Restaurants

The Best Restaurants In Canberra For Your Winter Weekend Itinerary

By Georgia Condon – who will need to try a bite of every dish at the table.

Known for galleries, government and... roundabouts, Canberra has become a bit of a foodie hub in recent years, thanks to its proximity to some epic growing regions, convenient location for weekenders from Sydney, and buzzing biz scene.

With old-school Italian, glitzy modern Chinese and on-trend bistros, Canberra/Ngambri is well worth a visit for any food lover on the lookout for their next multi-course memory.

These are Urban List's picks for the best restaurants in Canberra right now.

Such And Such

220 London Crescent, Canberra Civic

best restaurants canberra such and such
Image credit: Such and Such | Supplied

A modern eatery and bar, Such and Such is the second venue from the team behind awarded Canberra restaurant Pilot. Busy terrazzo textures, bright colours, and eclectic art and design elements by local creatives complete the bold but welcoming venue, where the cuisine is globally inspired but, somehow, harmonious; savoury crullers sit alongside prawn okonomiyaki, pierogi, and chicken momo dumplings.

There's room for 40 guests inside (plus bar seats) and another 40 outside to enjoy pre-theatre nibbles and drinks, long lunches on a $105pp set menu, happy hour snacks (3pm–5pm, Tuesday–Friday) or shared dinners accompanied by the sustainable and interesting wine selection. While it's more casual than its older sibling in Ainslie, Such and Such is an all-occasion Canberra Restaurant that holds its own in every regard.

Compa

148 Bunda Street, Canberra Civic

best canberra restaurants compa
Image credit: Compa | Supplied

Noted Aussie chef Matt Moran's first foray into the capital, Compa is an Italian grill restaurant spotlighting primo Aussie meat, with some of the country's best producers on the list alongside Black Angus and Berkshire pig charcuterie from the Moran Family Farm. The fit-out was inspired by a '60s Italian chalet, with deep wood elements and leather seating.

As well as steaks served on and off the bone, Compa's menu covers snacks like three-cheese zucchini flowers, Moran Family Farm nduja and cannellini bean scarpetta, prawn casarecce with chilli, garlic, lemon and pangrattato, and a dreamy cacio e pepe mac and cheese.

Drinks include Italian and local wines, (plus special bottles hand-selected from Matt's own private cellar), and plenty of Italian-inspired cocktails using locally distilled elements.

Bada Bing Dining Club

Shop 1/122 Alinga Street, Canberra Civic

best canberra restaurant bada bing dining club
Image credit: Bada Bing Dining Club | Instagram

Cosy Canberra restaurant Bada Bing Dining Club is all about Italian comfort food served with style. As well as textbook wood-fired pizzas, the menu offers antipasti (don't skip the Roman street food fave, suppli), house-made pastas, and main event proteins. 

Seating in the wood-panelled restaurant includes cosy booths for groups, low tables, and a few spots around the bar, and there's a gorgeous private dining room with a Sistine-style ceiling fresco.

Onzieme

35 Kennedy Street, Kingston

Onzieme proves Canberra can be cool. This small-scale, fire-fuelled restaurant has a lot of love for excellent veggies, with a nose-to-tail approach to the moderate amount of top-notch meat that makes it onto the menu, and foraged ingredients featuring too. 

Minimal intervention and small-scale wines are the main event on the drinks list and, if you miss out on a booking, it's worth trying your luck for a seat at the bar.

Pilot

1 Wakefield Gardens, Ainslie

best restaurants canberra pilot
Image credit: Pilot | Lean Timms

The 30-seat Canberra restaurant Pilot offers one set menu for dinner and one for weekend lunches, with a liberal dose of style, intrigue, and shared trust. Priced at $150pp, your seven-course menu will weave together nostalgic flavours, complex dishes and produce that the team is excited by on that day, all elegantly plated on an array of organically formed and textured crockery.

You can peruse the entirely-Australian drinks list, or opt for a beverage pairing (available boozy, or not). Buckle up; you're in for an unforgettable experience.

