You know when something unexpected catches your eye and then you are just “a little bit” obsessed and can’t stop thinking about it… this feeling is one of life’s joys and on the weekend I was lucky enough to experience it.
It isn’t so much the venue of my post (which was also good) but more so the location… one where I was genuinely surprised and excited that this existed in my little city. The suburb is Croydon. Yep, for an Eastern Suburbs girl intrinsically used to snubbing anything north of the city (that isn’t North Adelaide), I can hand on heart say that I am in love with this treasure of a suburb. Well, it really centres around one street as far as I can tell, Queen Street, and with its retro modern combination of stores and cafes it just has a vibe that I haven’t experienced anywhere else in Adelaide. I have no doubt that it’s the nostalgic Melbourne in me that makes the style of this place resonate, but the essence is funky and full of character that is in no way ‘trying to be cool’… it just “is”. That is something that simply happens and can’t be achieved without the right magic, which this place has in spades.
So, this review will cover one of the venues at the heart of this strip – Queen Street Cafe. I have heard lots of people mention it for some time but it seemed too much of a trek and being the unknown didn’t get me across until now. In hindsight I feel quite annoyed at myself.
Upon arrival to this already bustling street on a Saturday at 9.30am, I know it is love at first sight, the mosaic street flower pots, artistically painted power poles and the style of shop fronts and al fresco areas all grab me as I begin my Croydon adventure.
In prime place on the strip is this restaurant which is welcoming with wide doorways and my cousin and her hubby sitting in the corner waving to me. I already know this place is going to be good, it just feels like a well oiled machine and you get the feeling that the majority of people are regulars. We quickly survey the menu which has the classics but some great unique combinations too, ones that I imagine the chefs are pretty proud of. I order the BLT, but we also have on the table scrambled eggs with chorizo and an interesting sounding mango and coconut tapioca. Fresh OJ’s and coffee too.
There is plenty to enjoy as we wait hungrily for a big brekky – art on the wall, the visible counter with busy kitchen behind, diners inside and out – that actually impressively has nearly all the seats filled this early in the morning.
Fresh juice is delish and coffee good with the long black providing a decent dose of caffeine that was so dearly yearned for… then comes the food, which is colourful, vibrant and fresh. Time to dig in and we are all pretty happy with the choices. Scrambled eggs are awesome, my bacon crispy is complimented with the salad and the entertainingly wobbly tower of tapioca a great ‘different’ choice to a usual breakfast. It doesn’t take long for all the plates to be bare… the only criticism from the group is that the chorizo had a slightly different flavor than they were used to but still was nice. It certainly is a solid breakfast, which you can see would be consistent and reliable. Notably, it is not super cheap compared to other breakfast offerings out there but I don’t mind when you can rely on it being good and it is likely that one of their menu items may become your staple weekend breakfast favourite.
Bellies full we relax back into our seats and continue to enjoy the atmosphere. It has been a satisfying start to the day and is only enhanced by a stroll up and down the street to check out the stores nearby which are awesome – homewares, organic groceries and vintage clothing abound. My biggest tip is to make sure you allow enough time to enjoy the full street to its potential. Oh how I wish I had a full wallet to match my eye’s demands.
I really hope that more people visit this gorgeous street of Adelaide and be reminded of what “up and coming” feels like. Something that is unfortunately all too rare in our fine city. I can’t wait to go back and check out the other offers on this street or visit Queen Street Cafe again, I certainly won’t take as long to head over here next time!
Queen Street Cafe
12 Elizabeth Street (extension of Queen Street), Croydon, Adelaide, South Australia
Vibe: 9/10 (Street: 10/10)
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