You would have to get up early in the morning to find better breakfast and brunch spots in Canberra

If you’re after a tasty bite, you may not have at first thought that Canberra could be the solution to your empty stomach woes, however – things are rapidly changing in our country’s capital – especially when it comes to food.

Resembling a more historically Melbourne approach to food, adorable nooks and crannies are opening their doors in Canberra, shining the light on what they can do in the food scene – and leaving customers queuing at the door as a result. From ‘freakshakes’ to vegan Goddess bowls, one thing’s for sure – Canberra’s hippest food haunts are sure to satisfy.


The Cupping Room

Drizzle some hollandaise sauce on the pork belly Benedict from The Cupping Room, Canberra

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better brew in the morning than at The Cupping Room – especially when reigning World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic is manning the new San Remo Opera machines. Arrive early to claim a spot among the bearded, nose-ringed crowd at this concept cafe, designed by the team from Ona Coffee specialty roasters. Geek out over an Ona education, then cap it off with a chia and sago pudding with strawberries and lychee.

Their meals are so celebrated, that in 2016 they crafted their own cookbook containing over three years of their recipes, aptly named The Cupping Room Cook Book. The menus inside the cafe change seasonally, but their a few well worth getting your hands on if you can.

The delicious Cauliflower dish from The Cupping Room, Canberra

Menu items you must try at least once:

Pork Belly Benedict with crispy skin pork belly, kimchi hollandaise, fried egg, pickled slaw, horseradish powder or the Cauliflower, with slow cooked leek, cauliflower, poached egg,
dark rye crumb, orange gel, almond and hazelnut cream.

1/1-13 University Ave, Canberra


Weekend brunch menu at Muse Cafe, Canberra.

Bookish types should also cross over Capitol Hill to Muse, a newish nook in East Hotel, between Kingston and Manuka, which is dedicated to enjoying food, all-Australian wine and books. Make your first meal of the morning one of brown rice with sprouts, avocado, crispy beef, fried egg and chilli jam. Buy a great literary work or brainstorm your next novel at this convivial cafe, which celebrates Canberra’s modernist heritage.

A bookworm’s dream space, this cosy nook offers a bookshop brunch menu on weekends, and offers three tiers; Paperback ($48pp), Hardback ($60pp) and you guessed it – First Edition, where you’ll pay $80pp for the top of the range De Salis “Blanc de Noir. Brunch is available for a minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 24.

You’ll be treated to fresh fruit, house baked granola and fig yoghurt, scrambled eggs, bacon, asparagus, broccolini, bruschetta, roasted mushrooms and more!

Menu items you must try at least once:

Sweet Potato Bruschetta from Muse Cafe in Canberra.

Vegan Potato Bun, with roast pumpkin, enoki mushroom, baby spinach, kale pesto and cashew cheese or the Sweet Potato Bruschetta, on dark rye bread, with miso roast sweet potato, pickled fennel, pomegranate, mint, za’atar and lemon tahini.

69 Canberra Ave, Kingston 

Silo Bakery

Delicious pastries baked in house daily at Silo Bakery, Canberra

Head east to Silo Bakery in Kingston for a plate of chilli jam eggs with tomato, and a baguette to go. Continue the Kingston crawl at Penny University, which serves a righteous slab of brioche French toast, topped with strawberries and cream.

The best part is, being a bakery all breads and pastries are made on site, so you know you’re getting the freshest of the fresh. Described as “part Brooklyn, part wartime Parisian bakery…” by the NY Times – it’s certainly a place to get excited about sampling.

Menu items you must try at least once:

Scrambled eggs with local terra preta truffles on sourdough toast or the piperade omelette with chorizo. YUM.

36 Giles St, Kingston


‘Freakshakes’ from Patissez in Manuka, Canberra

This place has garnered a heap of attention over the last few years for it’s unique and downright crazy – and delicious – creations.  Most noteably, Patissez in Manuka which is known for the infernally evil and divine concoction known as the ‘freakshake’ after it managed to break the internet. Diners can choose to take on the queues and make their ‘freakshake’ complete with its blueberry cheesecake number, the Blue Ballz.

