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Canberra’s most Instagrammable foodie secrets

Eat your way around Canberra’s precincts. 

By Visit Canberra
Published: May 23, 2017

Aficionados of Canberra’s food scene, Eat Canberra, have just released a new food tour of Braddon that lets you eat your way around the nation's capital. During the tour, you get to sample a range of food and drinks at six to seven different restaurants. 

You’ll learn about the background of the food you'll eat and the places you'll eat at, plus, pick up information about other 'must eat' places to visit in Canberra.

Off the back of this new tour, we rounded up some of the ‘coolest’ places to eat in Canberra (with a must eat dish at each place) and answered why the local food scene is generating national interest.

Canberra's food hotspots

Monster Kitchen and Bar – the yabby jaffle

This isn’t your ordinary jaffle. Packed with yabby, crème fraîche, gruyere and horseradish, it was named one of the top Australian dishes to try before you die by the Good Food Guide.

Nestled at the base of one of Canberra’s hippest hotels (Hotel Hotel) is the Monster Kitchen and Bar. There’s a strong focus on seasonal and local produce and the menu changes as the day ticks on. Hotel guests and locals arrive early for brunch and their caffeine fix, while late risers can enjoy the bar menu and shared plates. 

With an industrial fit-out and a modern fireplace, there are plenty of nooks to settle in and watch the good-looking crowd drift by. Dishes include cured kingfish, crispy fried quail and pulled lamb shoulder.

Rated one hat in the 2017 SMH Good Food Guide.

Brodburger – the Broddeluxe burger

Brodburger’s flagship flame-grilled burger, the Broddeluxe, is the super-supreme of Aussie burgers with its two half-pound beef patties, eggs, crispy bacon, homemade aioli, your choice of cheese and more.

If you’re a burger buff, you’ll want to wrap your hands around the giant, glorious hamburgers from Brodburger, one of Canberra’s favourite burger joints. Whether you’re a traditionalist who loves the rich, meaty varieties, or you’re into chicken, veg or seafood, Brodburger has the perfect burger for you. Pop into this buzzing little restaurant to get the ultimate burger fix. 

Brodburger started life in an old red gypsy caravan pumping out flame grilled burgers to locals. It got so popular they now have permanent residency in the historic Canberra Glassworks building.

AKIBA – pork belly bun

Also recommended by the Good Food Guide, the steamed pork belly bun with Asian slaw is the perfect snack to eat one-handed.

Voted Australia’s favourite restaurant in 2016, AKIBA brings the informal and exciting atmosphere of East-Asia’s great food halls and dining rooms to Canberra. The buzzing ambience of this restaurant and bar perfectly matches the food, which features a dazzling array of fresh flavours and an exotic cocktail and drinks list. 

Devour the many styles of Asian barbecue, raw bar and modern day Dim Sum, and see why AKIBA was awarded the Australian Financial Review Top Restaurants People’s Choice Award for 2016.

Canberra's food hotspots

Chairman & Yip – duck pancakes

The menu may be tweaked at this upscale Asian restaurant’s new location, but the roast duck and mushroom pancakes with a sweet and salty hoisin dressing always prove a popular choice.

Since its opening in 1992, the Chairman & Yip has become one of Canberra's longest standing and most highly regarded institutions, having received numerous awards over the years.

Head chef, William Suen, has long combined the best of both the Oriental and Occidental culinary flavours, to create delicate and classic dishes. Seafood is a speciality, with exotic ingredients like sea snails and sea cucumber regularly on offer. Choose from an a la carte menu, or range of banquet and degustation menus. 

Pialligo Estate – Australia’s best bacon

For food-lovers, bacon is serious business. Pialligo Estate Smokehouse won Best Artisan Bacon at the Australian Bacon Awards in 2014 and 2015 for its smoked and dry-cured bacon. Put some on your fork at the Farmhouse Restaurant at Pialligo Estate or sample some of this award-winning bacon at one of the many local cafes where it’s on the menu.

Relax, sit back and take in the picturesque Pialligo Estate Farmhouse, a sensational food, wine and lifestyle destination on the banks of Canberra’s Molonglo River. The Estate incorporates an olive grove, vineyard, orchard, academy, market garden and the award winning Pialligo Smokehouse. The refurbished Farmhouse restaurant is truly a feast for the senses. This award-winning restaurant with a paddock-to-plate ethos, serves delicious fare amongst the rustic warmth and charm of vaulted ceilings, natural stones and recycled timbers, and overlooking a vista of over 12,000 plants. 

Rated One Hat in the 2017 SMH Good Food Guide. Bookings essential to avoid disappointment.

Capital Region Farmers Market – Bomboloni doughnuts

Canberra has quickly become renowned for its amazing bombolini  - light, fluffy doughnuts that explode with homemade flavoured custards and jams like Madagascan vanilla with wild flowers and dark chocolate with shaved chocolate curls. They’re literally custard bombs – seriously tasty.

Visit the largest regional markets in the Southern Tablelands. The best parts? The smell of freshly ground coffee, the reassuring dirt on the potatoes, honey still warm from the hive, oranges beaming in the sun and the hum of chatter between the producers and their customers. 

Eightysix – black chicken with buttermilk slaw

Cooked in a Southern barbecue-style jam and then charred, the juicy chicken is perfectly complemented by the crunchy slaw. 

If a caramel popcorn sundae with peanut brittle, rich popcorn ice cream and a broken waffle cone sounds right up your alley, then you’ll love eightysix – a vibrant, modern restaurant located in the Canberra inner-city suburb of Braddon. 

This eatery was named after the act of crossing off or '86-ing' a dish from the menu when they’ve sold out. Its buzzing atmosphere and sensational food have earned it a reputation as a must-do on the Canberra restaurant circuit.

Rated one hat in the 2017 SMH Good Food Guide.