You would have to get up early in the morning to find a better breakfast or brunch cafe in Canberra than these bunch…

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.

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.

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.

Or join the queues at Patissez in Manuka which is now a destination in its own right, after the infernally evil and divine concoction known as the ‘freakshake’ broke the internet. Make the freak show complete with its blueberry cheesecake number, the Blue Ballz.

Families, couples and big, happy groups of friends spill out into the tables bordering Manuka Lawns at nearby popular brunch spot Urban Pantry. (5 Bougainville Street).

With its industrial cool vibe and very obliging wait staff, you could transplant Me and Mrs Jones to café capital Melbourne and it’d still be packed. You absolutely have to order the doughnut French toast, which comes drizzled with maple syrup and accompanied by maple glazed bacon and cinnamon mascarpone. Divine! (26 Giles Street, Kingston).

A few doors down, 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. (15 Kennedy Street, Kingston).

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. (7 and 23 Lonsdale Street, Braddon).

Australian Traveller magazine 66

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