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Large marquee on green grass near lake

Outdoor dining spots for lunch and dinner

Updated 24 May 2022

All for Al Fresco

From lakeside to laneways, the al fresco dining scene just keeps getting better in Canberra. Whether you’re a family of four or more, coupled up or getting the gang together, enjoy a myriad of choices when it comes to lunch and dinner outdoors.

Group get-togethers

Customers enjoying their meal in the outdoor dining area at Verity Lane Market.

Revel in variety at Verity Lane Market

With dining options of ramen, pizza and tapas at the one location, you know you’ve hit variety jackpot at Verity Lane Market. This magnificent food hall features chef-driven cuisine and world-class drinks right in the heart of Canberra. Located in the historic Sydney Building, sit out in the extra-long tables in a laneway steeped in Canberra history.

A few different dishes on a table

Taste new Asian cuisine at Akiba

Fun and fast-paced, the contemporary Asian dishes at Akiba are designed to be shared between laughs with friends. The food showcases the many styles of Asian barbecue, raw bar and modern-day dim sum. So, round up the troops to get the ‘Feed Me’ banquet, a collection of Akiba’s top eight dishes. 

Patrons eating burgers


Capital Brewing Co.’s brewery in Fyshwick is a weekend delight, with expansive outdoor seating and a Brodburger van serving mouth-watering burgers and hotdogs. Capital Brewing Co. was formed by a close group of mates who froth on delicious brews, surfing waves and good vibes, hinting at the laidback and light-hearted atmosphere you can expect to experience. 

Image by We Are Explorers.

patrons at an outdoor dining venue with large umbrellas

Enjoy more than your average pub

Head to Edgar’s Inn in Ainslie and relax in the sunny beer garden, a best-kept-secret of the inner north and only a 15-minute stroll to the city. If a light-filled lakeside pub appeals to you, The Dock on the Kingston Foreshore is for you. Enjoy a sunset session as you overlook glistening Lake Burley Griffin. 

Combine hearty pub meals, ten craft beer taps, plus a rustic building from 1857 and you have the Old Canberra Inn, one of the earliest licensed pubs in the capital. Just a 15 minutes drive from the city centre you will find Woden’s latest hotspot, The Alby. Since opening its doors in 2021, this energetic venue has been bringing good vibes and good eats to its patrons. Make time to try its in-house duckpin bowling after your meal. 

Date night

Patrons dining in an outdoor bar by the lake

Enjoy an elegant affair at Armada Bar

A special night out awaits you at Armada Bar at The Boat House, a premium waterfront dining experience. Your taste buds will delight in the creative and quality food on offer as you sip wine in the elegant festoon lit setting. Sunlight adorns the large open marquee bar with sides that can be closed in poor weather, to ensure that cocktails can flow regardless of the conditions.

Plates of food served at Parlour, a bar located in NewActon.

Share Spanish tapas at Parlour

Set amongst the NewActon precinct is dining and drinking treat, Parlour. Plating contemporary food with a modern Australian feel and Spanish influence, you can expect to be wowed by the tapas from the kitchen, local and international boutique wine, as well as classic and house cocktails. 

Outdoor bar patrons

Sip Tipsy Bull’s impressive gin collection

On bustling Lonsdale Street in Braddon, you will find Tipsy Bull, a gin bar serving up fine dining and cracking cocktails. This contemporary bar offers a spacious front courtyard with the ideal amount of privacy. Since gin is their thing, why not sample some of their extraordinary collection of over 230 gin varieties?

Aerial shot of a vineyard

Take in the views of Lark Hill Winery

Set high on the escarpment above Bungendore, 30 kilometres north east of Canberra is the endearing Lark Hill Winery. Book a table on the deck of this remarkable venue, which has a deep commitment to biodynamic practices to achieve truly sustainable wine. Add to that healthy natural yeast ferments, and each glass of vino is unique with a flavour that reflects the region and conditions of the year. 

Image courtesy of The Lark Hill Wine Co.

Fun for the Family

Patrons eating at an outdoor venue

Dine in a botanic oasis at Pollen

Enjoy views of Aussie flora and native birdlife while you dine at Pollen. Hidden in the Australian National Botanic Gardens, take a day to wander through the world’s most comprehensive display of living native Australian plants after your fuel stop. This café breathes life into you with its fresh flower decor and vibrant, healthy dishes. 

Patrons eating fish and chips at an outdoor venue

Snap a good feed at Snapper on the Lake

For the freshest fish and chips and a cool beverage from the newly added bar, look no further than Snapper on the Lake. It doesn’t get any more open-air and spacious than this, with plenty of lakeside table seating and picnic options. This casual eatery on green grass next to Lake Burley Griffin makes for the perfect kid-friendly setting.  

Experience farm to table at Rodney’s Kitchen Garden

Dine amongst striking lush grounds with lots of potted plants and green spaces at Rodney’s Kitchen Garden. This café at Rodney's Plants Plus nursery sources produce from on-site gardens and nearby farms, which is just one of their many charms. Take a stroll around the nursery which is the largest all-weather garden centre in Canberra. The kids will go crazy for the play area which features cubbies, sandpits, slides, rocking horses and even a helicopter. 

Try out much-loved Kinn Thai

Expect flavourful meals and exciting mocktails at Kinn Thai, conveniently located in the city at the Canberra Centre. The atmosphere is relaxed yet energetic in their large outdoor area, which is fitted with modern wooden benches and friendly service. Sit back and relax in the light and airy space as you enjoy classic Thai meals with a contemporary influence. 

Eat and drink experience guide cover

Uncover more dining options

Each meal will be more delicious than the last with this guide to everything from the best brunch spots and hatted restaurants through to popular pub grub and vegetarian eats. 

Download the guide