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Raku

148 Bunda St, Canberra Civic

best canberra restaurants raku
Image credit: Raku | Instagram

You'd be forgiven for mistaking Raku for an uber-traditional Japanese joint, with its tatami-screened private booths and elegant, demure fit-out. While you will find executive chef Hao Chen masterfully plating beautiful spreads of sashimi, nigiri and maki rolls, there's also an expansive menu of plates with thoroughly modern and Australian twists.

There are a couple of lucky counter seats, long communal tables and screened booths, and a $60pp express lunch for work days.

Eightysix

Lonsdale Street, Braddon (North) and 45 Furzer St, Phillip (South)

best restaurants canberra eightysix south
Image credit: Eightysix South | Instagram

Sharing only a few similarities, the two eightysix restaurants are worth adding to your Canberra itinerary, no matter which side of town you're on. On the northside, expect a funky atmosphere and blended menu with dishes like habanero steak tartare with prawn crackers; lemon ricotta gnocchi with asparagus, snow peas and chevre; and fragrant crispy eggplant with Szechuan chilli caramel.

In the Woden restaurant things are Italian; classics like Caprese, pumpkin and mascarpone tortellini with hazelnuts and sage burnt butter, and prosciutto-wrapped figs with gorgonzola sauce. Whichever direction you take, a chic modern fit-out and warm hospitality are a given.

Rebel Rebel

23 Marcus Clarke Street, Acton

best canberra restaurants rebel rebel
Image credit: Rebel Rebel | Instagram

An open-plan space that feels part barnyard, part warehouse with seats for 50, Rebel Rebel flows seamlessly from lunch into knockoffs into dinner without blinking an eye, with dishes like corn and manchego croquettes with prawn head aioli, fried quail with harissa and lemon, and Jerusalem artichoke with hazelnut and taleggio.

Diners chasing a small snack and glass of wine are catered to, as are those wanting multi-course meals or a $90pp set menu. Want to take something fun home for later? They'll sell you a bottle, too.

Les Bistronomes

18 Blamey Place, Campbell

Les Bistronomes chef Clement Chauvin earned his chops at some of Europe's top restaurants including Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, so it's no surprise this spot is considered as one of the best French restaurants in the country. His own efforts have earned him multiple hats and accolades for his French cooking, which stays true to its heritage while adding a bit of a local slant.

The menus come in classic form, filled with usual suspects like duck à l’orange and boeuf Bourguignon, plus seasonal dishes with fresh ideas whipped up from local produce.

Corella

14 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

best canberra restaurants corella
Image credit: Corella | Instagram

An intimate bistro with a thing for native ingredients, Corella is the sort of wine bar-turned-restaurant that suits most diners' wants and needs. Explore Australian ingredients like lemon myrtle (perhaps in a ponzu, served over a scallop with pickled chilli), desert lime and... Vegemite—whipped into the cultured butter served with your saltbush focaccia.

There's equally enticing Australian ingredients peppered through the cocktail list, and a $90pp set menu for the decision-averse. This is a capital spot, showcasing flavours unique to Australia in an elevated setting.

Wilma

1 Genge Street, Canberra Civic

best restaurants canberra wilma
Image credit: Wilma | Instagram

A two-level restaurant with plenty of glitz, Wilma is a modern (mostly) Chinese spot plating up dishes from the wok, grill and offset smoker seven days a week.

A great option for a shared meal with friends and family, Wilma's menu offers Peking duck rotis, tiger prawn toast with Davidson plum sweet and sour, hot-smoked char siu pork belly with peanuts and chilli and glossy Balmain bug egg noodles. There's a great value set menu for $69pp, and fun cocktails and mocktails inspired by every corner of Asia.

Mezzalira

55 London Circuit, Canberra Civic

If a venue has made it in the discerning streets of Canberra since 1996, it's safe to say it's a winner. Mezzalira has done that and more, with its art-deco architecture setting the stage for big seasonal southern Italian flavours in aperitivo, pasta, small plates and desserts, available a la carte or on a six-course tasting menu. Also see its more mod sibling Italian & Sons.

Now check out

Main image credit: Bada Bing Dining Club | Website

Urban List Best Of: has our highest stamp of approval—curated lists of the very best recommendations for you to eat, do, see, buy or book, carefully chosen by our Editors.

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