Places to eat in Canberra

  • A.Baker
    by wabat
  • A.Baker
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    Dry Pork Belly
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Most Viewed Restaurants in Canberra

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    Kindle: hidden away cosy

    by wise23girl Updated Mar 17, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It was love at first sight...we just walked in the door...
    We so enjoyed the cosy, friendly coffee shop..well they do serve breakfast as well...and nice looking rolls for lunch... I especially liked the banana cake which I had twice and we then brought the whole family back as well.
    The decor is amazing...couches..a array of goodies to tempt you. One sign says something about "Please wait here beautiful people" but the one that caught my attention last year is where it says "Right Way" pointing to the entrance to the coffee shop...down a little corridor
    and "Wrong Way" if you head across the road to Myers department store.

    I actually saw the "Wrong Way" sign 12 months ago but the coffee shop closes at 1pm on Saturdays and we were too late.

    Open 7am to 4pm week days
    7am till 1pm Saturdays

    Favorite Dish: For lunch you might enjoy a Big Beef burger $14.90 A in 2014 or a Salmon Burger.

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    Cosy, Good Food, and wabat: Cafe Essen

    by wise23girl Updated Mar 17, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well we enjoyed our breakfast, the coffee, and the company at this little cafe snuggled away ...there is a great atmosphere....the sort of cafe we always seek out but you cannot always find. No 'greasy spoon' here.
    It is open from 7am every we came back the next day....
    It seemed to have an attractive array of cakes and offered meals all day.
    The wait staff were friendly and we were served promptly...not too fast....I prefer food cooked while we wait ...not ready to go!

    We were back in 2014 with our family and just loved the fritters.

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    The Banana Leaf: food to enjoy

    by wise23girl Updated Mar 17, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This eating place is in the heart of Canberra...opposite David Jones and Myer department stores in the Canberra Mall. We had a table for 12...nicely placed in the centre of the restaurant. The sevice was excellent and we certainly enjoyed the food.
    As usual we chose a fish dish but there were plenty of choices on the menu.

    Sri Lankan dishes are served side by side with Australian dishes
    Best thing is to try it out for yourself...but you will not be disappointed.

    Prices compare well with other restaurants we have visited...certainly not cheap greasy spoon but affordable in 2014.

    Lunch 11.30 am to 3pm
    Dinner from 5.30 pm

    Closed Sunday except for larger groups

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    A.Baker: Remove your teeth if that is an option for you

    by wabat Updated Feb 24, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A.Baker is located in the burnt our remains of the former Acton Hotel (in a relatively new residential, art and entertainment precinct). It is designed to give that increasingly common industrial look – raw exposed walls, exposed air conditioning pipes, a rough wooden floor and open kitchen “to further break down physical barriers between raw product, chef and consumer”. “Raw and confident” per their website. So far so good.

    Alas, that is where it ends.

    I generally steer clear of writing bad reviews of restaurants, preferring just not to return. In this case I make an exception lest my readers accidentally come across this place (eg if you visit the cinema across the road). This is the most pretentious restaurant I have ever visited. It is clearly set up the catch the Canberra would-be seeking a place to be seen. Even they can only be fooled in the short term.

    I went there for lunch at around 1pm but, off course, they don’t do lunch. One brunches between 7am and 3pm – how unrefined of me. Having got over that faux pas, I pondered the menu – most of which I didn’t understand - and the thought of smoked fish sounded nice. My dining partner went for duck confit – not any ordinary duck, of course, but Dutton Park duck - with frisee, croutes, house (how common) pancetta and poached egg.

    I was under no illusions and, notwithstanding that each dish was around $20, anticipated that the dishes would be small. How wrong I was, they were miniscule and certainly not a lunch. Ah, but of course I was having brunch not lunch.

    My fish dish comprised a couple of tiny pieces of fish, actually quite tasty, but totally over-powered by a salsa on a small piece of sourdough bread. The thing you see sprinkled on the plate is dried tapenade. The sprigs of rocket were added to make the whole thing look bigger.

    The duck confit pieces (hard to find on the plate though arranged on top by us for this photo) was smoothed in a mixed leaf salad and crutes which translate to oversized croutons of teeth breaking density. I advise that you remove your teeth if that is an option for you. The house pancetta was almost non-existent.

    I have since googled “frisee” and find it to be a variety of endive with curly, pale-green or yellowish leaves. Lucky we didn’t ask where it was and embarrass ourselves. In retrospect that might also be frisee on my plate (fish dish) and not rocket.

    Service was very (unacceptably) slow, the staff seemed rather put out that they had to deal with customers and, worst of all, the place was dirty. Rustic, bohemian, basic are all good with me – downright grubby and dirty - No.

