Charismatic Croydon… & Queen Street Cafe – 12 Elizabeth Street, Croydon, Adelaide, SA

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.

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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.

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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.

Breakfast QS

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!

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Queen Street Cafe

12 Elizabeth Street (extension of Queen Street), Croydon, Adelaide, South Australia

Food: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Vibe: 9/10 (Street: 10/10)

Price: $$

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Queen Street Cafe on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “Charismatic Croydon… & Queen Street Cafe – 12 Elizabeth Street, Croydon, Adelaide, SA

  1. Visited Queen Street Cafe today for lunch – four of us – on the recommendation of and it was terrific, the food excellent and the service just as good. We had a fantastic girl called Caroline who looked after us and chatted and gave me all the information when I asked questions on the history of the cafe. She was delightful and we all had the best meal and a great time. Thanks Caroline and George Street Cafe. We’ll be back!!!

  2. Hi Hayley! I loved your post on Queen Street and Croydon! I too am in love with this gem of a ‘burb! You really captured the atmosphere and the character of the street. I was just wondering if I could perhaps quote you in an article I am writing for University about Queen Street and the volunteering group Hindmarsh Greening – the initiative behind the mosaics and painted stobie poles. They are just a group of passionate locals who are engaging in community-building through street art and their green thumbs. Such an inspiring initiative. I would love to quote your experience of Queen Street and how the artwork really caught your eye. It would only be one sentence I need. Would that would be okay? My article may be published in the University online paper – On The Record. I could even send you the link afterward if you like.

    I would love to hear back from you.

    Kind regards,


    • Thank you for reading and absolutely… More than happy for you to quote. Just reference if you can. Love to see any link once available. All the very best. HB

  3. Pingback: Go West… Plant 13. 18 Park Terrace, Bowden, Adelaide, SA | haysaysdotcom

  4. Hi Haley
    I took great delight in reading about your Croydon discovery. Living in Croydon from 1980 a few of us got together and in 1998 we made a list of 10 things that would improve the strip of old empty shops in Queen and Elizabeth streets (mainly used for band practise!). We had great fun doing the mosaic pots, painting stobie poles and the signs and being founding members of the now infamous Hindmarsh Greening group, we had the support of the council to assist us to achieve our vision. It did not take long for the shops to rent out again and as residents, we love the cafes and buzz they create. It was not hard to create an exciting vision. Cheryl

    • Well done Cheryl. What an achievement by you all and a great contribution to your community. I absolutely admire your effort & enjoyed the results across Croydon – such a fab place! Thanks for writing. HB

  5. I have lived in Croydon for 35 years. My Husbands Mothers family has always been here. His Grandfather built the house in Henry street which we now live in, in 1898. He was manager of Adelaide Potteries and used to ride home every day for a cooked lunch. My mother in law Margaret Weir lives next door. She is 95 years old and has only lived in the two houses in her life. There is a lot more to Croydon but Queen Street is the focal point once again. We have lost a fair bit of our suburb recently.This is regrettable but progress is a good thing for all .I love the old houses and the mix of people. It is great to see the next generation of families living here.Regards Sharon Weir

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