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10 Best Places to Eat and Drink When Travelling Solo in Canberra

With a number of chef’s hatted restaurants and some of the finest dining precincts in the country, you simply can’t pass up a night out in Canberra even when you’re flying solo. Dining alone has many perks; Firstly, you wouldn’t need to compromise on food choices, you can skip queues, and last but definitely not the least, you won’t need to share dessert! 

So forget about takeaways and treat yourself to some you time while you’re in Canberra. Equipped with single tables or bar seating, a choice of small plates and with food so good you wouldn't want to share it anyways, we have rounded up 10 of the best places that will make the solo traveller feel at home.  

  

Raku 

Images via Raku

For the discerning corporate traveller looking for the best Japanese cuisine that Canberra has to offer, look no further than Raku. While dining with friends is always great, you don't need company to enjoy dining here the restaurant is an experience all on its own! Everything about this restaurant oozes sophistication and elegance, from its immaculate interiors to its friendly staff. Take a seat at the bar and watch the sushi chefs work their magic; Chef Hao San and his team are masters at their craft. Raku is located just a 9-minute walk from Avenue Hotel.  

Must try Raku dishes: 

  • Unagi Foie Gras, features freshwater eel, whole-duck foie gras, served on a crispy puffed potato and topped with a shichimi spice blend
  • Uchiwabe, succulent Moreton Bay bugs, coated in tempura batter, fried and topped with bright yuzu kosho mayonnaise and fiery chilli ponzu
  • California Roll, featuring buttery spanner crab, tobiko or  flying fish caviar, crisp cucumber and fresh avocado.

Located at 148 Bunda St, Canberra
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week from 11:30am till 3pm and 5:30pm till 11pm. 
More info at rakudining.com.au

                           

Temporada

Images via Good Food Gift Card | Blackheath Firewood Co

A popular destination for the afterwork crowd, Temporada  is the perfect spot to treat yourself to a decadent dinner and a drink. Expect a relaxed ambiance with sophisticated interiors, and a thoughtfully curated menu that's different, exciting and oh-so tempting.  Opt for a seat at the large, inviting bar and get to know the friendly locals, or people-watch through the glass frontage. 

Located just a short 5-minute walk from Avenue Hotel, Temporada’s wine list also stocks both Australian and international drops to match their exceptional food offerings. 

Must-try from Temporada:

  • Wood Grilled Pork Chop served with Jerusalem artichoke, kumquat and sage
  • Spanner Crab Salad with a creamy pistachio mayonnaise, garnished with apple and herbs
  • For dessert, try the Banana Mousse with hazelnut praline, mascarpone, and caramelised banana.

Located at 15 Moore Street, Canberra
Open Monday to Friday from 7:30am till late and Saturday 5pm till late
More info at temporada.com.au 

                       

Bar Rocheford

Images via Bar Rochford | The Australian  

Hidden away in one of Canberra’s iconic and oldest buildings, Bar Rochford offers patrons great quality food in a chilled, laid back venue that provides the perfect atmosphere to enjoy their signature cocktails. Try the fittingly named ‘Lost Tourist’ - Paranubes white rum, cognac, maple and Peychauds bitters.

Settle onto a bar stool beside the fire or strike up a conversation with the friendly staff behind the bar, who will gladly conjure up a cocktail based on your palate. With good music, a fabulous list of fine wines and beers, and a scrumptious bar food menu that takes inspiration from all over the world, Bar Rochford is a top choice for any solo traveller and only 9-minutes walk from Avenue Hotel!

Must-try from Bar Rocheford:

  • Snapper Ceviche, bursting with flavour, heightened by rhubarb and lemon myrtle
  • Brillat Savarin for one,  this decadent triple-cream cheese is served with gourmet crackers and aromatic accoutrements 
  • Steak Tartare, garnished with pepper to your liking, with a side of crisps.

Located at 65 London Circuit, Canberra
Open Tuesday-Wednesday 5pm-12am and Thursday-Saturday 3pm-1am
More info at  barrochford.com

                     

Italian & Sons

Images via Italian & Sons | Gourmet Traveller 

As a four time Good Food Guide award winner, Italian & Sons is a must-dine, whether you’re flying solo, meeting colleagues for a business lunch, or simply looking to indulge in some fantastic eats. 

A quick look at their menu and you’ll understand why the restaurant is well loved by both locals and visitors alike, and a favourite destination for the afterwork crowd. And if you’re looking for the perfect drop to accompany your meal, their award winning wine list has certainly got you covered.

To top it off, the staff pride themselves on creating a welcoming, intimate atmosphere that makes you feel like you're dining as part of the family. Only 6-minutes away, this restaurant is a must if your staying at Avenue Hotel. 

