1/7 Union Street, Adelaide, South Australia
(08) 8227 2772
Situated just off Rundle St in Adelaide’s East End, Penny University occupies a tiny space that is bursting with life Monday to Friday. In its first year of operation it has already built a reputation for serving up excellent coffee, quick breakfasts and delicious lunches to hungry locals.
Old school service and character that greets you like an old friend. A cosy hole in the wall to escape with a cappuccino and something sweet to warm you up. Your pop-past destination for all things on the go. Penny University has you covered for all of the above.
Since 2014, brothers Foti and Hristo Likouras have been serving breakfast, lunch, coffee and sweet treats to Adelaide’s hungriest, with no signs of slowing down. The brothers know what’s up when it comes to successful hospitality, having grown up around the hustle and bustle of restaurant life in their father’s Adelaide Central Market venue, The Big Table.
The name Penny University is a trick for the history buffs, playing on 18th-century coffee houses. Back in the day, paying a penny for entry would allow you to indulge in coffee and exchange ideas with like-minded people inside. Foti and Hristo have kept this theme of conversation and of course, coffee, alive with their intimate, communal seating that inspires friendly chats and the exchange of ideas.
Industrial wooden benches line the sun-soaked windows so sit back with a croissant and graze over the morning papers or watch the hustle and bustle of East End pass you by.
Their small but immensely popular menu features classic options that never go out of style, such as wholemeal banana bread with rhubarb compote and ricotta, or shakshuka baked eggs with hot green peppers and tomatoes on Turkish toast. However, it’s the rotating specials, making the most of fresh produce from nearby Adelaide Central Market, that gets people talking.
The smoked salmon bowl (where the bowl is literaly made out of avocado), twisted toasties or wicked creme brulee french toast can be enjoyed alongside a barista-brewed coffee or ‘dirty beetroot iced latte’. If you’re still hungry, top either with one of their house-baked scones with jam and cream or a cheeky ‘snickers’ cannoli.
If you’re on the go, there’s a side window for you to drop by and order one of their delicious salads or crusty bread sandwiches. For a little extra, add Portuguese style chicken to any salad selection – but the portions are generous, so whatever your choice you won’t be going hungry. These healthy and fresh salads are so popular that demand goes beyond supply, so get in fast.
If you’re having trouble finding the cafe, just look out for the queue. With coffee good enough to line up for, the smooth moreish flavour and delicious aroma will set you up for a good day. With everything from your classic flat whites to a chai buzz (a chai latte with a shot of espresso), the team at Penny University caters for every caffeinated desire that comes through the door.
If you love what Penny University is doing, you can also catch Foti and the team at Adelaide Central Market where they churn out fresh juices and smoothies from their funky juice bar – the Plantation Juice Co.
Penny University operates Monday to Friday and with only a tiny five-metre hole in the wall to work with. Be prompt, their loyal regulars are early risers and this is one you don’t want to miss.