Your guide to summer's best eating and drinking

Illustrations: Barry Patenaude
Illustrations: Barry Patenaude Photo:

EDITOR'S LETTER

Newsflash: It's been a hell of a year, one of loss, burnout and fatigue, but renewal, change and growth, too. It's also the first year we haven't published a Good Food Guide since 1992. Not for lack of trying, mind you. We were well into Eating Season when we all got locked in our homes. We waited, and hoped, and came up with so many back-up plans, we could have filled a book 10 times over. 

But we slowly accepted the fact we needed a new battle plan. The hospitality industry was doing anything it could to keep the lights on. Fine diners became bakeries, cafes became general stores, bars learnt to bottle their cocktails, and all of a sudden everyone was making lasagne. As their goalposts were shifting, ours were too. This was not a year to award hats and prizes, this was a year of survival. 

And so, thanks to the wonderful support of Vittoria Coffee and Citi, we bring 200 Good Things to the table: a collection of people, places, moments and mementos that best represent 2020.

While the last three editions of the Good Food Guide have had a strong national focus, we decided this year to stay closer to home. Our brief, while narrower in geographic diversity (sorry, WA, SA, Tassie, QLD and NT), is far broader in scope. Our writers scaled their respective beats, digging up new gems and finding fresh angles on old favourites. 

Here, you'll find 200 of those things that excited us the most, from wild honey to custom-made knives, exploding laksa-filled dumplings and ramen with million-dollar views and incredible regionally specific Indian cuisine. 

Think of this as your little black book for the summer months, everything you need to truly make the most of our wonderful cities: falafel in Lakemba, tacos in Dulwich Hill and the only bar on the Hawkesbury serving whole mudcrabs to be eaten while listening to a chorus of cicadas. Victorians can sip cocktails afloat on the Yarra, enjoy chef residencies in the regions, and brand-new gelaterias and pubs, once again in operation so you can get on the beers.

Learn about small farmers banding together to sell their produce, who's opening what and where in the coming year – even the secret to making perfect cavatelli and where to pick the best cherries to put on your Christmas table

We'd like to congratulate all our readers who have survived this tough year. Pour yourself a long, cool glass of whatever is closest to hand, and host a ceremonial burning of your 2020 calendar. Roll on, 2021

Myffy Rigby, Editor, 200 Good Things