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The Best Women-Led Restaurants in Australia for 2019

In honour of International Women’s Day, OpenTable is celebrating the talented women on the front lines of the food scene. In an industry mostly dominated by men, these women have led, hustled, and most importantly, inspired with their work in the Australian food scene. Aside from being a country known for its wide open spaces, natural wonders, and beaches, the Land Down Under has always been a mixture of diverse cultures. These women showcase various cuisines and contribute to a culinary scene that’s pretty much reflective of the nation’s diversity. For those who’d like a taste of the world, these restaurants are the ultimate foodie paradise. Be sure to check out these women-led restaurants!

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The OpenTable team
Updated January 11, 2021
A photo of Smith & Daughters restaurant

Smith & Daughters

1439 reviews

Diners who are up for a creamy parmesan scramble, a tortilla that’s gone Italian, and the classic meatball pasta — all meat-free of course — just have to head over to Smith & Daughters. A collaboration of two women’s genius (Shannon Martinez runs the kitchen while Mo Wyse runs the business), this Fitzroy restaurant has been serving up vegan food for vegans and meat-eaters alike as they’re all about serving good food first and vegan food next. This commitment has led the duo to create a restaurant with a rock 'n’ roll vibe and a menu that can lure even the most hardened meat lover.

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A photo of Red Gum BBQ restaurant

Red Gum BBQ

1557 reviews

Authentic American-style BBQ is smokin’ hot down in Red Hill, where guests are made to feel like they’re in the southern U.S.. Red Gum has pit-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth BBQ, and American sodas as well as local craft beers, to go with it. Owners Melissa and Martin Goffin, winner of the prestigious Female Entrepreneur of the Year award, are pretty hands-on with the biz. With Martin manning one of the pit smokers and Melissa managing the restaurant, the couple has taken this passion project from a pop-up marquee to a converted workshop that now gives off a country feel with its rustic furnishings and large space.

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A photo of - Barangaroo restaurant - Barangaroo

1243 reviews

The commitment to offer sustainably sourced seafood in a scenic waterfront setting to enlightened diners drove Michelle Grand-Milkovic, along with her husband Michael, to open in 2010. Showcasing only the finest local and seasonal bounties from the Australian waters, their offerings include live, hand-harvested urchins, fresh oysters, varieties of fishes, and crustaceans, as well as garden-to-plate sides. Plus, as it's set in the dining destination of The Streets of Barangaroo, it has delighted locals and tourists alike with the couple’s “green heart” approach to seafood dining.

A photo of Brick Lane restaurant

Brick Lane

358 reviews

Brick Lane is Kiran Bain’s special way of paying homage to London, and its name echoes a popular East London street. With an interior design that features exposed bricks splashed with murals and a menu that features fusion Indian dishes, the restaurant is pretty reminiscent of London’s curry restaurant-lined district. Along with her fellow British-born partner, Alistair French, Bain has cooked up an offering that’s designed to take guests on a culinary adventure to southern India in Sydney’s Little Italy. Diversity at its finest.

A photo of Zushi Barangaroo restaurant

Zushi Barangaroo

1035 reviews

Zushi’s modern take on the Japanese classics like sushi and sashimi is well-received among its patrons. With Serena Ang fronting this Barangaroo offshoot as general manager on top of the original restaurant in Surry Hill, the same Izakaya-style, no-fuss, and subtle presentation can be expected. Serena is not just big in offering high-quality food, she’s eyeing sustainability as well, which is very evident with the restaurant’s menu — 90% gluten-free dishes, locally sourced vegetables, organic meat, and seafood, as well as a biodynamic wine selection. This, along with the chance to enjoy good food in an alfresco setting with the stunning display of light when the sun sets on the harbor, makes this restaurant a hit among diners.

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A photo of Door Knock restaurant

Door Knock

Gastro Pub
Sydney CBD
192 reviews

People who like to escape the bustling CBD for a while will find Door Knock’s hard-to-find, subterranean location a refuge. Taking the reins of this cocktail and wine bar is owner Natalie Ng, Australian Liquor Industry’s Bartender of the Year 2017. Having been on the bartending scene for more than 15 years, guests are in good hands with the range of cocktails and a good selection of contemporary Asian dishes and comfort food on the menu. Since Natalie is known for fusing different ingredients that traditionally do not go together to create a wonderfully unique taste, guests are in for some kind of adventure in one of Sydney’s culinary-minded bar.

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