Isn’t it funny how often someone calls out of the blue when you were only just thinking about them?
Well the other day this happened once again…
I had the urge to call one of my dear old friends. When she answered she said she was just about to text me. She had booked in a trip to Canberra (my closest city) for the June long weekend.
My friend is just as heavily into food as I am so of course our conversation turned immediately to the Canberra restaurant scene.
Which reminded me I’ve been meaning to add in a Canberra entry to the Stonesoup Guide to Tasty Travel. Given this is the closest city to our little farm house, it’s been tough choosing which is why I’ve been procrastinating.
But with a visitor in the horizon I figured if I was writing for her I should share it with you too!
Last Updated: June 2016
How to Spend 48 hours Eating & Drinking in Canberra
DAY 1. BREAKFAST Mocan & Green Grout
Crazy name, quirky decor and super delicious food. One of my faves for breakkie or lunch. The type of place where everything looks almost too pretty to eat. Oh and great coffee, even the decaf! They do some dinners as well so you have no excuses for not fitting in a visit to Mocan.
DAY 1. LUNCH Grease Monkey
For the best burgers in town head straight to Grease Monkey. Fergal is a huge fan of their chips and ever changing milkshakes. You can eat inside or out in the under cover outdoor area (perfect if you happen to have a messy toddler with you!). Plus there’s a full bar and plenty of wine by the glass to keep the adults happy. Oh and don’t forget to order a side of the pickles!
DAY 1. DINNER Temporada
This has been my choice for my Birthday lunch the last two years running. And given how much I love to try new places that’s saying something. It’s a casual, shared plates type of place with seriously delicious flavours and a wine list to do everything justice. Open for weekday lunches as well.
DAY 2. BREAKFAST Barrio Coffee Collective
My vote for the best coffee in the ACT! No decaf but they make their own nut milk so you’re totally covered if you’re dairy-free. Actually it’s worth trying even if you normally have a latte. It’s a small space and you might think they’re only about the coffee but the food is some of the tastiest in town.
DAY 2. LUNCH Eightysix
We had Mothers Day lunch here this year and I’m still thinking about the blackened chicken and melt-in-the-mouth beef cheeks. So good! The space is intimate and the service super engaging and thoughtful. The only down side is its on the expensive end.
DAY 2. DINNER Monster at Hotel Hotel
I adore Sean MacConnell’s food and the modern space that is Monster Kitchen & Bar. This ain’t no regular hotel restaurant. And don’t forget the fire place(s)! Just what you need during a Canberra Winter. The only weak link is the service. One day it will be spot on and the next practically nonexistent. Still I keep going back. Open all day so if you can’t make dinner try for lunch or breakkie.
If you have more time try
Little Bird – new cafe with an awesome breakfast menu and solid lunches. Everything I’ve tried has been super delicious and Fergal is a thumbs up for their brownies! If you’re after a more casual lunch for day 2 this would be my first choice to swap with Eightysix.
Pialligo Farmhouse – Beautiful setting among a vineyard this is another good choice for a celebrational lunch or dinner when you’re no so concerned about price. Creative food that’s beautifully presented. We had lunch there when Fergal was small and the staff were super accomodating.
Locale – a neighbourhood pizza joint in Deakin that does the best gluten-free pizza in town. Their regular dough is great too. And there are plenty of meat and veg options to keep low carb diners satisfied.
Silo Bakery – If you love your sourdough then don’t miss silo for breakfast or lunch. We used to go all the time but since my diabetes diagnosis I haven’t been because it’s hard to get something that isn’t temptingly bread based and carby.
Italian & Sons – love the simple Italian fare here. If you’re in the mood for pizza or pasta this is my favourite. With their wood fired oven you get the real deal. And if you’re like me and more in a low carb frame of mind there are always plenty of meat, fish and vegetables to keep me happy.
Aubergine – if you’re after more of a fine dining experience then this is the place for you. Caroline and I had the Stonesoup Christmas party dinner here last year and loved every minute and every mouthful. The service was spot on and really looked after my pregnant-lady dietary requirements.
Akiba – a fun isakya style casual Japanese / Asian place in Civic. Lots of delicious shared plates. Can’t wait to go back and try all their raw fish and meat dishes!
The Cupping Room – close to Canberra Uni, this is another excellent cafe serving serious coffee. The breakkie and lunch menus are creative without being too out there. And Fergal loves their chips! One of the owners won the world barista championship recently.
Morks – a modern Thai joint on the Kingston foreshore. Definitely worth a visit if you’re after a Thai feast.
Ottoman – a Canberra institution. The dining room is a bit dated and formal but don’t let that put you off the food. If you love Turkish cuisine like I do you’ll really enjoy every mouthful.
Where to stay
My no. 1 choice would be Hotel Hotel. But have also heard good things about the Hotel Realm.
On my list but haven’t been (yet!)…
Vincent – a new wine bar in Barton next to Little Bird. Currently only open in the evenings and Fri lunch. Can’t wait to go!
Lilotang – modern Asian.
Chaiman + Yip – a Canberra institution that recently moved location.
Walt & Burley – newish gastropub on the Kingston foreshore.
For more cities:
See the Stonesoup Guide to Tasty Travel.
Have I missed anything? If you’re a Canberra local I’d love to hear about your favourites in the comments below.