Must-try from Italian & Sons:

  • South Coast Sardine Fillets ‘in saor’, a classic sweet and sour Venetian dish, with orange, pine nuts & currants
  • Spaghetti alla Chittara con Granchio, squid ink spaghetti alla chittara, cuttlefish, chilli, caper, samphire & panegrattato
  • Finish it off with a Baked Brioche & Butter ‘Bisciola’,  with davidson plum & almond, amaretto zabaglione. 

Located at 7 Lonsdale Street, Braddon 
Open Tuesday-Friday 12-2pm, 6-10pm, Monday & Saturday 6-10pm
More info at italianandsons.com.au

                         

BentSpoke Brewing Co. 

Images via BentSpoke Brewing Co | City Lane 

Fancy hanging out in a fully functioning brewery after work? BentSpoke Brewing Co. features 18 varieties of beer and cider, all brewed on premise by their award-winning head brewer, Richard Watkins. A must for any solo traveller to visit!

The team at BentSpoke Brewing Co. are passionate and friendly beer lovers who will make you feel welcome and will happily recommend sips to suit your taste. For a well-rounded experience, their food menu is crafted to perfectly match their beers!

We highly recommend the Crankshaft, a medium-bodied IPA with a solid malt finish. Its full flavours made it the highest ranked IPA in the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers Poll for 2018, for the second year in a row! To top it off, this buzzing brewery is located only a short 4-minute walk from the Avenue Hotel. 

Must-try from BentSpoke Brewing Co.:

  • Crankshaft Cob Loaf Dip, with hot cheese, jalapeno and Crankshaft dip, served with brewery-made tortilla chips and pickled onion rings
  • Herb Coated Chicken Burger, crispy and succulent, served with pickled red nut jalapenos, mint slaw, cheese, spicy aioli and hops salt potatoes
  • Big Nut Braised Texas Chilli,  spicy beef served with sour cream, spring onions, cheese, pickled Red Nut jalapenos, rice and flour tortillas.

Located at 48/38 Mort Street, Braddon ACT 2612 
Open Monday-Tuesday 11am-12am
More info at www.bentspokebrewing.com.au

                    

Black Fire 

Images via Black Fire Canberra | Plan Book Travel | Visit Canberra 

If you’re looking to add some heat to your weeknight when travelling alone, Black Fire is a definite must. This multi-award-winning Mediterranean and Spanish restaurant boasts its own signature Sangria, a wood fire oven, and even an open roasting pit where you can watch your food cook behind the glass. With a bustling atmosphere and a menu that champions authentic Mediterrean cuisine inspired by Spanish flavours, Black Fire is a feast for the senses that will keep you wanting more. Located just a short 4-minute walk from the Avenue Hotel. 

Must-try from Black Fire:

  • Start with the Butifarra Blanca, house suckling pig sausage, pine and brown mushrooms, herbs, and freshly made gremolata
  • Wagyu Skirt Steak in Casserole, from the grill, this 300g cut is slow braised in red wine and vegetable panache, and comes with your choice of side and sauce 
  • Chocolate Coulant, made to order, and served with chantilly cream and orange marshmallow.

Located at 48/38 Mort Street, Braddon
Open for Mon to Sun for lunch from 12pm to 2.30pm and dinner from 6pm to late  
More info at www.blackfirecanberra.com.au

                             

Eightysix 

Images via Virgin Australia | Out in Canberra | Broadsheet 

Eightysix is a standout in the Canberran dining scene for its unique and colourful take on modern Australian cuisine. This is a place where you can truly immerse yourself in everything that Canberra has to offer, all while enjoying some of the best food and drink in the region.

Eightysix is set up with cosy booths, chic black walls - making it ideal for an intimate dining experience alone and a great spot for post-work drinks and nibbles. Located in the popular shopping and dining precinct of Braddon, only 6-minute walk from Avenue Hotel.  

Must try Eightysix dishes: 

  • Oxtail Ragu, slow cooked to perfection, served on housemade pappardelle complimented by a zesty gremolata
  • Caramel Popcorn Sundae, a house favourite, broken waffle cone, fresh caramel ice cream, peanut brittle, caramel popcorn 
  • To drink, treat yourself to the Sicilian Hit, vodka, frangelico, vanilla, rosemary, limoncello.

Located at Lonsdale Street & Eloura Street, Braddon
Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, 6pm till 9pm, (10pm on Friday and Saturday), and for breakfast and lunch on the weekends, 9am till 2pm. Closed Mondays.
More info at eightysix.com.au

                     

Akiba  

Images via Akiba

Voted as Australia’s favourite restaurant in 2016, Akiba brings all the liveliness and excitement of East Asian dining halls to Canberra. With wood-fired offerings, delicious local produce and one of the largest sake lists in Australia, Akiba brings people together.

