Date night or special occasion coming up? Why not check out one of the myriad funky new restaurants popping up around the country?
Even if you’re a huge foodie, it’s hard to have your finger on the pulse all the time. Luckily, our team is dedicated all things food, wine, beer and, well, anything edible, and we’re always scoping out amazing places to try. If you’re keen to try out some of the top restaurants in Australia, read on.
We update this list regularly, so keep checking back each month for new venues!
Naröcha Bubble Tea
Bubble tea has well and truly taken hold in Australia, and Naröcha in Melbourne is just one of the many salons popping up around the country. After opening her flagship store in Melbourne’s CBD in 2019, 21-year-old founder Nicole Culham is stirring up some exciting new flavours at the new Werribee location. Naröcha’s point of difference is that the team is dedicated to their continued menu innovations and commitment to using only the highest quality Japanese ingredients that go into each and every hand brewed and whisked drink. Whether you’re after a sweet treat (order the Oreo Milk Tea), or in dire need of a caffeine hit (hello Double Espresso), you’ll find something that will surprise and delight. You can even purchase a home brewing kit to take with you!
Mark + Vinny’s Place
Innovative dishes, sustainable practices, a relaxed atmosphere and the heart and soul of Italian home style cooking – people of Byron Bay, we envy you for having this right on your doorstep! Mark + Vinny’s Place is the latest venture by Mark Filippelli and Vince Pizzinga, owners of the flagship restaurant in Sydney’s inner city suburb of Surry Hills. A quick glance at the menu will have you salivating. The Byron outfit’s signature dishes include a Ferrero Rocher arancini made with chocolate risotto (miraculously vegan!), the famous bright blue spirulina linguini with soft shell crab, and a remarkable Bucatini carbonara which features a googy vegan egg made from local heirloom tomatoes. Both Byron and Sydney restaurants are vegan friendly – more than 50% of the menu items are plant-based – and invite diners to try something a little different.
Pinchy’s Champagne and Lobster Bar
Pinchy’s returns to Melbourne’s premier balcony bar to deliver the perfect setting for a luxurious afternoon in the sun. With an extensive Champagne and Chablis menu sourced from owner Jeremy Schnick’s personal cellar, and the delectable seafood-focused offerings plated up by Head Chef Jack Tsa’s team, Pinchy’s invites guests to try the finer things in life in a casual setting.
International travel may be off the cards but Scott Pickett’s new Melbourne outfit brings a taste of Europe to Little Collins Street. Housed in the historic Normanby Chambers building, Chancery Lane promises classic European dishes with a twist, offering everything from a simple dry-aged duck burger to an indulgent seafood platter and caviar bumps. The floor-to-ceiling wine cellar, bespoke finishings sourced from local artisans and arched black steel framed windows create a unique space for an elevated dining experience.
Vini Divini, Sydney NSW
This new inner city wine bar is quite literally bursting at the seams with excellent wine offerings from all over the world. Boasting a floor to ceiling wine wall comprising well over a thousand bottles, Vini Divini invites patrons to take a sip of la dolce vita. The extensive wine menu is one of the biggest “by the glass” selections in the city, curated by renowned sommelier Raphael Mulligan (ex-Rockpool). Coupled with with a Mediteranean inspired menu, staring mezzé-style dishes including slow-cooked lamb shoulder with fregola salad and beetroot-marinated artichokes with toasted almonds, diners can indulge in the some of the finest food and wine in town in a stylish alfresco setting overlooking leafy Wynyard Park.
Bodhi Restaurant, Sydney NSW
Vegan eateries and products have been popping up like mushrooms over the past year, but Sydney’s Bodhi Restaurant has been the go-to restaurant for lovers of plant-based dining for more than 30 years. Tucked into a park under masses of Moreton Bay fig trees, Bodhi’s atmosphere is as calming as its delighfully presented dishes. The cocktail menu uses the finest organic herbs, fruits, fresh-pressed juices and bespoke syrups, and the craft beers and Australian wines have been thoughtfully selected from local growers using organic, bio-dynamic or friendly farming practices. Opt for a yum cha lunch, an à la carte dinner, or indulge in an extensive selection of share plates.
The Salty Fox Rooftop Bar at Rydges Gold Coast Airport
You can hit the tarmac, check-in to your hotel and be sipping a refreshing cocktail within moments of landing on the Gold Coast when you stay at the recently opened Rydges Gold Coast Airport. It’s the first of its kind in the area, and boasts two fabulous dining venues. The poolside Runway Restaurant will fill hungry tummies, but it’s the rooftop bar that will satisfy all the senses. Up on the 7th floor, you’ll find an extensive drinks menu with plenty of local and craft beers on tap, plus a tapas style grazing menu and occasional live music. With sweeping views of the coastline, hinterland, surrounding suburbs and runway below, it’s easy to while away an afternoon – even an entire day – soaking up the atmosphere. Just don’t linger so long that you miss your flight! If you do, however, there are plenty of comfy beds to accommodate.
Market & Meander and Merrymaker at Hotel Indigo Adelaide Market, Adelaide SA
Hotel Indigo is a place where Adelaidians and travellers come to meet, indulge and expand their culinary horizons. Exposed brick archways, striking murals and statement copper fixtures breathe new life into the former textile factory, reflecting the “Raw and Refined” character of the neighbourhood. A hop, skip and jump from Adelaide Central Market, the 145-room hotel is perfectly located for adventurous foodies, but don’t be so quick to drop your bags and dash. Market & Meander is an all-day dining venue where locally sourced produce is expertly prepared and plated up with a nod to the strong multicultural influences of the neighbourhood. Sixteen floors up, the hotel’s rooftop bar Merrymaker dishes up views like no other, along with a cocktail list that will entice you to skip your “usual” and branch out with something a little bit out there.
Shuk Falafel, Bondi Beach
From pop-up to permanent local favourite, Shuk Falafel has officially opened its doors in the heart of Bondi. Influenced by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, the menu offers an incredible array of Iraeli delights for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Diners can expect creamy hummus bowls, packed pita pockets and mouth-watering cauliflower shawarma. Having grown up in Israel – a melting pot of culture and cuisine – owners Ariel Hefer, Yoni Kalfus and German Sánchez aim to deliver true Middle Eastern flavours among modern favourites with the freshest produce.
L’Heritage, Chowder Bay
Located in a historic building on the shores of Chowder Bay with panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and Clifton gardens, L’Heritage treats diners to a classic French home-cooking experience. Dishes such as Poisson du jour snapper (pan-fried yellow snapper) and Canard a l’orange (crispy skin duck) are complemented with carefully matched local and French wines. Be transported to the finest bistros of Paris when you enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at Chowder Bay’s most elegant restaurant.
A true urban oasis in the heart of Artarmon, the newly opened acre serves as a restaurant, bar, cafe, bakery and event space. Fresh herbs, flowers and fruit grown onsite in the sprawling indoor and outdoor gardens will be used to produce delicious artisan baked goods, fresh and punchy meals, garden-inspired cocktails and homemade pizzas. In the future, acre Artarmon aims to offer guided tours, chefs’ demonstrations, meet-the-maker tastings and long table lunches to fully immerse visitors in the urban farm-inspired destination.