New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published April 26th 2017
Surprising hidden gems in Canberra's industrial area
In Canberra, the most popular cafe strips are located on the Kingston Foreshore, Lonsdale Street in Braddon and along Bunda Street in the CBD. These areas have modern and hip cafes, which are busy each weekend with Canberra locals and visitors to the city. One area that isn't well known for its cafes is the humble suburb of Fyshwick. This suburb, just over 10 minutes south of the city, is the industrial area of the city and also has a "red light" element in the back streets. Most people however, visit Fyshwick for their home and trade supplies, to pick up fresh groceries at the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets or do some serious damage to their credit cards at the popular Canberra Outlet Centre.
As well as this, there are at least 5 cafes and eateries which have risen in popularity over the last few years and have locals going back for more. Which ones will become your favs?
Ona Coffee House - one of Canberra's most popular cafes
1/ Ona Coffee House is the most popular cafe in Fyshwick, with crowds of people sitting on their verandah enjoying themselves, 7 days a week. There are many reasons why people visit this cafe - the ambience, the food and the friendly staff - however it is their coffee that has Canberrans talking. Ona source their own coffee ethically from Project Origin (which they also own) and roast the beans on site. Whilst having your coffee you can sit and look through the display window to see the roasting in action. The owner of the cafe, Sasa Sestic, won the World Barista Championships in 2015, projecting the Ona name onto the world stage. For the last two years, one of their talented staff members Hugh Kelly, has also won the Australian Barista Championships two years in a row (2016 & 2017). Why don't you try a cup for yourself? See here for details. For a full article on Ona Coffee House, see here.
2/ Pellegrino's is a family-owned cafe located a short walk from Ona (above). When Ona gets too busy, many people walk up the road to give this modern cafe a try. Pellegrino's has now become a popular cafe in its own right, with a tasty All Day Breakfast and friendly service. Closed Sundays. See here for details.
Enjoy a tasty breakfast or lunch from Pellegrino's. Image: Original photos from Pellegrino's Facebook
3/ The Flute patisserie and cafe is one of Canberra's most popular outlets in Canberra to buy decadent birthday cakes, crusty pies and savoury lunch rolls. The decor reflects a traditional french patisserie with striped awnings outside and french style furniture inside. As this venue is in a busy area during the week, it is only open between Monday and Friday and is cash only. See here for details. For a full article on The Flute, see here.
4/ Box Diner is a 1950's-inspired American Diner located on a back street of Fyshwick, looking out to rural countryside. This colourful cafe is a surprise find, with big juicy American burgers and a fresh and interesting menu. There are outside tables to sit at, as well as indoor seating in the light-filled atrium and a couple of traditional booths. Open Monday to Friday only. See here for details. For a full article on Box Diner, see here.
5/ BSpoke Cafe is located inside Pushy's bike shop, opposite the side entrance to Fyshwick Bunnings. This cafe is always busy, with local workers and tradies lining up for their takeaway coffees each morning - then coming back later for a roll or tasty treat later in the day. Their menu is particularly delicious, with a range of freshly made items at reasonable prices. As well as being busy all week, they are also open on both Saturday and Sunday for those who prefer a more relaxed vibe, before shopping at local department stores or electrical supplies (with Domayne, Amart and The Good Guys all within walking distance). See here for details. For a full article on BSpoke Cafe, see here.
Warm up by the fireplace with good food and coffee at BSpoke Cafe
At first glance, Fyshwick is a busy, noisy, industrial area - however if you ask a few locals, they all know where to go for the best coffee and food. As well as these cafes and eateries, there are dozens more dotted around the suburb. Feel free to leave a comment on the bottom of this article if your favourite isn't mentioned. Fyshwick may not be the first stop on Canberra's foodie trail, however more quality cafes are popping up each year. Once you discover your favourite, you will be going back for more!
Cafes, bakeries and delis at Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets
Silk Cafe on the bend in Cessnock St has been really nice. My husband and I have been there a couple a times and have enjoyed our coffees and snacks. I drink soy coffees and sometimes it can be hit and miss, but they make it well.