Our favourite McLaren Vale spots
Heading to the Vale? These are a few of our favourite spots to grab a wine, beer, gin or meal. Hit them all or pick one or two – we promise you won't regret it.
You've tried the wine, now meet the people behind it. We love the Hither & Yon crew, headed up by brothers Mal and Richard Leask. They're legendary figures in McLaren Vale and advocates for delicious, environmentally friendly wine as well as all things related to the Vale. The cellar door is super cute and often hosts live music, so jump onto their socials or website to see if anything is coming up.
These guys are great for a morning tasting. We love their bubbles and they also have some really cool, classic/alternative wines revolving around a fun alphabet concept.
This is a top spot to end the day. The winery is positioned on a beautiful hill, has a great outdoor setup and the wines are some of the best in the Vale (especially their Italian varietals). They've also partnered with a gin distillery, so if you're over wine, you can have a gin instead.
It has become a bit of an influencer attraction, but DTRH is still stunning and absolutely worth a visit. You won't be disappointed by the wines, vibes or surroundings.The owners are fantastic, but it can be a bit of a scene if it's busy, with lots of people on their phones taking photos. Avoid weekends if you can.
A genuine contender for our favourite Vale winery, with some of the best wine in the region. They have a female winemaker, Alexia, who has won a bunch of awards, but the vibe is very much 'friend's shed'. Their gins are excellent too and they have outdoor games to keep you entertained. It really does feel like you're drinking wine in a mate's backyard.
This is, in our humble opinion, the best pizza in Australia. Get the diablo and drink a delicious spritz, then finish with the divine tiramisu. It's a super popular, family-owned operation and great for either lunch or dinner. Don't miss it!
We can't stress enough how important it is that you visit the Salopian Inn. Go for lunch, go for dinner, go for snacks, and definitely book. It's where all the locals eat and drink and the pork buns here are rightly famous. As are the vegetarian buns. Try through everything on the menu and don't forget to head underground to the cellar, where you can choose your own bottle. They also have a huge gin list and make fantastic cocktails. Again: do not miss this.
This is another great pub and their food is top quality. Very chilled country pub vibes and an amazing chef overseeing everything. Like Salopian, they have an underground cellar which is worth checking out.
Another famous restaurant, which has stunning ocean views (if you can get the right table). Well worth a trip for snacks and a spritz. We also love grabbing a few bottles from our favourite wineries and having a picnic on the beach here.
Accommodation (and more)
Our hot tips are Hotel California Road and The Vineyard. There are also plenty of cute Air BnBs, but be sure to book early as accommodation here will always book out well in advance. If you're in town on a Saturday, Willunga Farmers Markets is a great time (if the lavender brownies are still there, they're honestly worth flying over for). We also love Swell Brewery for when you need a palate cleanser that isn't wine. And because we don't condone drink-driving, we're always recommending booking transport with Chook's, so you can make the most of your trip.