s Competition, has her favourites too.
“I recently went to High Tea at the Mayfair Hotel on King William Street, which was a great experience if you’re looking for something civilised to do before a game,” she says.
The five-star Mayfair Hotel is also known for the chic Hennessy Rooftop Bar, which offers commanding views of Adelaide.
She also likes Chuck Wagon 175, a funky little classic American-style burger hangout in North Adelaide. It has a lively atmosphere, she says – just like an AFL game.
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