Claim Adelaide is Australia’s coolest city is causing quite a stir

Adelaide laying claim to the title of coolest city in Australia has caused a stir. Photo: Getty

Adelaide laying claim to the title of coolest city in Australia has caused a stir. Photo: Getty

An overseas newspaper of record’s declaration that Adelaide is the coolest city Down Under has been embraced by South Australian politicians, despite being met with chagrin online by the rest of the country.

The Wall Street Journal claimed that even though Sydney and Melbourne may attract more tourists, “Adelaide has quietly made its name as a go-to escape for gastronomes and nature lovers.”

When imagining the values that would make a city ‘cool’, the ones Adelaide possesses don’t usually spring first to mind.

After interviewing local insiders, the Journal laid bare what it thinks makes Adelaide an underrated delight: restaurants, architecture, fashion and cocktails.

Four of each contributed to “an almost utopian alternative to the typical urban sprawl.”

Adelaide Oval was highlighted as an example of the city’s architecture. Photo: Getty

Bar Peripheral, Osteria Oggi, Retro Room and Room on Fire lead the line for Adelaide’s burgeoning food scene, while locations like Adelaide Oval, Queens’s Theatre and Henley Beach were the best locations the city has to offer.

Whether they stack up to the impressive MCG, Sydney Opera House or Australia’s leading restaurants along the east coast is quite the claim.

The city’s walkable streets, leafy suburbs and Chinese and Vietnamese food were also listed as reasons.


Adelaide’s political class quickly laid claim to the mantle, with Premier Peter Malinauskas saying it “looks like the secret’s out.”

Malinaukas campaigned from opposition on bringing back the Adelaide 500. Photo: AAP

“We Adelaidians have known this forever. Best beaches, hills, wineries, restaurants,” a responder said. “What more could anyone want? Seriously.”

Even those who aren’t Adelaide-born and bred were quick to agree.

“Born and bred in Sydney for most of my life, lived in Brisbane for four years, and moved to Adelaide in 2014,” another said. “Love this city, love what this state has to offer.”

Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith shared the article, but not everyone, even those living in Adelaide, was entirely positive about the claim.

“Nice to see but they’ve obviously not looked very deeply into the reality,” one responder said.

“That the belt of parklands around our city will be broken by government development projects.”

Adelaide is a growing city and is expected to reach over two million people by 2051, and its surrounding wine regions are highly regarded tourist destinations.

Adelaide Hills

There’s no shortage of wineries in the Adelaide Hills. Photo: Getty

Another win

The New Scientist highlighted another win for the South Australian government soon after the Wall Street Journal‘s story, offering the state as an example of effective energy transition to renewables.

“In 2007, just 1 per cent of its electricity came from solar and wind,” the author wrote.

“Today, this proportion has risen to almost 73 per cent, the highest of any major grid in the world.”

Makinaukas was quick to jump on board again.

The City of Adelaide operations have been powered by 100 per cent renewables since the middle of 2020, with the aspiration for the state to reach 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

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