The Canberra I know is beautiful: a beauty that is not a need, not something I yearn for or aspire toward out of an absence, but rather something that exists - hotly, flagrantly - here, right now. The beauty of Canberra does not preclude its imperfections or its strangeness, but corresponds to its ability to generate a rapture of immediate feeling; a hounding sense of being, exactly,
Barrio Collective Coffee:
The place you go if you really love coffee and want to feel like a local. Stocks a variety of signature coffee roasts, a curated selection of quality condiments, and a range of droll Barrio brand T-shirts.
28 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, ACT 2612
If you like unpretentious seasonal food, leftie wines, classic cocktails, vinyl, quality design features and irony you should just come here and never leave. We are unashamedly biased. It’s our favourite place in town. Go fall in love:
1/65 London Circuit, Civic, ACT 2601
Brand-new wholefoods café/supermarket. With a menu that is quite literally Rock 'n' Roll
Unit G17, Palko Building, 27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, 2612
A once upon a food truck, now brick and mortar. Best burgers in town.
11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, Canberra Australian Capital Territory 2604
Old world style French fare makes for a fancy feast.
18 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
Capital Brewing Co.:
Quality brews from quality bros.
1 Dairy Road, Fyshwick, ACT, 2609
If a restaurant was the popular guy at school. Banoffee Pie dessert rocks worlds.
Crr. Elouera and Lonsdale Streets, Braddon ACT, 2612
Frugii Dessert Laboratory:
Off the chain ice-cream and sorbets for palates both conventional and adventurous.
30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT 261
A dank pub turned contemporary all day cafe/restaurant. By Ona Coffee.
Cnr Cape & Woolley St. Dickson ACT 2602
Temporary cafe by the guys at Redbrick Espresso. Knockout space.
2 Phillip Law St, Canberra ACT 2601
Contributing to the emerging city laneway culture, Meadow is currently delivering a soft opening menu full of lip-smacking, simple fare. Seven seeds coffee. Brightside produce. “Come eat, drink and be merry”.
51/55/57 Odgers Lane, Civic, ACT 2601
Mocan and Green Grout:
The O.G of New Acton’s food and design scene. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
1/19 Marcus Clarke Street, New Acton, ACT 2601
Monster Kitchen and Bar:
Curiously situated within the lobby of Hotel Hotel -one of Canberra’s most boundary pushing, award winning interiors- Monster has a consistently delicious menu, with an emphasis on all things seasonal and local. A great place just to chill or debate the aesthetics of polarising art pieces.
25 Edinburgh Avenue, New Acton, ACT, 2601.
Cool colonial vibe. Tapas. Wine. Cocktails. They also do an oyster / gin and tonic special in the warmer months that goes down a treat, especially when enjoyed on the patio.
16 Kendall Lane, New Acton, ACT, 2601
A longstanding Canberra restaurant, reconceived by the guys who brought us EightSix. Well executed homestyle fare.
1 Wakefield Gardens, Ainslie ACT, 2601
Red Brick Espresso:
Relaxed vibes, quality coffo.
Shop 4/35, Curtin Place, Curtin ACT, 2605
Scandy feel café. 5 Senses Coffee. Copenhagen street dogs. Fire place in winter.
9 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT 2612, ACT, Canberra
Another O.G. Arguably the best sourdough loaf in town…
36 Giles Street, Kingston ACT, 2604
Awesome hearty brekkies. Grab some pickles or a smoothie on your way out.
Unit 53, 65 Constitution Avenue, Campbell ACT, 2612
Spanish themed restaurant with a rotating seasonal menu. Quality, local produce. Good wine. Also open for brekky and lunch.
15 Moore Street, Civic, ACT 2601
The Knox Made in Watson:
Easy going café with an alternative vibe. Great for a hefty and healthy Saturday after-market brekky.
1/13 Watson Place, Watson ACT, 2601
Three Mills Bakery:
Artisan bakery and café. These guys supply most of Canberra’s quality venues with their sourdough breads and pastries.
5 Lancaster Place, Majura Park ACT, 2609
Tilley’s Divine Café:
Tilley’s is a Canberra institution like no other. Nothing beats it for ambience. Come here if you’ve got a good book, if you like the Andrews Sisters, and if you don’t mind shit coffee.
Crr Brigalow and Wattle Streets, Lyneham ACT, 2602
Dark, brooding, film noir interior matches a sleek food and wine list.
Shop 3/48 Macquarie Street, Barton ACT, 2600
Asian fusion restaurant with an amazing bathroom soundtrack.
16 Iluka Street, Narrabundah ACT, 2604
Danish designed picnic boats. They’ve only just landed in Canberra in the past month or so, and just in time for summer. Amazingly, alcohol and pets are also permitted on board. No boat licence needed. Toot toot.
Trevillian Quay, Kingston ACT, 2604
Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain Nature Reserves:
The calm and quiet of the bush on either doorstep of the inner north. Perfect for walking or running. Views for days.
For the tree lovers. Take a picnic to the cork forest.
