Seven of our favourite new restaurants, bars and hotels from around Australia

From Melbourne cocktail bars to luxe Hobart stays and Adelaide’s favourite new bistro.
female bartender pouring a cocktail at a bar

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It can be hard to keep up with the sheer quantity of excellent new places in which you can eat, drink or stay – save yourself the overwhelm and let this edit of seven of our favourite recent openings from around the country, guide you.

Apollo Inn

165 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Andrew McConnell’s restaurants are known for their peerless hospitality and attention to detail. At Apollo Inn, he’s brought that ethos to the cocktail bar. At this intimate next-door sibling to Gimlet, you’ll find some of Melbourne’s sharpest cocktails – and the snacks to go with them. Whether you’re dining at Gimlet and want to bundle in a pre- or post-prandial drink, or just want a late-night bite and drink, Apollo Inn is always a good idea.


85 Hall Street, Bondi Beach

Since opening in 2014, Belles Hot Chicken has led the rise in popularity of Nashville-style hot chicken in Australia. And nearly 10 years on, it hasn’t lost a step. Its latest restaurant, a few minutes’ walk from the sands of Bondi Beach, is quite the sight: the nostalgic, earth-toned diner looks like it’s been airlifted straight out of 1960s America. Inside, you’ll find all of the staples of the Belles experience: excellent fried chicken, a raft of American-style sides, and a fun list of kitschy-cool cocktails. This Belles is also on Uber Eats, so you don’t need to brave the Bondi chaos to get your chicken fix.

The Belles Hot Chicken promise is ‘a life changing experience’ and according to devotees, it delivers.

(Instagram: @belleshotchicken)


41 Market St, Fremantle

Perth is stacked with wonderful restaurants, but there’s something special about the scene in Fremantle. And Lola’s, which opened a few months ago, is one of the best representatives of this new wave of fun and forward-thinking venues shaking up the port town. It’s just 30 minutes to Fremantle from the Perth city centre. And Lola’s ‘New York meets Naples style pizzas’, crowd-pleasing wines and generous sides are well worth it.

Karé Curry

173 Victoria Street, West Melbourne

We love sushi, and we adore ramen, but one Japanese food we’ve yet to embrace with aplomb is curry. It’s a beloved comfort food in Japan, and Karé Curry, which recently opened near Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets, is entirely dedicated to the stuff. Whether you’re opting for a classic curry served with a hefty katsu cutlet, or one of the excellent vegan curry options, Karé’s menu lends itself particularly well to delivery. Fortunately, you can find Karé on Uber Eats. (And don’t forget a yuzu canelé for dessert.)

Japanese comfort food done right – and right to your door.

(Instagram: @kare_melbourne)

The Tasman

12 Murray Street, Hobart

Hobart is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for anyone looking for a domestic weekender. And there’s nowhere better to book into than The Tasman, which opened last year. This enviably situated hotel – just a 20 minute drive from the airport – is right in the thick of town, within the heritage sandstone surrounds of Salamanca and moments from the harbour. Staying here, combined with a meal at in-house diner Peppina’s, is the fast-track to an unforgettable Tassie getaway.

Don’t miss a stay at The Tasman hotel in Hobart for heritage sandstone, luxurious surrounds and destination dining.

(Instagram: @thetasmanhobart)


15 Marshall St, Fortitude Valley

What do you do after you’ve changed the way Sydney and Melbourne eat Thai food? If you’re Martin Boetz, you do it all over again, this time in Brisbane. Shortgrain has much in common with Boetz’ influential Longrain restaurants. At this Thai restaurant in Fortitude Valley, you’ll find favourites of his such as caramelised pork hock and salt and pepper cuttlefish, joined by a range of new share-friendly plates. Despite only being a few months old, Shortgrain already feels like an essential part of the city’s dining fabric.

Longplay Bistro

131 Pirie St, Adelaide

Marshall King is a master of the vibe. Visit any of his other Adelaide venues, such as Clever Little Tailor or Pink Moon Saloon, and you can just tell they nail the theme of what they’re going for. Longplay Bistro, his new European bistro (with an Australian sensibility), knows exactly what it wants to be. And it’s a great time. Stop by for quirky takes on bistro classics (try the venison tartare), a predictably excellent wine and cocktail selection, and an eclectic vinyl record collection playing whatever feels good on the day.

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