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 is a live sports and entertainment promising customers a great time. The venue covers all major sporting events. Fans gather, grab a burger, pizza, or plate of wings, and cheer on their team. Celebrate happy hour Monday to Thursday and enjoy specials Fridays. Also enjoy meal deals some days of the week. Check out social media for events, including live music.
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.”
Zeytin Turkish Cuisine is all about expanding the horizons of Turkish cuisine in Canberra beyond Halal Snack Packs and doner kebabs. Their menu draws on traditional flavours with a modern twist, featuring Turkish meze plates and banquets to share, grilled meats, seafood, salads with wine and imported Turkish raki and beer. With opulent interior decor and a passionate head chef with many years of experience in Canberra under his belt, Zeytin is serving up delicious Turkish like you’ve never had it before.
On Google, happy customer Charlotte Goodwin writes, “This is an absolute amazing ! The whole experience was wonderful, from the delicious food to the incredibly friendly service – couldn’t recommend enough!”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 and the best bands for bookings and events Canberra 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.