Forest Drive, off Tuggeranong Parkway, Weston Creek, ACT, 2601
National Gallery of Australia:
An iconic piece of Brutalist architecture and a world class institution with consistently brilliant featured exhibitions. Past highlights include exhibitions from James Turell and the world first ‘Versailles: Treasures from the Palace’. The gallery also has an outstanding collection of Australian, Asia/Pacific and European art that is worth the trip in itself, as well as a ripper giftshop which is one of the few places you can go to purchase one of Robert Foster’s iconic ‘F!NK’ jugs, as well as other local wares. While you’re here, take a walk through the sculpture garden and spend a bit of time in the James Turell ‘Sky Space’ outside.
Parkes Place E, Parkes ACT, 2600
National Library of Australia:
The National Library is only another short walk from the Portrait Gallery. The bookshop is of particular interest and has a rad collection of Judy Horacek cards and all those quality literary magazines that nobody else seems to source.
Parkes Place W, Parkes ACT, 2600
National Portrait Gallery:
Just a hop skip and a jump away from the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery has a similarly wonderful standing collection and giftshop. Home to the National Portrait Prize.
King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT, 2600
An edgy gallery space in the heart of New Acton. A great place to continue any art debates initiated at Monster.
17 Kendall Lane, New Acton ACT, 2601
Just under an hour’s drive south from the city. Tidbinbilla offers a range of scenic nature walks and education programs. Start early and bring a picnic. If it’s hot, have a dunk in the river at Point Hut Crossing on your way back into town.
Paddy’s River Road, Paddy’s River ACT 2620
Red Hill Lookout:
A southern lookout with sweeping northern views.
1 Red Hill Dr, Red Hill ACT 2603
Alison Jackson Jewellery:
Locally designed and handcrafted gold and silverwares from local ANU School of Art graduate. Ali also runs a series of short courses.
Ainslie IGA, Ainslie Cellars:
The power couple of the Ainslie shops. Take a pilgrimage and get yourself a piece off of IGA’s fabled wall of cheese before popping in to the cellars next door for a local pet-nat.
7 and 9/11 Edgar Street, Ainslie ACT, 2602
The best freak’n biltong on the market, if you’re about it.
Locally designed ceramics and glassware. Simple, elegant and functional.
6/8 Beltana Road, Pialligo ACT, 2609
Capital Region Farmers Market:
Stock up for the week here or just go for the awesome community vibes. Also, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried one of the lamb sausage rolls from the Cuppacumbalong guys. 6-11:30 am every Saturday.
Exhibition Park, Flemington Road, Mitchell ACT, 2911
Endeavour Tea Co. :
Those searching for the perfect brew need look no further.
Girl Nomad Ceramics:
Wheel thrown ceramics from the inimitable Rachilde Flavel, annother ANU School of Art graduate.
Goodspeed Bicycle Co.:
Locally designed and manufactured steel bicycle frames and custom builds from Myles Chandler. You don’t need to buy a bike, just go and see the shop: You won’t believe it used to be a shipping container.
19 Kendall Lane, New Acton ACT, 2601
If you eat meat and care.
10 Barker Street, Griffith ACT, 2603
Hunter The Label:
Established by Sara Wucker, Hunter is a quality, independent Canberra based clothing brand that’s been straddling the line between elegance and playfulness since 2014.
Jasper and Myrtle:
Small scale, locally produced, international prize winning choccy. Great for prezzies.
Ori Building Boutiques:
Housing a number of independent retailers including eclectic homewares, fresh fashion labels & flowers. We love them all, but don't miss itrip iskip, timber & tailor, Moxom and Whitney and Hive.
Canberra’s best independent bookshop which probably has what you’re looking for.
34 Franklin Street, Griffith ACT 2603
Industrial design studio established by Tom Skeehan. Tom’s commitment to an intimate, holistic design philosophy is articulated in pieces which are beautifully minimal, elegant and functional.
16 Lonsdale Street Braddon ACT, 2612
Shop Girl Flower Girl:
Beautifully curated selection of quality clothing, homewares, gifts and flowers.
1/13 Edgar Street, Ainslie ACT, 2602
A local small batch distillery. Their website will tell you that they use a submicron, subzero filtration technique. We have no idea what that means, we just know their gin tastes really good.
2/66 Primmer Court, Kambah ACT, 2902
Yarralumla Heritage Nursery:
Heaps of plants. Beautiful part of town.
Weston Park Road, Yarralumla ACT 2600
Ovolo Nishi (Previously Hotel Hotel):
Boutique design hotel with individually curated rooms. For a stay that will inspire and edify.
25 Edinburgh Avenue, New Acton, ACT, 2601.
Little National Hotel:
Quality mid-range hotel with relaxed and functional common areas and surely the comfiest beds ever manufactured. Ask them about the moths…
21 National Circuit, Barton ACT, 2600
*This list isn't by any means comprehensive. It is indicative merely of the places and businesses we love and frequent regularly. Go explore. There's so much more.