There are so many places to eat in Canberra. Every time you look up there's another one. Op! There is another one. This is a small and concise collection of our all time favourites.
Monster kitchen and bar
Yeah, we know. She's our little sister so we're biased. But she is lovely. Open late, excellent food, excellent wine list and pastries. She is everything. And she's reliable - open every single day of the year.
The Monster sits on our ground floor. She is open from 6.30AM to 1AM every day. She is open to everyone for all occasions at all times with a menu that changes with the seasons. Crumpets for breakfast, bánh mi for lunch and some of everything for dinner.
As the name suggests the Monster is also a bar so you can wander in for a wine or cocktail from their ever changing list, hang out by the fireplace or make friends in the Salon.
|Where||On the ground floor of Hotel Hotel. You can enter via reception at 25 Edinburgh Avenue or up the Grand Stair via Phillip Law street.|
Močan and Green Grout
Favourite dinner place in the precinct (after the Monster Mon) - sit at the bar next to the open kitchen and tell the chef a good story and they might sneak you a little something something they've been working on.
From their open kitchen they serve up shared plates made from locally sourced produce. It’s at once a café and restaurant and wears both hats thoughtfully and with grace. Good to note is that Močan and Greengrout is BYO (you can pick something up on your way at A.Baker or TwentyOne café and groceries).
|Where||1/19 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
We are so glad these guys opened shop. Considered and charming. It's a little noisy so not for the hard of hearing but maybe take someone you want an excuse to nuzzle up to.
It's a tiny bit hard to find (just look for the wine bar sign and go up the stairs) but it is so worth the hunt. We love this place. Inside the beautifully fitted out Melbourne building (designed by John Sulman) - cosy booths to eat bistro style food from, a great bar, and records.
|Where||65 London Circuit, Canberra|
This is just a short walk from us. Another good dinner place. Save room for dessert.
Temporada's menu picks up on tastes from Europe, the Middle East and Asia seamlessly. It's fine dining but on the casual end of the spectrum. The staff are always lovely and the food is always good. You can go for a sit down meal or a snacky winey at the bar.
|Where||15 Moore Street, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
One of our favourite places for lunch; not least because they usually still have croissants to take away for your arvo coffee.
A.Baker serves European bistro style food that you can easily share, or not. The menu changes seasonally and ingredients are sourced locally. You can also buy bread, sandwiches, pastries and wine to go. This is definitely one of our favourites.
|Where||15 Edinburgh Ave, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
Italian and Sons
Good time old time favourites. Best to book as we aren't the only ones with love for this mob. They're open on a Monday (which if you've been in Canberra a while you'll know is like having super powers).
A long time fave - good people, good food and now, more recently, a good little wine bar tucked out the back, Bacaro. These guys serve trattoria style Italian - hand cut pasta, wood fired pizza, and a plate of the day.
|Where||7 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
Because sometimes you crave sashimi. And you want to be able to choose from a list of 25 sakes.
It’s like a formal izakaya. Which is a total contradiction in terms. Modern Japanese and really good quality sake. The chef is Nagasaki-born Shunsuke Ota, formerly of Nobu Melbourne.
|Where||1 Burbury Close, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
These guys are fun. It's in the leafy suburb of Narrabundah so you'll need to jump in a taxi to get there (it's a 15 minute drive and you get to drive through a few inner south suburbs which are beautiful, especially in Autumn). But you'll be happy you did.
An Asian street food menu meant for sharing. Good, good food that caters really well for vegos. They also have a mean bar so you can get silly on cocktails.
|Where||16 Iluka Street, Narrabundah, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
Sage Dining Rooms
When we visited we had the five-course degustation with the soft wine pairing. It is our (concierge) Jacob’s favourite.
Sage is modern Australian fine dining with a few quirks. Expect menu items like sugar cured ocean trout with wattle seed, saffron and capers; duck breast with pickled grapes, red cabbage and black garlic; and beetroot ice cream with chocolate crumb and ginger marshmallow. The restaurant is set in the historic Gorman House, initially designed to accommodate lower paid public servants in the 1920s.
|Where||Gorman House Arts Centre, Batman St, Braddon ACT|
Barrio Collective Coffee
Another place that we're grateful for. Breakfast and lunch and definitely coffee. From time to time they also do ramen on a Thursday night.
We love this place for breaky, coffee, or lunch. They are coffee mad in a good way, they go the extra mile (like they make their own nut milk) and have a short and simple food offering.
|Where||28 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
This is a bit of a special occasion place (you might want to make a little effort clothing wise). The view looks out to Griffith shops (one of our fave leafy south side shops).
Contemporary Australian (with some good old classics) served very well with locally sourced produce. The menu is forever changing (according to what is available) and you order one way only - by going in on the four course menu (you can choose whether you want matched wines as well).
|Where||18 Barker Street, Griffith, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
It's like a proper French bakery (a really nice one on the 'good side' of the Seine). Favourite for breakfast and brunch.
Canberra’s original bakery where south side locals get their fix of baguettes, croissants and tarts. They have a cheese room! They serve good and simple breakfast and lunch and they don't look at you weird if you order a mid morning wine. Little and busy so go with someone you like the smell of.
|Where||36 Giles Street, Kingston|
This is one to go to with friends who don't mind if it gets a bit loud on a Friday night. The menu is on the European side of things with a few jumps to the USA and a little swim in Asia.