Presented by The Australian Financial Review, the 2018 Australia’s Top Restaurants Awards list was released last Thursday and included more than 55 Italian eateries.
Now in its fourth successful year, this unique award is the industry’s highest honour and is designed to support and celebrate the rising standards of excellence and professionalism in Australian dining.
The award celebrates the best of Australian dining at all levels, with the list compiled by national reviewers, restaurant guide editors and industry experts.
From this list of Australia’s top 500 restaurants, chefs and restaurateurs will now vote for the top 100 venues.
The results will be unveiled in late June at a gala event and in The Australian Financial Review.
Of the 100 new restaurants to be included in the top 500, nine of them were heavily influenced by Italian cuisine.
- Bacco Osteria e Espresso, a Sydney cafe with an Italian twist, serving pizza by the slice, panini, pastries and coffee.
- Italian-driven Bocca di Lupa at the family-owned Mitolo Winery in McLaren Vale, NSW.
- Canteen Pizza, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria at the picturesque location of Cottesloe Beach, WA.
- The aptly named Italian Food Restaurant, a venue serving hearty Italian fare in Spring Hill, QLD.
- Marta, an Italian restaurant inspired by the flavours and streets of Rome, situated in Rushcutters Bay, NSW.
- The relaxed Osteria Ilaria, a venue serving modern Italian food, alongside beverages from around the world, in Melbourne’s Little Bourke Street.
- Rosetta, Neil Perry’s sophisticated Italian restaurant in Sydney.
- Sunny’s Pizza in Adelaide, a bar which has won diners’ praise in just over a year with its delicious pizza.
- Ti Ama, serving rustic Italian sourdough wood-fired pizza and more in Battery Point, Tasmania.
Alongside these newcomers, around 50 iconic Italian restaurants made the nation’s top 500 for another year.
- 10 William St, an intimate two-storey bistro located at that very address in Paddington, NSW, and serving sophisticated Italian cuisine with an extensive European wine list.
- 1889 Enoteca, nestled in the heart of Woolloongabba’s antique and cafe quarter and renowned for serving some of Brisbane’s best Italian food.
- A Tavola, established in Darlinghurst by chef-owner Eugenio Maiale and revered as one of Sydney’s best places to go for authentic Italian pasta.
- Acme, a “hip” space in Rushcutters Bay, NSW, serving inventive Italian dishes with an Asian twist.
- Agostini’s in Griffith, NSW, providing fresh pizza, pasta and a genuine Italian experience by the Bisa family.
- André’s Cucina & Polenta Bar, serving fresh, simple and seasonal regional Italian dishes in a casual yet sophisticated setting in Adelaide.
- Balla, located in Pyrmont, NSW, and one of Sydney’s most talked about artisan Italian restaurants, serving a fresh interpretation of the traditional flavours of Tuscany.
- Bistro Officina, a relaxed European bistro located in Bowral, NSW, fuelled by fire that doesn’t rely on long-standing tradition.
- Bucci, in Fortitude Valley, QLD, drawing on the wealth of Italian regional offerings to produce a light and innovative menu that changes regularly.
- Buon Ricordo, a long-running classic Italian restaurant in Paddington, NSW.
- Cafe Di Stasio, a long-standing Italian venue situated in St Kilda and plating contemporary food in an elegant space.
- Cecconi’s in Melbourne’s Flinders Lane, offering a warm atmosphere, admirable service, and a menu long enough to allow for real choice.
- Kew restaurant Centonove, boasting a menu of fresh and contemporary Italian dishes that are complemented by the venue’s boutique wine cellar.
- Chianti, in Adelaide, offering a menu showcasing seasonal and local produce and interpreted with precisely the same enthusiasm a new season brings in regional Italy.
- Cicciolina, celebrated as one of St Kilda’s favourite restaurants and considered the place to go for simple, authentic Italian cuisine.
- Da Mario, serving wood-fired pizza and classic Italian food in Rosebery, NSW.
- Da Noi, located in South Yarra, and featuring a menu which incorporates a wealth of Sardinian influence, carefully crafted into innovative Italian dishes that carefully balance elements of rusticity and refinement.
- Bondi’s Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta, a hip, warehouse-style space, prepping wood-fired pizza, traditional Italian pasta and roast pork.