    I do accept that restaurant reviews are very personal and if you are not hungry, have money to give away and are not fussed on cleanliness then this indeed might be a good option. The coffee was fine.

    There is a bar downstairs and you can purchase home made breads. Having seen enough upstairs we didn't partake of these additional offerings.

    Opening Hours Seven days 7am-10pm, bar open later

    Favorite Dish: Nil

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    Can Tho: Best Vietnamese in Canberra

    by wabat Written Aug 10, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant in Belconnen

    I have been a diner at this restaurant since in opened back in the early 2000s. It is still run by the same Vietnamese family. The restaurant is a bit out of the way and in the early days 1 or 2 tables was the norm. Nowadays it is regularly packed and for good reason.

    It has an extensive menu of Vietnamese and Chinese food though I, and most other diners, stick to the Vietnamese food which is without doubt the best available in Canberra. Excellent value for money with mains around A$11 – A$15.

    The service is fast but you are not rushed and unobtrusive (basic) – I have after over 10 years given up on them waiting until you have finished your starter before delivering the main though as they have got busier this has not been as big a problem in more recent times.

    The décor is basic but entirely acceptable for an evening out.

    The restaurant is not licensed so bring your own alcohol beverages and note that there is nowhere to buy booze within easy walk of the restaurant. That said,I do highly recommend the café sua da (Vietnamese coffee) as a drink.

    Based on the quality of the food and value I thoroughly recommend you dine here.


    Everyday 10am – 2.30pm


    Sun - Thur – 5pm to 10pm
    Fri – Sat 5pm - 10.30pm

    Favorite Dish: Fresh rice paper -spring rolls, fried chicken wings (if you like garlic only!), Pho, pork broken rice, crispy chicken, hotpots – in fact anything Vietnamese.

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    Tilley's Devine Cafe Gallery: Tilley’s – for something devine!

    by wabat Written Jun 7, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery, is something of an institution in Canberra now in operation for almost 30years.

    How does one describe this place? Permit me to quote from Sally Pryor ‘s article in the Canberra Times, 16 January 2003:

    “With elegant, dark wood fittings, a moody, deep red colour scheme, and soft jazz wafting between the old-fashioned booths lining the walls, there is some things essentially nostalgic and cinematic about Tilley's romantic atmosphere, reminiscent of a Hollywood film noir. Its timeless in a way that's hard to emulate in a youngish, fickle town like Canberra, where high turnover of night spots seem inevitably dictated by the relative hip-factor of the decor, the DJ and the cocktail menu.”

    The décor hasn’t changed since nor is it likely to any time soon.

    The décor makes sense when you know that the Café was named after the colourful Tilley Devine, Sydney's infamous madam and 'Bordello Queen' of the 1920s.

    In addition to (or perhaps over and above) being a standard café Tilley’s is a very highly regarded live music venue in Canberra hosting a wide range of Australian and International artists. (see their website below for concert details).

    If you intend bringing you kids or you are of the noisy persuasion you should be aware of Tilley’s policy – “Noisy (i.e. audible) children will be asked to leave or relocate to the sidewalk areas (as will adults who are audible during performances).” This and a few other rules such as banning groups of males from drinking inside unless accompanied by at least one woman (doesn’t apply now – allegedly after a group of army cadets attempted to force their way in, instigating a brawl) has caused more than a little commotion over the years.

    Staff in the café (at least out front – I don’t know about the kitchen) are all tie-attired females and the café has a reputation for being a lesbian / gay favourite. This is certainly so, but the crowd is very mixed and every one is welcome and will feel very comfortable here.

    This is a great please for a drink or coffee and cake, either inside or out. To be honest while their cakes are great their meals are acceptable but not great. This is a place you go to for the atmosphere and as such I suggest you go. Easy to wile away a few hours here as I often do.

    Opening hours

    Monday to Saturday - 9am till 10pm
    Sunday - 9am till 6pm
    Coffee Window - Opens 7.30am, 7 days.
    Public Holidays - Generally, open at 9am - 5pm.

    While not noted on their website they take a few weeks break in January.

    I will post some internal pictures soon but in the interim lots on their website.

    Favorite Dish: Coffee and cakes

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    Mt Stromolo – Scope Restaurant/Cafe: Give it a miss

    by wabat Written May 24, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To date, on VT I have generally not done restaurant/cafe reviews and may only do so in special circumstances or where they are linked to another tip as is the case here. It may seem like a good idea (as it did to me) to combine a visit to Mt Stromolo Observatory with Sunday lunch at this, the only eating facility in the immediate area.

