In the Mood … the BEST of the Barossa at Café Y!

Swing & Tonic - the Elliott Sisters perform at Café Y, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Swing & Tonic – the Elliott Sisters perform at Café Y, Barossa Valley, South Australia

South Australia’s world famous Barossa Valley is 400 odd km² of wine-buff, foodie, photographer and bakery aficionado heaven.

Chateau Yaldara Barossa Valley, South Australia
Chateau Yaldara via Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia

With more than 70 cellar doors, over 40 restaurants and cafés, and a huge variety of accommodation in a relentlessly picturesque and historic setting, you can’t swing a brush-tailed possum without hitting something gorgeous to see, do or eat.

In fact, there’s so MUCH to see, do and eat that some visitors find it difficult to choose!

But not me.

I know EXACTLY where to go.

So if you’re looking for a Barossa experience that ticks all the boxes, follow me to the FAAAAABULOUS Café Y.

Sure, there are lots of other places in the world famous Barossa Valley, once known as New Silesia and only a short drive from Adelaide, that offer great meals and fine wines with friendly and professional service overlooking a superb Barossa landscape in an historic setting with nearby accommodation and wine tasting.

Café Y via Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Café Y via Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia

But first there’s Café Y’s setting.

It’s perfectly placed to showcase a little bit of everything good about the Barossa. Just north of Lyndoch and its superb bakery – a happy reminder of the region’s German roots – it’s within a stone’s throw of a clutch of cellar doors well worth visiting. Including McGuigans with tasting room and art gallery right next door in historic Chateau Yaldara , if being built in 1947 qualifies as historic!

Café Y from Chateau Yaldara, Barossa Valley
Café Y from Chateau Yaldara, Barossa Valley

If it’s too hard to nominate a designated driver for a day sampling the Barossa’s finest, consider a stay nearby at the superbly positioned Barossa Pavilions high above the Café.

Café Y Pizza Oven
Café Y Pizza Oven

I haven’t yet experienced the delights of this luxury boutique accommodation – I’m saving that for an extra special occasion …  although there’s a BIG hint for anyone wondering what I might like for Christmas!

But I digress …

Then there’s the service.

Nestled between the cellars of the old Chateau Yaldara winery and the North Para River, one of the most appealing aspects of Café Y is the unique personal touch of owner-managers Nick, Mary and Ilias, who with staff regulars Tom and Sara provide a professional, customer-focussed service that makes you feel like one of the family.

Then there’s the view from the windows.

Godfrey and friend outside Café Y, Barossa Valley
Godfrey and friend outside Café Y, Barossa Valley

Down below the cafe, under the guise of frolicking on the lawn, resident gander Godfrey and his harem wait for the bread that magically rains down from the windows above. And make short work the other birds who try to join the party. After their feed, they swim out to Godfrey’s Island in the reeds below the river crossing where Purple Swamphen and Dusky Moorhen nest in spring. Also amongst the reeds, more observant diners can see Australian Reed-Warbler and Little Grassbird in spring and summer.

North Para River in flood, Café Y via Lyndoch, Barossa Valley
North Para River in flood, Café Y via Lyndoch, Barossa Valley

And when the river’s in flood, there’s sometimes the chance to see adventurous (or foolhardy) drivers attempting to negotiate the ford!

Margarita Pizza
Margarita Pizza

Then there’s the food.

Lazing away an afternoon with a platter, a selection from the a la carte menu or a pizza fresh from the oven outside the cafe, followed by dessert and coffee is one of life’s great pleasures.

Greek Lamb Pizza
Greek Lamb Pizza

And a South Australian experience not to miss!!

But then there’s the nightlife!!

Visiting Café Y at night for the first time EVER enhanced my perception of what was already a favourite spot forever!

Gourmet Weekend at the Port Room, Café Y
Gourmet Weekend at the Port Room, Café Y

Transformed for the annual August Barossa Gourmet Weekend, the converted Port Room in the old cellars oozed atmosphere as the superb Elliott Sisters accompanied by band ‘Swing and Tonic’ complemented Café Y’s sensational 4 course menu perfectly.