- Enzo’s Ristorante, the product of Enzo’s lifelong passion for food, located in Hindmarsh, SA.
- Fico, in Hobart, the brainchild of Federica Andrisani and Oskar Rossi, who came together in northern Italy four years ago.
- Fratelli Paradiso, located in Potts Point, NSW, and one of Sydney’s most treasured spots for Italian culture.
- Galileo Buona Cucina, situated in Shenton Park, and one of only 10 restaurants in WA to be recognised by the Italian Government with the Ospitalità Italiana quality seal.
- Grossi Florentino Grill and Grossi Florentino Upstairs, a split-level space in Bourke Street, Melbourne, housing an Italian fine-dining restaurant, a grill and a bar.
- Il Bacaro, considered an institution on Melbourne’s Little Collins Street, and attracting a cult status among devoted locals with its fine Italian fare.
- Il Lido, located in Cottesloe, WA, and plating dishes which can be described as “cucina povera”, or Italian peasant food, presented with the venue’s own individuality.
- Italian and Sons, found in Braddon, ACT, and offering contemporary interpretations of essential Italian favourites in an authentic setting that would make even a restaurateur in Rome envious.
- Local Pizza, serving crispy, thin, hand-stretched pizza in Berriedale, TAS.
- Lolli Redini, bringing contemporary Italian and French cuisine to Orange, NSW.
- Lucio’s, enjoying a remarkable reputation for exceptional Italian food in Paddington, NSW.
- Lulu La Delizia, a small eatery and wine bar in Subiaco, WA, specialising in the premium fresh pasta and the delights of Friuli and the Venetian spice route.
- LuMi Bar & Dining, serving modern Italian food with a Japanese twist in Pyrmont, NSW.
- Lupino, an Italian bistro located on Little Collins Street, specialising in crafting handmade pasta and pizza.
- Massi, an all-day restaurant offering authentic Sicilian cuisine to visitors to Melbourne’s Little Collins Street.
- Mezzalira Ristorante, the “bigger, slightly more sophisticated cousin of Italian and Sons”, located in Canberra, ACT.
- Novaro’s, an upscale eatery in an Edwardian terrace in Launceston, TAS, offering gourmet Italian dishes crafted from local produce.
- Ormeggio at The Spit, located at D’Albora Marina, offering contemporary Italian cuisine in a spectacular waterside setting, overlooking Middle Harbour and Pearl Bay in NSW.
- Osteria at Stefano Lubiana Winery, in Granton, TAS, showcasing a menu based around what is harvested from the winery’s biodynamic vegetable garden that morning.
- Osteria Oggi, a piece of Italy in Adelaide, serving seasonal produce in a way that is designed to share.
- Otto Ristorante, with venues in both Sydney and Brisbane, and reinventing the flavours of Italy in stylish new forms.
- Pilu at Freshwater in NSW, which uses locally sourced ingredients to create modern, contemporary Italian dishes inspired by Italy’s numerous culinary regions – from Lombardy in the north to Campania in the south, and owner-chef Giovanni Pilu’s native Sardinia.
- Ristorante Fellini, located in Main Beach, QLD, and well known for its exemplary service, picturesque location, luxurious ambience, and above all – its citywide reputation of serving the finest in Italian cuisine.
- Rosetta, with locations in Melbourne’s Crown Complex and in Sydney (a newcomer to the list), showcasing owner-chef Neil Perry’s favourite dishes, inspired by his extensive travels through Italy.
- Sotto Sopra, a wood-fired trattoria located in Newtown, NSW, and brought to you by the team from Ormeggio at The Spit.
- Stefano’s Restaurant, one of four venues established by Treviso native Stefano De Pieri, in Mildura.
- Supermaxi, a gourmet pizza restaurant in the alternative Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy North.
- Tartufo, located in the heart of Fortitude Valley, in QLD, serving classic Italian dishes inspired by owner Tony Percuoco’s home town, Naples, and the regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Abruzzo.
- The Restaurant Pendolino, bringing regionally-inspired Italian cuisine featuring some of Australia and Italy’s most prestigious extra-virgin olive oils and food and wine products to Sydney.
- Tipo 00, a restaurant located on Melbourne’s Little Bourke Street and specialising in mouthwatering pasta.