There have been excellent dining options in Canberra for a long time – way back in 1999 New York Times food writer Barbara Santich even wrote a front-page story raving about the restaurant scene for its travel section. These days, there’s fantastic dining available all over the place – including for those of us without government credit cards. (Leigh Ann Pow) We like:

Italian & Sons

A busy, buzzy take on the Roman trattoria – all hanging cured meats and thin, crispy pizzas. Definitely do not even contemplate attempting a weekend visit to Italian & Sons without a booking. 7 Lonsdale St, Braddon; 02 6162 4888.

Jamie’s Italian

You know you’ve made it when Mr Oliver comes to town. Located inside the sprawling Canberra Centre, Jamie’s is the perfect place to grab a bite between shopping forays or before catching a movie at Dendy Cinemas upstairs. 125 Bunda Street, Canberra; 02 6268 0400.

The European

A wine bar and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from its bustling open kitchen. 31 Giles Street, Kingston, 02 6295 1515

OX Eatery

Attached to The East Hotel, OX Eatery is the restaurant of the minute (and on Friday nights, its outdoor terrace is also the place to drink). Sit in the luxe fit-out of curving wood and leather banquets and order from the daily selection of meats on the specially imported French rotisserie at the restaurant’s heart. Or pre-order the whole suckling pig, but be warned, you’ll be eating all night – it’s only available to groups 16 or more. 69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston, 02 6178 0041.


Another gorgeous spot. Perched front and centre in the heart of Manuka, from lunch until late Public is packed with bright young things enjoying the convivial pub atmosphere, sampling the menu of burgers and wood fired pizzas, beers on tap and schmoozy live music on the weekends. Flinders Way, Corner of Franklin Street, Manuka; 02 6161 8808.

Hyatt Canberra

Surrounded by high commissions and consulates, taking part in the high tea, in the genteel surrounds of this historic hotel, is a Canberra institution. Make sure you reserve a table at the Park Hyatt well in advance. 120 Commonwealth Ave, Yarralumla; 02 6270 1234.

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