A culinary extravaganza awaits you in the land down under. And this list of the ten best restaurants is just the beginning!
The past two years have been stressful, to say the very least. Australia in particular has continued to enforce strict borders, only easing up in the past few weeks.
However, the culinary landscape has continued to display resilience, with new restaurants and bars opening up on the regular. From a seaside eatery in Sydney to a degustation dinner with a view of Uluru, dining in Australia has always been, and remains an incredible experience.
While curating the best of best restaurants in Australia, we’ve tried to include a bit of everything. From local flavours to unique twists on tradition, and award-winning dishes, together it all represents the diversity of restaurants in the country.
And of course, there’s always the lure of spectacular views combined with near faultless service. Scroll away through the list, and pick out the restaurant (or more!) that appeals to your inner gourmand.
Suggested read: Love is in the food
Nothing screams dining in Australia more than Quay. Located on Sydney Harbour’s waterfront with sweeping views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the ambience and food alike are top notch.
Helmed by renowned Chef Peter Gilmore, the intricately prepared and delicately balanced dishes has won Quay more awards than any other restaurant in Australia. It’s one of only two Australian restaurants on the prestigious S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The restaurant opened post lockdown in mid 2020, and brought with it a signature tasting menu for guests who’d been missing the quintessential Quay experience. Definitely a must-visit.
Pee Wee’s at the Point, Darwin
Pee Wee’s at the Point has long established itself as an iconic spot in Darwin. At the restaurant, you’re treated to a stunning view of the ocean alongside some truly delicious food. The dishes here hero the Northern Territory’s fresh seafood and local produce. Dive into a wild-caught saltwater barramundi with herbs and lemon myrtle, or opt for a tasting platter that takes you on a gourmet tour of the chef’s kitchen. Either way, a trip to Darwin is incomplete without a visit here.
Most people immediately, and rightly so, associate Attica with chef and owner Ben Shewry. One of the most lauded chefs and TV personalities in Australia, he’s known for sophisticated yet playful menus.
And that’s exactly what you get at Attica, one of the more popular fine-dine restaurants around. A degustation here offers great insight into Australia’s most cutting edge cuisine trends. There’s a great deal of insight and effort put in right from foraging ingredients to prep to service. While the plates may seem simple at first glance, there’s hidden layers waiting to surprise you with every bite. Using ingredients like emu liver, quandong and finger lime, it’s all about expecting the unexpected here. Be sure to book well in advance to secure your table!
Lulu La Delizia, Perth
It might be surprising, but at Lulu La Deliza, Australia gives you the opportunity to tuck into some truly authentic Italian cuisine. It’s not just fresh, handmade pasta, it’s the chef-owner’s family heritage blended in through the flavours.
The menu is inspired by the chef’s grandmother Luigia, who grew up in Italy’s Friuli region and came to Perth in the 1950s. Ranging from saucy vongole to the signature veal and pork ragu, it’s all as appetising as it sounds. The special of the day tends to push boundaries; so you can expect smoky eel with asparagus or tagliolini topped with a blend of prawn meat, white vermouth and fennel seed.
Now here’s a restaurant where the food speaks for itself. Located in Launceston, Mudbar isn’t flashy. But the food here is as good, if not better, than most of the fine dining places you’ll visit across Australia.
Focussing on fresh Tasmanian produce, Mudbar offers pristine views of the nearby marina. Indulge in dishes like crispy baby squid and sesame-seared salmon to name a few. They also offer an extensive vegetarian and vegan menu, making this the perfect spot for a casual hang no matter what your dietary preferences might be!
The hallmark of a great restaurant lies in a simplistic menu that still manages to stand out. Tetsuya’s gets that right to a fault, allowing you the intimacy of something straightforward whilst retaining its elegance. You can completely unwind during your meals as the minimalist design of this restaurant will not distract you from experiencing some of the more creative dishes.
One of the highlights on the menu is undoubtedly the Eight Course Meal. Working with exotic ingredients, here too you can expect dishes like NSW Duck, Tasmanian Ocean Trout, and NZ Snapper. Against the backdrop of a relaxing Japanese garden, the experience is tranquil at its finest.
Miss Mi, Mövenpick Hotel, Melbourne
A trip to Australia can also evoke memories of a trip to Asia, if you know the right restaurant for it! At Miss Mi, head chef Esca Khoo follows the proverb ‘Preserve the old, but know the new’. The menu honours modern and traditional foods across Asia, with sauces, spices, curries, and sambals made in-house. Paired with local produce, market fish Hinava served with starfruit and savoury coconut or skewers of kangaroo satay, it’s all just levels of sumptuousness.
For Esca Khoo, every dish is a highlight. He honed his culinary skills through his mother’s home-cooking followed by 15 years in restaurants like Noma Australia and Lûmé. So it’s unsurprising that this is one of the best eateries to check out.
Goma Restaurant, Brisbane
A total of 14 Chef Hat Awards from the Australian Good Food Guide speaks volumes for Goma Restaurant.
Here, you’re promised a contemporary and creative dining experience reflective of the encompassing artwork at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art. With a focus on local ingredients, Goma works with growers and suppliers to source produce at its peak. Chef Josue Lopez’s innovative menu shines through with items like Maremma duck with kimchi and salt-baked beetroot with black garlic.
Sister restaurant to Quay, Bennelong is another knock-out restaurant from executive chef Peter Gilmore.
The menu showcases the diversity of Australian cuisine and focuses on bringing together classic Aussie dishes with the finest ingredients and eclectic presentation. Repeatedly ranked among Australia’s best restaurants, the restaurant’s charm undeniably lies in its incredible location within the iconic Sydney Opera House. You can’t leave without trying one of the restaurant’s finest desserts – the pavlova inspired by its location.
Vue de Monde, Melbourne
If you know Masterchef Australia, you know Chef Shannon Bennett. If you know the star chef and love his culinary insights, you’re going to love Vue de Monde.
Experience an international food and wine outing, predominantly drawing on flavours from France with added global inspiration. Vue de Monde is honoured with 17 Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hats and is currently seventh on Gourmet Traveller’s Top 100 Restaurants list. Need we say more?