    The restaurant/cafe is located atop Mt Stromolo amongst the burned out remains of a number of Mt Stromolo Observatory’s telescopes and is itself housed in an old telescope building – hence the circular shape of the dining area. The cafe has good views towards the Brindabella Mountains from within (window seats) and from an outside balcony. As my visit was late autumn the balcony was closed – to cold.

    While the menu was reasonably inviting looking (though with prices less so) the service was lethargic and the staff clearly wished they were somewhere else and argued about who would do what in front of customers. Clearly no-one had assumed responsibility for cleanliness on the Sunday I was there and this manifested itself in dirty tables and a particularly grubby (in fact disgusting) counter/cafe/takeaway area.

    I ordered a slow cooked pork belly main, served with apple and rocket salad. The pork was extremely dry (over-pressed and overcooked), the salad was mainly spinach (which was fine but not what was on the menu) and the salad dressing was an under generous balsamic mix straight from a bottle.

    Perhaps fine for a coffee – but I am even reluctant to recommend this given the uncleanliness of the place.

    Opening hours - Tuesday – Friday 10-5pm and Saturday-Sunday 8-5pm.

    Mount Stromolo - located approximately 18km southwest of the centre of Canberra and accessed via Mt Stromolo Road off the Cotter Road

    Cycling up the Mt Stromolo is a popular activity so do be careful as you drive up and down.

    Favorite Dish: None

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    Aubergine: More Posh Nosh

    by pedroswift Updated Apr 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Having promised myself an evening dining at Courgette's sister restaurant, Aubergine, it was only natural to celebrate Bastille Day '07 by doing so seeing we were in Canberra on a road trip South.{see review of Courgette above}.
    We were not disappointed by our choice. We had rung to book from Brisbane 6 weeks in advance but they could not fit us in for an early sitting. Obviously Aubergine is very popular on a Saturday night & not without reason.
    The menu offers eight entrees from Aud 18.50 (6 oysters) to 23.00 (roast quail breasts) , eight mains $29.00 (vegetarian) to 36.00 (roast squab). Sides $7 & five desserts ($16) plus cheese selection $18.5. The wine list is extensive and well balanced re country of origin, wine region & style with bottles from $36 to $580 (ch d'Yquem). Limited selection by the glass - $ 8.5 to 19.5 ( champagne).
    A degustation menu is available: $ 80.00 Food only; $110.00 Food & Wine (All wines approx 75ml per glass).

    Favorite Dish: For entree Madam chose Three Tastes of the Sea with tomato & olive fondue, fennel and micro herb salad (21.5) while he opted for prawn & salmon sausage, braised endive, reggiano custard & caramelized onion (22.5)
    Mains selected were King George Whiting, charred asparagus, SA calamari & green chilli raviolli w/ ginger butter (31.5) and Muscovy Duck Breast, rillette& herb pancake, confit giblets, onion soubise, light game jus (34.5)
    We were more than happy with the size of the meals served and were glad not to have chosen side dishes. Nor did we try the delicious looking desserts.
    Service was top notch: food - presentation and taste - outstanding.

    Chef/Owner James Mussillon & Chef Jason Rodwell run a great restaurant and did nothing to dispel my belief that Australian eating places like Aubergine and Courgette are hard to beat anywhere in the world without paying absolutely ridiculous amounts of money.

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  • APK (Australian Pizza Kitchen): The Best Gourmet Pizza Restaurant

    by StretchF Written Apr 26, 2011

    This licensed restaurant is an established wood fired pizza restaurant with a proven gourmet menu.
    Because of it's location, downstairs in Bailey's Arcade, on London Cct, it's somewhat quieter than other restaurants at street level. The ambience is pleasant and family friendly. As a traveller on a search for the world's best pizza this place goes close to serving the best.
    We shared a pizza and a salad between two.

    Favorite Dish: Acapulco Pizza is a spicy mix of South American flavours which present on a well cooked (not soggy) base.

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  • The Pancake parlour: Lovely Pankcakes In Canberra

    by oznztofro Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Everytime i goto Canberra the first thing i do is sit down & have a meal at the pancake parlour

    I first dined here in sept 07 with a friend. I love the way they make pancakes & their side dishes

    its more than juts pankcakes there are other types of meals

    Favorite Dish: 3 pancakes with syup & creams + a hot choc sause side dish

    & a glss of blue swiss malt

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    Woodstock has close after 36 years in business :-(: Canberra Icon is no longer with us - how sad

    by fachd Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Woodstock in Civic is one of our favourite pizza restaurants. We have been coming to here for ages.

    Beside pizza they also serve good steaks which they are famous for. Seafood, veal, chicken, omelettes, pasta and fresh garden salads also serve. The house special changes all the time.

