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Where's the Best Outdoor Dining Venue in Canberra?

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by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun! Find me on instagram: @australianrecipesbythebay
Published November 27th 2017
Summertime is a cause for celebration for many Canberrans. The chill of winter is just a memory and we can now celebrate with outdoor activities, evening BBQs by the lake and cold cocktails as the sun sets over the Capital. Although most venues can be enjoyed all year around, some venues are simply perfect for dining alfresco in the warmer months and lighter evenings. As well as the evenings, the mornings are an ideal time to take advantage of the cooler temperatures for walks around the lake, followed by a coffee or breakfast sitting outside under a café umbrella. What better way is there to start the weekend?

The following venues are just some of Canberra's outdoor dining venues that our family have discovered and enjoyed. If you have your own favourite that isn't mentioned, please leave a comment at the top of this article to share your locals tip and summer hotspot. You can never have too many...

kingston foreshore, outdoor dining, summer, outside, el fresco, canberra, ACT, water views, lake burley griffin,
Walk along the Kingston Foreshore and take your pick!


The Kingston Foreshore is a scenic area at the eastern end of Lake Burley Griffin which has a whole row of cafes, restaurants and bars along the waterfront. It is a popular area, particularly in the summer months, as every café has outdoor dining out the front to take advantage of the water views. Some of the most popular venues on the foreshore are Walt and Burley, 38 Espresso, The Dock, Local Press, 7th & Bake Patisserie Café and Beef and Barley.

Snapper on the Lake is a fish and chip outlet, which can be found underneath the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club in Yarralumla. It has outdoor tables with umbrellas, as well as a lawn to lay down a picnic blanket in the shade. See here for details.

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Relax by the lake at Snapper on the Lake

Yarralumla Gallery and the Oaks Brasserie
is located at the entrance of Weston Park, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. This leafy café has a number of outdoor dining areas to choose from (including one which is dog-friendly), next to historical gardens. See here for details.

is café at National Library of Australia which has an outside dining area with views to the lake in the distance. With large umbrellas and a relaxed ambience, it is easy to stay for awhile and enjoy a High Tea or wine by the lake. See here for details.

The Deck at Regatta Point is located next to the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. Its large deck overlooks the lake and has views across to the iconic landmarks in the Parliamentary Triangle. It is arguably the most scenic café in Canberra. See here for details.

the deck, canberra, ACT, outdoor dining, el fresco, cafes, canberra, views, lake burley griffin, ACT,
Walk out onto The Deck at Regatta Point


Lonsdale Street is a popular street of cafes, restaurants and gastro pubs in the suburb of Braddon, just a short walk from the city centre. This industrial street is lined with venues which have outdoor tables so diners can look out to the people walking by. Popular venues are The Hamlet food truck area, Eighty Twenty, Sweet Bones Bakery Cafe, Hopscotch and Bentspoke Brewery down a side street.

Bunda Street is the main road that runs through the city centre and it has a variety of outdoor dining venues to sit and watch the busy street life go by. Popular venues include Akiba, Cream Café and Bar, Sammy's Kitchen, Jamies Italian, Koko Black, Via Dolce and Dobinson's Bakery Café.

Pollen Café is located at the Australian National Botanical Gardens in Acton, with a large outdoor area to enjoy the ambience of the gardens with a healthy breakfast or slice of cake from their delicious display case. See here for details.

Mookie is a Japanese and American-inspired burger joint on Genge Street, just off the main Bunda Street in the city. It has large outdoor tables along the street with shady trees over the top, so you can stay cool and enjoy your burgers and concretes for dessert. See here for details.

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Sit under the trees at Pollen, Australian National Botanical Gardens

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Outdoor dining along Genge Street at Mookie


Kingston and Manuka are two southern suburbs which each have a block of cafes with outside dining areas along the street front. Park your car at either town centre and walk along until you find a favourite. See here for a Kingston map and here for Manuka.

Capital Brewing Co is a family friendly gastropub in the industrial suburb of Fsyhwick. This brewery has a wide range of beers to try inside the brewery/ bar, burgers from Brodburger and lawn games out the front of the venue. There are also Tahitian-style umbrellas and outdoor tables outside the brewery, to keep diners cool in summer. See here for details.

Rodney's Café is located inside Rodney's Plants Plus plant nursery in Pialligo, near Canberra Airport. This venue is popular with families in particular, with outdoor tables under large trees and a playground for the kids. See here for details.

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Stay cool in the shade at Rodney's Cafe

George Harcourt Inn is an English-style pub with large beer garden, found further north in Gungahlin. It is part of the tourist area Gold Creek Village and is a popular place to dine after visiting the tourist attractions nearby. This is the ideal place to spend summer - enjoying live music in arguably Canberra's largest beer garden. See here for details.

Poachers Pantry Smokehouse Restaurant in the Canberra Wine District is a relaxing place to visit in the warmer months, with outdoor tables to enjoy the rural views and delicious food on their menu. See here for details.

Four Winds Vineyard is an award-winning winery with a large outdoor dining area at the back of the Cellar Door, for enjoying wood-fired pizzas each weekend. See here for details.

Is your favourite outdoor dining venue on this list? If not, please make a comment at the top of this article and share your summer favourite. If you spend all week inside at your job or study, why not celebrate summer and dine alfresco this weekend!

four winds vinyard, winery, canberra, canberra wine district, ACT, NSW, murrumbatamen, wine tasting, wood fired pizzas, alfresco, outside dining,
Take a scenic drive to the Canberra Wine District and Four Winds Vineyard

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