12 Unique Restaurants in Australia: Extraordinary Dining Experiences You Won’t Forget

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Australia
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Welcome to our guide on unique restaurants in Australia, where we uncover dining experiences that are as diverse as they are delicious. From meals served high in the sky to dishes surrounded by butterflies, we spotlight places that offer more than just food. Get ready to explore eateries that will make every meal an adventure.

Australia is a treasure trove of wonders, not just for its stunning landscapes and iconic wildlife but also for its one-of-a-kind dining experiences. Imagine sitting down to a meal where the setting is as memorable as the flavors on your plate. From dining under the twinkling stars of the vast Outback to sharing breakfast with adorable koalas, Australia offers culinary adventures that go beyond the ordinary.

In this journey, we’re not just talking about eating; we’re talking about an experience that tickles all your senses. Picture yourself enjoying a meal suspended high above the city, or tasting the freshest seafood right by the ocean. Each restaurant we’re about to explore offers something beyond the usual – be it in a zoo, on a moving train, or even in the sky!

Whether you’re a local or a traveler, these dining spots promise to give you stories worth telling. Ready to explore? Let’s dive into the heart of Australia’s culinary scene, where every meal is an adventure waiting to happen.

The top restaurants to visit in Australia right now

Unique Restaurants in Australia: 12 Incredible Australian Eateries

From eating among the treetops to dining by the sea, each spot tells its own story of flavor and adventure. Let’s explore these one-of-a-kind places where food meets imagination.

1. Attica

Step into Attica in Melbourne, and you’re stepping into a world where Australian flavors shine. This spot stands out as one of the unique restaurants in Australia because Chef Ben Shewry loves to surprise diners. He serves dishes like kangaroo tail with a twist of local currants and a potato that’s been cooked underground, showcasing Australia’s rich ingredients.

Since opening its doors in 2005, Attica has become a beacon for food lovers. Here, the menu is a journey through Australia’s culinary landscape, using ingredients you might not find anywhere else. The restaurant seats only 60 people, making every meal an intimate experience. Their wine list? It’s like a treasure map, leading you to the perfect drink to go with your dish.

Attica has earned global praise for its creative dishes and commitment to using local, sustainable ingredients. It’s a place where every dish has a story, inviting diners to explore Australia’s diverse flavors in a cozy, welcoming setting.

Attica is one of the unique restaurants in Australia.
Experience Attica in Melbourne for innovative Australian flavors by Chef Ben Shewry.

2. Journey Beyond Rail

Hop on the Journey Beyond Rail, and you’re embarking on a culinary adventure that moves with you. This train isn’t your typical ride. It’s where luxury meets the landscape, offering a travel experience that’s as delicious as it is scenic.

As you glide through some of the most scenic places in Australia to eat, the train’s Platinum Club carriage presents meals that are a cut above. Imagine starting your day with a hearty breakfast, moving on to a two-course lunch, and then, as the sun sets, sitting down to a four-course dinner. Each meal is a celebration of the regions you pass, paired perfectly with champagne and premium wines.

But the Journey Beyond Rail experience begins even before you board. Platinum guests are treated to private transfers, ensuring the adventure starts in style. Inside, the cabins are spacious, with luxe extras like full-size en suites and expansive windows to soak in the views.

The attention to detail extends to luxurious linen, French Champagne upon arrival, and even Bracegirdle’s chocolates for a sweet touch.

Experience culinary luxury with Journey Beyond Rail: where landscape meets flavor.
Experience culinary luxury with Journey Beyond Rail: where landscape meets flavor.

3. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

Start your morning in a way you’ll never forget at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Their Breakfast with the Koalas experience lets you enjoy a delicious meal right next to these adorable Aussie icons. It’s not every day you get to share your breakfast space with koalas!

This experience is one of the most fun places to eat in Australia, where you not only eat but also learn and connect with nature. After enjoying a buffet-style breakfast, you’re treated to an informative talk by a koala keeper. It’s a chance to learn about these creatures up close. Plus, you’ll get a photo with the koalas to remember your visit.

The adventure includes a guided tour of the zoo, where you can see over 65 exhibits of Australian animals and plants. The experience runs from 7:15 am to 9:30 am and is designed for a small group, making it intimate and special. It’s a perfect blend of good food, education, and fun, all before the zoo opens to the public.

Enjoy Breakfast with Koalas at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo for an unforgettable morning meal with adorable Aussie icons.
Enjoy Breakfast with Koalas at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo for an unforgettable morning meal with adorable Aussie icons.

4. Gauge

Gauge in Brisbane is where your taste buds go on an adventure. This place started as a cool spot for daytime eats and transformed into a hub for some of the most creative dinners in town. Now, it’s known for its amazing flavors and dishes that make you think, “Wow, I’ve never tried anything like this before!”

