If you're anything like me, when the winter chill sets in and it is only a few degrees outside, tracking down a cosy cafe with plenty of heating is a priority when catching up with friends. All of a sudden, as the temperature drops, the larger indoor cafes become more popular - the bigger the better, to ensure you get a table. If you find a café that is spacious, has a cosy atmosphere and has a fireplace - well, you are onto a winner and you should never leave!
These are the best winter cafes that our family have found around Canberra - where is your favourite? Please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your discovery. Winter is the perfect time to walk into a warm café, peel off your puffer jacket and settle in with a hot drink to warm you up from the inside. You can't get much cosier than this...
San Churro Chocolateria is a colourful dessert café located outside of Westfield Woden shopping centre. It is the ultimate café for chocolate lovers, with thick and decadent Belgium hot chocolates and plates of churros, cakes and cheesecakes to share - or eat on your own. There is plenty of seating inside to completely escape winter and get your weekend chocolate fix! This venue is ideal for catching up with friends before a movie at Hoyts, date-night desserts and family treats. See here for details.
The Food Co-Op Café is located near the Australian National University (ANU) in the city and it is one of the cosiest cafes you will ever find. When you walk in the door, the smells of hearty cooking fills the air and there are couches to fall into and colourful areas to sit. Each weekday from midday they have a big pot of a delicious vegan, gluten-free meal to dish out for $8 a bowl, with winter warming soups, daals, curries or other vegetarian fare. If you have some work to do on your laptop, then stay for awhile and order an organic coffee and enjoy the community atmosphere. See here for details.
Monster Kitchen and Bar is a completely different dining experience, located inside the Nishi Building in the NewActon Precinct, just a few minutes out of the city centre. This modern café, restaurant and bar ticks off the "cosy" requirement - with a number of modern fireplaces positioned around the dining areas to warm diners up as they eat. It is also particularly spacious, with different areas to sit and cosy nooks to settle into. The Nishi Building is an environmentally sustainable building, so the lighting is low in all areas, creating an even cosier and inviting area to stay for awhile. See here for details. If you are looking for more cosy venues with fireplaces, see the articles 10 Cafes, Pubs & Wineries with Fireplaces Part 1 and Part 2.
Lonsdale Street Roasters 7 is a café located on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, just a short walk up from the city centre. From the outside it doesn't look too big, however when you walk in the door you are enveloped by the comforting smell of coffee and sounds of happy people enjoying themselves. When you walk upstairs it is a surprise to find a spacious seating area with eclectic furniture, good music, funky décor and floor-to-ceiling windows which look down onto the street. Our family enjoy relaxing in this upstairs area over coffee and catching up with friends, with some of the best coffee in Canberra. When you look at the wind howling outside the window and you don't want to leave - just order another coffee! See here for details.
Warm up with coffee and cake upstairs at Lonsdale Street Roasters 7, Braddon
Elk and Pea Eating House is a café and restaurant located at the other end of Lonsdale Street, from the café above. As soon as you walk in the door you understand where it got its name, with elk heads on the walls and colourful peacock murals which catch your eye. This popular café is eclectic and inviting, especially if you walk to the back of the café and are seated in the back area, underneath paintings on the ceiling and low lighting. Although it is warm and cosy for breakfast and lunch, the low lighting and well-stocked bar makes this an even cosier venue for a romantic dinner for two. See here for details.
Espresso Room at South.Point Tuggeranong shopping centre is a popular café all year around, however if you visit in winter and on the weekend it is literally pumping! There are lines out the door for takeaway coffees and the tables fill up fast in the cosy area behind. The combination of delicious coffee, tasty food and friendly baristas, makes Espresso Room a favourite in every location in Canberra. See here for details.
Where is your favourite café to escape winter and "chill out" - but still stay warm? Please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your favourite. Sharing a meal or catching up with friends over a coffee, is one of the best ways to make the most of the cosy months in Canberra. Where will you be meeting up with friends this weekend?