Attica, Melbourne, Victoria © Colin Page
Best restaurants in Australia
Please your palette at delectable restaurants across Australia.
By Bonnie Jackson
From a seaside eatery in Sydney to a degustation dinner with a view of Uluru, dining in Australia is more than a meal – it’s an experience. Indulge in local flavours, unique twists on tradition and award-winning dishes that you won’t soon forget.
Thanks to chef Peter Gilmore's intricately prepared and delicately balanced dishes, Quay has won 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. Located on Sydney Harbour's waterfront with sweeping views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, this is a uniquely Australian dining experience with food and views that are both world-class.
Sounds of Silence dinner
Escape the busy city and venture into the serene outback to enjoy a dining experience unlike any other. Dine at the Northern Territory’s Sounds of Silence dinner and bask in the golden hour as the sun sets across the desert with Uluru as your backdrop. Then, enjoy a meal inspired by Australia’s native ingredients before embarking on a guided tour of the night sky.
Enter the South Australian wine region of McLaren Vale to find one of Australia’s best restaurants and vineyards. d’Arenberg Cube is an obscure structure that stands tall amongst a sea of vineyard vines. The wine sensory room, a virtual fermenter and a 360-degree video room are just a few of the immersive experiences that you will find amongst the five levels. After taking in the plethora of art and wine on offer, you’ll be met with a seasonal menu of fresh, local produce at d’Arry’s Verandah restaurant.
Inside Hobart’s intriguing MONA museum is Faro, a light-drenched bar and restaurant suspended over the River Derwent in Hobart. The restaurant hosts a perfect combination of fancy food, music and live performance, and – just like the museum it’s housed within – keeps things interesting with a new theme every three months. So, you’ll need to expect the unexpected, with Faro serving up Spanish-style tapas one month and silky pasta the next.
On the Gold Coast, Rick Shores shows you what dining in Australia is all about. Pan-Asian flavours, a breezy atmosphere and floor-to-ceiling views of the ocean come together for a meal as much about the surroundings as the dishes that arrive to the table. Choose from a range of bar snacks like crispy tofu sliders and baked butter chicken buns before moving onto their menu of hearty meats and curries.
Ben Shewry is one of the most lauded chefs in Australia thanks to his sophisticated yet playful menus. A degustation at his Melbourne restaurant Attica offers great insight into Australia's most cutting edge cuisine trends. Expect only-in-Australia ingredients like emu liver, quandong and finger lime to make an appearance. Book well in advance to secure your table.
Perth’s Wildflower restaurant focuses on a seasonal concept that creates unforgettable food. Located on the rooftop of the luxurious COMO The Treasury hotel, Wildflower dreams up each and every dish in coordination with the six seasons of the Aboriginal Noongar calendar. Each season brings new ingredients to the forefront, allowing Wildflower to offer something distinctly Western Australian all year round.
Known for its intimate atmosphere, award-winning wine list and inspired use of ingredients, Canberra’s Aubergine is one you don’t want to miss. The kitchen is stocked by local farmers and suppliers who let the chef know what’s best on the day. As a result, Aubergine’s menu changes daily and always uses fresh produce to maximise flavour. Choose from one of over 500 wines on the menu and dig into the surprising dishes.
Riverside views, sparkling glassware and warm hospitality are just a few of the elements that make OTTO Brisbane irresistible. This modern Italian eatery overlooks the Brisbane River to the iconic Story Bridge, serving up great Australian ingredients in a contemporary Italian style. Along with exquisite food, OTTO also serves up an extensive wine list. Thanks to the Coravin system – where small amounts of wine can be taken from a bottle without oxygenating it – several premium Australian and Italian wines are available as a taste or full glass.
Each day, the ingredients used at Brae are carefully selected from Brae Farm’s own harvest of organic fruit and vegetables, as well as from local farms and sustainable producers in Victoria and beyond. Brae’s garden-based cuisine has earned them a long list of awards, which further puts Birregurra – a small Victorian town in the Great Ocean Road region – on the culinary map. As if the delectable dishes aren’t enough, Brae has also been commended by The Australian Good Food Guide for their exceptional wine list.
Named after Pt. Leo Estate’s celebrated Jaume Plensa sculpture, Laura is an intimate and refined offering on the estate’s stunning property. Located an hour from Melbourne, Laura offers a set menu that tells the story of the Mornington Peninsula. With the choice of four, five or six courses, guests are taken on a culinary journey that embraces the season and the region.
With its delectable produce and fresh air, Tasmania boasts some of the country’s best cuisine. Fico, located in Hobart, blurs the line between traditional bistro and fine dining establishment. The menu is influenced by European tradition and sourced from local fishers and farmers. Indulge in a set menu of warm brioche, peppered steak and Tasmanian black truffle.