Luxury restaurant settings and fine dining — these hatted restaurants in rural Australia promise to be well worth the drive.

From former mental asylums to wineries in Western Australia, there’s no discrimination when it comes down to location at these hatted restaurants in regional Australia.

So, if you’re intrigued by good food in unexpected destinations, prepare yourself to be charmed with our list of the best hatted restaurants in regional Australia that you must try in 2023!

What does it mean if a restaurant is hatted?

The Good Food Guide was first published in the UK in 1951. Since then, the Australian team created the hat system which is awarded to outstanding restaurants and chefs.

Best Hatted Restaurants in Rural New South Wales:

Muse Restaurant, Pokolbin

Found in Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley wine region in New South Wales, Muse Restaurant has been present on the Australian Good Food Guide for quite some time now. Seating just 70 guests at a time, this upper-class restaurant offers the complete fine dining experience with contemporary Australian cuisine taking centre stage. With an onsite sommelier, Muse Restaurant gladly pairs their seasonally changed menu with local, Australian made wines. The perfect pitstop between wine tastings, after one visit you’ll realise why Muse Restaurant is considered as one of the best restaurants in regional New South Wales.

Muse Restaurant | 2450 Broke Rd, Pokolbin, NSW 2320

Paper Daisy, Cabarita Beach

The dining experience at Paper Daisy is an invitation to celebrate the unique part of the world they inhabit. A restaurant that prides itself on its sophisticated simplicity and dishes that are satisfying, thoughtful and deeply memorable. The location is one of extreme beauty, while the interior is quirky and fun. Previously scoring the Regional Restaurant of the Year award, Paper Daisy will too be your favourite regional restaurant.

Paper Daisy | 21 Cypress Cres, Cabarita Beach, NSW 2488

Best Hatted Restaurants in Rural Tasmania:

The Agrarian Kitchen, New Norfolk

The Agrarian Kitchen is an eatery, food store and a cooking school. Starting off as a cooking school back in 2008, nine years later the eatery opened for business and has since made headlines as one of the best hatted restaurants in regional Australia. Despite the outstanding food, the site itself is just as intriguing with its past infamously known by locals as the old town mental aslyum. With original infrastructure still in place today, The Agrarian’s charm is attributed to the high ceilings, large windows and chic modern interiors. Although the old-world glamour elevates the eating experience, guests feel good with each bite knowing that the restaurant thrives on fresh produce and no waste. With authentic, locally sourced, seasonal produce, each diner will be able to experience the beauty and charm of New Norfolk with every bite at The Agrarian Kitchen.

The Agrarian Kitchen | 11a The Avenue, New Norfolk, TAS 7140

Best Hatted Restaurants in Rural Victoria:

Igni, Geelong

In the backstreets of Geelong, one of the best meals in Victoria lies in wait. Igni, owned by chef Aaron Taylor, is a clean-lined restaurant with an ashen theme. Soft to the eyes yet trendy to a tee, Igni comes alive thanks to the explosion of flavours hidden within each dish. The team at Igni are praised for being able to “read flavour”, which is exactly what we’d recommend you do. With gluten free and vegetarian options available; beyond the food, the experience is nurturing which is exactly why it’s made our books as one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria.

Igni | Ryan Pl, Geelong, VIC 3220

Best Hatted Restaurants in Rural South Australia:

Hentley Farm, Seppeltsfield

Set in the old stables of a 60-hectare winery, Hentley Farm in South Australia has proudly been awarded with two hats by the Australian Good Food Guide. The venue itself is intriguing, set in a refurbished 1880s farm building with exposed-brick walls and rolling acres. On top of the famed winery (where guests opt for a tasting), the fantastic restaurant takes centre stage with their three-hour, chefs table degustation menu available for up to only nine guests at a time. An overall spectacular experience to say the least, be sure to add this hatted restaurant in rural Australia to your list in 2023.

Hentley Farm | Gerald Roberts Rd, Jenke Rd, Seppeltsfield, SA 5355

Best Hatted Restaurants in Rural Western Australia:

Cullen Wines, Willyabrup

If there is one thing we know about Western Australia, it’s that the wineries are not playing around. By that we mean both their restaurants and their wine. Cullen Wines is no exception, in fact, they and a few others are the highlights. Cullen Wines’ specialty is the way they work with what they have. Carbon-neutral, sustainable and ethical, the Scots-born chef Colin Anderson is passionate about using local produce and being environmentally conscious. This includes the solar panels, the buzzing bees and the biodynamic herb garden, which must be doing something right, because the result is an excellent meal and even better wine.

Cullen Wines | 4323 Caves Rd, Wilyabrup, WA 6280

Vasse Felix, Margaret River

Vasse Felix was the first vineyard established in the southwest, and it’s still thriving today. The vineyard encapsulates the taste of the Margaret River, both in its wine, thanks to head winemaker Virginia Willcock and, also in its food, thanks to chef Aaron Carr. The winery has beautiful views of the rolling vineyards on full display in their dining room, and they work hard to keep the menu fresh and contemporary, always keeping to seasonal and local produce.

Vasse Felix | Caves Rd & Tom Cullity Dr, Margaret River, WA 6284

Yarri, Dunsborough

Yarri is the mastermind collaboration between co-founders of Snake and Herring Wines. In true retrospect to its location, the restaurant aims to honour nature, seasonality and region — the people, produce and place. Dunsborough is the gateway to the Margaret River region, and Yarri is the gem just waiting to be discovered. Yarri’s menu is about subtlety, accessibility and authenticity. They are passionate about being ethical produce and seasonal ingredients and aim to present every dish as the best it can be, which they do with perfect ease. One of the best regional restaurants in Australia!

Yarri | 6/16 Cyrillean Way, Dunsborough, WA 6281

Looking for luxury restaurants in Sydney? Take your pick from our list of the Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants in Sydney of 2023. Or for something themed, we’ve found 10 Quirky and Unique Dining Experiences in Melbourne.

Feature image: Muse Restaurant, Pokolbin, New South Wales. Photographed by Lisa Maree Williams. Image via Destination NSW.
This article was first published on April 08 2019. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on September 13 2023.