Here, you’ll find some of the best food in Australia, with dishes that mix fun and sophistication. Imagine snacking on chicken-skin crackers with a creamy anchovy dip or diving into a potato shell filled with fluffy sebago, all topped with a tangy malt vinegar cream. The chefs at Gauge, Cormac Bradfield & Phil Marchant, are all about big, bold flavors and dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious.

Their menu is a journey through the sea and land, with mussel cream and cuttlefish noodles, and lamb tartare that’s as colorful as it is tasty. And for dessert? A poached pear with caramel ricotta and a unique celeriac ice cream. Every dish at Gauge is a surprise, making it a must-visit for anyone who loves to explore new tastes.

At Gauge in Brisbane, embark on a culinary adventure with creative flavors that leave you amazed.
At Gauge in Brisbane, embark on a culinary adventure with creative flavors that leave you amazed.

5. Fervor

Looking for an extraordinary dining experience? Fervor will not disappoint. It’s a pop-up that travels across Western Australia, bringing diners close to the country’s oldest cultures. Led by Chef Paul Iskov, Fervor offers more than a meal; it’s an exploration of Australia’s indigenous heritage through food.

The team sets up in breathtaking locations, from national parks to lighthouses, making each dinner a unique adventure. These spots are chosen for their cultural significance, adding depth to the dining experience.

Fervor stands out as one of the most unique places to eat in Australia, serving dishes made with foraged native ingredients. Imagine tasting honey ants from Kalgoorlie or enjoying emu eggs, all sourced ethically from Aboriginal suppliers. This approach ensures sustainability and supports local communities.

With limited seating and a reputation for selling out fast, attending a Fervor event is a coveted experience. It’s a chance to support Indigenous communities while enjoying some of the most innovative dishes in the country.

Experience Fervor, a pop-up dining journey across Western Australia, exploring indigenous heritage through food.
Experience Fervor, a pop-up dining journey across Western Australia, exploring indigenous heritage through food.

6. Dinner in the Sky

Dinner in the Sky takes your dining experience to the next level—literally. This unique event lifts guests 50 meters above the ground for a meal with a view. It’s a blend of fine dining and breathtaking scenery, all from the comfort of a secured seat.

The event doesn’t stick to one place. Based in Tasmania, the tables travel across Australia for special events. Want in? Signing up on their website is your best bet to snag a seat when they’re near you. But heads up, it’s a premium experience, with private event costs starting around $50,000 for the first day.

Among fun restaurants in Australia, Dinner in the Sky is truly unique. The menu changes based on the event and location, always promising a high-quality meal prepared by top chefs using local ingredients. Safety is top-notch, meeting Australian and European standards, with a flawless safety record across 56 countries.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just seeking an unforgettable meal, Dinner in the Sky offers an unparalleled dining adventure.

Dinner in the Sky: Elevate your dining experience 50 meters above ground for fine dining with a view.
Dinner in the Sky: Elevate your dining experience 50 meters above ground for fine dining with a view. | Image Source: https://dinnerinthesky.com.au/

7. Eureka 89

Perched atop Melbourne’s Eureka Tower, Eureka 89 offers a blend of sophisticated dining and breathtaking views. Here, every meal comes with a panoramic view of the city, making dining an unforgettable experience.

This venue caters to various occasions, from intimate dinners to large events for up to 400 guests. Eureka 89 turns any gathering into a special event with its stunning backdrop.

Eureka 89 ranks among the best places to eat in Australia, offering a unique combination of exquisite meals and scenic views. The menu, created by award-winning chef Renee Martillano, features a celebration of Victoria’s regional produce.

Guests can savor a five- or seven-course degustation menu that highlights the natural beauty and flavor of the ingredients. For less formal occasions, the venue provides a selection of canapés and food stations, customizable to suit any preference.

Eureka 89 offers sophisticated dining with panoramic city views, creating an unforgettable culinary experience.
Eureka 89 offers sophisticated dining with panoramic city views, creating an unforgettable culinary experience.

8. Quay

A shining star in Sydney’s dining scene, Quay is known for its innovative approach to food. Under the guidance of the legendary Peter Gilmore, Quay has transformed into one of the best restaurants in Australia. Its location offers stunning views of the Sydney Opera House, making every meal a visual feast as well.

The restaurant’s redesign in 2018 introduced a modern look, complete with custom lighting for each table. Diners can choose between six- and ten-course tasting menus, each dish a work of art. Gilmore’s creations, like the deconstructed oyster and red-speckled peas with miso and anchovy, showcase his commitment to both taste and presentation.