Sax Appeal #1
Sax Appeal #1

Or was that the other way around?

Whatever.  It also provided the ideal setting in which to indulge my personal weakness … and swoon over the two saxophone players!

I’ll leave you to judge for yourself why these ‘arty’ shots turned out this way!

With the historic mural above the archway and barrel filled tunnels leading off into the underground gloom, Café Y excelled itself with this brilliant amalgam of ambience, fine dining, and musical excellence.

Sax Appeal #2
Sax Appeal #2

A fine reason to consider a return to the Barossa next August, when the Gourmet Weekend rolls around again!

Or to check out the other Café Y special events!!

Yes, there are lots of places to go, sights to see and things to do in the Barossa Valley.

But the Café Y showcase of the delights the Barossa has to offer is the perfect way to start – and finish – your own experience of this awesome South Australian region.

So you know where I’LL be …

Read MORE:

North Para River from Café Y, via Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia
North Para River from Café Y, via Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia

Disclosure: Red Nomad OZ was a guest of Cafe Y for the Gourmet Weekend Function

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  1. @TMWH – Food, wine, wildlife, scenery … what’s NOT to love! I’ll have a slice and a glass on your behalf next time I’m there!
    @Sallie – I see I’ll have to share more about my eating & drinking habits!!! Yes, I really AM human!
    @SFlaGuy – Hahahaha! Wish I could … but it might lose something in the crossing! You’ll just have to head (or sail!) downunder instead!!!
    @Go Camping – You can’t go wrong with the pizza … or the wine … or the scenery … or the wildlife! Go on … you KNOW you want to!
    @Marja – The river is only rough every so often when it’s in flood! Luckily, it’s not that common!!
    @Ramakant Pradhan – You’re WAY too kind!! But thanx anyway – so glad you dropped in!!

  2. @Swing&Tonic – Couldn’t pick between your 2 comments, so added both!! And are you kidding? Of COURSE it’s OK to link to my blog!! See you round somewhere, sometime!
    @Vicki – Haha, you could do worse then that!!! It’s a great spot – just mention my name when you visit and see where that gets you! Then let me know …
    @Jill – Haha, not sure how much (if anything) my name will get you – but give it a go, then let me know!!!
    @JoAnne – it’s even better for real!!
    @Iris – Hahaha, that cracks me up! But … can you get a woodfired Greek lamb pizza at home?!?!
    @Rose – I’m sure there’s lots of fabulousness up your way too – but there’s just something about the Barossa …
    @Sharon – HAhaha, you’re not the only one to fall for Aussie wines!! But they’re even better in a setting like this!!! Thanx again for your wonderful comments – they make my day!

  3. @Andrew – Taking public transport is the ONLY way to go! Unless you’ve got a designated driver, of course!!! It’s really a TOP spot!
    @Saucy – I’m loudly and proudly a photo amateur! These are exactly how they came out of my camera, but thanx anyway!! Glad you enjoyed – next time I’ll have glass or two for you!!
    @Linley – My pleasure! I wonder would we recognise each other if we met by accident there? Just mention my name at Café Y!!
    @Beach Bum – What? Even though there’s no beach??!!
    @FruitCake – It tastes even better than it looks!!! Don’t believe me?? You’ll just have to head over & try it … just tell the Café Y staff you’ll have Red & Pilchard’s fave!!
    @Whiteangel – The back way is STILL dirt roads!! But still spectacularly scenic!!
    @Eileeninmd – I hope you DO visit one day, my friend!

  4. My humblest apologies for taking so long to respond! Thank you all for your wonderful comments – they’re much appreciated!
    @Manzanita – Haha, don’t know about ‘shopping’, but the proverbial ‘drop’ was absolutely drained by the time we were done!! I’ll get that portal fixed & you can join me next time!
    @GL – Haha, nice try!!! We’ll know whether we’ve succeeded or failed if there’s a whole lot more people there next time!!!
    @Jo – Well who knows?? Maybe I’ll see you there sometime soon???
    @Joop Zand – I’m guessing this spot is a little different to Holland, right?? Come down & see it sometime!
    @Denise – Well who’s stopping you then?!?!?!?!
    @River – You’ll just have to MAKE them stop next time!! Just mention my name … although I’m not sure where that’ll get you! Let me know!!

