Whether you are craving crocodile tail, Australia’s best seafood or a bowl of laksa better than any you will find in Singapore, Darwin offers some stellar dining. What’s more, you don’t need to spend a fortune or wear a suit to enjoy it, even at the city’s top restaurants. Here is where to dine in Darwin.

Parap Village Markets

Celebrate Darwin’s close proximity to Asia at Parap Village Markets where the only thing rivalling the fabulous food is the equally fabulous vibe. Grab a mango smoothie and stroll through stalls selling everything from vibrantly coloured ornamental ginger to Vietnamese spring rolls, roti pancakes and Mary’s famous laksa. The latter is rumoured to be a failsafe hangover cure. Parap is a five minute ride from the CBD on the free shuttle bus which runs to and from the markets each Saturday.

Shopping at Parap Village Markets

Hanuman

Revel in the sophisticated blend of flavours at Hanuman, a long-standing local favourite showcasing South-East Asian, Indian and Nonya style-cuisine. Dishes such as barramundi meen moolie curry and pandan chicken with sweet, sticky chilli sauce encourage return visits. Hanuman might be one of the best restaurants in town but there is no need to dress up. However, you should definitely book. If you can’t get a table, Hanuman provides catering for Deckchair Cinema on Wednesday and Friday nights.

Turn up the heat at Hanuman

Mitchell’s Grill

Located on the ground floor of the Hilton Darwin, Mitchell’s Grill is a hotel restaurant that is worth staying in for. Executive Chef Akash Srivastava cuisine reflects his fine five star pedigree and Far Eastern heritage while incorporating Southeast Asian flavours that are typical of Darwin’s dining culture. You will find some of the Northern Territory’s best seafood here with piquant lemon myrtle crusted barramundi being one of many standouts. Those who don’t eat seafood are equally well catered for with dishes such as Thai beef salad and grilled kangaroo fillet with crushed potatoes, confit cherry tomatoes and wild mushrooms.

Pee Wees at the Point

Fine-dining Darwin-style is the best way to describe Pee Wee’s at the Point. The understated decor is nothing to write home about but this breezy restaurant remains one of the city’s premier date-night venues, with stunning sunset views and Territory-influenced dishes such as crocodile tail wrapped in Betel leaf with chilli, ginger, toasted peanuts, coconut and kaffir lime. It’s best to dine early so you can enjoy the sunset with a glass of something chilled, before darkness descends over the shimmering waters of Darwin Harbour. The ‘Fifty Shades of Chocolate’ dessert is deliciously decadent and best shared with someone special.

Pee Wees at the Point

The Pearl

Whether you are seeking a change from Asian flavours or simply after a memorable meal, The Pearl is a pearl indeed. Modern Australian cuisine enjoys a delicious dalliance with France at this Parisian-inspired diner which is open for brunch, lunch and dinner. Classics such as steak frites mix it up with poached lobster roll for lunch and gin cured ocean trout accompanied by a classic salad of fennel and greens. The Prix Fixe six course tasting menu is a steal at $70, making it easy to justify paying a little extra for wine matching.

Disclosure: The writer loves visiting Darwin and exploring the city’s dining scene She once ate Mary’s laksa for breakfast then drove back to the markets to have it again for lunch.