An industrially cool strip of cafes, restuarants & food vans
When I talk to Canberra locals about somewhere to enjoy a tasty meal unlike anywhere else - Lonsdale Street in Braddon always comes up in conversation.
Only a short walk from Canberra's CBD, Lonsdale Street is an eclectic mix of industrial style restaurant's, cafes with pallet seating, designer op shops, outdoor adventure factory outlets, bars, a brewery, vegan bakeries, children's toy shops - all mixed in with the original car industry in the street. There are busy carwashes and mechanic shops side-by-side with modern, industrial, new cafes - making this a busy and entertaining street to sit back and just enjoy.
Autolyse Café and Bakery...right next to Repco part supplies - showing the new and old Lonsdale Street side-by-side.
Inside this Ori building (above) is one of the most unique ice cream places in Canberra. Fruggi Dessert Laboratory sells icecreams and gelatos with no artificial flavours, made by one of the owners John Marshall. Along with popular flavours he makes, he is also not afraid to try something different. For the World Curry Festival this year he created butter chicken icecream, which had people lining out the door for more.
Frugii's desserts have Canberra talking, and you can see why..
In contrast to the sleek lines of this building, there are industrial looking cafes with pallet furniture outside many of cafés. The most popular and impressive being The Lonsdale Street Roasters - for breakfast, brunch and gourmet sandwiches. Known for their delicious coffee they make themselves in this street, this creative business also creates paninis and pastries. See their Facebook for updated menu and info.
They also have other projects, pop up locations and cafe's down the road at No.7, see their other Facebook page for updates.
On the corner near the roundabout, opposite a car wash, is another popular spot for breakfast called Eighty/Twenty with a healthy philosophy of eating 80% healthy, and leaving 20% for the not-so-healthy treats. With this healthy vision it is easy to see why this café is always busy, especially for breakfasts.
Next door, Sweet Bones has its own style with a rock 'n' roll theme, handcrafted organic vegan cakes and breakfast dishes. It is a wholly vegan café and bakery making delicious and healthy food using cruelty free ingredients. Winning a Canberra website's "People Choice Award for Best Café 2014" award shows that it has a huge following for their tasty meals. It has recently moved to this sunny spot further along Lonsdale avenue, making this café even more attractive for locals.
Down a side street is BentSpoke Brewing Company, recently winning the AHA (ACT Hospitality Awards) award for "Best New Venue 2015" in Canberra. With 18 beers to choose from made on site, you are spoilt for choice as you match them with their modern pub menu food. Such items include hot chicken wings, pork belly burger, scotch fillet and texas chilli.
When I mentioned BentSpoke Brewing Company to friends, one commented "Oh yes, I could go there every night of my life if I could"...not a bad rap.
BentSpoke Brewing Company - a microbrewery quiet in the morning, busy by lunch.
This cool place back on Lonsdale street is called The Schnitzel Haus, with chicken schnitzels "that tastes like it's straight from grandma's oven". With 12 signature schnitzels in chicken, veal or pork, their schnitzels are carefully oven-baked making them extra crispy. Once again, another busy spot for lunch and dinner.
It is situated next door to Hopscotch, with a large beer garden to enjoy the many whiskies on offer in the evening with food from their Wood Fired Argentine Grill.
As you walk along you will know you have reached The Hamlet by the amazing smells coming from the food trucks. The Hamlet is a collection of food trucks and pop up shops from local designers and is a highlight of the street. This collection of businesses will change over time in this temporary space, however at the time of writing they have people lined up for their tasty food and delicacies'. There is Peruvian street food, American hotdogs, roast rolls, greek street food, indian traditional food, german sausages, waffles...once you smell the food you just have to stop.
Lonsdale Street is constantly evolving and changing for the better. With new creative shops opening up, edgy cafes throwing open their doors and a new apartment buildings and café spaces being constructed (such as Nibu apartments, opposite the Ori building), it is an exciting place to visit time and time again.
Where else can come out in the evening and have spicy chicken wings and craft beer for entrée, Peruvian street food for dinner, enjoy a butter chicken ice cream for dessert, then sit back with a whisky….all in one street.
An unusual combination, but anything is possible in Lonsdale street, Braddon.
Come on in and try it out. Elk and Pea, one of the many cafes to try out in Lonsdale st.