    Woodstock restaurant is probably the longest serving restaurant in Canberra for over 36 years, established in 1971.

    The ambient is quite and relaxing and the décor is modern with number of large photos of the famous concert on the wall the 'Woodstock'. You dine inside or outside. It is licensed.

    Try Surf and Turf (sirloin steak topped with king prawns in cream and white wines sauce serve with salads and chips) and Sagittarius, Gemini pizza, Garden salad.

    Open: 12–9.30 pm, Mon - Sun

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    The Tryst: Good 'modern Australian' tucker.

    by tiabunna Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Thirty years ago, Canberra had only two or three good restaurants. With the explosion in restaurant numbers and quality in recent years, there now is an endless choice. Several good restaurants are to be found in the inner south suburb of Manuka – and that is where this tip leads us.

    We had eaten previously at The Tryst and had thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As we were celebrating Pauline’s birthday with friends and family, the choice was hers: The Tryst it was to be!

    We were welcomed by the owner, who confirmed our booking, and gave Pauline flowers delivered to the restaurant on behalf of overseas friends. Shortly, our other dinner partners arrived and we settled in to an evening of happy chatter, good food and good wine. The restaurant is licensed and also accepts BYO for a quite reasonable corkage. The food is described as “modern Australian”, which usually means exotic descriptions, a touch of Asian ingredients, and reasonable but not excessive servings.

    Favorite Dish: Leaving aside the exotic descriptions, I had the beef fillet served on potatoes and surmounted by a twist of some crunchy root vegetable. My companion (as the formal restaurant reviews always say) had the spatchcock with asparagus. Pauline loves date pudding, but when her dessert arrived the restaurant owner personally brought it out with a candle on top and led everyone in the restaurant in singing “Happy Birthday” – he commented that it isn’t every day a woman turns 45 (which made Pauline very happy). We both were entirely satisfied with our meals, though another member of the party was a little disappointed in one of her courses.

    All in all, I would be happy to recommend The Tryst to visiting VTers. It isn’t the most inexpensive restaurant around, but the prices for main courses (price range below) are about right for the standard (compared to mains, entrees are relatively expensive, desserts inexpensive); the service is good; and the atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant.

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    Courgette: Very Posh

    by pedroswift Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of two restaurants run by James Mussillon in Canberra. I'm looking forward to visiting the other, Aubergine.
    Food is brilliant. Taste, presentation as good as you'll get anywhere.
    Entrees start at AUD18.50 (brains) ranging to 23.50 (scallops)
    Mains range from high twenties to mid thirties.
    Wine list is extensive - bottles AUD 42 and up. Wine by the glass is available. eg Aussie Sparkling 10.50/glass: Champagne $23.00
    An experience new to us tasting "flights" : any 3 from the by-the-glass list for $15 for half glass servings (50ml).

    Favorite Dish: This is a top class dining experience without being overboard or intimidating. I rated the ambience as intimate with good spacing between tables. Service attentive without being overbearing.
    Madam opted for deboned quail, stuffed with mushrooms and figs, braised witlof, blue cheese tart , apple and prune sauce while I tried basil infused salmon,w/ pickled ginger, chard& cucumber salad, soy&mustard sauce. Both entrees A1!
    We enjoyed the mains of venison & grain fed beef. Cooked to perfection; presented perfectly. Who wants a home cooked meal after this??!! I'd say Courgette would be hard to beat in Canberra. Based on one visit? I look forward to future opportunities to prove myself right!!!

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    by balhannah Written Nov 20, 2009

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    If you want to enjoy your Dinner looking at an incredible view, then the Telecom tower is the place to go. It has Canberra's only revolving Restaurant.
    I have not had a meal here, only a drink in the day time in the Cafe, this was very expensive, so I would expect the Restaurant to be expensive as well.
    The views are fantastic, and I think at night with the twinkling lights, it would be extra pretty.

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    by AusPinay Written Jan 31, 2009

    This place is good and we even sat on the floor (on cushions of course) for a more authentic Japanese dining experience!

    The service is great, staff are friendly and attentive. More importantly, food is simple but elegant and tasty just as they do it in Tokyo!Of course, like any ordinary good Japanese food, it is a bit expensive than a Chinese restaurant for that matter but it is still worth it! The ingredients are fresh and service is really quick! I do think we took lonnger in choosing what to order!

    Favorite Dish: My fave dish is really the appetizer- the tofu was crunchy on the outside but really tender on the inside with a lovely dipping sauce with plenty of herbs and soy sauce. My hubby and eldest son love their seafood sushi and sashimi (raw fish) combo complete with miso soup, salad, a selection of pickles and dips and also dessert! Simple but yummy!

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