Food & Drink

The Best New Openings in Australia 2019

Gorgeous hotels across the country and divine food from edgy to rustic, these are the best new openings in Australia of 2019.

the best of australia; the best of 2019

Bondi Beach. Photo by Lovleah/Canva

By Jenny Hewett

Dec 1, 2019

OH OZ, YOU CONSISTENTLY wow us with your ever-cooler openings. Below is an all-too-brief list of some of the very best new hotels and restaurants in Australia from 2019. 


Joy, Brisbane 

Don’t believe a word Marie Kondo says; food is still the best way to spark joy. And husband-and-wife chefs team Tim and Sarah Scott are the alchemists of just that at their 10-seater laneway eatery in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Sprayed with graffiti, the tiny, counter-dining space is intimate and edgy, and despite being the new kid on the block, it has already received two hats (Australia’s answer to the Michelin star). Unsurprisingly, there’s a waitlist, so book well in advance.; A$100 for nine courses. 

Pipit, Pottsville 

Ben Devlin (Noma and Paper Daisy) is one of the most acclaimed young chefs in Australia. And yet his newly hatted coastal eatery in the northern NSW beach town of Pottsville is as unassuming as it gets. Devlin creates everything from scratch, turning seasonal produce over a wood-fired grill to generate the bold, balanced flavors that underscore his frequently changing menu. This is fine dining at its most sincere. Even the duck-fat caramels and sweet potato petit fours are memorable.; mains from A$25. 


The Fantauzzo, Brisbane 

The latest installment of one of the country’s most exciting boutique hotel brands, this homage to award-winning Australian painter Vincent Fantauzzo offers six floors of appropriately art-filled spaces. Overlooking the revamped Howard Wharves, the 166-room hotel has been carved into the cliff side and features original works from the artist, as well as 500 giclée reproductions of his most famous works. In addition to complimentary art tours for guests, there’s a rooftop pool and a handful of attractive venues for eating and drinking.; doubles from A$223. 

The Fullerton, Sydney

The Singaporean brand has shacked up in one of Sydney’s oldest and most prestigious addresses. Housed in the former General Post Office (“GPO,” first opened in 1874, at No. 1 Martin Place), Fullerton merges grandiose heritage architecture with contemporary culinary, art and cultural experiences, giving guests the opportunity to explore Sydney past and present. As with its historic Singaporean counterparts, the Fullerton offers free heritage tours, which here uncover the building’s iconic role in the federation of Australia.; doubles from A$300. 

The Bailey, Cairns 

Far North Queensland got a whole lot hipper in the last 12 months. The second of three luxury Crystalbrook Collection hotels to open in Cairns, The Bailey (creative sibling to The Riley) is a bold celebration of art and originality. Green foliage climbs through its foyer and public spaces are littered with artworks from regional and national artists. Balancing high-minded sensibilities is some true-blue Aussie tucker, with a steakhouse and the Milk Bar, which serves up super fun ice-cream sundaes and other nostalgic treats.; doubles from A$225. 



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