Bentspoke Brewing Co, Braddon, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory © Visit Canberra
Guide to Braddon
Follow the heels of Canberra's most creative folk and you'll likely find yourself on Lonsdale Street, Braddon, the city's emerging hub for memorable eats, charming shops, microbrewery ales and all things artisan.
Formerly an industrial area rife with car dealerships, Braddon – a suburb tucked into the northern edge of Canberra's city centre – has undergone a charismatic revolution. While remnants of its past still dot the area, Braddon's character has been renewed with a new generation of establishments. They're hip, whimsical and made up of young makers, traders, brewers and roasters. Arrive in this hip neighbourhood for brunch, spend a couple of hours perusing its design-oriented shops, pencil in an afternoon pamper treatment (a haircut, beard trim or beauty session) then return at sunset for some craft beer and a meal at a food van, gastro pub or a fine dining restaurant.
- Sample a craft beer or cider at Bentspoke, one of Canberra's best microbreweries
- Poke around the colourful Lonsdale Street Traders stores in the newly built Ori building
- Sip on barista-brewed coffee in one of Braddon's many coffee shops and cafes
How to get there
From the city centre, a stroll to Braddon takes about 10 minutes. Pass through the lively café square at Garema Place and cross Bunda Street, which runs parallel to the Canberra Centre shopping complex. A few hundred metres north sits Lonsdale Street – Braddon’s main artery.
Things to do and top attractions in Braddon
Sip coffee at a Lonsdale Street café
Get a caffeine kick before exploring Braddon at one of Lonsdale Street's many coffee shops. Barrio Collective is a local favourite, serving up a menu of food and drinks that all follow the cafe's 'simple but delicious' philosophy. Crafting 14 different coffee blends, each roasted in Canberra, Lonsdale Street Roasters – based at the Lonsdale Street Eatery – regularly draws workers from the city, all committed to enjoying some of the best coffee in town. What started as a coffee-only affair has since transformed into a thriving café, so if you're feeling peckish, dip into the Eatery's other offerings such as its pastries or panini-bread sandwiches.
Shop in the Ori Building
A refreshing assortment of small stores, known as the Lonsdale Street Traders, congregate in the sharply designed Ori Building. Here, you'll wander through sweet blooms and intricate terrariums at floral shops and peruse rows of homewares. Marvel at the originality of the ceramics, art prints, jewellery and giftware on offer. Purchase some Australian fashion to pack in your suitcase, or pop into a dessert shop for something sweet.
Stay in style at Midnight Hotel
Designed by acclaimed Australian architects, Midnight Hotel’s rooms offer chic, inner-city style in one of the capital’s coolest neighbourhoods. Rooms feature king beds, walk-in rain showers, complimentary mini bar and custom art by Thomas Bucich. The hotel is home to Braddon Merchant, a modern deli-style eatery with Italian influences and Midnight Bar, a chic wine bar with an evolving drinks menu and exceptional food. Positioned perfectly to take in all the action of Braddon and greater Canberra, Midnight Hotel is an excellent base for exploring the best of the city.
Drink beer at Bentspoke
With 18 different beers on tap, you'd be hard pressed to find more locally brewed ales in one spot than at Bentspoke. From lagers and ginger ciders through to pilsners, wheat beers and a choice of six Indian pale ales, the selection inspires beer lovers to stay a while at this double-storeyed microbrewery most. For super keen microbrewery fans, Bentspoke Travellers (AUD$65) are for sale: two-litre, refillable, pressurised containers that allow tap beer to travel with you. Wash down your drink with Bentspoke's range of brewery snacks, like spicy cauliflower bites and zucchini and mint fritters.
Fine dine at eightysix restaurant
Culinary creativity rises to a new level at eightysix, one of the city's top eateries. You can indulge in share plates with fresh, inventive ingredient combinations such as habanero steak tartare with prawn crackers. As night falls on the Braddon's buzzing urban playground, salute your visit with a 'honey badger martini,' a blend of single-malt whiskey, honey and thyme.