Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur, health food enthusiast or craving a taste of that famous Freakshake; Canberra is heaven for foodies. Get a taste of the Aussie capital’s food scene with these 8 great dining experiences in Canberra that you must not miss.
Brunch In Braddon
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to brunching in Braddon. Lonsdale Street, just a short walk from the CBD, is lined with speciality coffee shops, artisan bakers and health food cafes that will keep your brunch cravings content for days. After some research (read: Insta-stalking) I made a beeline for Barrio Collective (superb coffee), Autolyse (no regrets about trying their sourdough) and Eighty/Twenty (who make you feel less guilty about indulging with their 80/20 approach to healthy versus naughty).
Coffee Tasting At The Cupping Room
Coffee connoisseurs mustn’t miss the chance to meet the passionate and informed baristas at The Cupping Room. The concept café was created by Ona Coffee, Canberra’s largest speciality coffee roaster, with the aim of educating customers on the coffee sourcing and tasting process. The coffee menu is divided into milk-based, espresso, filter and batch brew coffees and being a latte lover I decided to work my way through all 3 of the milk-based options. Each was a superb sip but it was the Gold Label I fell for with its hints of sweet berry and white chocolate.
Yabby Jaffle at Monster Kitchen and Bar
Located in the award-winning Hotel Hotel, the menu at Monster Kitchen and Bar is as innovative and quirky as the décor that surrounds it. Stand out share plates include the Black Angus Flat Iron with chimichurri and fried okra but the unexpected long-standing favourite with regulars is the Yabby Jaffle with crème fraiche and horseradish. Rumour has it the chef tried to remove this item from the menu but people just kept ordering it – there’s definitely something addictive about it.
New Asian Cuisine at Akiba
Akiba was awarded the Australian Financial Review Top Restaurants People’s Choice Award in 2016 and on the night of my visit they were celebrating their birthday with a packed to the rafters restaurant full of happy punters. I sat at the bar as staff whisked up exotic cocktails and placed plate after plate of excellent Asian cuisine in front of me. The Peking Duck Soup Dumplings and Pork Belly Buns were particularly memorable but I’d gladly hop on a tomorrow for another bite of their Japanese Fried Chicken with Parmesan.
Chia Pudding at Močan & Green Grout
At Močan & Green Grout I had my first ever taste of the deliciousness that is chia pudding. This hybrid café and bike shop, tucked away in NewActon, is a local favourite for good reason. With its interesting eco-design and locally sourced seasonal menu it feels like a true hidden gem. Their coffee and baked goods are delicious but you must try that Chia Pudding with coconut yoghurt, pistachio and raspberry – it’s possibly my favourite brunch dish of 2016!
Freakshake from Patissez
You can’t come to Canberra without trying the original OTT milkshake that spurned a thousand copies. Patissez were the first to top their delicious home-made milkshakes with treats including brownies, nutella donuts, pretzels and semi-freddo sandwiches. Although some of the imitations have gone way over the top, Patissez have continued to innovate and update their menu of Freakshakes without completely overwhelming your taste buds. My Freakshake of choice was the Mint Condition (mint milkshake topped with an ice cream cookie sandwich, drenched in mint mousse and chocolate fudge sauce) and although I couldn’t quite finish it I appreciated every single moment.
Gather Your Friends For Dinner At The Hamlet
If your friends can’t come to an agreement on what to eat at the weekend, come to The Hamlet in Braddon and everyone gets what they fancy! The Hamlet is a small cluster of food trucks offering street food from India, Greece, Vietnam, Italy and more – so basically there’s something for everyone. There’s casual seating and a bar on site but you can also bring your own booze. It’s a fun, informal and low-cost way of having dinner with friends, and there are no tussles over splitting the bill afterwards!
Juice At Local Press Café
Ending on a healthier note, shabby-chic Local Press Café on the Kingston Foreshore is a great place to grab a freshly made juice or iced chai (if like me you cycled there and feel like you deserve the treat!). Their vegetarian and vegan friendly menu has delicious wholesome treats including Green Pea Pancake and Wholefood Waffles and with outdoor waterfront seating it’s a great place to spend a sunny afternoon feeling bright and healthy.
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This post was written as part of a project with Wotif and Visit Canberra. All opinions are my own. For more information on these eateries plus other cool things to do in Canberra, have a play on this handy trip builder. This post was originally published here.