May 22, 2023
7 mins Read
Finding great Canberra restaurants isn’t tricky. What can be difficult is discovering the hidden gems and new, noteworthy additions to its dining scene. These days, it feels like a hot new spot opens every week.
While Canberra has its fair share of fine dining establishments, proximity to fresh produce via surrounding lush farmland and a blend of students, politicians and diplomats has spawned a thriving, diverse restaurant scene.
Expect local wines from nearby wineries, every cuisine you can think of (and plenty of fusion restaurants getting creative with menus) and loads of bucket list meals you’ve likely spotted on your favourite foodie Instagram accounts.
Below, find our favourite Canberra restaurants to try.
As they say, Bar Rochford “ pull records, sling sharp spirits and love good service”.
That tells you everything to expect from this relaxed Canberra restaurant – the atmosphere is fun, the food unfussy yet elevated, and the wine list refined and enticing.
Address: 65 London Cct, Canberra, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 6230 6222
When the team behind Canberra’s top fine dining restaurant Pilot announce they’re opening a new venture, everyone takes notice. That venture is Such And Such, a hole-in-the-wall eatery far more relaxed than Pilot but no less delicious and inventive.
You’ll need to book in advance as there are only a handful of tables and a few bar spots. If the school prawns in 666 spice are on the menu, order them. You won’t be sorry.
Address: 220 London Cct, Canberra, ACT
Phone Number: 0426 698 776
Acclaimed chef Sean McConnell is behind ultra-cool Canberra restaurant Rebel Rebel, conveniently located in the hotel hub encompassing QT Canberra and Ovolo Nishi.
McConnell held the reins at Monster for four years, and his love of shared dining continues at Rebel Rebel, where you can split grilled prawn in bay leaf butter, grass-fed rib eye and sugarloaf cabbage with tahini and harissa oil while enjoying the modern wine list, a blend of natural wines, local drops and international gems.
Address: 21-23 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 6248 8548
The more casual off-shoot of fine dining restaurant Mezzalira, Italian & Sons has gained its own fame in Canberra for fresh, authentic Italian cuisine. Enjoy a range of cicchietti (snack plates) like salty anchovies and San Daniele prosciutto with a glass of vino, or go all out with the tasting menu, which includes shared antipasti and three individual courses.
Address: 7 Lonsdale St, Braddon, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 6162 4888
In the mood for Japanese? Lilotang is a modern Japanese restaurant that describes itself as a ‘sensory experience’ – think fun, date-night interiors with neon lighting and colour pops. Drink-wise, order the ever-changing ‘saketini’, and for $80 per head, you’ll likely be tempted by the eight-course ‘Feed Me’ option, with dishes curated by Lilotang’s head chef.
Address: 1 Burbury Close, Barton, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 6188 3444
The ethos behind Vincent is all about food and wine pairing – the team have carefully curated unconventional drops from around the globe, ready for teaming with delicate small plates such as kingfish with coconut, coriander and lychee.
Sound a little fancy? The food and wine may be, but the experience is laid-back and relaxed, with a lengthy communal bar that encourages the intimacy and enjoyment of a meal together.
Address: Corner Macquarie St and Broughton St, Barton, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 6273 7773
Another Canberra restaurant focusing on what’s in season, Onzieme’s menu shifts according to what its hand-picked producers (many of which you’ll have spotted at farmer’s markets around town) bring to the restaurant, and inspiration comes from everywhere. The atmosphere could not be more welcoming – another focus for Onzieme is ensuring customers feel like locals, always a welcome ethos when you’re a tourist in town.
Address: 5/39 Kennedy St, Kingston, ACT
Phone Number: 0424 894 763
This is where Canberrans head for comforting, spice-laden Indian fare. Chef duo Sanjay and Sunita Kumar dish up the best curries, biryani and flaky parotta and have done so since 2015, when they began Daana from a humble shipping container. These days, you’ll be dining in Daana’s stylish Curtin restaurant – but the heart of the restaurant remains – family heirlooms adorn the walls, and Sanjay and Sunita are more than happy to share stories and recipes with patrons.
Address: 83 Theodore St, Curtin, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 5105 1048
If you’re after Vietnamese food in Canberra, Miss Van’s won’t disappoint. Offering up modern Asian-Australian fare that celebrates founder Andrew Duong’s Laos-Vietnamese roots, menu items range from the popular banh mi, which has been on offer since Miss Van’s beginnings as a shipping container food outlet, through to the spicy, sour seafood tom yum filled with black mussels, squid and prawns.
Address: Shop 4, 113-119 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra, ACT
Phone Number: 0499 560 767
At Wilma, Asian barbecue never looked so good – because there are some big names in the kitchen. James Viles, the man behind the acclaimed, two-hatted Biota Dining in Bowral (now closed) heads up Wilma’s kitchen, joined by former Aria and 12-Micron chef Brendan Hill.
Ordering from the BBQ menu is a must – wood-grilled wagyu with wasabi leaf chimichurri, anyone?
Address: 1 Genge St, Canberra, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 6171 2092
With not one but two venues in Canberra (northside in Braddon and the recently opened Woden iteration), eightysix should be on your list of restaurants to visit when in town.
There are slight differences between the two – eightysix Braddon is all about experimentation, with quirky menu items like the famous caramel popcorn sundae, but the restaurant’s southern venue focuses on Italian fare like pork Milanese and ricotta gnocchi in fennel sugo.
Address: 45 Furzer St, Phillip, ACT and corner Elouera St and Lonsdale St, Braddon, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 6161 8686
Terra is our pick for a quick yet delicious Canberra lunch. The setup is canteen-style – choose from a protein and various sides or one of their stacked, juicy burgers and sandwiches. The miso gravy is incredible on some crispy hot chips, by the way. If dinner is more your style, seating becomes more refined, but it’s still Terra’s chargrilled, smoked and woodfired meats that take centre stage.
Address: 40 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra, ACT
Phone Number: (02) 6230 4414
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