East meets West - why they're both the best

At Play


Posted on 22 Jun 2018

Both sides of King William Street have undergone transformational changes in recent times. In the East, the community of local traders, along Rundle Street and into its dynamic network of side streets, is stronger than ever and accessibility has been enhanced with new infrastructure. On the other side of town, the once wild image of the West continues to be challenged and changed by the arrival of fresh new faces, inspired by a new breed of businesses.

With action-packed Hindley Street at its heart, the West is now mixing its renowned nightlife with cool new offerings in response to the opening of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and the growth of the university precinct.

There’s been a noticeable shift in what’s on offer in the West End with the laneway hot-spots of Peel and Leigh Streets continuing to draw crowds and old haunts getting a new lease on life.

“There’s always something going on down here. It’s become a lot more dynamic with the hospital and university crowds really embracing the area. Students and medical staff dominate the daytime crowds.”
Mitch Gurnett, General Manager of West Oak Hotel

The evolution of the West has only served to further enhance the area’s international cred, with Lonely Planet naming it one of Australia’s coolest neighbourhoods to visit in late 2017.

Take a short stroll across the city to Adelaide’s East End and you’ll experience the welcoming atmosphere which made it the number one location for Treadly Bike Shop owners Sam and Emily Neeft.

“Ebenezer Place is a nice little vibrant street with a lot of locally run businesses. Everyone gets along really well, helps each other out – it’s a great little community with a family vibe. There are a lot of capital works going on in the East End to improve the area, which will make it a more appealing space to use and move around in.”
Sam Neeft, Treadly Bike Shop

Part of that community is Leonard St. Clothing, owned by interstate entrepreneur, Amanda McCarthy, who was visiting Adelaide two years ago when she saw the opportunity to bring her brand to South Australia.

One of the East End’s attractive qualities is the many festivals and events that happen in the precinct which are great for bringing more people to the area.

“As a close-knit community, we team together to line up our promotions and generate a real buzz around our locality,” said Leonard St. Clothing store manager, Jordan.

Back in the West and a recent arrival helping raise the precinct’s profile is the five-star Mayfair Hotel.

“Since the Mayfair opened its doors in 2015 it’s become Adelaide’s leading boutique hotel, consistently ranking as the number one hotel in Adelaide, and also recently being named the best five-star hotel in Australia (Trivago),’’ said General Manager Martin Radcliffe.

“The hotel has played an important role in attracting a new demographic to the West End, particularly interstate and international visitors keen to visit the area’s restaurants, bars and nearby major venues like Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Festival Centre and Adelaide Convention Centre.”

Six ways to experience Adelaide’s West End

  1. Take a multicultural gastronomic journey. Try Waymouth Street or the fragrance-filled laneways of Leigh and Peel Streets for high end dining and top street eats;
  2. Perk up with an alfresco coffee at award-winning Peter Rabbit in Hindley’s west;
  3. Visit the brand-new futuristic Museum of Discovery, MOD, and challenge your perception of what it means to be human;
  4. Live it up to some live music: from the laid-back vibe at local favourite the Grace Emily Hotel to the sleek HQ Complex and many more;
  5. Take a tour of the distinctive architecture of the SAHMRI Building;
  6. Hit Gresham Place and Bank Street, wander through Topham Mall or detour into Anster Street to discover quirky shops, hidden bars, cool cafes and creative hubs – plus some great street art.

Six ways to experience the East End

  1. Shop till you drop with top fashion, big brands and bespoke;
  2. Pull up a pew at an iconic ‘local’ like The Exeter or The Austral;
  3. Get a haircut from legend Frank the Barber in Frank’s Lane;
  4. Bar hop a night away with a basement stop at new Hellbound Wine Bar, or hit the side streets and discover gems like Mr Goodbar, The Howling Owl, Mother Vine, East End Cellars and NOLA;
  5. Take five in nature: enjoy some family time in Rymill Park / Mullawirraburka / Park 14 or the Adelaide Botanic Gardens;
  6. Enrich your knowledge of Aboriginal culture and history at Tandanya.

Article by

Paula Stevens

Paula Stevens

Discovering the unfamiliar in the familiar

Paula has called Adelaide home her entire life and has spent many years exploring its nooks and crannies. She is excited and inspired when uncovering a new story, a hidden place, and hearing the stories of people who add to the colour and life of the city.


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