Although Canberra is certainly not one of the biggest cities in the country, it offers the visitor an astonishing amount of restaurants, cafes and brasseries as well as bars and clubs that serve food. And, not only does it have a huge variety of eateries, the extensive range of international cuisine on offer in these establishments will also take you by surprise. All you have to decide is which part of the world you fancy taking your taste buds to when hunger hits. But for those of you who want to try some of the local specialties, there are plenty of menus where these feature too. Alligator, emu and kangaroo dishes are not hard to come by if you feel like risking it.
One of the most popular regions in Canberra when it comes to eating out is Manuka which is home to the more up market restaurants and cafes on Bougainville, Fourneaux and Franklin Streets. Kingston is usually somewhat cheaper as is Dickson and you will also find reasonable dishes which taste just as good as the pricier ones in the various shopping centres around the city, and in Civic in particular.
Again, the fact that the city is home to such a large number of students also works to the advantage of the budget backpacker. Head to the area surrounding Canberra University on the northside or the Australian National University in the city centre and you are guaranteed to come across a multitude of reasonable cafes and restaurants, many of which also have a full bar. Where this is not the case, however, they are usually BYO establishments.
And, if you’re still finding it hard to find somewhere to whet your appetite try looking at ‘Eating Out in Canberra’, a free publication which you will find in the Canberra Visitor Centre. If you don’t find something here, well you may as well give up.
21 Kennedy Street, Kingston, Canberra, Australia
One of the trendiest cafes in this popular suburb you can bring your own alcohol or enjoy the selection on offer at the bar. Dine inside in the relaxed and tastefully decorated restaurant or outside in the covered courtyard – the perfect combination.
131 City Walk Civic, Canberra, Australia
The perfect place to eat a cheap, healthy and filling lunch, this place is favoured by locals and visitors alike who eat in or get it to go and eat in the nearby park. Or, if you want the perfect compromise why not relax at the outside seating and watch the city rush by.
2 Mort Street Civic, Canberra, Australia
Both a take-away street café and a restaurant, this establishment is located outside the City Bus Interchange making it especially popular among travellers like yourself. Also features live music at lunchtime during the week and on Saturday evenings.
Garema Arcade, Garema Place Civic, Canberra, Australia
An establishment which will please the tea and coffee junkies among you with thirty different varieties of each on offer. Also has an excellent all day breakfast and selection of cakes and hosts live jazz on Sunday afternoons.
71 London Circuit, Melbourne Building, Canberra, Australia
If it’s authentic Thai you’re after then you have come to the right place. Specialising in seafood main courses and vegetarian dishes average cost for main courses is about $14 and takeout is available for those of you who fancy a quiet night in.
35 Kennedy Street, Kingston, Canberra, Australia
You can always rely on an Italian restaurant to provide huge portions of appetising pizza or pasta at very affordable prices and this place is no exception. A BYO establishment with authentic Tuscan décor, the atmosphere is warm and friendly but reservations are highly recommended.
Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club, Mariner Drive, Canberra, Australia
For dinner with a view but at a price which won't cause those on a budget to go weak at the knees this is the ideal eatery. Located on the banks of the Lake and with a full license try to get a seat on either of the two terraces. Oh, try to make sure you go on a sunny day too if you do end up sitting outside.
33 Kennedy Street, Kingston, Canberra, Australia
The city’s number one Internet café, this place is rather interesting. With huge rainbow coloured cushions and lounges and a menu which contains dishes like Yahoo chicken and Netscape fettuccine you know you’re in for quite a visit and let us assure you that won’t be disappointed.
36 Franklin Street, Manuka, Canberra, Australia
Excellent Mexican food in a bright and creative restaurant situated in the heart of Manuka. BYO and with indoor and outdoor seating this is an excellent place to begin an evening on the town or to go to relax after a hard day’s sightseeing.
Garema Centre, Bunda Street Civic, Canberra, Australia
A Chinese and Malaysian restaurant with an excellent variety of specialties from both countries, this place prides itself on a fast service, reasonable prices and superb food. What more could you ask for?