If you are a foodie, then Canberra is the city for you. Canberra offers a huge choice of restaurants, cafes, bars, award-winning dishes, cocktails, wines, and all the beer you can dream of. So book a hotel and flight, and head out on a culinary journey through Australia’s capital.
Fine pub grub
Nothing beats a classic pub meal – served in a fancy pub! Marble & Grain in Braddon does just that. They have put a modern twist on a classic pub dining room feel and their food is mouth-watering. They have a large meat fridge filled with aged-on-the-premises meat from the owner’s farm. There are fantastic $15 lunch specials, or try 21-day dry-aged T bone steak.
Another pub favorite is The Duxton, at the iconic O’Connor shops in inner north Canberra. On a warm summers night, ‘The Dux’, as known by locals, is a popular venue to have a drink in their outdoor area or grab a succulent chicken Parmigiano from the bistro. Their venue upstairs, The Loft, serves an unreal cocktail and they have a delicious menu full of small sharing plates.
Photo credit: @marbleandgrain
Is this organic?
Looking for fresh avo on toast and a killer soy latte? Canberra has a sprinkle of café’s scattered around the city that attract even the biggest of hipsters. You will be sure to find the perfect photo for Instagram. You’re followers will be envious of your trip.
Mocan and Green Gout, in hip New Acton is where brunch dreams come true. They are an ethical café and source all their produce fresh and locally. Their coffee beans are fair trade and their free-range eggs come from Temora. They work with a range of local creatives to produce art, whether it is inside the café or the plates they use to serve their delicious dishes.
Lonsdale Street Roasters, on the most hipster street in Canberra, Lonsdale Street in Braddon, is one of the biggest coffee roasters in Canberra. It also serves up some of the yummiest panini’s you will find in Canberra.
Also in Braddon is the vegan café, Sweet Bones. All ingredients are organic and a lot of dishes can be made gluten-free upon request. The owners love to serve whole foods and this has proven to be a hit with the locals. They also make special wedding cakes to order!
Photo credit: @sweetbonesbakery
Keeping it classy
Canberra has an array of fine-dining restaurants, most of which have won many food awards. You will find it a hard task deciding on which restaurant to eat out at, why not try them all?
Aubergine, located in Griffith in the inner south of Canberra is one of these restaurants. They have won 2 SMH Chef Hats, are listed in John Lethlean’s Hot 50 Restaurants and Gourmet Traveller’s top #100 restaurants and more. They serve classic dishes with a contemporary spin and their menu changes daily, according to what produce is fresh and in season that day. Their wine lists consist of more than 500 labels and come from local wine producers around the region.
The Ottoman is iconic in the Canberra food world. Serving up the best Turkish food in the region, The Ottoman was rated one hat in the 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. There is a mix of food for meat eaters and vegetarians and their banquets are a feast fit for a king. They have Turkish classics such as smoky baba ghanoush, spicy lamb kofte, dolmades and velvety Turkish coffee.
If you are looking for Italian with sophistication, look no further than Mezzalira. This Canberra favourite has been around for 20 years and is located on the corner of the Melbourne Building in the city. Even though it is considered to be a fine dining restaurant, the vibe is not formal, but rather relaxed and elegant. The team at Mezzalira are passionate about combining the freshest produce with the flavors of Italy. Picking from their impressive wine list will be a challenge.
Farm to table
The farm to table concept has risen in the past few years all around the world and Canberra is no exception. For a special experience (and for truffle lovers!) head out to The Truffle Farm on Mt Majura Road just next to the Canberra airport. Start off the day with a truffle hunt through a forest of 4000 oak and hazelnut trees while a truffle dog sniffs them out for you. Once you have found truffles, you can have a truffle tasting, a truffle brunch, a truffle degustation or a truffle high tea!
Sage Dining Rooms in Gorman House in Braddon also has a farm to table dining experience. They have their own organic farm where they grow herbs and vegetables and have black angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and are about to build their own chicken run.
Pod Food in Pialligo offers a similar concept with their produce garden on site. The restaurant is nestled among the gardens of the Pialligo plant farm and offers a warm and sophisticated vibe.
Photo credit: @podfood
For the sweet tooths out there, Canberra has more than enough to keep you satisfied, with dessert bars, patisseries and more.
You’ll find delightful cakes and pastries at Riccardo’s Café and Patisserie at Jamieson Plaza. Indulge in a large version of a Ferrero Rocher, consisting of Nutella mousse coated in hazelnut and chocolate that resembles gold.
One of the most popular spots in Canberra is Patissez, now world-famous for their “Freak Shakes”. These are indulgent and extravagant milk shakes like you’ve never seen before. These aren’t just milk shakes, they are a work of art.
For the adult sweet tooths, head to White Rabbit in Civic, an Alice in Wonderland themed cocktail and dessert bar. Imagine sweet and indulgent cocktails with mouth-watering cupcakes in a tea party style atmosphere.
Canberra really is a food gem and the best thing about the Canberra food scene – new places keep popping up left, right and centre. Next time you want to go on a culinary journey, make Canberra your destination.