Better still, the cafe serves incredible ‘Doughies’, which also come in slightly freaky flavours that customers have come to love – a few of note include: Nutella Ferrero, Choc fudge s’more and Salted caramel crumble.

Don’t stress, it’s not all chocolate free pours and fudge by the litre, in fact, they’ve got some of the most delicious brunch items floating around.

Fresh ‘Doughies’ from Patissez in Manuka, Canberra

Menu items you must try at least once:

Crispy Corn and Zucchini Fritters, which comes complete with poached eggs, kewpie, pico de gallo, fresh avo, Danish fetta and pepitas or the Green Goddess Bowl, which comes with green pea hummus, fresh avo, sauteed greens, sourdough, house made hazelnut dukkah, poached eggs and lemon.

Honourable mention goes to the Apple Pie Hotcakes, which come complete with buttermilk hotcakes, malted cinnamon gelato, house made apple pie filling, vanilla bean creme anglaise, cinnamon crumble and caramelised puff pastry. Yep.

21 Bougainville St, Griffith

Urban Pantry

The famously decadent Ferraro Hot Cacaro from Urban Pantry.

Families, couples and big, happy groups of friends spill out into the tables bordering Manuka Lawns at nearby popular brunch spot Urban Pantry – and it’s no wonder. The fresh, light-filled space offers up modern cuisine in a comfortable, stylish location. The endless white and clean lines make it a dream to sit down in – basically, it’s an Instagrammer’s dream.

The focus at Urban Pantry is on fresh local produce, and their menu updates seasonally to accompany this. You’d do well to give it a whirl. Special shout out to their special sub-menu dedicated to ‘open toast’. Picture the yummiest ingredients ever – like oven roasted maple pear, ricotta – and all the trimmings to make a Croque Monsier.

Urban Panty’s decorated Crumpet from the winter breakfast menu.

Menu items you must try at least once:

The decadent Ferraro Hot Cacaro, organic cacao, vanilla bean, hazelnut reduction, crushed wafer and topped with toasted marshmallow or the simply named, Crumpet, with house made, caramelised banana, winter spiced basket ricotta, candied pecans, strawberry textures and Majura Valley vanilla bean honey.

5 Bougainville Street, Manuka


Penny University

The interior of the Penny University cafe space.

The small but busy Penny University café is kitted out in vintage and recycled objects is well-frequented for breakfast in the mornings and coffee all day. Inspired by the first coffeehouse set up in London in the 17th century called ‘Penny Universities’, back then it only cost a penny to enter – so the houses would attract an eclectic group of people – and it created a unique social environment. Canberra’s offering considers themselves the modern day Penny University, and it’s not just for beard-wearing hipsters – everyone is welcome.

Aside from incredible coffee, Penny University also boasts an impressive all day menu and a comforting exposed brick interior, complete with cartoon animals going about their daily business.

The famous Pialligo Hash from Penny University.

Menu items you must try at least once:

‘Pialligo’ Hash, which comes complete with ‘Pialligo Farm’ fennel and chilli pork sausage mince, with confit potatoes and a medley of vegetables. Pan tossed with a house-made Szechuan chilli sauce and topped with a fried egg or the Matcha Green Tea Crepes, which are filled with a coconut and mango cream, served with a black sesame baked yoghurt, fresh and compressed seasonal fruits.

15 Kennedy Street, Kingston

Lonsdale Street Roasters

Inside Lonsdale Street Roasters

If you’re not a big breakfast eater, popular opinion from locals and expats with Sydney/Melbourne caffeine sensibilities has Lonsdale Street Roasters pegged as the best purveyors of coffee in the city. The coffee is good enough to have two stores on the one street.

The perfect option if you’re looking to bring back a bag of Canberra’s best beans.

7 and 23 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

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