Quay not only delights the senses with its food but also impresses with its sophisticated wine list. This combination of culinary excellence, breathtaking views, and a refined atmosphere keeps Quay at the forefront of fine dining in Sydney.

Quay in Sydney offers innovative cuisine by Peter Gilmore with stunning Opera House views, ensuring unforgettable meal
Quay in Sydney offers innovative cuisine by Peter Gilmore with stunning Opera House views, ensuring unforgettable meal

9. Govinda

For over 40 years, plant-based haven Govindas has been serving up delicious, ethical meals. Chef Karana Krishna Das leads the kitchen, crafting dishes like coriander channa dahl and crispy fried cauliflower pakoras that dazzle the taste buds.

This spot is one of the most unique restaurants in Australia for dinner, blending great food with an unexpected twist. After your meal, Govindas invites you to a bohemian-inspired cinema. Here, guests relax on comfy cushions, shoes off, enjoying a movie in a cozy setting. It’s a complete night out in one location.

Govindas stands out for its commitment to a plant-based menu and its innovative dining-plus-entertainment concept. Whether you’re a local or just visiting Sydney, Govindas offers a memorable experience that combines the joy of eating with the magic of cinema.

For over 40 years, Govindas has been serving ethically delicious plant-based meals crafted by Chef Karana Krishna Das.
For over 40 years, Govindas has been serving ethically delicious plant-based meals crafted by Chef Karana Krishna Das.

10. Freycinet Marine Farm

Freycinet Marine Farm is a treasure nestled in the stunning Freycinet National Park. Here, visitors dive into the world of marine ecology and savor the freshest oysters and seafood. It’s an adventure that combines learning with eating, right where the magic happens.

Donning waders, guests step into the waters of a working oyster farm. It’s a hands-on experience that reveals the journey of oysters from seabed to table. You’ll learn about their role in the ecosystem and the effort behind producing top-quality oysters.

Freycinet Marine Farm is one of the coolest restaurants in Australia for an authentic farm-to-table experience. After exploring the farm and learning from the experts, you get to taste the ocean’s bounty. Freshly shucked oysters and mussels await, offering flavors as rich as the stories behind them.

At Freycinet Marine Farm, visitors savor the freshest oysters and seafood while diving into marine ecology.
At Freycinet Marine Farm, visitors savor the freshest oysters and seafood while diving into marine ecology.

11. Mabu Mabu Big Esso

Welcome to Mabu Mabu Big Esso, where Chef Nornie Bero brings the taste of the Torres Strait to Melbourne. Starting from a small stall to now rocking it at Fed Square, this spot’s all about celebrating Australia’s native yum.

Here, it’s a feast of cool dishes like prawns with sea greens, crunchy fried crocodile, and kingfish that’s like the island version of ceviche. Bero’s magic turns local ingredients into a party on your plate.

Big Esso is one of those hidden gem restaurants in Australia where every bite tells a story. Fancy a drink? Their Aussie wines and quirky cocktails, like a martini with actual ants, are a hit. The place is decked out with awesome Indigenous art, making your meal a feast for the eyes too. So, if you’re up for exploring flavors that are all about Australia’s heart and soul, Big Esso’s your go-to. It’s more than just dinner; it’s a journey.

At Mabu Mabu Big Esso, Chef Nornie Bero brings Torres Strait flavors to Melbourne, celebrating Australia's native cuisine.
At Mabu Mabu Big Esso, Chef Nornie Bero brings Torres Strait flavors to Melbourne, celebrating Australia’s native cuisine. | Image Source: https://www.broadsheet.com.au/

12. The Singapore House

The Singapore House brings a fusion of flavors to the table, blending Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese cuisines into an exotic Nyonya menu. Its food alone makes it a standout, but there’s more to this place than just great eats.

Step inside, and you’re in one of the most unique Australian restaurants. The decor transports you to a Victorian adventure, with a twist. Amidst the warm glow of lampshades and the gleam of tortoise shells, you’ll find the Butterfly Room. It’s a space that captivates with hundreds of colorful butterflies, creating a backdrop that’s both enchanting and a bit surreal.

This room, with its clusters of butterflies set against golds and reds, offers a dining experience wrapped in the aura of British Colonial Asia. It’s a spot that leaves guests feeling like they’re part of a grand, adventurous tale, making every meal memorable.

The Singapore House is one of the unique restaurants in Australia.
The Singapore House offers a fusion of Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese cuisines into an exotic Nyonya menu.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Unique Places to Eat in Australia

In our FAQ section, we answer your top questions using insights from our Australia restaurant guide, helping you discover the best spots to eat.

What are some famous places to eat at in Australia?

