The must-dine restaurants to visit in each capital city

Australia’s restaurants are hard to beat. Whether it’s tried and tested institutions or new eateries on the block, there’s an abundance of places just waiting for your tastebuds to try.

This wide range of showstoppers across the country made narrowing it down to just two in every capital city tricky. But here it is – your go-to guide for the standout restaurants you need to visit in every city of Australia.


1. Cutler & Co. Dining Room

This Fitzroy restaurant is an essential Melbourne foodie experience.

Cutler & Co, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied.

Housed in a former metal works factory, Cutler & Co. has been a favourite with foodies since it opened in 2009.

The locally caught seafood is a hit, as is the selection of steaks. Diners can also call on the sommelier for wine pairing.

2. Victoria

Found at Federation Square’s Yarra Building, this restaurant is an easy place to visit for anyone hitting Melbourne’s CBD. With a focus on locally produced food and drinks, Victoria showcases the best the state has to offer.

But it’s the delicious steaks people rave about. Team this with your choice of a drop from the wine library that comprises more than 3000 bottles of Victorian-made wine and your day is made.


1. The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar

The dessert trolley at The Charles. Photo: Supplied.

This freshly-opened two-storey brasserie is all about luxury. The art deco architecture complete with chandeliers sets the scene for the decadent menu.

Expect French classics such as duck a la presse and vol-au-vents. Save room for the dessert trolley, which is laden with pastries and chocolates.

2. The Quay

Any foodie will tell you The Quay is a Sydney establishment. Celebrated for its fine food and commanding views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Quay is led by head chef Peter Gilmore who has won a swag of culinary accolades.

The menu has a wide selection of goodies from Korean chicken soup to roasted pasture-raised duck. The only tough decision is the six or the eight courses?


1. Wildflower

Wildflower sits atop COMO The Treasury on Cathedral Avenue in Perth’s CBD. The menu takes inspiration from the local resources available to First Nations Noongar people.

Choose from a six or four course menu with delights such as south-west lamb served with harissa, carrot, rose and cinnamon myrtle. The

2. La Condesa

Not all fine dining experiences come with white linen and candles. Take La Condesa, a popular modern Mexican cantina in Subiaco.

Instagram worthy: La Condesa in Subiaco. Photo: Ryan Cubbage.

The fitout is Instagram-worthy and the menu will fire up your tastebuds with a large selection of tacos and a bar well stocked with 100% agave tequilas and mezcals.


1. Gerard’s Bistro

It’s common knowledge that Gerard’s is of the best restaurants in Brisbane. The interior décor is as jawdropping as the food.

From the concrete bar to the mosaic wall tiles, you’ll feel immersed in colour and flavour. Head Chef Adam Wolfer’s eclectic menu is inspired by recipes from the Middle East and northern Africa.

Elska, Brisbane.

2. Elska

There is nothing like Elska anywhere else in Australia. ThisNordic-style restaurant seats just 12 people and only serves a degustation menu.

Described as a “hyper seasonal” menu, diners can expect totally different food from season to season, but all sourced from local producers. The fine food can be matched with a selection of wines, sake, and spirits.


1. Fico

Tassie is awash with excellent food options, but you can’t go past Fico in the heart of Hobart’s CBD.

Inspired by Italian and Japanese flavours, Fico serves a delicate mix of handmade pastas and fresh Tasmanian seafood such as sea urchin and kingfish.

2. Landscape

You know you’re in for a cultured experience when you’re seated in a restaurant adorned with the artworks of celebrated English painter John Glover.

Landscape is also attached to The Henry Jones Art Hotel in the waterside precinct of Hobart.

A top shelf dining experience, the menu includes aged local wagyu, Tasmanian lamb and freshly-caught seafood.


1. Restaurant Botanic

Set amid the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, Restaurant Botanic is a feast for the senses. The tasting menu by chef Justin James offers up more than 20 different flavour combinations using a combination of locally sourced ingredients. These include marron, green ants, finger limes, and bunya bunya branches.

2. Arkhé

Whether you’re at the bar , dining room or chef’s table, a night at Arkhé in Norwood is one to remember. Chef Jake Kellie serves up a menu teaming with fine food. There’s southern rock lobster with garlic brown butter and capers, glazed kingfish and whole roasted chicken with turnip and artichok.

But leave room for the desserts – especially Kellie’s take on s’mores.


1. Ella by Minoli

MasterChef contestant Minoli De Silva opened Ella in May this year and didn’t waste any time in winning a Gold Plate Award for Best New Establishment in the NT Gold Plate awards.

Ella by Minola in NT

Serving modern Sri Lankan food, Ella serves up a flavoursome selection from betel leaf salmon to oven-roasted chicken in okra sauce. Find Ella in Darwin’s CBD.

2. Char Restaurant @ Admirality

A must-dine Territory restaurant, Char Restaurant is located on the historic grounds of Admiralty House.

The chefs prides themselves on steak cooked to perfection, which of course, is paired with the best regional produce and wine. There’s also equally as delicious seafood, including a range of mouth-watering oysters.


1. Otis Dining Hall

With a generous wine, cocktail and beer list, Otis Dining Hall is a popular choice for Kingston locals. Choose from the chef’s menu, a set degustation, or the three course à la carte menu.

Either way, you’ll be wowed by the steaks and seafood, plus the desserts, at this award winning Canberra restaurant.

2. Pilot

A newcomer to the Canberra restaurant scene, Pilot has a menu that changes every week. This almost guarantees no two dining experiences at this Ainslie eatery will be the same.

The seven course degustation menu will not leave you wanting and can be paired with alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.

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