Maybe Sammy, Sydney, New South Wales © Destination NSW
Australia’s trendiest food and drink experiences
From picturesque picnics to tiny tipples, Australia’s food and drink trends for 2022 are all about getting playful.
By Bonnie Jackson
The places – and ways – to eat and drink in Australia are expanding. No longer are city streets just for driving and parks just for playing, but now the possibilities of popping a bottle of champagne and dining on an exquisite menu are endless. Get a look at the latest food and drink trends across the country to add a bit of extra flavour to your next dining experience.
Al fresco dining
Restaurants all across Australia are taking it up a level by moving their dining experiences to the streets. Major locations like The Rocks in Sydney are even shutting off laneways to create dreamy destination dining precincts. Don't miss the House Bar Lawn at Barangaroo House, the perfect waterside spot to spend your weekend. Or, for something extra quirky, find a place to stand along a pebble-stone laneway to discover Cantina OK!’s hand-sourced, hand-imported, and handmade agave spirits.
Further north, Brisbane’s Solotel River bar and kitchen have launched a Chandon garden pop-up that is perfect for cooling down by the river with bubbles in hand. While in tropical Darwin, Pee Wee’s at the Point has a lounge chair waiting for you in their East Point Nature Reserve.
The tiny cocktail phenomenon
Think dégustation menu but for cocktails. Tiny cocktails are a quiet trend that has started making a huge impact on the Australian foodie scene. Best suited as a taste test for the larger portion, these mini-tinis are set to take your palate on an adventure, without the result of a full-sized hangover. Restaurants like Perth's upscale Japanese-inspired Fleur, are serving the sophisticated-yet-playful drinks to their guests. Sydney’s Maybe Sammy also features small serves from the cocktails on their menu, as well the recently opened Bar Margaux “petit” martini and manhattan cocktails in Melbourne.
Australia isn’t just the master of the Vegemite sandwich. We take pride in the art of sandwich-making, and never has this been more evident. Tiny’s Sandwich bar, located in Sydney, takes their craft very seriously. The menu is reminiscent of a New York delicatessen but with clear Aussie influence. The bonus? They also serve up some seriously good cocktails.
Brisbane's Melt Brothers should also be on your foodie list for a gourmet toastie (toasted sandwich) with creative filling options and stretchy cheese that competes with even the cheesiest pizza. While Matteo's Delicatessen, in Melbourne, serves up Mediterranean-inspired paninis alongside coffee and cannoli for the perfectly balanced lunch.
If you find yourself down south in Hobart Tasmania, feast on the famous St. J’s Deli for hearty tuck shop fare, sliders and an inventive rotation of weekly specials.
The possibilities of where you can feast on your favourite restaurant’s menu is now limitless! With the picnic trend more popular than ever, many venues offer larger take away menus, so you can just grab some drinks and spend a day on the lawn soaking up the sunshine.
Or why not opt for a luxe picnic experience? There are companies across the country that will arrange a gorgeous table, food and drinks for you in almost any location. Try To dine for (Sydney), Honour with Fete (Melbourne), Picnic Packages (Gold Coast), Social Picnic Co. (Brisbane), Pop-Up Picnics (Mornington Peninsula), Yallingup Sunset Picnics (Margaret River) and Let’s picnic (Adelaide). The trend has even made it across the waters to Norfolk Island, where Platters by Paige can provide a stunning set up for you to relax and soak in the incredible island views.
Shifting to sustainability
Eateries around Australia are bringing sustainability to the heart of what they do, which can mean solar panels for energy, locally-sourced ingredients that cut down on food miles or compostable takeaway containers. Drink suppliers, wine makers, distillers and brewers are also embracing sustainable initiatives. The team at Capital Brewing Co in the Australian Capital Territory, are reducing their water usage, switching to a low GWP (global warming potential) refrigerant, and even building their own grain silo on-site to keep hundreds of plastic grain bags out of landfill.
Gather at the Coriole is another sustainable must-visit, in South Australia. They source regional, ethically harvested, sustainable and foraged ingredients from trusted farmers wherever possible, including meats, seafood, vegetables and fruit. They even expanded their surrounding Coriole vineyard to a farm site to meet the restaurant’s needs.
Mother, in Perth’s Fremantle, is a plant-based restaurant which uses all natural ingredients, serving food that is almost all made completely from scratch in their kitchen. The venue also practices waste minimisation and composting and uses eco lighting and water-wise appliances.
For Stokehouse on St Kilda Beach in Melbourne, sustainability is integral to the design, construction and operation of the venue. With countless sustainable elements, not only will you be experiencing the mouth-watering locally sourced food and wine, but you will also be dining in a geothermal (heating and cooling) venue overlooking St Kilda Beach.