The word "Gastropub" is an interesting one - according to the dictionary, gastropub means "a pub that specialises in serving high-quality food" - and there are certainly plenty of these around Canberra. Although traditional pub food is hearty, huge and delicious, it is also makes a nice change to have something a little more upmarket or creative on your pub plate. Unfortunately the meals are more expensive than the average pub for this reason, however they are similar to the rest of Canberra's restaurant prices. The following is a quick list of 5 popular gastropubs in Canberra - in no particular order. They each have their own unique style, features, food, beer options and views of the sport on TV, so it depends what you look for in a gastropub. We will all have our favourite - which one will be yours?
1/ Public Bar in Manuka are the epitome of a modern gastopub. As you walk in there is the obligatory bar along the back wall, however there are also leafy pots hanging from the roof, stylish subway tiles on the walls, exposed industrial features adorning the roof and more. If this modern décor isn't enough, the food is delicious, with pizza one of the main attractions for families and all ages. See here for the menu and website. For an article on Public Bar, see here.
2/ The Dock is located on the Kingston Foreshore, half way up the waterside row of eateries. This gastropub screams "sports bar", as two of the co-owners are Brumbies and Wallabies forwards Scott Fardy and Ben Alexander. There are numerous TV's around the pub for people to watch their sport, as well as outside picnic benches to enjoy Sunday afternoon on the Kingston Foreshore. With tasty gastropub food, friendly staff, cold cocktails and happy locals, it is a winning gastropub combination. See here for menu and website.
State of Origin at The Dock. Source: The Dock Facebook
3/ Walt and Burley can also be found on the Kingston Foreshore, with its welcoming and spacious interior and exceptional views. This is the perfect spot to warm up by the fireplace in Winter, or relax in the air conditioning in Summer. The meals in this venue are designed to share with a range of delicious options for all tastes. If you sit outside, this gastropub has the best view on the Kingston Foreshore with views over Lake Burley Griffin itself. See here for menu and website.
4/ Bentspoke Brewery is in a league of its own, just off the trendy Lonsdale Street in Braddon. This gastropub takes its beer seriously with 18 varieties of beer and cider available at any one time, all brewed on the premise. Match this with anything off the spicy beer-matching menu and you can't go wrong at this popular venue. This is an ideal place for mates to meet up for a beer due to its wide selection to taste test, plenty of seating upstairs, downstairs and outside - and of course the "grain crusted hot wings" on the side. See here for menu and website.
5/ Hopscotch is a popular gastropub in Lonsdale Street, Braddon, which becomes even more popular later in the evening. This large venue is spacious inside as well as a bustling beer garden outside - complete with modern graffiti and roast on a spit. Enjoy food from their imported wood-fired Argentine Grill - which is perfectly matched with a huge selection of whiskies, craft beers and wines. See here for menu and website.
When people visit Canberra, or move here like myself, there is a time when they look around and say "Where are all the pubs?" Pubs in Canberra are found dotted around the suburbs, more than in the heart of the city. If you talk to a local, they will always have one they recommend over the rest, whether it be for its top steaks, cold beer or $10 schnitzel nights that you just can't beat. The introduction of gastropubs in particular has been a popular one in the Capital City - where the average pub steak gets taken up a level - or few!
Bungendore Rib Eye on the bone 350g with roast quince, deep fried brussel sprouts, truffle mash & red wine jus at The Dock, Kingston Foreshore. Source: The Dock Facebook