Expect long tables, a buzzing atmosphere, and quality food. It’s no surprise that this restaurant is a choice destination for both locals and travellers looking for a casual yet sophisticated dining experience. Try the 'Feed Me' menu to sample a little of everything on offer at Akiba. Best part of all, you only have to walk 6-minutes down the road from Avenue Hotel to get there. 

Must-try from Akiba:

  • Soft shell Crab Bun, with pickled baby gem squash, and creamy ponzu
  • Vegan Laksa Soup Dumpling,  a People’s Choice Dumpling Winner, and for good reason! These little morsels pack a flavourful punch
  • Beef Short Rib, with a contemporary twist to the classic crowd pleaser, served with tamarind caramel and asain herbs.

Located at 40 Bunda Street, Canberra
Open Sunday-Monday 11:30am-12am, Thursday-Saturday 11:30am-2am
More info at akiba.com.au

      

Dumpling House

Images via Good Food 

The Dumpling House offers exactly that -  tasty dumplings bursting with flavours, set in a simple yet elegant space located at the Canberra Centre, the city’s premier shopping destination. If you're flying solo, take a seat by the kitchen and watch the chefs at work while you indulge in fresh, handmade dumplings.

Their extensive menu also includes hot pots, Asian meat dishes and veggie options as well. Service is quick, meaning you can get in and out without any fuss. The Canberra Centre is about is about a 10-minute walk from Avenue Hotel. 

Must-try from Dumpling House:

  • Prawn and Pumpkin Dumplings,  12 pieces pan fried to perfection, packed with juicy prawn pieces and sweet and earthy pumpkin puree
  • BBQ Pork Bun, marinated pork pieces sandwiched in soft bao buns, served with satay sauce
  • Beef Brisket Hot Pot, flavoursome broth, with melt-in-your-mouth beef brisket. Goes well with their prawn fried rice.

Located at Shop 13c / 148 Bunda Street, Canberra
Open Monday-Sunday 11:30am-3pm, 5-10pm
More info at Dumpling House / Facebook

                       

Lazy Su 

Images via Lazy Su | Out in Canberra | Out in Canberra 

Don't be fooled by the name- there's nothing lazy about this restaurant! With a retro-chic fit out, Tetris lightboxes detailing the spirits list and a wall of lucky cats, Lazy Su is one of the liveliest and bubbliest Asian diners in Canberra and the perfect spot for solo travellers!

Their menu is just as cheeky, unique and vibrant as their interiors. Expect a mashup of Korean, Japanese and American cuisines such as sushi tacos, wagyu cheesesteak spring roll,  and buttermilk fried chicken ramen. 

And if you're looking for a great weekend deal, stop by after 10pm for their Late Night Vibes where you can score $10 cocktails, $6 basics and cheap but tasty small bites, all within a short 6-minute walk from Avenue Hotel. 

Must-try from Lazy Su

  • Su’s Nori Tacos, choose from salmon or miso eggplant, served on a bed of sushi rice, avocado, salsa and mayo
  • Pork Belly Pancakes, braised pork belly with cucumber and kimchi chutney
  • Beef Short-rib Bibimbap, galbi short rib with rice, mixed veggies, Korean pickles, kimchi mayo, ssamjang sauce, topped with a fried egg
  • For dessert, you can’t go past their Matcha Creme Brulee, matcha creme, ginger tuile, green tea ice cream, brioche crumbs.

Located at 1/9 Lonsdale St, Braddon 
Open for Lunch Tues to Sun from 12pm to 3pm; and dinner everyday from 5pm to 10pm
More info at www.lazy-su.com.au

     

Marble and Grain

Last but certainly not least, Marble & Grain’s  casual vibe, sophisticated food, comforting yet contemporary interiors  and top drops continuously draw in the afterwork crowd. Located on the ground floor of the Avenue Hotel, this European steakhouse inspired Gastro pub offers daily happy hours from 4pm to 6pm and a true paddock-to-plate menu.

Pop past at lunch and grab a bite to eat from the $15 lunch specials menu, which is on offer everyday between 12pm and 2pm. The menu changes regularly, but always includes the favourites of chicken schnitzel with M&G potato salad, and the beautifully battered, fish and chips.

Must try Marble & Grain dishes: 

  • Chef’s favourites board, featuring arancini balls, crispy duck kataifi rolls, and halloumi. Great for sharing, even better enjoyed by yourself.
  • Rib Eye Bone, pasture fed Travale Farm served with red wine jus and duck fat roast potatoes. For something extra, try adding some surf to your turf with  tasty yamba prawns
  • Lemon & Finger Lime Tart, topped with torched meringue and served with mascarpone cream. The perfect end to the perfect meal!

Located at 25 Mort Street, Braddon
Open Monday to Friday from 6:30am till late; Sat, Sun & Holidays from 7:00am till late.
More info at  marbleandgrain.com.au