No matter where you’re staying in Canberra, or what’s on your to-do list, these restaurants can fit effortlessly into your plans.
Dining in Canberra city
In the heart of the city, Canberra Centre’s North Quarter dishes up some hot city eats.
Try Cream for contemporary dining, Canberra institution Sammy’s Kitchen, popular Mexican chain Guzman y Gomez and Jamie’s Italian Canberra. Nearby on Bunda Street, step into funky AKIBA for the buzz as much as the food.
Superb Italian fare can also be found at Mezzalira and the little hole-in-the wall that is Da Rosario in the Melbourne Building. This historic building is also home to Thirst Restaurant and Winebar, offering a quick fix of modern Thai street food. Visit the nearby Charcoal Grill Restaurant, which has served mouth-watering steaks for an incredible 50 years. Hidden within the Melbourne Building is the unassuming Loading Zone, serving delicious but simple Italian food.
On the fringe of Canberra’s CBD, Braddon is the hip neighbourhood for cafes, restaurants, shopping and bars.
For classic Italian cuisine and buzzing atmosphere, try Italian and Sons, or eightysix for an ultra-cool, award-winning dining experience. The Elk & Pea is a treat for a Central American-inspired menu or spoil yourself with a classic French experience at Les Bistronomes.
For street fare, try the food vans within The Hamlet. You’ll also find hipster coffee spots, cold pressed juice bars and an eclectic mix of homeware stores, vintage op shops, pop-up art, fashion and design shops.
Drop into Canberra's BentSpoke Brewing Co. and taste their ales and ciders, all made on the premises. Hopscotch offers rare beers on tap and an Argentine open grill fuelled with Australian woods to impart a distinctive flavour.
Nestled nearby inside Gorman House, a 1920s heritage building in the heart of Canberra, the award-winning Sage Dining Rooms serves up excellence in a relaxed environment. Their food has been described as 'whimsical pieces of art' – as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate.
Discover the many dining delights of the NewActon precinct.
The Parlour Wine Room, a Canberra favourite, offers tapas, classic cocktails and an extensive wine list including Canberra wines. It’s located near A.Baker and Močan & Green Grout, both popular spots for a great cup of coffee or delicious meal incorporating local seasonal produce.
Italian restaurant Bicicletta specialises in simple and traditional Italian food. Award-winning Monster Kitchen and Bar, located in the uber cool Hotel Hotel, offers a creative menu for breakfast and all-day dining.
Embrace NewActon in the evening, with its super-relaxed atmosphere and cool tunes – there are lots of little nooks within the precinct where you can eat and enjoy a drink. Movie-lovers can visit Max Brenner or the Palace Electric Cinema's Prosecco Bar before seeing a film.
Canberra's inner south
Kingston and Manuka and nearby suburbs in the inner south have many fantastic cafes, restaurants and bakeries. Choose from modern Australian, Vietnamese, Indian, Turkish, Spanish, Malaysian, Thai, Chinese and Italian cuisine.
In Kingston, try Penny University’s casual dining experience, whose open-style kitchen adds to the feel of stepping into someone’s (funky) home.
The Kingston Foreshore is a vibrant waterfront precinct offering many dining and bar options. C Seafood & Oyster Bar was the first of many restaurants to make their home at the promenade, and has since been joined by others including Morks, Local Press Cafe, The Dock, and vibrant bar and restaurant, Walt & Burley. Coffee lovers can also enjoy a cup at Remedy by Lonsdale Street Roasters, 38 Espresso, while Max Brenner will satisfy any sweet tooth.
In Manuka and nearby Griffith, Abell’s Kopi Tiam offers home-style Malaysian cuisine or you can grab a bite to eat at Urban Pantry. Enjoy an upmarket take on pub grub at Public. For fine dining, Aubergine regularly wins some of the city’s top dining awards, while nearby Rubicon has a well-deserved reputation for its fine food and extensive wine list.
Dickson offers a small flourishing Chinatown and much more. Share great value Asian food at Jimmy’s Place, Asian Noodle House, the Scholar and Ruby Chinese.
There’s a great vibe, not to mention terrific dumplings, at Dickson Dumpling House. You’ll also find Korean, Malaysian, Turkish, Italian, Indian and Thai food all within a short walk.
Delights of Canberra's suburbs
Nestled out in the suburbs you’ll find casual yet stylish eateries that are worth a detour.
Visit Ellacure for modern Australian cuisine in Bruce. Try European bistro-style dishes with a twist at Pulp Kitchen in Ainslie, creative Asian cuisine at the Lanterne Rooms in Campbell or fine dining at Pistachio Dining in Torrens.