A Bavarian Experience in Adelaide
The Hahndorf Inn is the most German offering experience you can get in Adelaide. The area of Hahndorf is located thirty minutes by car. If you’re visiting Adelaide it may be wise to rent a car to explore the area of Hahndorf. However, we shall predominantly focus on the restaurant.
To give some background, I first discovered this place thanks to a couple of mates. It had been the end of the semester and I was about to travel to Europe for my first exchange semester in a few weeks. I shared a class with my mate (lets call her May for the sake of simplicity.). May was keen to go to Hahndorf to check it out. She was going with one of her mates and asked me to join since I’ve never been as well.
So a couple of days later I strapped my seatbelt on in her car and we drove off on a beautiful sunny day. Once you get out of the city, you’ll have a scenic view of the more lush part of Australia. You’ll also pass some farms that produce many types of fruit, vegetables, jams and honey. I recommend you stop by any of these places along the way to have some tasty and very natural products. You'll meet some interesting figures that could teach you about the history of the region as many of them are part of farming dynasties that were here since Adelaide first began being constructed.
Thirty minutes later we reached the iconic town of Hahndorf. At the heart of the main street you can find the Bavarian influenced Inn. The outside is designed like a traditional Bavarian styled tavern. It has benches and tables set out with a very rustic charm to it. A large sign with its iconic stag proudly declares in all capital, Hahndorf Inn.
The inside, however, feels like you’ve taken a trip to the heart of Germany. At the entrance you will be greeted by an accordian wielding life sized figure of a man dressed in traditional lederhosen and a smile..
The walls are littered with many small flags and paintings of the Bavarian region. Some family portraits of the owners, the Holmes family were proudly on displayed. The interior is completely wooden, with wooden floors and all. The place had a feel of a medieval Bavarian tavern. It still services as a tavern as it doubles as a hotel. If you’re looking to find accommodation to experience a Bavarian-esque experience, then this place has you covered.
A bit of history of the place. This establishment was built by the Holmes family more than a 150 years ago and it is still managed by the same family to this day. The inn offers a great historical and hospitality experience. I was told that many of its ingredients are actually imported from supplies in Austria and Bavaria itself.
The restaurant section of the Inn specialises in traditional Bavarian dishes. It is composed of the main eating area, the bar, the outdoor dining area and a pretty saloon drinking area which I managed to get a quick peek before sitting for our meals.
This place, including the town, is a touristic icon in South Australia. I learnt that the family had came by ship to Australia more than 160 years ago. They also have different German restaurants around South Australia.
We were greeted by a waiter dressed in Bavarian garb and were warmly led to our table, it felt just like home. Before I looked at the meals I was dying of curiosity to see what types of traditional beers they stocked. I was not disappointed. They had many different types of beers imported from Germany. Many Pilsners, lagers and even unfiltered laggers. The main brand they provide is Arcobräu and Irlbacher (had to look up the second one).
I then moved my eyes over to the main food menu
Nothing really prepared me to witness all the great choices to try from. They had all manner of choices to sink your teeth into. They offered different types of Bratwurst based dishes, their house special schnitzel, signature Bavarian style beef ribs, Bayrisher burgers, Stuttgart influenced beef and pork ribs, roasted meats and different platters. They offer many types of potato sides such as wedges, fries, mashed and imported Rhine potatoes. They offer many different salads and Sauerkraut.
They even have a sausage section where they offer different meals, such as Wiener, Bratwurst, Bockwurst and even a ‘wurst’ platter to sample the different tastes.
They also offer Bavarian styled desserts that are worth a try. Their traditional apple strudel gets a big thumbs up from me.
In the end I went for the rhine potatoes, pork schnitzel and the apple strudel. They were all divine tasting and very different from similar dishes I’ve tried before. May’s mate had the pork chops with sauerkraut and she had the Bayrisher burger with a side of wedges. For dessert, May and her mate ordered the dessert platter. It was definitely the right choice. The platter came with a delicious chocolate mousse, they brought raspberry sauce covered cheesecake. They also received date pudding with a sweet caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
We sampled a little of each other’s meals (except the burger for obvious reasons) and deduced that the quality of the food here is sublime.
While we enjoyed our meal over some chit chat and laughter, we took in the atmosphere of the place augmented by traditional Bavarian music playing on low in the background.
Many Bavarian styled Inns attempt to replicate the taste of the original cuisine and fail. However, I am highly confident that this place has done a great job to serve us.
We finished our meals by downing some of the imported lagers. The pricing is not cheap, however, it was worth the experience. I would recommend you try anything on the menu except most of their sausages as they can be found in supermarkets around. However,the majority of the meals are worth trying here. After our enjoyable experience, we sat around for awhile digesting all the food. The portion sizes are fully satisfying here. After awhile we did a bit of exploring around the region and then picked up our parked car and headed off back to Adelaide.
I highly recommend you make the thirty minute ride to this establishment to enjoy a supreme meal. The surrounding town is also filled with historical sites to sightsee including novelty shops for clothes, knick knacks and more food.
Happy eating and safe travels!