At the start of every new year, Google releases its ‘Most Googled’ lists for countries across the globe to provide an insight into each nation’s psyche.
As a nation of sport-lovers in the thick of the pandemic, Australia’s top searches were dominated by sports and COVID queries. But we didn’t have to dig that much further to find the way to the great Australian public’s culinary desires.
From Negroni recipes to the best places to eat and curried sausages – the results are in!*
The best of the best
2021 might have been the year of lockdowns and restrictions for much of Australia, but this didn’t dampen people’s spirits when it came to supporting their local hospo businesses.
While searches for local hospitality businesses took a dip during lockdown, hits for these topics remained high throughout the rest of the year – emphasising how Aussies were keen to get out and about to explore their local hospo scene.
Best restaurants – 27,100 searches
Aussies were determined to find the best places to eat in their local area, with an average of 27,100 people Googling ‘best restaurants’ and 12,100 people searching for ‘best restaurants near me’ each month.
- Sydney-siders and Melbournians were on a quest for ‘best restaurants Sydney/Melbourne’ averaging 14,800 searches each month
- Search for ‘best vegetarian restaurants Melbourne’ increased by 600% in 2021
- Top 3 states Googling ‘best restaurants’: Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales
Best cafes – 8,100 searches
We know Aussies love their coffee, so much so that each month in 2021, 8,100 people were searching for the ‘best cafe near me’.
- Locals in Brisbane and Melbourne were most eager to find the best cup of Joe. There were 1,600 monthly searches for ‘best cafes in Brisbane’ – up 200% on the previous year
- There were 1,300 searches each month for ‘best cafes in Melbourne’ – up 100% on 2020.
- Top 3 states Googling ‘best cafes’: Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia
Best bars – 1,000 searches
While the term ‘best bars’ was searched an average of 1,000 each month last year in Australia, city-specific searches fared much better.
- Melbournians led the charge when searching for a glass of the good stuff, with ‘best bars in Melbourne’ racking up 2,600 searches each month – up 70% from the previous year’s monthly average.
- Sydneysiders were close behind, with 2,400 searches each month for ‘best bars in Sydney’ and 1,000 monthly searches for ‘best rooftop bars Sydney’ – up 100% from 2020.
- Top 3 states Googling ‘best bars’: Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales
What were we craving?
We might be a nation of sports lovers, but we also love a good feed, and most Aussies are passionate about their food. But what were the flavours of the year in 2021? What recipes were people craving, and which restaurant cuisines were on their hit lists?
Cuisines: where do customers want to eat?
The most craved cuisine: Chinese
With 6,600 average monthly searches, ‘Chinese restaurants’ was the most googled restaurant cuisine in 2021. Even more impressively, the related search query ‘Chinese restaurants near me’ had a whopping 90,200 monthly average searches in Australia.
The 3 states that would love a Chinese fix were Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania.
The most searched dietary preference: Vegetarian
Sharing the joint top spot with 6,600 average monthly searches is ‘vegetarian restaurants’. The number of searches for this term in Sydney and Melbourne more than doubled (110% increase) in 2021.
The interest in vegetarian cuisine is in line with the statistic that 42% of Australians are either reducing the amount of meat they consume or cutting it from their diets altogether.
Top 3 states Googling ‘vegetarian restaurants’: Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania
2nd position: Mexican
‘Mexican restaurants’ gained an average of 5,400 monthly searches in 2021, securing it 2nd place on our list. Interestingly, the related search term ‘Mexican restaurants near me’ gained an average of 4,400 hits per month – up 60% from 2020.
Top 3 states Googling ‘Mexican restaurants’: South Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria
3rd position: Italian
With 2,900 average monthly searches, ‘Italian restaurants’ was the third most popular cuisine searched for in 2021 by hungry Aussies. This number was completely eclipsed by the related term ‘Italian restaurants near me’, which gained an average of 40,500 monthly searches – up 90% on the previous year.
