Brunch for days – Canberra

Now I know it’s recommended that we all eat three main meals a day (with some healthy snacks in between)…. But there’s something so right about putting together your breakfast and lunch every now and then.

Brunch is by far my favourite mealtime and on the rare occasion (e.g. a lazy weekend or a weekday off) that I have the opportunity to go out for brunch, I take it! I must admit that since finishing exams for the year, brunch has become a more regular mealtime for me and I love it.

My time in Canberra is coming to an end for now as I will be heading home to Melbourne for the start of Summer and then jetting off around the country to do my dietetics placements. So what better way to wrap up my Canberra life than to check out some favourite café’s I’ve discovered throughout the year?

Have a look below for my reviews on some foodie hotspots around the nation’s capital.

(Sorry guys but I’m not a coffee drinker so can’t really comment on the coffee)

Gus’s Café, Civic

I discovered Gus’s Café earlier this year and have been back quite a few times since.

Service: Great service during their down time, very friendly staff. Can be a little slack on weekends or weekdays during lunchtime as they are very busy.

Tea: They put a little too much loose leaf tea in the pot so try drinking it quick as you can’t take the leaves out when it’s done!

Food: Amazing and always fantastic quality.
All-time favourites are the French Toast with candied pecans, banana and salted caramel sauce. Perfect for a filling, winter brunch.
The seasonal fruits with homemade coconut and cranberry granola (with cinnamon yoghurt and honey) would have to be a summertime favourite.
If you’re picky about your poached eggs, order these with caution. Yet to get a perfectly poached egg here.. Usually they are overdone and when I’ve asked for a runny yolk, I get a runny egg white too.

Vibe: Very homely and warm.

Rating: 8/10

photo (65)

Guss cafe

Elk & Pea, Braddon

In the heart of Braddon (or as I refer to it, ‘the cool suburb in Canberra’), this café suits the inner-city suburb’s vibe perfectly.
I love the atmosphere at Elk & Pea as well as their fantastic menu. Although they have some odd alcoholic beverages on the breakfast menu that I have never been game enough to try.

Service: Great service, friendly and attentive.

Tea: The mismatched tea-ware completely sold me! Don’t even remember whether they used loose leaf tea or a tea bag, but I don’t care.

Food: Lovely!
Poached eggs (while I did ask for a soft yolk when I ordered) where perfect on thick sourdough bread.
I also ordered their coconut and cinnamon infused bircher muesli with poached pear compote and toasted nuts – very yum.

Great presentation of food. Overall was very impressed.

Vibe: Alternative and cool

Rating: 9/10

elk and pea eggs

elk and pea muesli

Farmers Daughter, Yarralumla

Recommended by a dietitian and fellow foodie, I attended this café on a weekday and while there were work folk coming and going for takeaway coffees, the sit down café side to the café was quiet and comfortable.

Service: Friendly

Tea: Big pot of tea made Jenna a happy customer!

Food: I’ve only been there once and I ordered the French Toast with crostoli, mandarin and golden syrup infused ice cream. My description will never do it justice. It was AMAZING! Presentation was also fantastic.

Vibe: Quirky, yet prestige.

Wish I had the chance to get out to Yarralumla a bit more to try this café more than once.

Rating: 8.5/10

farmers daughter

Maple + Clove, Barton

At the start of Spring I trialled Maple + Clove … Now the new summer menu is available so I had to go back (a couple times) to taste test the new menu.
This café is very upper-class being part of Hotel Realm in Barton and swarms with suited up professionals running in and out for take aways coffees, smoothies and wholefood snacks. Their whole menu is just that; whole. From wholegrains such as quinoa to superfood smoothies such as the ‘Ultimate Green Smoothie’. Maple + Clove also use low GI sweeteners such as agave, instead of your typical honey and the café has a great range of products for sale such as wholesome snacks, creative salads and also packaged products like tea, chocolate and even cookbooks.

Service: Meh. Sorry to say that some of the waiting staff don’t have a clue about specifics on their menu. Have been quite a few times and found this most of the time.

Tea: Yum. Chai tea with frothy milk and a dash of sweetener was so yum.

Food: Great food ideas using wholesome ingredients. Kind of small portions for their price but nonetheless very yum.
Green smoothie and the choc almond smoothie were very nice. The salted caramel smoothie (while not very salty or caramelly) made with banana, dates and a pinch of salt was so good.
Poached eggs – didn’t’ even need to ask for a soft yolk and they were perfect.

Vibe: Sophisticated and upper-class. Very much in to the latest fads diet-wise (e.g. organic, superfoods, wholefoods, low GI sweeteners)

Rating: 7/10

maple clove

maple and clove french toast

maple and clove ss

Lonsdale St Roasters, Braddon

Small cafe very well-known around Canberra for it’s fantastic coffee. When I went in the late morning on a weekday there were SO many people running in and out for take away coffees. Doesn’t seem like the place to go for a wide variety of meals, however I was determined to check it out.

Service: Despite being one of the busiest cafes with takeaway coffee orders coming out of their ears, the service for those who were sitting down enjoying some food or some chill out time was really good.

Tea: Actually ordered a skim chai latte, not a tea. Very nice.

Food: Not the biggest breakfast menu. Small variety of foods. While I have only tried the nutella toastie with banana, it was yum.

Vibe: Alternative and very busy. Seems to be a favourite place for the full time workers to pop in on a coffee run. Also a very small cafe

Rating: 7/10

lonsdale st roasters

Kingston & Co, Belconnen

In between Target and Max Brenner at Belconnen Westfield this café has a great window of snacks for takeaway and you can also sit down and be served from the menu.

Service: Good service. Standard.

Food: Great variety. I ordered the poached eggs on toast with a side of spinach. Think they forgot to wash the spinach before sautéing it as it tasted like I was eating dirt.

Vibe: Casual and comfortable

Rating: 6.5/10

Café on Benjamin, Belconnen

This new café at Belconnen Westfield opened up in Winter this year and is on the Benjamin Way entrance of the shopping complex.

Service: I should cut them some slack as they are relatively new, but I have been there a few times now whether it is for a take away tea or a sit down brunch and they still don’t seem like a professional café with their stuff sorted.

Tea: I guess you can’t really go too wrong with a tea bag in water with a dash of milk.

Food: Great variety on the menu. Was pretty happy with the poached eggs on toast I got (asked for a soft yolk when ordering). Others I was with were not exactly raving about their meal.
P.S. If the menu says ‘served with an English muffin’, don’t serve it with a bread roll – this happened twice.

Vibe: Modern and corporate

Rating: 5/10

While I could go on all day about cafe’s in Canberra and their brunch menu’s, I better stop here.

What’s your favourite thing to eat when out for brunch?

– Jenna


5 thoughts on “Brunch for days – Canberra

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