Restaurant botanic adelaide location

Australia’s Best Restaurant Has Been Crowned

Wondering where to dine in 2023? Well, the experts at the Australian luxury food title, Gourmet Traveller, have revealed the winners of the Gourmet Traveller 2023 Restaurant Awards. The country’s top chefs and restaurant personalities came together to celebrate the annual awards, and the results speak for themselves, offering invaluable insight into what to expect in the Australian dining landscape for the coming year.

Related: Looking for more restaurant news, reviews, and more? Check it all out right here.

Restaurant botanic adelaide

Image: 10-seat ‘Chef Counter’ at Restaurant Botanic in Adelaide | @restaurantbotanic_adl

South Australia’s Restaurant Botanic has taken out the title for the restaurant of the year, with chef Justin James accepting the award on behalf of the stellar establishment. The restaurant sits within the Adelaide Botanic Garden, which inspires the menu and the dining experience, offering a unique and immersive culinary journey. We even had the chance to sample some of the menu ourselves on a recent trip to Adelaide for the launch of the Audi RS3.

 “There’s no question that Restaurant Botanic is a bravura performance,” said Gourmet Traveller editor Joanna Hunkin. “It combines fun and adventure with polish and poise. Chef Justin James doesn’t attempt perfection but rather embraces the beauty of irregularity and nature, making the most of the restaurant’s iconic location and using the garden’s bounty to create something uniquely of its place.”

Pilot canberra

Image: Spätzle with toasted corn, yuzu cream + paprika | @pilotrestaurant

In the ACT, Pilot. in Canberra took out the top place. The intimate space is a hot spot for Canberra locals and visitors alike, with a strong focus on Australian produce, local wines and no lo drinks. The menu is an indulgent 7-course degustation menu priced at $138 pp, complete with complex dishes and nostalgic flavours. 

The question on everyone’s lips was which restaurant would take the title of Gourmet Travellers Best Restaurant in NSW, and there were no surprises when Margaret was called out. The Sydney restaurant sits on the corner of Double Bay’s Bay Street, boasting a delicious menu that highlights Australia’s fresh seafood. The kitchen is headed by chef Richard Purdue, and the drinks menu revolves around an Australia-focused wine program and cocktails made with native Australian ingredients.

Up in Queensland, it was Essa in Brisbane that came out on top. The acclaimed restaurant and wine bar is dark and moody, with a mysterious menu to match. Regularly evolving, so you never really know what to expect, but it always features raw, pickled, smoked and wood-fired dishes.

Fico hobart

Image: Carrot gazpacho, tuna, green olive | @ficohobart

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Fico in Hobart took out the spot for Tasmania, and we’re not surprised. The quaint, stylish eatery has drawn a lot of attention since its opening in 2016. Blurring the lines between fine dining and a traditional bistro, it has a European feel that people flock to. The menu is innovative and features the best local and seasonal produce, and is accompanied by a robust wine list.

In Victoria, it was Tedesca Osteria in the stunning Red Hill that won the title. Not only does it boast a stunning view and an award-winning interior, but it also has an open kitchen that we love. The relaxed five-course set menu rotates, but usually features fresh pasta and seafood with almost everything used being grown on the property. There’s a biodynamic vineyard on site, so expect plenty of natural wines, alongside cocktails made using native botanicals and rainwater.

Lastly, Lulu La Delizia in Perth took out the honour for Western Australia. Flying the flag for the only dedicated Italian restaurant to make the cut. Lulu La Delizia prides itself on delicious homemade pasta and traditional Italian plates, accompanied by a warm, inviting atmosphere. It was named one of Australia’s Top 100 restaurants in 2018 by Gourmet Traveller, and we don’t see it going anywhere but up anytime soon. 

Other winners include Thi Le of Ca Com & Jeow, Melbourne, Vic for chef of the year, Mug Chen & Chia Wu of Muni, Willunga, SA for best new talent, Paloma in Burleigh Heads for wine bar of the year, Van Bone in Marion Bay, Tasmania for best destination dining and Smith & Daughters in Melbourne for best restaurant personality of the year. 

Profiles of the award winners will be published in the October issue of Gourmet Traveller, now on sale.

Check it out

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Aimee O'Keefe
Contributor

Aimee O'Keefe

Aimee O’Keefe is a Sydney-based freelance writer with a background in content marketing, lifestyle, architecture and travel coverage. She completed a Bachelor's degree in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney and has worked with Universal Magazines, various leading digital marketing agencies and The Local Project.