Destination / Wish You Were Here

8 Australian restaurants to transport you to European summer

Australian restaurants European summer

After almost a year of no international travel, we'd be lying if we said we weren't missing the warm embrace of European summer even just a tad. 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. While there's no certainty just yet on the date of our next trip to the South of France, momentarily transport yourself 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.

 

The Amalfi Way


Set against the backdrop of Sydney's iconic Woolloomooloo Wharf, The Amalfi Way opened earlier this year with head chef and Naples native, Luigi Esposito, at the helm. Beginning his food journey at age eight selling pizza fritta alongside his Nonna Rosa, his love for the Amalfi way of life and the opportunity to share the seafood dishes and lip-smacking limoncello it is known for became the driving force behind his latest venture.

A love letter to the iconic Southern-Italy destination, The Amalfi Way boasts a colourful aesthetic of lemon trees, hand-painted ceramics and woodfire pizza ovens that will instantly immerse you in the charm of the seaside escape. For an unforgettable dining experience, don't miss out on the black squid ink tagliolini with lobster – savour every bite.

 

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.

 

alpha POP


Just like European summer, alpha POP is here for a good time, not a long time. Leading from its mainstay city restaurant alpha, executive chef Peter Conistis is bringing his memorable Greek flavours to Campbell's Stores for a holiday residency. With an exclusive menu specially curated for the location, long-term diners of the restaurant can expect to see the return of Peter's signature dish – Moussaka of eggplant, seared sea scallops and Taramosalata.

If the food wasn't already convincing enough, alpha POP boasts uninterrupted views of The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, with the restaurant also offering an exclusive dining experience to celebrate New Year's Eve.

 

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.

 

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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