Anolon Academy

Foodies guide to Canberra

Here is a quick guide of hot spots in our capital city, Canberra, all offering friendly, good service, without any of that helicopter style that, c’mon admit it, annoys all of us. Standout for us – excellent wine lists with generous by the glass offerings. Tick.

Eatery and wine bar for any time of day or night:
Me and Mrs Jones in Kingston, café by day and fabulous bar and restaurant by night situated in a picturesque 1927 building.  Extensive easy style menu with full breakfasts (the Breaky Dog looked delicious), extensive menu of small share plates throughout the day and night, and gourmet burgers galore. Good choice of wines, beers & ciders.

Best coffee mecca:
Lonsdale Street Roasters in Braddon, a bit hipster and sublime coffee. Creamy and spicy and demands that you have a second cup. The warm aroma of roasting beans greets you as does their array of pastries and other easy food options, but this is the bomb for a great cuppa.

Modern inner city dining:
Eightysix, also in Braddon, is a lot of fun. It’s a busy L-shaped room around a bar and kitchen with a surrounding classroom blackboard with the menu options boldly chalked. How about steak tartare, duck confit or buttermilk fried chicken marylands, topped off with an icecream sundae or the ubiquitous popcorn dessert. Groovy, loud and very welcoming.

Central American fare:
Elk & Pea, Braddon once again. Brunch, lunch, tapas, anything goes.  Relaxed venue where you can share from the soft taco menu, quinoa, fetta and zucchini hash, jerk chicken, stick beef short ribs, spiced fish stew, the list goes on. All to share and a very extensive and reasonably priced wine and beer list taking you around Australia, across to Spain, over to Mexico, down to Argentina, and no jet lag!

Traditional Italian, minus the starched linen:
Italian & Sons is on the radar of any informed local or visitor looking for exceptional Roman fare, trattoria style. It’s won awards and the space is probably ‘the coolest in Canberra’ according to Delicious and Qantas Magazines. House-made pasta and pizza feature of course, and various plates of the day. The menu changes constantly with the seasons and produce availability. Try suckling lamb, wagyu beef cheeks, chestnut pappardelle with wild mushrooms, grilled fresh market seafood, then perhaps a caramelised passionfruit tart with a short black. There is an elegant buzz to this place, and no doubt frequented by many Canberra locals who are clearly well known to the hospitable and professional staff. We are voting this one in.