Welcome to the first edition of Food Junky, a round-up of the tastiest food I can get my hands on – all for you. Since we’ve recently welcomed an influx of public service gradlings and new uni students to our fine city this past month, I thought it would be apt to kick off this column with some Canberra staples. My qualifications for this column include once eating a 1kg burrito to win a Mexican wrestling mask (worth it). That’s it.
Coming from Melbourne, I’ve been yearning for a hole-in-the-wall dumpling joint, ideally with cheap Tsing-Tao and rudely efficient staff. I haven’t found any are quite rude enough for me, but CBD Dumpling House brings the cheap eats – even if they’re not open quite late enough for drunken, post-gig dumplings.
Luckily, plenty of places can fill that void, and I’m not just talking the Maccas next to the bus stop. Try Sammy’s Kitchen (quick and delicious Asian food), Eightysix (try the tasting plate) and Bentspoke (mac and cheese balls – that’s all I’ll say).
If you’re not looking for particularly late food, Grease Monkey is one of Canberra’s go-to burger joints. As the name suggests, they’re pretty greasy – perfect for a hangover lunch. If you’re Southside, however, try Brodburger. Brodburger used to be a food truck, but it was so popular, it upgraded and joined the stationary restaurant game. Or as some call it, the uh, restaurant game.
Speaking of the non-stationary restaurant game, if you’re in Braddon, you’ll probably hit The Hamlet at some point. Known as one of the most hipster-friendly locations in Canberra, The Hamlet is food trucks galore – try everything. My personal fave is the Peruvian food truck Mr Papa, which makes a ridiculously good pork belly chanchito (I’m a lapsed vegetarian).
Speaking of Canberra icons, Patissez is famed for its Instagram-friendly freakshakes (try The King), but in my opinion, their donuts, freshly made each day, are the real winners – and just as good-looking if you’re chasing Instagram likes. Creme brulee donut. That is all.
If you’re not up to leaving the house for your sweet treats, try Sugar Deli, which launched only a few weeks ago. All kinds of sugary goodness, delivered to your door – my body is ready.
The Aviary Rooftop Bar is a great venue which is sadly closing down this year – get down there on a Thursday after 5pm for the Thursday Games, featuring tournaments, prizes and sangria, or for their Fridays from 5 – pretty self-explanatory.
Good Food Month is March, by the way. I’m particularly looking forward to dinner Down the Rabbit Hole at White Rabbit, Thursday March 16. The main attraction is sour ales, but there will also be live music and food. $44.77 (yeah, I don’t know why they didn’t round up either) buys you four specialty White Rabbit Sours and canapes.
The 10th annual Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival is a bit more casual: Saturday March 18, 11am–6pm. Over 80 beers and ciders to try – seven hours might not be enough.
Speaking of beer, after you recover from the 80+ beer varieties, Friday March 24 brings us Laneway! Streetfood! Party!, presented by Beer the Beautiful Truth. A $50 ticket will buy you four cans of beer or cider and “substantial” street food items.
That’s it for this time – if you have any tips, shoot us an email at email@example.com.