Canberrans love the lake. They also love precincts packed with lively bars, cool cafes, vibrant restaurants, coffee shops and more. The Kingston Foreshore, on Lake Burley Griffin, is such a destination. It’s Canberra’s only urban waterside community, just four kilometres or so from the city and close to the Parliamentary Triangle.
If you’ve ever been to the Kingston Foreshore, you’ll know you’re spoiled for choice. In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a Kingston Foreshore restaurant or bar, and share where to find the best in the area.
What makes a great Kingston Foreshore restaurant or bar?
Choosing the right Kingston Foreshore restaurant or bar can be exciting, given the large number operating. You can just wander around the area and suss matters out or check out websites to narrow your search.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a Kingston Foreshore restaurant.
- Style of food and drink. You’ll want to choose a restaurant or bar catering to the type of food and drink you’re after. On the food side, options include Italian, Asian, Turkish and Modern Australian and even pub grub. On the drink side, options include Beer, wine, cocktails and superb coffee? The world is your oyster at the Kingston Foreshore.
- Dietary requirements. Most venues on the Kingston Foreshore cater for special dietary requirements. Many offer vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
- Atmosphere. While the Kingston Foreshore is vibrant, not all restaurants and bars have the same atmosphere. Some are family oriented, some are sports bars, some best suited to a quiet dinner.
- Location. You might be hanging out for sun or a venue with a large outdoor area offering shade. You’ll certainly enjoy the views of the water. The Kingston Foreshore also has plenty of parking.
- Service. You’ll want service with a smile by friendly, efficient staff. Some venues focus on fast service. Others offer long, leisurely dining.
The best Kingston Foreshore restaurants and bars
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
With gorgeous beer gardens and lakeside views, Magoo’s Café and Bar is friendly and welcoming. It’s a perfect spot to catch a bite, enjoy a drink, catch up with friends for cocktails, or gather to get your adrenaline pumping watching sports on big TV screens.
The venue is divided into three comfortable zones—indoors, outdoors under cover and an outdoor beer garden. Heaters keep customers toasty warm on cooler days. Lights twinkle at night, and with fake grass areas in the beer garden, you can even bring along your furry friends!
Magoo’s offers breakfast (Saturday and Sunday), lunch and dinner, and the kitchen is able to cater for all dietary needs. Specials are offered select days of the week, like Magoo’s famous Wednesday Schnitty day. To keep taste buds dancing, Magoo’s updates its pub-style menu regularly. Dishes have included XO octopus, beef Wellington tacos, dry-aged sirloin, bruschetta, coconut prawn skewers and burgers. The fries are great.
Supporting local, Magoo’s pours good natured brews, including from Capital Brewing Co. Bar staff shake things up with colourful cocktails. The wine list offers great selection and value. Enjoy happy hour daily from 5pm to 6pm.
Magoo’s is a big community supporter. Emergency Services Personnel get 10 per cent off their bill, as a special thanks for their incredible work.
On Google, Mark Turner wrote, “Wonderful little venue on the Kingston Foreshore. Great vibe, good music (including live music) with some of the tastiest food going around … A fantastic place to take your friends and loved ones.”
The Dock Kingston, located on the Kingston Foreshore is one of Canberra’s most loved & celebrated venues, winning Canberra’s best Sports & Entertainment Venue six years straight and Canberra’s Best Pub in 2021.
The Dock’s atmosphere is what makes it special. The Pub is always busy, with a happy buzz, friendly staff & a lot of smiling locals enjoying this pub’s many offerings. The lake views, live acoustic music, sport showing from every vantage point, dog friendly beer garden, local wines & cocktails & delicious food cater for everyone’s tastes & really bring the venue together.
On Google, Kaspar Lucattini wrote, “This is a proper local pub in a perfect location. The food is amazing and the tap beer range is spot on.”
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Beef and Barely has a laid-back atmosphere and comforting menu. This venue is famous for its line-up of burgers. Customers flock to Beef and Barley for its one-of-a-kind burger high tea. All-day sharing plates are also available. Customers can play board games or watch big screen tvs while enjoying a meal, beers, cocktails or wine.
