Did you know that in 2023, solo dining in Australia rose by about 14 per cent year-on-year? That’s right – more of us are taking ourselves out on foodie dates than ever before, according to a new study shared from OpenTable. Three cheers for self-love!
Based on data from 110,000 diner reviews, OpenTable has also announced its Top 50 Restaurants in Australia for 2023. More than half the venues were regional, and Victoria took the crown as the state with the most restaurants on the list. We had seventeen make the list, Queensland had fifteen and New South Wales came in third with thirteen. Take that, Sydney!
Serai (the winner of this year’s People’s Choice Favourite Restaurant gong at Time Out Melbourne's Food and Drink Awards), Vue de Monde, Yugen Dining, Donovans and Il Solito Posto were among several Melbourne restaurants that nabbed top spots in 2023.
Country wineries also shared the limelight, making up 14 per cent of the top 50. We Victorians favoured Brown Brothers in the heart of the King Valley, Phillip Island Winery and Coombe Yarra Valley, plus six more destination darlings worth driving out of the city for. Check out the full list here.
Using data from its extensive diner network, the restaurant booking platform has also revealed some fascinating insights into Aussie dining trends.
The food items we’re mentioning more in reviews include ramen (which topped the list with a 19 per cent increase year-on-year), followed by spaghetti, mushrooms, burrata and curry, while modern Australian was the most popular cuisine on this year’s Top 50 list. Other trending cuisines include Afghan (which saw a 73 per cent increase), Scandinavian (a 63 per cent increase) and, perhaps surprisingly, Irish (a 38 per cent increase).
Not only did we expand our palates, but we also hunted for cheaper drinks in 2023. Talk of happy hour specials increased in reviews by 18 per cent, with 5pm bookings seeing the largest year-on-year increase at 4 per cent. It makes sense we’d want to save on bevvies when you consider that the average spend per person has apparently jumped from $59 to $61.
“Despite the rising cost of living, Aussies were still keen to book a restaurant whether close to home, or as our list shows, explore places a little further from home to make their year memorable over a meal,” said Drew Bowering, senior director of sales and services APAC at OpenTable.
Hungry to see what all the fuss is about? Click here to view OpenTable’s Top 50 Restaurants and start booking.