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8 Australian restaurants to transport you to European summer

Australian restaurants European summer

Sick of having seen your entire Instagram feed living it up in European summer earlier this year? Us too. While the Australian summer to come isn't shaping up to be all bad, the kiss of dry heat, salty tresses after a full day by the ocean, the irresistible smile of a handsome French man from across the bar, and of course, the unforgettable taste of delicious seafood, perfectly al dente pasta and cream-filled pastries, is still calling for us. While we might have to postpone any travel plans to the South of France for next year, we can momentarily transport ourselves to the idyllic setting of European summer, courtesy of these Australian restaurants.

Whether your heart is somewhere on the Amalfi Coast, or your dreaming of otherworldly tapas on the bustling streets of Barcelona, these 8 Australian restaurants will bring European summer down under.

Ursula's Paddington

 

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When Ursula's first opened its doors with a historic Paddington terrace as its digs, the hype was instant. And rightly so. The menu that ex-Rockpool head chef Phil Wood and wife Lis Davies have curated somehow gets better every time you visit. It's a neighbourhood bistro that gives in all the ways – the decor (which, is predominately hues of orange and vibrant blue), the wine and the remarkable service. Unassuming but leaving a major impact, Ursula's reminds us that just like our European travels, the best haunts are often the most quiet ones.

 

Bistro Guillaume

 

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Dine like a local Parisian at Perth's Bistro Guillaume. Inspired by the most popular neighbourhood bistros in Paris, Bistro Guillaume will tantalise your European tastebuds, offering a selection of casual but classic French dishes including twice baked cheese soufflé, confit duck and apple tarte tatin for the final act.

Located inside Perth's Crown Casino, diners are treated to the ultimate indoor-outdoor experience, combining French provincial dining spaces with spectacular outdoor views. If you can't get to Perth anytime soon, there's no need to fret, as head chef Guillaume Brahimi has also opened his namesake restaurant in both Melbourne and Sydney. We'll see you there.

 

Raes

 

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White-washed walls, timber accents and a cocomisu for the ages – there's no question that Raes is one of the most popular and idyllic European-inspired dining destinations in Australia. With head chef Jason Saxby at the helm, the Mediterranean-inspired, modern Australian menu presents the best of both worlds – with dishes that use local produce and apply a modern Italian twist.

A right of passage when visiting the popular New South Wales coastal destination, spend an afternoon people watching as you sip on delicious cocktails – a luxury only afforded when on vacation.

 

Bistro 916

 

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It's all in the name. This Potts Point restaurant has become a trending Sydney location and for good reason. One step inside and you are instantly transported to Paris. The rose pink tablecloths are the perfect touch and they look particularly good with a plate of the restaurant's finger-licking good duck liver parfait placed on top. For a more intimate experience, ask for a table in the 'bar nook' tucked inside. Endless records line the shelves on the walls and with no window in sight, it's easy to get lost for an entire evening here with the right company. If the burger is ever on the menu, order it. It's our only request.

 

Una Más

 

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One of the most recent openings in Sydney's impressive Coogee Pavilion precinct, put simply, Una Más is an unrivalled seaside spot with a Mediterranean bent. The beautiful tapas and wine bar is the more casual sibling of hotspot Mimi's – the open plan kitchen, impressive collection of terracotta ceramics and fresh produce on display is more than enough to catch the interest of a wandering eye.

The buffalo mozzarella dolloped on lemon leaves and whole fish cooked on the custom-built Josper grill are unforgettable dishes on the impressive menu led by executive chef Jordan Toft. Unlike most restaurants in Sydney, Una Más is open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, meaning you can come for a late-night meal and stay for an early morning nightcap.

 

Glorietta

 

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North Sydney's latest venue Glorietta is an homage to European metropolises, creating a cultural hub for the community that is more than just a place to eat. This effortlessly charming dining space is equal parts contemporary and classic – exuding a sense of comfort and charm that will make you feel like it's your local even if you live on the other side of town.

High ceilings, green marble and stone finishes, rendered bench seating, rattan chairs and timber furnishings create the perfect backdrop for this Italian eatery. Enjoy a snack and a drink in the expansive courtyard, sit down for a full meal in the dining room or grab a seat at the long marble counter in front of the kitchen.

 

A la Grecque


If you have had the chance to explore Victoria's Great Ocean Road, you may have already had the pleasure of dining at Greek institution A la Grecque. The Aireys Inlet restaurant opened more than three decades ago by the Talimanidis family was built on three pillars – fresh, seasonal and simple – a winning formula that has given their chargrilled ox tongue and silky taramasalata with fried calamari and peppers a household name.

 

Il Lido


A Cottesloe institution, Il Lido, formally Lido Cabaret, is built on an undying dedication to the food, drink and surrounding culture. This Italian canteen is a delectable slice of cucina povera, set against the serene surroundings of Cottesloe beach.

For espresso worth getting out of bed for, fragrant pastries straight out of the oven and an aperitivo and wine list that lives and breathes good taste, spend an afternoon (or several) this summer indulging in Il Lido's seaside charm.

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