If you search the internet for lists of Australia’s top national foods, the results will probably include witchetty grubs, fish and chips, and grilled kangaroo. These choices, while certainly quirky interesting, are not an accurate representation of Australia’s diverse and thriving food industry.
In fact, Australia is associated with some of the world’s most celebrated and iconic dishes, including the pavlova (which New Zealand also lays claim to) and the prawn cocktail!
Additionally, Australia has embraced many cuisines from around the world. Combined with Australia’s very own food culture, the country’s culinary variety and passion for food have created a very vibrant fine dining scene.
In today’s ultimate guide to fine dining in Australia, we will be taking a trip through Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth to recommend some of our favorite fine dining restaurants.
In 2018, Sydney was ranked the fifth most liveable city in the world by the Global Liveability Index. Two of the top reasons given for this ranking are the city’s cultural attractions and restaurants.
You can find pretty much any kind of food you’re looking for in Sydney, from top-quality seafood to mouth-watering Italian cuisine or delicious Mexican-inspired menus.
Amongst the top restaurants in the capital of New South Wales, there are many fine dining options that provide luxurious dining experiences.
Nothing says fine dining quite like an authentic French restaurant. Luckily, Sydney is home to a booming French dining scene, so you’ll have no trouble booking yourself a Parisian-style meal in this city.
If you find yourself near Bligh Street, we definitely recommend visiting Restaurant Hubert. This French restaurant provides an authentic French fine dining experience, complete with oysters and classic cheese boards. The softly-lit, vintage space is perfect for romantic meals and even weddings!
Chez Pascal is another Sydney-based French restaurant to try if you enjoy a sophisticated atmosphere and traditional French food. This restaurant is a fine dining venue in every sense of the term, from the incredible dishes to the quality of the service. The menu features classics such as Escargot de Bourgogne and Fillet de Boeuf a la Bourguignonne, but there are vegetarian options, too.
The Italian dining scene in Sydney is also a great place to look for fine dining eateries. In fact, our selection of the 15 best Italian restaurants in Sydney features several restaurants that classify as fine diners.
One Italian fine dining restaurant we really love is Pilu at Freshwater, which has a stunning seaside view and serves traditional Sardinian cuisine with an elegant, refined style. The dishes on the menu comprise both seasonal, local produce and authentic, high-quality ingredients from Italy.
And there’s no need to wait until dinner time to enjoy a classy, elegant eating experience when the 15 best high tea venues in Sydney have so much to offer.
The Tea Room on George Street is definitely one of Sydney’s most elegant venues for high tea. Located in the Queen Victoria Building, The Tea Room upholds the English and European traditions of high tea, with petits fours and finger sandwiches served on Royal Albert fine china under crystal chandeliers.
From Sydney, let’s take the short flight (or 900 km drive) to Melbourne and see what the capital of Victoria has to offer in terms of fine dining.
Generally speaking, Melbourne is actually considered to be the best city in Australia for dining experiences, so it’s no surprise that this area is full of elegant fine diners.
Just like Sydney, Melbourne has a vast selection of French restaurants to choose from – so much so that picking the best 15 French restaurants in Melbourne was a challenge! However, finding fine dining restaurants in Melbourne’s French food scene is anything but difficult.
Philippe restaurant is actually one of the top-rated restaurants in Melbourne. The founder, Philippe Mouchel, is one of the most revered French chefs in Australia, and his restaurant features a highly sophisticated menu, including Terrine de Campagne and Confit Pork Belly.
France Soir is another great French fine dining spot in the city. Serving Escargots de Bourgogne à l’ail, Calamar Basquaise, Steak Tartare, and much more, this is the perfect restaurant to visit if you want to savour the highly sophisticated culinary tradition of French cuisine.
But there’s so much more to Melbourne’s fine dining scene than just French restaurants.
We’ve recently reviewed owner-chef Helly Raichura’s quirkily named Enter Via Laundry in Carlton. This pioneering Indian restaurant has already been awarded a Good Food Guide hat in its first year of operation. Only serving 20 diners per night in its intimate venue inside a non-descript terrace on Nicholson Street, this is a fine dining degustation delight.
Melbourne is especially well-known for its incredible seafood restaurants, of which we’ve chosen our top 15. Many of these seafood restaurants also deliver fine dining experiences.
Bacash Restaurant is one of Melbourne’s most sophisticated seafood restaurants. You can expect the highest-quality seafood and service here, with a menu featuring Slow-Roasted Ocean Trout, Sashimi, and Oysters Bacash. The venue can even be hired out for private events if you want your fine dining experience to be more personal.
Pinchy’s is another must-visit seafood restaurant for fine dining. Actually, it’s a champagne bar, which adds to the elegance of the experience. At Pinchy’s, you can enjoy delicate, beautifully-presented seafood dishes from the restaurant’s various menus, paired with high-quality wines and delicious cocktails.
Melbourne also has its fair share of restaurants and cafes serving high tea, some of which can absolutely be considered an aspect of fine dining. If you’re looking for a classy high tea experience, our 15 best high tea venues in Melbourne should point you in the right direction.
Brisbane’s culinary scene is associated with some incredibly sophisticated cuisines, restaurants, and dishes.
For example, the award-winning Montrachet Restaurant’s Souffle aux Crabe et Gruyere is considered one of Brisbane’s most iconic dishes, proving that fine dining is an integral part of the food culture in this city.
As always, the best seafood restaurants in a given city are often the best places to seek out fine dining, and Brisbane is no exception!
