Good Food Guide hunts down the best restaurants across Australia

THE go-to listing for foodies – in fact anyone who loves dining out – is going national and could be coming to a restaurant or cafe near you.

The Good Food Guide will this year expand beyond the east coast to seek out the must-visit dining destinations in every Australian state and territory.

On sale later this year, the expanded Good Food Guide will be an all-encompassing national “bible” of reviews, revealing the restaurants across the nation that have been awarded a prestigious hat.

The move builds on a 38-year tradition of culinary recognition, journalism and review.

The Age Good Food Guide launched in 1979, followed by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide in 1984 and, most recently, the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide in 2015.

“Our defining strength, and the reason why people trust the Good Food Guide, is the independence of our critics,” Good Food Guide co-editor Myffy Rigby said.

“We’re stringent when it comes to judging. That means we look at service, ambience, X-factor, and – most importantly – food, to award those all-important hats.”

The Good Food Guide 2018 will continue to award the best restaurants in the country via its highly coveted hats.

To achieve a hat is a pinnacle of a chef’s career and a restaurant’s history, with the term “hatted” becoming embedded in the Australian lexicon.

Along with reviews around the country, the Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year, Citi Chef of the Year and Citi Service Excellence will be awarded nationally, growing their reputation as some of Australia’s most sought-after culinary titles.

The prestigious Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year award will also go national, with applications open to chefs from across the country until June 1, 2017.

Previous winners of the Award include some of Australia’s best-known chefs including Mark Best, Dan Hong and Mitch Orr.

“The Good Food Guide retains the features readers have always loved – reviews of restaurants, cafes, bars, and cheap eats – and greatly expands the interstate coverage, making the Guide the trusted source of information about where to find the best – and hatted – venues in every capital and beyond,” Ms Rigby said.

The national Good Food Guide 2018 will retail for $29.95. The Good Food Guide is published by Fairfax Media, owner of this newspaper.

Last year’s regional finalists from the eastern states included Lake House at Daylesford, Fen at Port Fairy, the Royal Mail Hotel at Dunkeld, The Provenance at Beechworth, Bistro Molines at Mount View, Muse Restaurant at Pokolbin, and Temporada in Canberra.