From your classic pub parmy to café’s who serve beetroot turmeric lattes, Darwin’s food scene is growing into a feast of choices for local Territorian’s and visitors. At First National O’Donoghues, we consider ourselves to be major foodies so we have listed our top 10 restaurants in Darwin (in no particular order).
If you ask every Darwinite what their favourite restaurants are, Nirvana is sure to fall on the list! Serving Thai, Malaysian and Indian inspired dishes, Nirvana is a go-to for your Asian fix. A personal favourite of ours in the Yellow Fish Curry and simplistic yet flavoursome Nasi-Goreng. Located in Darwin City, Nirvana offers a cool ambiance with chestnut couches, live music and a range of unique cocktails. If you're heading to Nirvana give their Red Sangria a try - it's one of the best in Darwin!
A Darwin classic, Moorish is located in the heart of Darwin CBD and is the perfect place for your first date. The dim lighting, wooden furniture and tones of burnt red and orange ooze a feeling romance. Winners of 12 gold plates, the food at Moorish does not disappoint. Choose from a wide range of tapas and excite your taste buds further by pairing it with their delicious sangria - another one of Darwin's best! If you're not into the whole sharing thing, they also have mains on offer or, why not have both? Be sure NOT to skip out on dessert, no matter how full you are, dessert here is a must!
Focusing on flavours of South East Asia, Chow is another perfect place to hinder your Asian cravings. With a range of mouth-watering meals such as Pho, Vermicelli Bowls and Pad Thai, how can you go wrong?! If you're after a drink that's a little different, you can order whole coconuts, bubble tea and exotic cocktails. The options are endless at Chow and being located at the Waterfront, you will be dining in one of Darwin's most prestige locations.
Bold, flavoursome and hearty Greek food is what you will get at Manolis. Walk into this restaurant and you'll feel like you walked into a Greek Grandmother's dinner party! The staff are excellent, the environment is welcoming and the food is simply incredible. If you're a cheese lover, the Saganaki Balls are a stand out - but really, almost everything on this menu is a stand out. We've heard rumours that the staff even partake in regular plate smashing nights! Immerse yourself in all things Greek at Manolis.
Situated on 12 Cavenagh Street Darwin, The CAV offers a modernised western menu, changing with the seasons to ensure the best produce is used. Dishes from award winning Chef Lee Amy-Bell coupled with the relaxed atmosphere of the CAV makes this the perfect place to catch up with your mates or to grab a quick meal on your lunch break! If you're a steak lover, you're in luck. The CAV specialises in steak offering various cuts and sides and sauces to match. $15 lunch specials and regular dinner specials are always available!
Sick of your typical sit down dinner? OKA Tepinyaki is the answer. Using an iron griddle to cook food, OKA Tepinyaki brings an exciting, fun and unique experience to dining. Have a skilled and experienced Japanese chef throw food into your bowl or straight into your mouth! If this sounds a little scary, you can stick with the traditional Japanese a-la-carte menu or an Omakase experience where the chef will decide your menu for you. Located in the Parap Village, this Japanese restaurant offers lunch, dinner and takeaway.
Emilio's Pizza Pasta
Tucked away in Berrimah, Emilio's is a hidden Italian haven. Open as a cafe throughout the day, Emilio's turns into an authentic Italian restaurant by night serving a range of scrumptious delicious meals. The real beauty lies with the pizza! Only served on Saturday nights, you will find Emilio's packed to the brim on this special night because... why would anyone miss out on amazing pizza?!
Memories of India
At First National O'Donoghues we've had our fair share of curries and boy does this place stand out! Memories of India does exactly that - bring back memories of India even if (like us) you've never been there. We don't have any one recommendation for this restaurant, instead we recommend you try absolutely everything. You will find Memories of India at Sabine Shops, Millner and be sure to attend on an empty stomach!
Away from the hustle of Darwin City, Hingstons is a classic Chinese restaurant. Offering every Chinese dish you could dream of, Hingstons is owned and run by a local family in the Northern Suburb of Anula. Hingstons offer the option of a Banquet or, if you're having a special occasion, the Chef's Suggestion! These are dishes which are not included in the regular menu, prepared especially for you and your guests (note that you will need to order 1 week in advance).
In Darwin we are incredibly lucky to have our permanent weekend and seasonal markets throughout the year. As a team we have debated which markets are the best and for us, Parap takes the win! Held every Saturday until 2pm, the Parap Markets make you feel like you're in Thailand! Dive into a wealth of choices with varying cuisines at peanut prices. Although we live by the classic laksa and smoothie combo, we aren't afraid to venture out to what else is on offer! Maybe next week we'll have a sushi burger - that's right, we said sushi burger!