At 750 kilometres north of Adelaide, Coober Pedy is known for opal mining and not its fine dining – but there are plenty of buzzing places in town to fill up on wholesome fare.
Restaurants, cafes and diners service the constant influx of four-wheel-drive nomads, fly-in visitors and backpackers, not to mention the locals.
Pizza, pasta and pub classics are a given, but you can also be surprised by fab Italian and Asian options. Check out some of the best places to eat and drink in Coober Pedy.
Opening image: Big Winch 360 cafe. Image: heidi who photos.
Big Winch 360 Cafe & Wine Bar
The Big Winch 360 complex perches over Coober Pedy, providing expansive views over town and to the Breakaways. The Big Winch has been a popular attraction and meeting place for visitors and locals since it was built by Claus Wirries in the early 1970’s. The cafe and wine bar dishes up some of South Australia’s best produce and wine, which you can enjoy in their relaxed venue or outdoors on their lush lawn to catch a stunning Outback sunset.
Crystal Cafe is found in the centre of town inside the Desert Cave Hotel: the world’s only underground hotel, where you can experience Coober Pedy’s famous ‘dug-out’ style living. This architectural marvel also includes underground shops and an underground gaming room and bar. At Crystal Cafe, you can enjoy a light buffet or a la carte breakfast, or have your choice of cakes and coffee.
The Italian Club
This local community club is the perfect place to catch a desert sunset surrounded by good vibes and friendly locals where you can tuck into some great food. The Italian Club was opened in 1964 and is run mainly by volunteers. Come on a Friday to enjoy fish and chips and live music, as well as great Italian fare like lasagna and fresh seafood. Plus, they have both indoor and outdoor fireplaces to relax with a nice cold beer. The club is open from Thursday to Saturday, with meals available from 6-8pm.
Ck Confectionaire is really something special in Coober Pedy. Run by Cherry and Kaysy, the bakery and cafe serves up stellar coffee, delicious pastries, the best pies for miles and Asian-fusion style lunches. Their diverse menu includes everything from breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, Asian favourites and authentic Fillipino staples! Situated just off the main roundabout in town this bakery is open Monday to Friday from 7am-5.30pm and 8.30am-3pm Saturdays. Just be aware they close over the summer months (from mid-Dec to early Feb) due to the heat.
Opal Inn Bistro
The Opal In Bistro sits within the Opal Inn Hotel, Motel and Caravan park, right in the centre of town. There’s a pasta and pizza bar, with burgers and other classic bistro fare, such as porterhous steak, chicken schnitzels and a kid’s menu to keep the little ones happy.
John’s Pizza Bar and Restaurant
John’s Pizza Bar and Restaurant is a family owned and operated business where you can find relaxed café style and alfresco dining. Here it’s all about the customers, as they strive to provide visitors and locals with the very best dining experience. Choose from their wide range of pastas or piping hot pizzas, complemented with an Australian red from their wide selection. Or you can simply pop in for an espresso coffee and a slice of one of their delicious cakes.
Outback Bar and Grill
It may sound odd, but this brightly lit petrol station diner is one of the best places to eat in Coober Pedy! Outback Bar and Grill is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you can find roasts, pastas, burgers, lasagne and schnitzels on the menu…you name it, they’ve got it. There’s daily specials and vego options (and an awesome Greek-style lamb salad that’s a nice change from trucker norms). There’s plenty to grab and go, or you can enjoy their big-screen TV or outdoor courtyard and beer garden.
Travel to Coober Pedy
Rex flies to Coober Pedy. Book your flights here.
Want more to explore in the Opal City? Check out our top 8 experiences when travelling to Coober Pedy.