Poppy's Café is located next to the Australian War Memorial, in the suburb of Campbell. The café is a short walk to the right of the iconic Memorial, with beautifully crafted sculptures leading up to the entrance.
The Australian War Memorial has two cafes - there is the Landing Place which is located inside the Memorial with dramatic lighting and views down into the museum and Poppy's café, located outside. I had never tried Poppy's before, however a friend suggested we track it down as it as it was a family friendly café with great food, a lot of natural light, plenty of room and colourful décor. This tip proved to be spot on, with the modern café having cosy wooden panelling, high backed chairs covered in colourful wartime prints and large murals on the upper walls. There are also a few TV's around the large café, showing footage from previous ANZAC Day ceremonies and important dignitries who have come to lay wreaths. With highchairs and plenty of seating, it is a large café to explore before you place your order.
The café itself has a selection of wraps, sandwiches and rolls to choose from, as well as muffins, danishes and sweet treats on offer. If you decide to buy something off the menu, there are a number of well priced breakfast and lunch items to choose from (see menu here).
Our family has visited this café a few of times now, after an impressive the first visit. We have stopped by during the week for a coffee and milkshake to rest our feet after exploring the museum and attending their school holiday activities. Due to its large size, there is always plenty of tables and comfy poppy chairs to lean back in and relax.
Our next visit was on a Saturday morning for an early breakfast. The café opens at 8:30am daily and at that time it is frequented by weary exercise enthusiasts who have come back from a run up to the top of Mount Ainslie, located behind the War Memorial. Families also visit early, to take advantage of the space and the "no fuss" food options. For kids there are muffins, toasted croissants, toast or you can add sides to the adult meals so they can enjoy their own sausage, hash brown or bacon, depending on their preference. From the breakfast menu, we have tried the "Toasted sourdough with avocado, rocket & olive oil" for $13, which came with a mountain of rocket and a delicious balsamic dressing over two sourdough toasts with avocado and crumbled feta.
If you wish to sit outside there is plenty of outside seating, with views to the side of the War Memorial, sculptures and fountain. This café is a unique find in Canberra. It is full of thought-provoking wartime history and quirky, modern touches around the large interior. It is an affordable and spacious breakfast and lunch café to unwind in after a morning looking through the War Memorials moving exhibitions.
For us, it is a café that we will return to again, especially when we have visitors to Canberra to show around. It is the ideal place to sit and chat with a coffee whilst looking over at Canberra's iconic Australian War Memorial, just metres from the cafe.