Top 3 states Googling ‘Italian restaurants’: Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, Victoria
Tied in 3rd place: Japanese
‘Japanese restaurants’ searches were just as popular as ‘Italian restaurants’ in 2021, with 2,900 average monthly searches. ‘Japanese restaurants near me’ was even more popular, gaining 40,500 searches each month – up 60% on 2020.
Sydneysiders racked up 5,400 searches each month for the search term ‘Japanese restaurants Sydney’. Melbourne and Brisbane locals were hot on Sydney’s heels, with ‘Japanese restaurants Melbourne’ and ‘Japanese restaurants Brisbane’ hitting 4,400 searches each month.
Top 3 states Googling ‘Japanese restaurants’: Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia
4th position: Asian
Searches for ‘Asian restaurants’ clocked up 2,400 average monthly searches in 2021, and ‘Asian restaurants near me’ gained 5,400 average searches each month.
Adelaide locals were craving Asian cuisine the most in 2021, with ‘Asian restaurants Adelaide’ getting an average of 1,300 searches each month.
Top 3 states Googling ‘Asian restaurants’: Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Victoria
Tied in 4th place: French
Last year, searches for ‘French restaurants’ also gained 2,400 average monthly searches. Sydneysiders took the top spot when it came to searching for French cuisine, with ‘French restaurant Sydney’ clocking up 4,400 monthly searches.
Brisbane and Melbourne were a close second, with searches for ‘French restaurant Brisbane’ and ‘French restaurant Melbourne’ getting 2,900 searches each month.
Top 3 states Googling ‘French restaurants’: Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales
Tied in 4th place: Indian
While ‘Indian restaurants’ only gained 2,400 average monthly searches last year, a whopping 110,000 searches were made each month for ‘Indian restaurant near me’.
Perth, Melbourne and Sydney locals were equally fond of Indian cuisine, with searches for ‘Indian restaurant Perth’, ‘Indian restaurant Sydney’ and ‘Indian restaurant Melbourne’ each getting 1,900 hits per month.
Top 3 states Googling ‘Indian restaurants’: Victoria, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory
Tied in 4th place: Thai
‘Thai restaurants’ also gained 2,400 average monthly searches in 2021. However, there were an incredible 60,500 searches for ‘Thai restaurants near me’ each month last year – up 40% from 2020.
Top 3 states Googling ‘Thai restaurants’: New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria
Tied in 4th place: Vegan restaurants
2,400 average monthly searches were made for ‘vegan restaurants in 2021.
- ‘Vegan restaurants Melbourne’ got an average of 3,600 searches each month – up 50% from 2020
- ‘Vegan restaurants Sydney’ gained 2,900 searches each month – up 70% from the previous year.
Top 3 states Googling ‘vegan restaurants’: Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania
Recipes: the rising stars
Looking to switch up your menu in 2022 and struggling for inspiration? After a year of lockdowns and restrictions, many Aussies turned to Google to help recreate some of their favourite dishes, drinks and treats at home.
To help inspire your future menu choices and gain an insight into what the nation has been craving, here are the top 10 most-Googled recipes of 2021 in Australia.
- Gnocchi recipes
- Guacamole recipe
- Curried sausages recipe
- Anzac biscuits recipe
- Negroni recipe
- Lamb shank recipe
- Brussels sprouts recipes
- Minestrone soup recipe
- Rocky road recipe
- Tzatziki recipe
Get seen on Google in 2022
Having an online presence (particularly on Google) is crucial in today’s digital world. As these search results show, people regularly use Google to find the best places to eat in their local area. So it’s essential for your website or social media channels to be visible when people make related searches online.
To help set you up for success, check out our blog on how to build a great website that will rank on Google.
* The data in this article has been sourced from SEMRush and Google Trends. The volume of searches for each keyword or phrase comes from the average monthly searches for the analysed keyword over the last 12 months.