A guide to Australia’s best new openings of 2021
While the pace of Australia’s hospitality industry slowed in 2020, hibernating through the hardships, the passionate teams behind this heartfelt industry worked behind the scenes. Taking the time to prepare for the moment they can pounce on the scene with an offering otherwise unimaginable. Making 2021 a year of much anticipated restaurant, bar and hotel offerings.
There’s always room more… Just three months into the year, and our list of new restaurants, bars and hotels to hit across our cities is looking to be almost unachievable in the space of a year. But not impossible. Check out where we’ll be celebrating this year with a good meal, drop and staycay.
Best new restaurants opening in Australia
Bistrot 916, Sydney NSW
With three of Sydney most exciting hospitality heads at the helm, the neo-French Bistrot 916 sees a seafood-centric take on French-bistro classics. Dan Pepperell (Restaurant Hubert, Alberto’s Lounge and 10 William Street), Michael Clift (Fat Duck, Kempinski Hotel and Rockpool Dining Group) and sommelier Andy Tyson (Swillhouse Group) serve up dishes such as boudin noir spring rolls, duck leg with duck sauce and more within stunning new wave Parisian bistro décor.
Inka, Canberra ACT
Inka came to Canberra in January, kicking off the new year in delicious chaos. Inka sees Peruvian and Japanese flavours served within a sprawling space featuring a mezzanine, sushi bar, restaurant and bar, with Peruvian details woven throughout the space. Born as a result of the fusion of Japanese flavours and traditions with Peruvian ingredients after Japanese farmers migrated to Peru at the end of the 19th Century, Inka is Canberra’s first Nikkei restaurant.
Lona Misa, Melbourne VIC
A collaboration vegan and vegetarian bar and kitchen, born from renowned Melbourne hospitality legends Shannon Martinez (Smith & Daughters, Smith & Daughters Deli) and Ian Curley (French Saloon, Kirk’s Wine Bar), Lona Misa is a rebellious renaissance from root to stem, sustainably crafted to be shareable, seasonal and flavourful, Here, Latin fare and bistro dining will collide against the norms of the classical medley you know of vegan and vegetarian dining. Within artful interiors, rich in history, entering unchartered territory. Opening April 2021.
Best new bars opening in Australia
Gray and Gray Bread and Wine, Melbourne VIC
Behind the gold leaf painted window shop “Gray & Gray Barristers & Solicitors” sign on Northcote’s High Street that has been there since the 70s, Boris Portnoy and winemaker Mitch Sokolin (both raised in New York with Russian-Jewish heritage) have been working to transform the space into a 28-seat wine bar and restaurant. This new age for an area icon will see Gray and Gray Bread and Wine dish out a menu focusing on Russian and Georgian food alongside off-kilter drops from Georgia, Spain, France and Italy.
Kazba, Brisbane QLD
Bringing a taste of Tel Aviv to Queensland’s capital (namely haloumi doughnuts), cocktail bar Kazba has opened in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Serving smoky cocktails inspired by the boulevards of Tel Aviv using house-made Middle Eastern cordials derived from the region’s produce, sodas and unique produce for garnishes. Delivered in alluring vessels sourced from the bazaars and markets of near and far. Paying homage to the city’s street food, uncover humble bar food at Kazba. Made using charcoal and woodfire to infuse tantalsing late night vegetarian eats. To be devoured amongst high energy and low whispers in dark corners.
Sammy Junior, Sydney NSW
Sydney hospitality icons, known throughout the country and the world, Maybe Sammy, have flown the coupe to bring world class service and offerings to a new, sauve pistachio-hued espresso cross cocktail bar in Sydney’s CBD heart. Sammy Junior will start its Monday to Friday mornings at 7am, serving a bespoke Sammy Junior Spiritual Coffee blend before transforming the 50-seater venue from lunch to kick off a show of mini cocktails to take the edge off. Catering to your early morning caffeine needs, later-afternoon ‘business meetings’ and after work tipples.
Best new hotels opening in Australia
EOS by SkyCity Adelaide, SA
Adjoining Adelaide’s newest hospitality and entertainment district, SkyCity Adelaide, is EOS by SkyCity. A 120-room realm of luxury where a love for the unexpected meets deep local knowledge and subtle gestures underpin indulgent experiences, designed for the pleasure-seeker. Boosted by the offering of four eateries in addition to those within the precinct, including the rooftop Sol Bar and Restaurant, Huami, ITL and Lucky Noodle. Each with access to a 7,5000 bottle central wine cellar showcasing local drops from nearby wine regions including the Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley.
Ovolo South Yarra, Melbourne VIC
Located next to the famed intersection of Toorak Road and Chapel Street in Melbourne’s cultural hub of South Yarra, this new addition to designer hotel collection Ovolo Hotels, blends past, present and progressive, as a place where retro chic and pop art collide. The hotel is home to 123 rooms ranging from micro-hotel rooms to Rockstar Suites named after the era’s most iconic, lyrical lovers – take a guess. Taking its design cues from the days of disco, rock gods and retro glamour, the vibe is bold, creative and unpredictable. Bookable from 8 April 2021.
Hotel Verge Launceston, TAS
This latest boutique accommodation offering, an industrial luxe hotel in the heart of Launceston, brings a new level of sophistication to Australia’s most southern state. Referencing the precincts early industrial identity, Hotel Verge’s contemporary and spacious design showcases thoughtfully designed and tastefully equipped rooms featuring exposed concrete ceilings and timber detailing, made with the discerning traveler in mind. Discover the world outside or cosy in with luxurious bathroom products and complimentary Wi-Fi and movies, a fully equipped hotel gym and on-site parking.