Josh and Julie Niland's Saint Peter Is the Only Australian Eatery on 2024's World's Top 50 Restaurants Longlist

The Sydney seafood favourite is no stranger to accolades, and picks up some new global recognition before moving into new digs in July.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 23, 2024

When the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants announced its picks in 2023, Australia was completely absent, missing out on spots in both the top 50 itself and the 51–100 longlist. Which eateries have made the cut in 2024 is only just starting to be unveiled, beginning with the tail end of the choices — and trust Josh and Julie Niland to help get Aussie hospitality back among the rankings.

Saint Peter has taken out 98th place on the 2024 51–100 longlist, and it's the only Australian restaurant named so far. The top 50 itself will be unveiled on Wednesday, June 5, so there's still hope that some more love will be sent Down Under. The last time that there was an Aussie showing in the full 100 was in 2022, when Andrew McConnell's Melbourne diner Gimlet at Cavendish House came in at 84 for its World's 50 Best debut.

Christopher Pearce

Named ahead of its move in July into The Grand National Hotel, Saint Peter is similarly a new entry, earning praise for the Nilands' famed nose-to-tail approach to the ocean's finest. That ethos has already seen Josh's applauded The Whole Fish Cookbook win him the prestigious James Beard Book of the Year Award back in 2020, becoming the first Australian to ever take out the prize. In 2022, he was the only Australian chef to feature in The Best Chefs Awards for 2022 — aka the list of the top 100 best globally — too. The same year, both Josh and Julie picked up the Game Changer Award from France's La Liste.

"Not every restaurant can legitimately claim to be spearheading a movement. Yet this cool concept from Josh Niland takes the great Australian seafood tradition to previously unexplored heights," said the team behind 2024's World's 50 Best Restaurants 51–100 list in this year's rankings.

"Known as 'the fish butcher', Niland favours techniques typically associated with meat. With a gill-to-fin approach, he utilises as much of the fish as possible, from eyes to organs, bones to scales – and everything in between. The innovative menu changes daily to reflect that morning's catch," the shoutout went on.

Christopher Pearce

Australia's hospitality scene hasn't ever dominated the World's 50 Best Restaurants gongs, but not placing at all for 2023 didn't escape attention. Just two Aussie restaurants claimed spots in 2021's awards, both of them Victorian, with Dan Hunter's Brae placing 57th and Ben Shewry's Ripponlea fine diner Attica coming in at number 97. There were no awards in 2020, but Brae and Attica also placed in the longlist in 2019. In 2018, Attica came in 20th and Brae 58th. Australia has had up to four restaurants in the top 50 before, including three when the awards debuted in 2002.

The World's 50 Best awards are chosen by a panel of over 1000 culinary experts, guided by a strict voting procedure. They're now hosted by a different country each year, with Melbourne playing host city back in 2017.

The main bar at Saint peter - the best restaurant in Sydney - the best seafood restaurant sydney

In 2023, Central in Lima, Peru acme in first. The year's other picks included Disfrutar in Barcelona in second, Diverxo in Madrid in third, Atxondo's Asador Etxebarri in fourth and Copenhagen's Alchemist in fifth. Next came Maido in Lima, Lido 84 in the Gardone Riviera, Atomix in New York, Quintonil in Mexico City and Table by Bruno Verjus in Paris to round out the top ten.

Wondering about the best places to eat Down Under, regardless of what the World's 50 Best Restaurants chooses? Check out our picks for the best Sydney and best Melbourne restaurants.

The interior of Saint Peter, by Nikki To.

Nikki To

To check out the World's 50 Best Restaurants 51–100 list, head to the awards' website. The top 50 will be announced on Wednesday, June 5 — and we'll update you then.

Top image: Christopher Pearce.

Published on May 23, 2024 by Sarah Ward
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x