  5. About time you found a little civilization. I was starting to wonder if you had a faulty navigation computer. Now since we are such great friends and all… can you over night me one of those Greek Lamb pizzas? There are a few things I can’t get here in the local pizzeria.

  6. Delightful read … this was a different kind of adventure for you.. it is such fun to know you’re human and eat and drink and take artistic photos just like the rest of us! Cafe Y sounds like such a fun spot. We buy Australian wines quite often…would love to sample them closer to their origin… meanwhile (or more likely instead) it is lovely to see your pictures of this fun and lovely part of the country.

  7. What a beautiful, idyllic retreat. I was relaxed just reading your description. Godfrey and I would have gotten along famously, and of course the food would have been very welcome!

  8. That was certainly an eye-popping, mouth-watering account of a perfect weekend retreat. I saw a movie a few years ago called “The Boys are Back” filmed in an Australian Wine Region and the scenery was so spectacular that I immediately fell in love with Australia without leaving home. I had already fallen in love with Australian wines many years ago.

  9. G’day Red,
    I’m up with the chooks, coffee in hand and catching up on all of your recent posts – I’ve been missing in blog-land lately!
    Mmm, Cafe Y will now have to go on my “to visit” list….
    So many gorgeous images and fascinating places to visit throughout your posts Red…. drool.
    You and Pilchard have a good week now!

  10. Barossa Valley was too German for me! In Hahndorf they even have one Café with the Portrait of Wilhelm Busch, a writer from the next village near my hometown… Cherry trees and all that, I could´ve stayed home! 😉

  11. I am certainly going to have to go to Cafe Y if I ever go to the Barossa Valley Red. Shall I mention your name?
    ps of love your “arty” night shots
    Happy travels and have a great week.

  12. How beautiful! I want to have lunch there today! To sit in the winter sunshine and enjoy one of those pizzas, mmmmm.

    Don’t you just love it when “favourite spots” just get better every time?

    Café Y looks like just the place to fall in love with! It’s going on my list of places to visit. Yes indeed 🙂

  13. Great writeup. Glad you enjoyed Swing and Tonic and the Elliott Sisters. We had a great night playing to such a receptive audience. And the band agree that the food was amazing. We hope to do it again next year.

    Hope you don’t mind the shameless plug, but you’re welcome to check us out at or like us on . Also, we’ve linked to your blog, hope you don’t mind?

    If you’re at another gig, feel free to come and say Hi!

  14. What a beautiful place! Love the tour and the geese. The pizza looks delicious! I would love to visit myself. Thanks for sharing, have a happy day and week ahead.

  15. Thanks Red, you have just saved me from having to do all the research on the Barossa. I trust your judgement. A fantastic post, great pics and very informative. I can’t wait to go there. Cheers

  16. I think not – I think you brushed them slightly in a program – anyway, they look NEAT my dear Red. I feel like I have been of a Ferris Wheel with all the different little slices of this most interesting post. I could very well be here and relish all it has to offer. I would especially enjoy the music, the pizza, the views and mostly the little river view with the stools in last photo. Well done Red 🙂

  17. The Barossa is truly a delight. As you will recall, oh you don’t, we did a bus tour of the Barossa a couple of years ago. It does not cover everything you have mentioned, but many. It is a nice and easy way to do it, and our lunch was very nice.

  18. It’s such a beautiful area! I’ve driven through there a couple of times, but always with other people on the way to somewhere else, so we never stopped. But I saw plenty looking out the van windows.

  19. Ooh, I know how you feel about this place, but I’m so selfish I want to keep it a huge best-kept secret. Now it’s OUT. Perhaps your Followers close enough to go there will ignore your advice and stay away? If they know what’s good for them, they’ll head there as fast as possible.

  20. WOW ….. what a neat place. Your photos are so dang beautiful, I would like to step through time and into any one of them. That shot of looking down on the geese is a prize shot. And that rushing water…. you can feel the spray.
    I hope you shopped till the old proverbial drop. And that you are having a grand weekend.

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