Darwin is quickly making a name for itself as one of Australia’s best foodie destinations, offering exceptional international cuisine alongside distinctly Australian ingredients. In fact, you’re just as likely to discover your favourite laksa as you are a fondness for crocodile popcorn. While there are a number of old favourites (like coffee and baked good haven Alley Cats Patisserie and upmarket Pee Wee’s at the Point) scattered across the city, we’re taking inspiration from the newness of the season to bring you some new recommendations.
Needle in a Haystack Street Bistrohas elevated Darwin’s food truck scene to the next level since firing up its hotplates last year. Serving up fresh, seasonal produce from various sites around the city, the focus is on a small, ever-changing menu. When we visited the van at Nightcliff Jetty we managed to secure one of the night’s last available servings of slow cooked lamb shoulder, which was melt in your mouth perfection. We were told it wasn’t the first time they’d sold out early and, with plates like this, we’re not surprised.
Charred butternut pumpkin, herbed brown rice, cucumber yogurt, za'atar, feta and pomegranate #darwinlife #darwinning #darwinfood #darwinnt #darwin #australia #australiagram #australianfood #australianfoods #food #foodies #foodporn #foodtruck #igfood #foodblogger #foodtruck #comfortfood #ilovefood #vegetarian #vegetables #vegeterianlife #beautiful #yummy #delicious
New kid on the block The Urban Fuel Station, is our current go to for easy, satisfying eats in the city centre. Their breakfast toasts are some of the best in the business, topped with everything from mushrooms, spinach and caramelised fennel to fried whitebait, garlic butter and tarragon mayo. Drinks are also good here, whether you’re in the market for a perfectly frothed latte or a decadent thick shake.
For fine dining and generous service, send yourself to The Pearl in Victoria Arcade. Here, in the impeccably styled dining room, $79 will secure you a six course feast of Australian ingredients with European flair. Expect creations like kangaroo carpaccio, smoked trout rillettes and chicken roulade with pistachio, ricotta and lemon filling. You can also enjoy a cocktail and charcuterie plate in the courtyard or book yourself in to one of the venue’s regular cheese-centric events or regional degustations.
Not all of Darwin’s markets shut up shop for the wet season. Rapid Creek Markets run every Sunday morning of the year and are widely considered to have the cream of the crop when it comes to fresh produce. If you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen, like one of the serviced apartments at Adina Darwin Waterfront, aim to get here at sunrise to secure the best ingredients to take home. Tropical fruits, Asian spices and unusual ingredients abound, leaving you free to get creative. Before you head back to base with your wares, make sure to pick up morning tea from Curled Ice Cream, one of Darwin’s newest sweet treat vendors. Their ice creams come in all sorts of enticing flavours, including milo, raspberry and an ingenious peanut butter-nutella mix, and are served in frosty curls topped with fresh cream: delicious and perfect for hot days.
One suburb over you’ll find Nightcliff Markets, another Sunday event where live music and a higher proportion of stalls selling freshly made meals encourage you to linger longer. Grab one of Ken’s Crepes, testing out the Cajun chicken and avocado variety if you’re in the mood for savoury or enjoying the mango, toasted almond and cream creation if your sweet tooth’s making the decisions.
The other marketplace which runs year-round is Saturday’s Parap Markets, made famous by Mary’s Laksas. Ok, we know this one isn’t a fresh suggestion but sometimes old favourites are impossible to beat!