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Emma Macdonald sips on a hot coffee while leaning back upon a wooden bench.

Emma Macdonald spills on Canberra's Coffee Culture

Updated 21 Mar 2024

By Emma Macdonald

Associate editor of HerCanberra

Want to know the best spots to get a coffee in Canberra? Emma dishes on her favourite cafes for a brew around the city.

People enjoying their brunch meals and coffee at Barrio, a cafe located in Braddon.
An egg dish on a ceramic plate next to a glass bottle of water.

Start on Lonsdale Street

As a committed caffiend and fiercely devoted resident of the inner north, top of my list of Canberra’s best coffee establishments is the pared back and uber-friendly surrounds of Barrio Collective Coffee on Lonsdale Street. Using their own roasted blend, the baristas prepare all manner of brews served in Canberra region Sawpit Studio ceramic mugs. And nothing goes better with a Barrio coffee than a toastie (that will be cheese and pickle for me please and thank you.) 

Three friends having coffee and water on Lonsdale Street.

Visit a Braddon icon

Across the road is Lonsdale Street Roasters, an institution which helped kick-start Canberra’s coffee revolution more than a decade ago when founder Alistair Evans put his new roastery on a street formerly known for car yards and mechanics. Now his brand of coffee is sold all over the region.

A woman sitting at the counter in a hipster cafe.
A gold table laden with brunch dishes, coffee and tea.
A chef preparing vegetables for brunch.

For a fresh & homely experience

If the queue is too long there, I’ll often head over to the picturesque corner of NewActon that is home to Močan & Green Grout, where the smell of freshly ground beans is matched only by the aroma of herbs in giant tubs growing outside. The dining experience is as 
intimate and pleasurable as hanging out in your friend’s kitchen as they whip up something memorable while you watch in awe.

A light filled cafe with big windows and wooden features.
Three different colourful brunch dishes on a wooden table with two people sitting nearby.
Two men in black shirts in a beautiful cafe doing a coffee tasting.

Enjoy an award-winning brew

If I ever leave Lonsdale Street, it’s usually only to be lured away to my office in the nearby NewActon precinct, passing The Cupping Room en route in City West. A concept café from Canberra’s very own international barista champion, Sasa Sestic, The Cupping Room delivers a steady stream of ONA coffees to the eager masses - alongside a thoughtful menu. 

Neighbourhood guide city cover

Discover more of the City

The City contains innumerable must-visit foodie and shopping precincts. You could easily spend your whole trip indulging in all Acton, Braddon and the City have to offer. Browse our City Neighbourhood Guide, full of local recommendations, tips on the newest restaurants, and bucket list experiences.

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