I’m on a mission to discover the best cafes in Australia. This time, I’m in the Nation’s capital, visiting fabulous cafes in Canberra.
After a really hard couple of years. Cafes are doing it tough. You can walk through any town in Australia and see cafes who’ve had to close their doors.
I want to help in any way I can. I’ve decided to dedicate my blog, to finding the best Cafes in Australia and shine a light on them. It’s time to get out and support these wonderful cafes. I have already uncovered fabulous cafes in Port Macquarie, amazing cafes in Newcastle and brilliant cafes in North Sydney. Now, I’m in Canberra.
Canberra is fabulous. It’s one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. A progressive, vibrant and beautiful place, Canberra has world-class art, breath-taking nature and family fun within easy reach of the city. It’s also a foodie, wine and coffee wonderland. For such a small city, Canberrans can certainly pack away their coffee. They absolutely love a mid-week long lunch or a lazy weekend brunch with family and friends. Canberra cafes are always bursting at the seams. Locals and visitors to the city, keep baristas flat out brewing delicious coffee all over town.
I’m determined to go right round this beautiful country of ours and narrow in on regions, cafes and coffee roasters to find exactly where the best cafes are.
Where are the best Canberra cafes? Which amazing Canberra cafes do the most delicious avocado on toast? Who has the best coffee in Canberra? Do the best cafes Canberra have a better eggs benedict than the best cafes in Surry Hills?
I hate being disappointed by a bad meal. So, I’ve done the hard yards for you. I’ve visited cafes all over the city. From the lively city spots to the more hidden suburban gems. After so many lattes, bacon and egg rolls and avo on toasts, I’ve narrowed it down to the six best cafes in Canberra.
I’m so excited to share. Let’s get going.
Located at 1 Woolley Street Dickson. Highroad is a light filled café from the team at ONA Coffee. With a focus on specialty coffee, locally sourced produce, and a vibrant menu. Highroad is a great place where the community can gather to enjoy delicious food and coffee, in a modern setting.
As you’d expect, coffee takes centre stage here. But there is also a delicious all-day menu with plenty of familiar brunch dishes. There is a wonderful Eggs Benedict with roast speck, poached eggs, horseradish hollandaise, chilli jam and wilted greens on sourdough. The Potato Rosti is also fabulous with fried egg, broccolini, whipped goats cheese, bean salsa, gazpacho, hot sauce and tajin spice.
ONA, is one of Australia’s best coffee roasters. Naturally, the range of brew methods, staff knowledge and flavour possibilities are pretty much endless at this wonderful café. Seasonal blends and single origins are available in espresso, filter and nitro formats, and there’s an impressive retail section for brewing at home. Alongside the fabulous coffee, you’ll also find a list of refreshing shakes, plus a selection of wines, beers and cocktails.
Located at 5930 Lonsdale Street Braddon. Barrio Collective Coffee is a fabulous little café dedicated to delicious coffee and wholesome food. You could easily be mistaken to think that this tiny 15 seat coffee bar, would be more suited to Italy, instead of the beautiful streets of Canberra. Seating in the café is all bar stools, giving a sense of an Italian Espresso Bar. This wonderful café oozes community. Perhaps it’s because customers sit so close and chat while they wait for their morning coffee hit.
At Barrio, they believe good quality coffee should be accessible and kept simple. Coffee is something to be enjoyed every day in a welcoming environment.
There is only one size for all milk coffee and one type of dairy milk. For those who prefer and non-dairy option, there is a nut milk which they make themselves using cashews, almonds and raisins. It’s pretty delish and worth a try. If you’re having a coffee with milk, the beans will be sourced from Central or South America. They are sweet, mild, chocolate and caramel flavoured. They mix so well with the creamy Tilba Real Dairy milk.
The kitchen is also tiny, but it serves up some delicious eats. The menu is short but filled with tasty options focused on local produce. There is a taco special and a delicious selection of toasties. My favourite is the Hash Toastie. It is a thick cut sandwich with melted soft corned beef, creamy cheddar, and pickles.
