With the borders open once again, your social media feed is filled with envy-inducing photos of your friends lounging on the picturesque Amalfi coast. While it may be tempting to jet off and experience it for yourself, why not sample a slice of Italy right here on the Limestone Coast?
Because hey, with a stunning coastline, thriving restaurant scene, and six distinct wine regions, you can always savour the flavours of Italy without even leaving the country! It's time for your friends to experience a serious case of FOMO as you indulge in all the delicious offerings right in your own backyard.
Nestled in at South Australia’s southernmost point lies the picturesque Port MacDonnell, affectionately known as 'Port Mac' to locals. This stunning coastal town is not only blessed with breathtaking views but is also home to the State’s largest lobster fishing fleet – so it should really go without saying that a few slices of The Bay Pizzaria’s legendary ‘Cray Cray’ (that’s Crayfish to the uninitiated) is one culinary delight not to be missed. This local gem was crowned the best pizzeria in the Limestone Coast by the people 2021, and it's pretty easy to see why. With its spectacular beachfront location, an extensive menu catering to all dietary needs, including vegan options and special treats for the little ones, it’s an absolute must-visit when you’re in town. Oh, and let's not forget their seriously moreish Tim Tam dessert pizza to sweeten the deal even more…
It's no surprise that a winery or two made the cut, and Ottelia Wines is a standout on the list. Their recently renovated cellar door and restaurant offers all the luxe trimmings at a very reasonable price (think: classic, simple Italian wood-fired pizzas for only around $25 each). Pair that with a luscious Italian wine varietal (how about a Sangiovese?), and you’ll think you just found Campania in the Coonawarra! Oh, just remember to book in advance - the secret is well and truly out about this place, after Gourmet Traveller Wine Mag anointed it with the title of ‘Cellar Door with Best Food for 2022’ Coonawarra/Limestone Coast region.
Raidis Estate takes its cue from the European philosophy that most things in life are best enjoyed shared - and they've well and truly re-created those warm, welcoming ways at their cellar door in Penola. With the family roots firmly embedded in Southern Europe, these guys dish up delectable wood-fired pizzas and tunes most Sundays, inviting both locals and visitors to gather around a loaded table filled with good wine, great food, and even better company. It's no wonder that people rave about the laid-back, feel-good vibes of this kid-friendly Coonawarra icon.
For those in search of a one-of-a-kind food and wine adventure, a trip to Farmers Leap Wines is an absolute must. Perched between idyllic vineyards, this scenic cellar door provides the perfect setting to indulge in their signature Shiraz, and a few slices of mouth-watering wood-oven pizza. The Farmers behind this operation took a bold leap into viticulture and hospitality, and it’s certainly paid off - their wines and pizzas are nothing short of exceptional. Whether you’re lounging on the lush lawns or snuggling up indoors, this Padthaway staple dishes up a dream that will take your tastebuds on holiday. Oh, and did we mention those breathtaking views? You can find more of those right here!
Sitting on the outskirts of Mount Gambier you’ll find Little Rippa Brewing Company which delivers BIG on flavour. Bask in the ambiance of good hospitality, indulge in their wood-oven pizzas or opt for a more substantial meal (how about their succulent rack of lamb?), topping it all off with a classic Italian affogato. Gather your friends and family for a long afternoon sampling a long line up of fresh brews made with pristine, naturally filtered Limestone Coast water. For more ideas on frothies with friends, fill your diary (and your belly) even further with our handy Guide to Breweries on the Limestone Coast.
Located just south of Mount Gambier, The Apple Farm will transport you straight to the Veneto region. Surrounded by picturesque vineyards and over a thousand apple trees, this spot oozes eclectic charm and is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. While The Apple Farm doesn't have regular opening hours, you can often visit on Sundays, provided there aren't any private events scheduled (check their Facebook page for upcoming open days). Spend your day feasting on delicious wood-fired pizzas while the kids play in the gardens, chasing the chooks and kicking a ball around. Prego!
Change one letter in this town and you’re basically in Rome, so it makes perfect sense that Robe should be home to a wicked little pizza bar with a piazza (that’s courtyard to the rest of us). Serving up a range of gourmet pizzas, pastas and tapas right in the heart of town, Olive’s Robe is a genuine splash of coastal cool, and the beating heart of Italy in the village. Because when in Rome… you do as the Romans (or Robe-ans) do, right? Book your table, take your sweet old time to peruse the extensive wine list, or go for something a little more ‘presto’ with take away via Drift Café across the road.
Over at Food Lab Robe, you'll wind back the clock in a retro diner as it pumps out delicious pizzas, classic European vibes and the odd live music act to really get the party started, while the ever-roaming Little Dip Italian Gelato pop up cart is a staple over the summer months with icy cold cones of lemon and mango sorbet and even the odd Sicilian Pistachio for good measure.
So, there you have it - a little slice of Italy right here on the Limestone Coast! With a stunning coastline, spectacular cuisine and all those friendly Mediterranean feels, taking your tastebuds to our backyard is a like a warm hug from an old friend. Whether you're a pizza aficionado, a lover of vino, or just keen to feast with family and friends (famiglia e amici), you'll find flavour from coast to vines, and everywhere else in between. Because hey, you’re hungry… and we’re bellissimo. Ciao babe!