New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published May 17th 2016
Update April 5th 2017
This cafe has changed its name to Brasserie at the Foreshore.
Get cosy under the blanket on the Kingston Foreshore
The Merchant is a café located on a busy corner on the Kingston Foreshore, a few minutes south of the CBD. The Kingston Foreshore is a strip of modern cafes, restaurants and bars on the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin. At the time of writing, luxury apartment complexes are being built around the foreshore, creating a hub of activity and development for the area.
With over 20 cafes, restaurants and bars along the strip so far, locals and visitors are spoilt for choice in deciding which eatery to dine at. Choose from Thai, Modern Australian, Steaks, Burgers, Asian, Italian, Paleo and a range of modern cafes. If you are after a casual bite to eat with a view, then The Merchant situated on one of the busiest corners on the foreshore, is a good place to start. On a sunny day, look for the large red umbrellas outside the café or the logo of a ship with large anchor on the walls nearby.
With so much construction taking place in the area, The Merchant is often wall to wall with tradies during the week enjoying a hot breakfast, lunch or coffee on their break times. It is also a popular place for cyclists to stop on the weekends, with plenty of room nearby to park their bikes.
Although there are more modern and "edgier" cafes along the foreshore to pick, this café is ideal if you are after a casual visit or quick bite to eat. Friends who live locally have given us mixed reviews of The Merchant in the past, however we decided to give it a try and we weren't disappointed. It is a friendly location to enjoy a chat to the staff behind the counter and find a table with a view. During winter they also provide brightly coloured blankets to put over your legs. For our family, and particularly our daughter who loved the pink blankets, this was the most attractive place to stop for morning tea in the sun, with toasty legs under the table.
The Merchant doesn't have a website or official Facebook page (which is unusual in these times), so there is no menu to browse until you arrive at the café. The menu is extensive for breakfast and lunch with the usual prices for the Kingston Foreshore - which is a little pricier than other areas due to its exclusive lakeside location. The Merchant is particularly popular with an All Day Breakfast menu until 3pm as well as pizzas, paellas and pork sliders for the lunchtime crowd.
There is also a good variety of cakes, slices, muffins and tarts available to choose from to enjoy with a hot pot of tea or latte. Cakes ranged between $5 - $10 and are plated up with cream or ice cream on the side. On our visit there were gale-forced winds swirling around the city, however this sunny spot on the corner was protected by the wind, making it a back-warming suntrap to enjoy a leisurely morning on the foreshore.
Cherry Strudel with icecream and cream ($9.90) and pot of tea ($4)
With so many quality café choices on the Kingston Foreshore, whichever one you choose will have views of the development in full swing and sunny locations lakeside. Although the scenery still includes numerous cranes and scaffolding, it is easy to see how the area will look on completion creating a modern dining and entertainment hub in Canberra.
The Merchant is a casual café to stop and take in the foreshore's vibe. As soon as you arrive, there is something very relaxing about this café and restaurant strip that makes you feel like it's the weekend - all week long.
Sit back and watch the world go by on the sunny Kingston Foreshore