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Queen Street Café
12 Elizabeth Street
Croydon South Australia 5008
w Not available
e Not available
t +61 8 8340 0708
f +61 8 8346 1997
open 7 days, 8.00 am til 4.00pm

last updated 14 September, 2012

FOOD the Queen Street Café has become something of an institution and now into its middle years (in terms of restaurant life) it has settled into maturity with a good deal of dignity. They have tossed out the dreadful pre=prepared lunch rolls that were always hard and cold and they’ve upgraded their cake selection and now buy their cakes from one of only three reliable bakers in Adelaide. They come from Muratti on Prospect road, a baker confident and cheeky enough to bring his cakes for the staff at Rockford wines on his way to a Stonewall Table. Queen Street Café has been cleaned up and dirty tea towels no longer languish on everyone’s shoulder and chef Bill Petropoulous doesn’t look like he should be sent home to iron his uniform, in fact he looks very nifty. There is something about a clean, ironed chef’s uniform, it’s a mark of pride. However these superficial complaints never really spoiled the breakfast or the coffee. The restaurant is located in the midst of some very cute shops, especially One Small Room, because it feeds our passion for quality 60s furniture at prices that will make overseas and Eastern staters weep for joy. You can even get a great haircut from the girls at Curious Orange.

Breakfast prices are at the upper end but represent real value for money. Eggs are perfectly cooked, bacon crisp, toast is thick and buttered (praise God!) and breakfast comes hot straight from the stove….yes! I detest eggs that are fried in a non–stick pan with a squirt of that disgusting aerosol canola and there’s definitely none of that laziness here. Breakfast items include all the usuals but come better than most. Toasted banana and walnut bread $10.90, fresh fruit, yoghurt, almonds and organic honeycombe and Belgian waffle with mixed berry compote. Scrambled eggs, Springs smoked salmon, goats’ curd and baby spinach is a pile of bright yellow soft big lumps of moist scrambled egg, ample smoked salmon and spinach, all on a couple of big slabs of buttered toast. It’s a gorgeous breakfast. They also have spiced braised beans with eggs and really the only thing that is missing is baked blood sausage and eggs. A recent Blue swimmer crab omelette with fresh herbs, despite the damned, so called ’wild rocket’ that seems to garnish 90% of food in Adelaide the omelette was utterly divine! The request for chilli and coriander instead of herbs was happily accommodated and the crab was sweet and delicious. An omelette is a tricky thing in a restaurant, after all Elizabeth David devoted an entire book to An omelette and a glass of wine. I detest the pale insipid tasteless offering taught as the classical omelette by our culinary colleges. Made by sous chef Justin Ghaddab it was faultless (by my measure), buttery delicate lightly browned bottom, soft enough to fold in half without breaking the outside edge (the true art of a bench mark omelette) and stuffed with perfectly cooked filling. Why should we be so surprised to find such a good breakfast, well the fact is that Adelaide breakfasts lag behind Melbourne where mostly the price is the same and the quality not even close. I find it bizarre that restaurant kitchens don’t have pepper mills and instead have nasty old pre ground pepper kicking around the kitchen for weeks on end to lose its flavour to the hot and sticky environment. Reassuring to notice a chef with two Peugeot pepper mills and everyone working at the stoves using them…hurray!

Coffee has always been great at Queen Street and here comes my only real breakfast bitch – raw sugar, which unless it is Billingtons organic, beautiful but very expensive, the raw sugar is mainly refined white sugar treated with Golden Syrup. It’s not exactly a healthy option and the treacly taste spoils the coffee. Looks like I need to add some white sugar to my pepper mill in my diner handbag survival kit.
Breakfast is all day and embellished with lunch items like their open steak sandwich and grilled chicken salad with beans, egg, roast potatoes, olives and fresh herbs.

WINE fully licensed – two sparkling, four white, five reds and a single rose, the most expensive the 07 Simonet Blanc brut $48, but the rest are mainly around $35 and just under $40. A glass of 08 Lofty Valley, Shiraz $8 was a generous pour and came in a decent glass. What’s not to like……nothing!

hype & seek
we have bought some gorgeous bargains here…ranging from two wonderful small Danish look chairs and a fabulous 60s shell handbag that is admired and coveted by all who see it! Stock is always moving in and out and we have learned by miserable disappointment not to hesitate.
one small room
which of course is several small rooms stuffed with 60s gorgeous at very good prices. Stock comes and goes very weekly and we try to make it a weekly pilgrimage. The fact is if you like i buy it because it won’t be there after the weekend.
industrial revolution
has a sense of humour and things we would love to take home, from beautiful old work benches to shelving and all manner of quirky stuff interspersed with a lot more semi–useless but terrific stuff…we like this shop a lot!
curious orange
hair cutters

we love these girls who give fabulous cuts (and the rest) and we love that there is no endless pressure to buy product you don’t want or need.

Always something delicious to consider at Queen Street Café… and none of us are above (or below) a glass of decent red and a plate of livers for breakfast

SALA exhibitions are a fantastic way to discover amazing artists that might not (as yet) have such a big profile but the whole point is the red dots go up very quickly and getting out early is very good advice. To read more about SALA please …click here


the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
Ann Oliver

champagne editor
Kaaren Palmer


Jan Bowman
Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

Olivia Stratton Makris
Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

Michael Martin…Northern America 2016.Photographic assistance Kym Martin…Adelaide based.

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copyright © text, recipes and images Ann Oliver & Kaaren Palmer 2016.