Australia is home to many famous eateries. From the bustling lanes of Melbourne to the scenic shores of Sydney, you’ll find Australia’s best restaurants. These places offer everything from fresh seafood to innovative fusion dishes. Notable mentions include Quay in Sydney for its stunning harbor views and inventive cuisine, and Attica in Melbourne, known for its unique approach to Australian ingredients.

What food is unique to Sydney?

Sydney’s food scene is vibrant and diverse. One unique dish to this city is the Sydney rock oyster, celebrated for its sweet, rich flavor. Another standout is the Australian barramundi, often served grilled in Sydney’s seafood restaurants. These dishes reflect Sydney’s love for fresh, local produce and its coastal lifestyle.

Sydney rock oyster: Close-up of a plump oyster with textured shell.
Sydney rock oyster: Close-up of a plump oyster with textured shell. | Image Source: https://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/

What food is Australia known for?

Australia is famous for its barbecue culture, including grilled meats and seafood. Iconic Australian foods include Vegemite, a savory spread; meat pies; and Lamingtons, sponge cakes coated in chocolate and coconut. The country also has a strong coffee culture, with flat whites and long blacks being popular choices.

Where can I find cheap eats in Australia?

Cheap eats in Australia are easy to find in city food courts, local markets, and street food stalls. Cities like Melbourne and Sydney offer a wide range of options, from Vietnamese pho to Italian pizza. Many coastal towns have fish and chip shops serving fresh seafood at great prices. Look for happy hour deals and lunch specials for the best value.

How can I experience fine dining in Australia?

Fine dining in Australia is a celebration of local ingredients and culinary innovation. Top chefs in cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane create exquisite dishes in elegant settings. For a memorable experience, book a table at restaurants like Quay in Sydney or Attica in Melbourne. These establishments offer degustation menus that showcase the best of Australian cuisine.

What themed restaurants in Australia offer unique dining experiences?

Themed restaurants in Australia provide fun and unique dining experiences, uncovering hidden gems in Australia. From the jungle-themed Rainforest Cafe in Sydney to the prison cell booths of Melbourne’s Lockdown, there’s something for everyone. For movie buffs, Govindas in Sydney combines vegetarian dining with a boutique cinema. These themed restaurants add an extra layer of excitement to dining out.

Are there any Australian dishes I must try while visiting?

While visiting Australia, you must try dishes like the Aussie barbecue, featuring grilled meats and seafood. Don’t miss out on tasting a classic meat pie, often filled with beef and gravy. For dessert, enjoy a Pavlova, a meringue cake topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream. These dishes offer a taste of Australia’s culinary diversity.

Where can I find the best seafood in Australia?

Australia’s coastline offers some of the best seafood in the world, making it one of the top places to live. Cities like Sydney, with its famous Fish Market, and Hobart, known for its fresh Tasmanian salmon, are must-visit spots. Coastal towns across the country serve up everything from fish and chips to gourmet seafood platters. For the freshest catch, head to seaside restaurants or local fish markets.

How do I discover hidden culinary gems in Australia?

Discovering hidden culinary gems in Australia involves exploring beyond the main tourist areas, uncovering Oceania’s charm. Local food blogs and social media pages are great resources for finding these spots. Farmers’ markets and food festivals also offer a taste of local cuisine and artisan products. Don’t hesitate to ask locals for their recommendations. Often, the best dining experiences come from places tucked away in alleyways, suburbs, or coastal enclaves, serving dishes with a strong sense of place and tradition.

What are the best vegetarian options in Australia?

Australia offers a wide range of vegetarian options, reflecting its multicultural society and the growing demand for plant-based cuisine. Cities like Melbourne and Sydney are known for their diverse vegetarian restaurants, from Indian and Middle Eastern to modern Australian, making them two of the top places to live and visit in Australia. Cheap eats in Australia often include vegetarian-friendly dishes such as falafel wraps, veggie burgers, and Asian stir-fries. For a unique experience, Govindas in Sydney combines delicious vegetarian fare with a movie, making it a popular choice among both locals and visitors.

Final Thoughts On Unique Australian Restaurants

We hope our journey through some of the most unique dining spots has sparked your appetite for adventure, showcasing Australia’s beauty. From the heights of Dinner in the Sky to the cozy, butterfly-filled corners of The Butterfly Room, each restaurant brings something special to the table. Our Australia restaurant guide is just the beginning.

There’s a whole world of flavors waiting for you to explore across this vibrant country, inviting you to fly to Australia and indulge in its culinary delights. Whether you’re after the freshest seafood, the zestiest flavors, or the most Instagram-worthy settings, Australia’s culinary scene has it all. So, grab your fork and let’s dive in – your next great meal could be just around the corner.

The top restaurants in Australia for all types of travelers
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