Maddy Hayen wrote on Google, “Very delicious and very speedy service and delivery.”
The dishes at Bean and Table are brunch goals. The fresh, seasonal menu offers all the classics, like B&T roll, smashed avo and sauteed mushrooms. Vegan and gluten-free options available. Bean and Table supports local businesses and suppliers. They partner with Canberra’s talented artisans for their bread, coffee, small goods, fruit and vegetables. Open seven days.
Karen Porter wrote on Google, “Yummy food with friendly staff. I had the vegetarian option and it was great.”
Award-winning Morks creates inventive, contemporary Thai food, beautifully plated and professionally served. Dishes change with the seasons and have included BBQ pork buns, Angel prawns, curries and 12-hour beef short ribs. For dessert, try Mork’s fried ice cream. Indoor and outdoor dining available.
On Google, Boris Grundler wrote, “The food is always delicious and full of taste no matter what you choose, and there is a nice and large choice of drinks, with or without alcohol.”
Simple yet satisfying. That’s the curated menu at Molto Italian. Dishes showcase the perfect mix of modern and traditional Italian cuisine. Molto Italian celebrates the joy of Italian food and culture, complete with the aesthetic appeal of a modern seaside trattoria. On the menu are hand-cut pastas, traditional wood-fired pizzas, and other inspirational dishes.
Seus Kudueramae wrote on Google, “Nothing much to say about this Italian restaurant besides ‘superb’. Love the pizza and fresh pasta.”
As its name implies, La Rustica is about rustic and authentic Italian cuisine. Classic Italian dishes, like handmade gnocchi with a rich tomato and basil sauce, feature on the large and varied menu. Pizzas are a highlight. La Rustica is a family friend restaurant with great lake views. The interior, complete with high ceilings, is warm and inviting.
Jock Murray wrote on Google, “Large portions and yummy food. Great friendly family business with a fantastic atmosphere.”
If you’re looking for more information on what’s happening at the Kingston Foreshore, you might like our articles on how to see Kingston differently, best bands for bookings and events or the best bars and restaurants in Kingston.
Or, if you’re looking for more dining options around Canberra, check our articles on the best restaurants in Woden, the best fine dining restaurants, best casual dining restaurants, best gluten-free restaurants, the best vegan restaurants, the best restaurants in North Canberra and the best restaurants in South Canberra.
And for more information on different cuisines, read through our articles of the best Italian restaurants, the best Yum Cha restaurants, the best Japanese restaurants, the best Vietnamese restaurants, the best ramen restaurants, the best Indian restaurants, the best Thai restaurants, the best Turkish restaurants, the best Asian fusion restaurants and the best Malaysian restaurants our city has to offer.
Your experience with restaurants and bars at the Kingston Foreshore
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the Kingston Foreshore restaurants and bars listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is there to do at the Kingston Foreshore?
There’s loads to do at the Kingston Foreshore. Drink, eat and be merry at the many restaurants, bars and cafes. Walk the boardwalk. Meander through the shops. Head to nearby parks and wetlands. Take a ride with Go Boat. Sit in the sun and enjoy an ice cream. The Kingston Foreshore’s restaurants and bars are also close to the Old Bus Depot Markets and Canberra Glassworks.
What type of restaurants are at the Kingston Foreshore?
Everyone finds something tolove at the Kingston Foreshore. The precinct has family-friendly restaurants, coffee spots, pubs, bars and more formal dining venues. Some places are small and intimate; others larger with more buzz.
What type of cuisine can I get at the Kingston Foreshore?
The Kingston Foreshore has all food lovers covered. Cuisines include Thai, Italian, Indian, Turkish, modern Australian and pub-grub. You'll also find a patisserie, coffee shops and more.
Is it expensive to eat and drink at the Kingston Foreshore?
Prices vary from place to place. Some venues are cheap and cheerful. Others offer a more fine-dining experience.
Is there parking at the Kingston Foreshore?
There’s lot of parking in the area, including some free parking.