Gambaro is one of Brisbane’s most elegant seafood restaurants. The decor is gorgeous and sophisticated, but the food is what really sets this establishment apart from other seafood restaurants in the city. The à la carte menu features Mud Crab, Green Lobster, and Tasmanian Oysters, all of which are combined in the incredible Gambaro Seafood Platter.
Steakhouses can often be spaces for more casual dining experiences, but Brisbane has some of the most high-end steakhouses in Australia.
The best steakhouse in Brisbane for fine dining is, in our opinion, the Steak & Oyster. This restaurant prides itself not only on serving the highest-quality steaks, but also fresh seafood and an impressive selection of wine. The menu features Prime Rib Steak, Steak Tartare, Lobster, Caviar, and much more.
And don’t forget to check out our 15 best Italian restaurants in Brisbane as there are some fabulous trattorias and established classical Italian eateries in the city’s culinary scene.
Persone, which translates to ‘people’ in English, makes fine dining accessible and sociable. In 2020, the restaurant was actually named the best Italian restaurant in Brisbane, and you’ll see why when you visit! The menu is based around the finest fresh produce and includes such delicacies as Tartare di Riccio, Porchetta, and Cotoletta alla Milanese. You can also get vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.
For bite-sized fine dining, it’s also worth perusing some of the best places to get high tea in Brisbane.
Personally, we recommend Room with Roses, which is a traditional, elegant and timeless venue specializing in high tea. The high tea menu includes classics such as ribbon sandwiches, scones, and even a chocolate fountain!
One of the most popular and iconic local dishes in Adelaide is oysters, so you just know that this city is going to be a fresh produce and local ingredient haven.
We’ve had the great pleasure of reviewing the 15 best steakhouses in Adelaide, and we’re pleased to inform you that some of these meat-based menus are perfect for lovers of fine dining!
The Lion Hotel, for example, has a dedicated fine dining menu for those who like their steaks cooked with finesse. The venue itself is decorated with simple elegance, while the fine dining menu features expensive cuts of steak such as the Black Angus fillet.
However, there are also more casual dishes on the menu for those who want to soak up the elegant atmosphere while enjoying some Chicken Parmigiana or a Vegan Burger.
Another Adelaide-based steakhouse offering a white-tablecloth dining experience is the venerable Cork & Cleaver. This multi award-winning restaurant prides itself on serving the finest steaks in Adelaide, and maybe even the country.
While that’s fairly subjective, what’s not up for debate is the fact that the Cork & Cleaver provides a finely-honed menu prepared with high-quality ingredients and the freshest produce. Our personal favorites are the Chef’s Oysters and the New York Cut.There are several gluten-free options, too.
Moving on from Adelaide’s amazing steakhouses, you can also find fine dining restaurants amongst our 15 best pizza places in Adelaide.
Pizza Meccanica is one of the classiest pizza restaurants in Adelaide, both because of its stunning interior decor and ambiance and because of the quality of the food. The restaurant has won 4 awards for its cuisine.
Pizza Meccania certainly isn’t inventing anything new with its pizza menu, but the classic pizzas are made with the finest quality ingredients and cooked to perfection. The dessert menu is equally delicious, and the extensive wine menu brings the whole experience together.
Adelaide also has plenty of Indian restaurants to try out, several of which deliver sophisticated dining experiences.
Jasmin Indian Restaurant is one of the most popular and classy Indian restaurants in Adelaide, with a gorgeous candlelit atmosphere and some of the best Indian dishes in the city. From Naan bread stuffed with blue cheese to the incredible butter chicken dish, there’s no chance of Jasmin’s menu leaving you hungry!
Seafood plays a central role in Perth’s food industry, and Western Australia’s capital city is an ideal location to taste some of the most sublime seafood cuisine in the world.
It makes sense to start by taking a look through our 10 best seafood restaurants in Perth since many of these are also amazing fine diners.
If you only try one seafood restaurant in Perth, we think it should be The Cray Seafood and Grill. This restaurant has won 3 culinary awards and serves locally-sourced, fresh seafood wherever possible.
The interior is simple, yet sophisticated, for those who enjoy fine dining without any ‘fuss’. You should definitely sample the Cray Executive Platter paired with your choice of fine wine. Vegans and vegetarians can order from a plant-based menu on request.
The Boatshed Restaurant is another personal favorite seafood restaurant of ours in Perth, and if you like fine dining, you’ll love it, too! The view of the ocean and cityscape from the restaurant is incredible, the interior is elegant, and the menu is no less impressive. The dinner menu, in particular, is very luxurious, offering Beef Tartare, Oysters, and Shark Bay Scallops.
When reviewing the 15 best steakhouses in Perth, we also came across some contenders for the best fine dining restaurants in the city!
The Meat and Wine Co. is arguably the most sophisticated steakhouse in Perth. The building itself was constructed in 1897, and some of its gorgeous historical features can still be seen amongst the modernized interior decor.
But of course, it’s the quality of the steak and wine that makes this steakhouse the perfect fine dining venue. From grain-fed Wagyu to grass-fed Rump Eye, there’s something for all steak lovers to pair with a glass of vintage wine!
Perth’s 15 best high tea experiences are also excellent for lovers of sweet treats and fine dining, so be sure to consult this list before your next trip to Perth!
Whether you’re seeing the globally famous landmarks of Sydney or soaking up the art culture in Melbourne, you can count on Australia’s hospitality industry to provide unforgettable fine dining experiences.
Fine dining comes in many forms and spans numerous cuisines. Australia’s most lauded restaurants are some of the fines in the world, and lovers of steak, seafood, desserts, Asian cuisine, or even pizza can enjoy luxurious, sophisticated meals in any of Australia’s largest cities.
Go well and good luck. You shouldn’t leave hungry.