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The food scene in Canberra has been quietly flourishing despite scepticism from the rest of Australia. The city serves up an exciting and eclectic array of cuisines, food philosophies and dining styles.

There’s a place to pull up a chair to an excellent meal in nearly every neighbourhood and yet, new restaurants crop up on a weekly basis. Residents happily keep up with this dizzying pace and it seems to be a match made in foodie heaven – keen farmers, chefs and restaurateurs serve an equally enthusiastic (and hungry!) population.

Canberra is a mixed pot of cultures and this is well reflected in the sheer variety of cuisines one can sample in the city. Whether you’re in the mood for a bowlful of vegan glass noodles or a classic burger, you can certainly find a place to satisfy your cravings. With so much competition, new places are challenged to push boundaries further and further to stand out.

The restaurants that you want to explore and enjoy are located in the city’s different suburbs rather than at the city centre.

Outstanding fine dining

Italian and Sons is where Canberra’s social elite go to indulge in classic Italian cooking. You will absolutely need a reservation for a table at this chic restaurant on Lonsdale street in Braddon.

Aubergine serves you a delicious four course meal packed with flavour. Set on Barker Street in Griffith, it seems to be the go-to for special date nights.

Les Bistronomes serves excellently prepared French food with a twist. What started out as fine dining relaxed into a charming neighbourhood bistro on Elouera Street, Braddon.

Warm, friendly and economical

Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery in Lyneham was once a women-only eatery and is very popular with the locals. You can settle down in a cosy space with wooden booths and dig into a scrumptious breakfast.

Griffith Vietnamese in Griffith offers a delicious meal carefully curated by the owner. Mr. Tan himself.

Farm-to-table restaurants

Locally grown and fresh produce is easily available here and the residents take advantage of it. Restaurants with farm-to-table philosophies are plenty and range from affordable cafes to fine dining establishments as well. For instance, the Food Co-op Shop serves delicious, wholesome food and also sells organic produce. The Food Co-op Shop has been around for years and pulls out all stops to serve students healthy food at affordable prices.

On the other hand, in the precinct of New Acton, is the more upscale Mocan & Green Grout. They are most popular for their beautifully balanced brunches made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. You can also stop by for Fairtrade coffee and admire the lovely crockery made by local artisans.

Local wineries

The climate in Canberra and the city’s surrounding topography is perfect to grow grapes and so naturally, vineyards cropped up here. There are about 140 vineyards in this wine region, quietly making delicious wines. Family-run Helm Wines has won awards for its citrus-scented Riesling. You can sample this in their special, 19th century tasting room. Murrumbateman Winery is another excellent example. It was established back in the 1970s and is well-known for their dry Riesling with apple notes. 

For a cuppa

Canberra can be particular about its coffee. Residents demand high quality brews and coffee shops deliver. Coffee Lab is one of the most popular coffee places in town. They offer you a discount if you bring your own mug and are located at 26 Narellan Place. They also have a stall at the Pop Up on ANU campus. Cupping Room is managed by ONA Coffee and it’s another coffee place you’ll love to show off to visitors. It is set up as an exotic coffee space with plenty of colour, seasonal menus and brilliant coffee.

The Barrio Collective Coffee on Lonsdale Street has a carefully curated menu that showcases local coffee. They use traditional and contemporary brew methods and seasonal coffees as well. Besides the coffee, their in-house nut milk made with cashews, almonds with just a hint of raisins (from Muscat) for sweetness, really stands out. 

Street food

Canberra has large student population with adventurous gastronomic tastes and street food fits the bill nicely. The Pop Up Reunion Village offers up fresh cuisines from all over the world from burgers and kebabs to empanadas and burritos. You can also get a cup of hot Fairtrade coffee or a mug of craft beer. The temporary set up is on the Australian National University campus.

Another popular market and street food spot is the Old Bus Depot Markets on Wentworth avenue. This bohemian space is great to do some light shopping and snack from street vendors. There’s everything from Ethiopian cuisine to vegan offerings and even farm fresh berries in season.

Student hangouts

Some restaurants cater to the specific needs that students have: i.e. affordable, good food. Noodle Café has lovely lunch specials that leave you feeling full and satisfied. Another place that is popular for its lunch specials is Treehouse where students also frequent for its alcohol.

The Double Drummer also has a loyal clientele and can get quite busy during the lunch hour. They offer quick service and it has a separate coffee counter. It is also gaining popularity as an after-work drink place. There are plenty of these affordable eateries scattered around the city for students to frequent.

For a sweet tooth

If it’s a sweet indulgence you’re looking for, make a beeline to the Frugii Dessert Laboratory run by pastry chef John Marshall. The menu offers desserts made from fresh, all natural ingredients. You can dig into delicious sorbets and ice creams.

As you can see eating out in Canberra is for those who are enthusiastic and love food. With a wide variety of options to choose from, you can pick something that suits your current craving and your budget. The quality of your meal isn’t diminished in a more affordable eatery. In fact, many establishments use fresh produce grown around Canberra which elevates the meal.

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Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

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Free In-Home Consultation:

If you are moving the majority of your household items from New Zealand to Australia, one of Ausmoves experienced relocation consultants will visit your home to establish your specific packing requirements and any unique moving needs. Learn more about moving to Australia from NZ.

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