The coffee is roasted off-site, at Barrio’s roastery on Dairy Road in Fyshwick.
Located at 1/1-13 University Avenue Canberra. The Cupping Room is another amazing venue from the team at ONA Coffee. The cafe was designed as a vehicle to share their passion for coffee and knowledge to their customers. Be prepared to wait on weekends though, the Cupping Room gets super busy.
No surprises there is a big focus on coffee here. The drinks menu is like no other, with multiple blends, single origins, filter coffee and batch brew, all roasted in Fyshwick. There are descriptive flavour profiles, and the very friendly and knowledgeable staff are super keen to sit and explain how to drink your coffee to get the most out of it.
It was such a great experience. I learnt more in those 15 minutes than I have in 10 years. There is definitely a focus on removing the comfort zone of your everyday order.
Just as much thought goes into the food too. The all-day menu focuses on the best seasonal produce and therefore changes regularly. There is a delicious Smashed Avocado with poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, labneh, mixed herbs and hazelnut sukkah. The Burgers are also a knock out. On the sweeter side there is some magnificent homemade pancakes with brownie crumble, seasonal fruit, mascarpone and maple syrup.
Located at 9 Lonsdale Street Braddon. Rye Café is a Scandi inspired café, known for great coffee and delicious food. It’s a fabulous spot to drop-by-early, to kick start your day. It’s also a great place to sit back and enjoy a long lunch with friends, in a happy, relaxed atmosphere.
The cafe serves sweet and savoury dishes, great coffee, plus pressed juices, smoothies and cocktails. I love to sit outside in the sunshine. It’s the best people-watching spot along busy Lonsdale Street.
The menu includes a delicious Baked Eggs with chickpeas, black beans and capsicum, served with pangratatto, goats curd, grilled garlic bread and lemon. There is also a delicious Soft Shell Crab Burger, loaded with coleslaw and tartare sauce.
Located at 1 Canberra Centre, London Court, Canberra. The Greenhouse Coffee and Co is an amazing café that sits on the top floor of the Canberra Centre. It’s not your normal café though. I know what you are thinking, Food Court. But this fabulous café is like nothing I have ever seen from a shopping centre food court.
It’s a café from two Canberra coffee experts which is why it excels in every way. There are multiple delicious coffee blends, filter coffee and cold brew on offer from ONA Coffee.
An all-day brunch menu focuses on the freshest local produce. My pick on the menu is the Benny Bagel with grilled haloumi, fried egg, tomato relish, greens and hollandaise sauce. The Acai Bowl is also awesome. It comes loaded with acai berry mix, mixed berries, banana and coconut water, served with granola, fresh cut seasonal fruit and peanut butter.
Located at 68 Wollongong Street Fyshwick. Ona Coffee House was the second venue opened by ONA Coffee Roasters in Canberra. Situated in an industrial area in the back streets of Canberra. This wonderful café attracts coffee and brunch lovers from all over the city. Any day of the week, the café is full of young mums with prams, tradies, uni students and office workers.
There is a cafe and retail shop out the front and roasting machines and temperature-controlled production facilities out the back. It’s also the headquarters of the ONA business which now has cafés in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. As well as cafes right across the country serving their delicious coffee beans.
The coffee menu is extensive, with at least 25 different coffees to choose from. It showcases four core blends with a variety of milk based, espressos, filter and iced, and there are special reserve single origin options that rotate on a monthly basis.
It’s not just about the coffee here though. Coffee House boasts an extensive all-day breakfast and lunch menu which includes a great Avo on Toast. It comes loaded with poached eggs, creamed feta, dukkah and beetroot hummus on sourdough. The Haloumi Salad is my favourite though. It comes with grilled haloumi, roasted baby beetroot, seasonal greens, brown rice, mixed seeds and beetroot dressing.
There is also a great kid’s menu and some delicious baked goods, including chocolate and salted caramel kronuts and a mouth-watering Portuguese tart.