For unabashed people-watchers like us, there’s a pocket in Adelaide’s east end of town where we just love spending time. It’s a trendy little strip that locals love too. You won’t find it on any official maps of Adelaide, but locals know exactly where it is. Popular shopping, dining and people watching spot Rundle Street East sits a block east on the same road as the city’s Rundle Mall, and runs all the way to the parklands on the east side of the city.
When the Adelaide Fringe hits town, there’s absolutely nowhere else to be. A night at crowd-pleasing Fringe sites like the Royal Croquet Club, or the Garden of Unearthly Delights seems incomplete without also taking a stroll at very least, through Rundle Street East. In any case, it’s one of the main thorough-fares to Fringe venues in the Parklands.
The rest of the time Adelaide’s a lot more laid-back than most Aussie capitals. There isn’t the crush for pavement space that you’ll find in some of the majors. It’s laid-back, easy-going, and still the place to be and the place to be seen. Why?
First, there’s a vibrant mix of shop frontages to make life interesting. This is where the most stylish, the most edgy and the most fashion-conscious hang out. That includes visiting internationals as well as locals. There’s plenty to see here! Major designer labels call Rundle Street East home. We’re talking Sass & Bide, Morrison, MIMCO, MJ Bale, Gorman, Alannah Hill, Jack London, Sea Folly, SABA and Tiger Lily. Fashion’s definitely our thing, and its great to be able to wander in and out of consecutive stores all in a row! But if it’s not yours, there’s heaps more! One of Adelaide’s most popular gift shops Bauhaus, sits right here in the middle of Rundle Street East along with popular day-retreat Endota Spa.
Next, there’s the bars and cafes. Grab a table at one of the cafes lining the street and people-watch to your heart’s content.We love meeting people at some of the cafes on Rundle Street East. Glass walls and frontages make it a people watcher’s dream. You can see everyone coming AND going. We’ve been known to rush out of meetings at local cafe Felici to grab that ultimate street style photo that we’ve been looking for, when we’ve spotted a stylish fashionista walking past. We always return. Chocaholics can be seen hanging out at all hours at nearby Cocolat where they can indulge in their joint passions of eating chocolate with people watching. And we can hardly wait for the opening of Max Brenner #chocolaterestaurant in a couple of weeks’ time! There’s a red-brick outlook with a picturesque vine-covered staircase on the other side of the glass walls where you can sit, watch, or both! Recently refurbished, the Stag hotel and Bistro is #TopClass! Add Greek (Eros), Thai (Lemon Grass), fine-dining (Orana and Blackwood), Argentinian (Sosta), Vietnamese come Malaysian come Thai come Chinese – Chopstix and soon-to-open Spanish (Iberian).
And don’t forget the local movie-house! Palace Nova’s an absolute institution in Adelaide. It showcases the best in both art house and mainstream film. This 12-screen cinema house has been a crowd favourite in Adelaide since the mid-90’s. They also showcase some of the best international film festivals going around. #InternationalVibe
People gather where there’s a vibe. That’s why they collect in Rundle Street East. It’s tree-lined with terrific street dining under pretty umbrellas and awnings. It’s also one of the narrowest of Adelaide streets, unusual for the capital renowned for having Australia’s widest city roads. It’s perfect for breezy or still summer days and nights. We’re drawn to it. So are all the people watchers we know!
Meet you for a spot of people watching in Rundle Street East. Day time or night, take your pick where.