Darwin City food highlights
Darwin’s foodie scene has been growing with cafes, bars and restaurants opening up and/or expanding in recent years. We’ve seen new cuisines, funky al fresco dining spaces, and more smashed avo options appear on menus daily. With so many options it can be hard to decide where to go, so here are some food highlights for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
1. Enjoy lunch on the Boardwalk
Located at Cullen Bay, this delicious café is one not to be missed! Freshly squeezed juices, big brekkies to start your day, or a healthy poke bowl – the Boatshed Coffee House and Café has you covered. A great place to sit outside on the deck and take in the views of the Cullen Bay Marina.
2. Breakfast with a view
Serving yummy home made meals with nothing processed, you can fill your belly with goodness at Lime Cafe. Located at Darwin Waterfront, your breakfast is served with stunning water views. Priding themselves on the fresh ingredients used in their meals, they will taste as vibrant as they look!
3. Join the Coffee Club at Darwin Waterfront
Serving all your favourites, the Coffee Club at the Waterfront opens its doors bright and early at 7am and the smell of coffee will wake you up as you enter the café. With a simple but well thought out menu that heroes local produce, you’ll find your favourite breakfast options are even better here.
4. Great coffee and home made food
A favourite meeting place for local business people, Roma Bar offers lots of seating options and a great menu with tropical, traditional and Asian influenced items. Most of their menu items are made in-house, and there are exotic daily specials to keep your tastebuds excited. Roma Bar is well known for its great coffee – give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
5. Head down the Rabbit Hole
Don’t blink or you’ll miss it! The Rabbit Hole is just that – a hole in the wall café in bustling Smith Street Mall. With limited seating indoors, you can also grab a table outside in the mall to devour your coffee and breakfast. Serving amazing coffee and a limited but delicious menu, Rabbit Hole focuses quality over quantity.
1. Little Miss Korea down little Austin Lane
You really can’t go wrong with dumplings! Little Miss Korea serves a simple but delectable lunch menu which includes dumplings, bibimbap, and of course KFC…their famous Korean Fried Chicken! This warehouse style restaurant in the street-art-filled Austin Lane is always a great choice for fresh, authentic Korean dishes. Their menu is simple however they do it all very well.
2. Where the magic happens
Tucked away in the Westlane Arcade (through the Vic Arcade off Smith Street Mall) you’ll find the Magic Wok. This long term Darwin establishment has custom orders down pat – you grab a tray and fill it with the meat and vegetables of your choice from the buffet, choose your sauce, hand it all over to the chef and that’s when the magic happens! Your fresh custom dish is served to you with rice or noodles. With very reasonable prices as well, it’s no wonder these guys are popular with locals and tourists alike.
3. The locals call it Shags for short
A list of lunch options would not be complete without an Irish pub meal! Shenannigans, affectionately known as Shags, is a very well known and popular establishment located on bustling Mitchell Street in Darwin city. Offering your favourite pub classic menu items and traditional Irish fare including Guinness on tap, Shenannigans also has daily lunch deals, so there’s something for every budget!
4. The Cav on Cavenagh
With a huge outdoor covered beer garden, and extensive indoor spaces, The Cav is a great place to catch up with friends. Officially named ‘The Cavenagh Hotel’ due to its location on Cavenagh Street, the venue offers an ever changing menu with regular specials, and a lengthy list of bar options to choose from. There’s also a great range of daily lunch specials on offer.
5. Lazy Susan is not lazy
If you ask us, Susan is far from lazy at Lazy Susan’s! The lunch menu has more options than you can point a chopstick at… and they’re all delicious! Serving all your favourite Asian dishes, Lazy Susan’s has a range of small and large plates, so you can choose to share… or not!
1. Eat and drink in the evening
There’s something comforting about sharing food with friends and loved ones, and PM Eat and Drink’s tapas-style menu is the perfect setting. PM’s use of local and beautiful ingredients, combined with simple cooking techniques, highlights the flavours and quality of the produce they use. Their modern-style restaurant also offers banquets with wine-matching options.
2. Chow down your favourite Asian dish
Chow’s menu is inspired by Darwin’s tropical north location and proximity to Asia. The flavours of South East Asia with a focus on fresh local produce result in a menu bursting with freshness and flavour! From big bowls of Laksa or Pho, to incredible cocktails, there is a sophisticated dish on the menu for you. The servings are large enough to share, so why not take the family and taste everything on the menu as you sit outside and soak up the atmosphere of the Darwin Waterfront.
3. Take a journey to South East Asia
Chef and owner of Hanuman, Jimmy Shu, provides a culinary journey through South East Asia with the variety of menu items at his restaurant. Serving Indian inspired curries and Malaysian style dishes, your tastebuds will be taken on a journey regardless of what you order! The décor will transport you to Asia, and the service will make you smile. Local’s tip – order the Hanuman oysters.
4. Indulge at Darwin’s famous steak restaurant
One of Darwin’s long-standing and well known restaurants is situated on The Esplanade in the historic Admiralty House. Char prides itself as a steak restaurant, but don’t let that fool you! Their menu includes crowd favourites such as steak, however also has a range of pasta, vegetarian and seafood options (try the whole fish!). Their extensive award-winning wine list means that Char is a winner when it comes to dinner options.
5. Run away to the circus at Lola’s Pergola
Darwin’s quirkiest bar would have to be Lola’s Pergola! With a circus theme, the lights and merry-go-rounds will keep the kids entertained whilst you enjoy craft beers on tap and a delicious menu with crowd favourites like burgers and pizza. Located on the marina at Cullen Bay, this is a picturesque location with a twist.