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Motherduck Cafe

Home > Adelaide > Breakfast | Cafes | Coffee | Dog Friendly | Lunch
by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at www.walkeatshare.wordpress.com
Published May 28th 2016
It's our local
There's an alluring little cafe on Goolwa's main street called Motherduck. If you are lucky enough to live here, and you can't find your best friend on any given day of the week, chances are they will be at Motherduck. You see, since opening two years ago, the cafe has become something of a gathering place for locals, and visitors, to idle away time for a higher good; wellbeing.

You'll find Motherduck on Goolwa's main street
You'll find Motherduck on Goolwa's main street


Motherduck staff say that around seventy percent of their customers are locals who go there to meet up with friends as well as for the great coffee and luscious local food. But before I tell you about all that, let me set the scene.

Inspired by the Slow Food movement, Goolwa signed a pledge, in 2007, to resist the high-speed frenzy of the modern world and maintain a sense of calm in the community. The movement is known as Cittaslow, meaning Slow Cities, and Goolwa was the first town in Australia to join this global movement. It aims to create an environment where people resist the pressure to live by the clock, and give preference to good living practices.

The original Cittaslow manifesto declared "We are looking for towns where people are still curious about times past, towns rich in theatres, squares, cafes, workshops, restaurants and spiritual places, towns with untouched landscapes and fascinating craftsmen, where people are still aware of the slow passing of the seasons, marked by genuine products, respecting tastes, health and spontaneous customs…."


Choose to sit outside or inside
Choose to sit outside or inside


And so, in keeping with Cittaslow philosophy, locals linger over coffee at the sidewalk tables, chatting with friends, gathering their thoughts or watching the world go by.

Locals linger over coffee at the sidewalk tables.
Locals linger over coffee at the sidewalk tables.


Inside, the 105-year-old stone walls of the building have been enhanced with a mix of new and recycled building materials, resulting in a unique yet welcoming ambience.

The friendly staff, including the owner's daughters, are Fleurieu locals themselves, which adds all the more to the cafe's nurturing feel.

Inside Motherduck cafe
Inside Motherduck cafe


So imagine yourself lingering over breakfast here. It's offered from 8.30-11.30am, Tuesday to Sunday with all dietary options, including paleo, available. The pièce de résistance is the Motherduck Big Breakfast for $21.00. It comprises free range eggs, bacon, pork sausage, Swiss mushroom, sweet potato rosti, sautéed spinach served on toasted sourdough with tomato relish.

Lunch from 12-3pm sees a changing, seasonal menu but always features a duck dish. The current, winter menu includes chinese five spiced confit duck breast, served with crispy potatoes, broccolini, pickled ginger and corriander for $25.

There are local, seasonal and house-made specials available too, depending on what is fresh and abundant locally.

Specials feature local, seasonal food
Specials feature local, seasonal and house-made food


The coffee is good, with a 'Bullet Proof' variety available. You can even upgrade your Bullet Proof coffee with Brain Octane oil. There's a range of teas, hot chocolates, juices, milkshakes and nutritious smoothies. There's a kids menu, of course, and cocktails and local wines for grown-ups inclined to imbibe. Why not? There's time.

Motherduck Cafe
Mother duck Cafe in Cadell Street


Actress Lily Tomlin is credited for saying 'For fast-acting relief from stress, try slowing down'. Wonderful advice, and Motherduck is one good place do it.
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Why? For fast-acting relief from stress, try slowing down.
When: Tuesday-Sunday 8am-4pm
Phone: (08) 8555 1462
Where: 13 Cadell Street, Goolwa
Cost: Coffee from $3.50
Your Comment
Am interested in the cittaslow principal of slow cities. Having recently come back from the hurly burly of Europe with its wall to wall people. It is good to find there is still an ethos out there that is not all about rapid expansion and profit at all cost.
The value in finding space for the seasons and spiritual is inspiring.
Spiritual places can be anywhere. The beach, park, church, café - where ever you are.
by Jenny Esots (score: 3|1389) 1467 days ago
Looks cute
by Seafarrwide (score: 3|1906) 1466 days ago
This is a nice little eatery with good taste in decorations. (I particularly liked the wooden ladder planter.) 
I was most interested in reading about the Cittaslow movement. What a brilliant idea! It formalises lots of the desirable aspects of a potential new home town. 
I see the Cittaslow International General Assembly is coming to Goolwa next May. I wonder if there are other towns in Australia that could apply? Two that quickly come to mind are Willunga, SA and Mt Tamborine, Qld. Montville, Qld is a third.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4155) 1464 days ago
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