New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published July 20th 2015
Update June 8th 2017
This venue is now closed.
Update December 26th 2016
This whole venue, which was designed as a temporary food truck area, is due to close in April 2017.
Food Trucks, Rooftop Bar & Drive-Thru coffee
Have you noticed a stack of yellow shipping containers in the car park at on the western side of Commonwealth Park, as you have driven past?
This is Westside Acton Park - a pop up village of modern, industrially designed coffee stalls, food vans, bars as well as a basketball court, sports area and events stage. With an inner city, grungy vibe, it has attracted an increase of locals and tourists each week - which is sure to peak during Floriade and Summer each year.
Westside Acton Park opened in March 2015 with the aim of utilising the scenic, unused space next to Lake Burley Griffin for something new and dynamic that this city has never seen. The ACT Government joined forces with local collaborative "Stromlo Stomping Grounds" (a collaboration of local designers and food and beverage providers) to create Stage 1 of Westside Acton Park. Stages 2 and 3 will evolve over the coming years - with new areas added and parts of the current village packed up and moved elsewhere.
Artists impression of how Westside Acton Park would be utilised. Image courtesy of Westside Acton Park's Facebook page.
With new eateries literally "popping up" all the time, the village is evolving and growing. At the time of writing there is Aviary Rooftop - a rooftop bar with Happy Hour, Open Mic nights, cocktails, live music, funky pallet furniture and the best views over the lake and village.
They also run Courtside Bar downstairs if you prefer to stay at ground level and enjoy a beverage or two.
Aviary by night. Photo courtesy of their Facebook page.
Downstairs there is Miss Van's Vietnamese, Laos and Thai food. When we visited on a Saturday lunch time, this was one of the most popular food vans and we could see why. Their $8 five spice pork roll was the taste of Asia packed into a roll - delicious. As we waited for them to be made, cyclists from the bike path and locals came in to buy their own and enjoy eating them in the winter's sun.
With specials such as these, this Food Truck will always be popular...
Massaman lamb shank - slow braised lamb shank in thai massaman curry with coconut milk. served with steamed jasmine rice, beanshoots, fresh asian herbs crushed peanuts. Source: Miss Van's Facebook page.
There is also The One Food Truck which sells gourmet sandwiches, tacos and wings slow cooked with their own unique blends of flavours. Habibiz which serves charcoaled chicken and healthily cooked Middle Eastern food, Damn Fine Roasters Food truck which sells "damn fine" coffee, hotdogs, nachos and has a drive -thru coffee option.
O'So Smoothie and Juice truck (with vegan and dairy-free options) will be popular in Summer and La Crepe And Dana Indian will be coming soon (at the time of writing). This list will constantly change with more options "popping up", so check their website to see the updated list.
Westside Acton Park is also designed with sporting events and concerts in mind. It has already been utilised by BMX competitions, school holiday BMX coaching groups, Street Football, DJ's, Bike Polo comps, Street Basketball, live music and more events planned for the future. With a skate/snowboard pop up shop and a BMX store soon, this complex has everything covered.
Basketball hoops, skate ramps and plenty of room for kids to ride their scooters...
Westside Acton Park now holds weekly Sunday markets 10am - 4pm, alongside several other weekly markets held across the city.
Image courtesy of the Westside Acton Park Facebook page.
With plans for Night Markets and other events to coincide with Floriade's yearly Nightfest, it will be a popular hub of activity in the evenings each September/October. Check their Facebook page for updated details closer to the time.
I have driven past Westside Acton Village several times and have been meaning to go in and experience this pop up village for myself. Now that I have, I will be back with friends to take advantage of the delicious smelling food from the Food Trucks, have a drink at the Rooftop Bar, enjoy the funky vibe and browse for bargains at the Sunday Markets.
With such an exciting village about to keep evolving for the better, it will surely be a popular place to relax when the weather warms up, on those long leisurely nights.
Roll on Summer!
Views of Lake Burley Griffin from Aviary Rooftop bar. Source: Aviary Facebook page.