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The Best Coffee Shops In Canberra

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The neighbourhood coffee shop means different things to different people. For some, it’s a place to get caffeinated and get to work. For others, it’s somewhere to catch up with old friends over an inventive breakfast. And sometimes, it’s a much-needed twenty-minute break from a hectic schedule.

Whatever a coffee shop means to you, if you are looking for a new go-to in Canberra and surrounding regions, you have landed in the right place.

We asked Canberra’s residents to share their favourite coffee shops, where they go for a seriously good cup of coffee and maybe an eggs Benedict come Sunday. Now, the results are in.

In this article, we’ll reveal the top three coffee shops in Canberra according to the locals. Let’s get started.

What makes a great coffee shop?

Comparing coffee shops but not sure how to narrow down your top picks? We have you covered. Keep an eye out for the following traits:

  • Excellent coffee. First things first – the coffee. The best coffee shops take their coffee seriously. Whether you order a short black or latte, the coffee should be bold, smooth, and full-flavoured.
  • Delicious food. Hungry? Excellent coffee shops serve up a selection of tasty treats alongside their range of hot drinks.
  • Passionate staff. Dedicated staff are ready to do what it takes to ensure you have a relaxed, enjoyable experience.

The top coffee shops in Canberra according to you

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 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.

Without further ado, here are the top coffee shops in Canberra, according to you, the locals.

Rye

Situated on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, Rye is a local hotspot that’s open daily for breakfast and lunch. Serving up specialist coffee and fresh, simple, delicious food, the passionate team is ready and willing to go above and beyond to make your café experience as enjoyable as possible. Some evenings Rye is open for wine and small plates, so keep an eye out.

Mocan and Green Grout

Mocan and Green Grout is a cosy, quirky, eclectic venue with an open kitchen and homely interior. The coffee shop’s dedicated team offers up a simple menu of beautiful, handcrafted fare that’s sure to hit the spot, whether you’re there for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (available Tuesday to Saturday). The coffee at Mocan and Green Grout is fair trade, locally roasted, and expertly prepared.

Two Before Ten

Tucked away in the sheltered courtyard of Hobart place is Two Before Ten, an artisan coffee house serving up impressive brews and inventive café meals in a trendy, light-filled space. Two Before Ten caters to the caffeine-hungry morning business crowd and lazy Sunday brunch-goers. If you’re after a really good coffee or quick and tasty treat, head to Two Before Ten – you just can’t go wrong.

Who did you pick?

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Which is your go-to coffee shop in Canberra? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.


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59 Responses to The Best Coffee Shops In Canberra
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TorrensTom TorrensTom 7:03 pm 30 May 15

I tried ONA in Manuka yesterday after reading many favourable comments about it here – VERY disappointing. I ordered a small Cappuccino; it was $3.50, which is a fair price, but came in the SMALLEST CUP I’ve ever seen! The coffee wasn’t even particularly good – overly milky and not much flavour. I expected better and won’t be going back 🙁

Ezy Ezy 10:04 am 30 May 15

Rollersk8r said :

Masquara said :

LSR make OK coffee but their “attitude” approach is weird. In the good cafes in San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Melbourne, Brisbane – all the baristas are chill and friendly. LSR’s behind-the-counter hauteur is mystifying. Wrecks their coffee – along with the too-loud music at breakfast time.

Indeed.

We go through 1kg of beans a month at home @ $40-something a time. Have been a loyal customer of LSR for over a year. But last time I waited 15 minutes in line *just to buy beans* and got a shrug at the counter: “Yeah, well, we’re out of pretty much everything. Can’t sell you more than 250g”.

Fine then. Business permanently taken elsewhere.

You are in luck – soon to open Barrio in the Ori building in Braddon also sells coffee online and offers free delivery as well. I have some beans on the way for home filter http://www.barriocc.com

Hit up Sam and have a chat about a subscription service. Can I also suggest you break down your 1kg into 500g? Fresh is always best 🙂

rosscoact rosscoact 6:56 pm 29 May 15

Rollersk8r said :

Masquara said :

LSR make OK coffee but their “attitude” approach is weird. In the good cafes in San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Melbourne, Brisbane – all the baristas are chill and friendly. LSR’s behind-the-counter hauteur is mystifying. Wrecks their coffee – along with the too-loud music at breakfast time.

Indeed.

We go through 1kg of beans a month at home @ $40-something a time. Have been a loyal customer of LSR for over a year. But last time I waited 15 minutes in line *just to buy beans* and got a shrug at the counter: “Yeah, well, we’re out of pretty much everything. Can’t sell you more than 250g”.

Fine then. Business permanently taken elsewhere.

Yep. That’s a similar story except we go through a kilo a week. It was a no thanks, we don’t want your business.

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 4:39 pm 29 May 15

Masquara said :

LSR make OK coffee but their “attitude” approach is weird. In the good cafes in San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Melbourne, Brisbane – all the baristas are chill and friendly. LSR’s behind-the-counter hauteur is mystifying. Wrecks their coffee – along with the too-loud music at breakfast time.

Indeed.

We go through 1kg of beans a month at home @ $40-something a time. Have been a loyal customer of LSR for over a year. But last time I waited 15 minutes in line *just to buy beans* and got a shrug at the counter: “Yeah, well, we’re out of pretty much everything. Can’t sell you more than 250g”.

Fine then. Business permanently taken elsewhere.

dungfungus dungfungus 12:29 pm 29 May 15

Pencil said :

Two Hands in Fyshwick make a good strong flat white. I like the vibe in there as well

……and the lack of MAMILs.

Masquara Masquara 7:32 pm 28 May 15

LSR make OK coffee but their “attitude” approach is weird. In the good cafes in San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Melbourne, Brisbane – all the baristas are chill and friendly. LSR’s behind-the-counter hauteur is mystifying. Wrecks their coffee – along with the too-loud music at breakfast time.

Pencil Pencil 4:49 pm 28 May 15

Two Hands in Fyshwick make a good strong flat white. I like the vibe in there as well

bryansworld bryansworld 3:58 pm 22 May 15

rubaiyat said :

bryansworld said :

Same here. I will walk past them and into one that serves coffee in reusable cups.

Cool, I don’t feel so alone with my attitude now!

Whatever happened to the customer is always right?

I loath those plastic throw away cups with the baby spout, and always insist on a regular porcelain cup, but not infrequently they ignore your request.

Particularly the coffee chains. They know what we “need”.

We “need” to trash our planet or we will be unable to maintain our lifestyle!

They “need” to trash the planet by exploiting externalities to keep making profit, because its free money for them. It’s only dangerous to say in Australia because we seem to have lost touch with reality, but we need a price on carbon.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 1:50 pm 22 May 15

bryansworld said :

Same here. I will walk past them and into one that serves coffee in reusable cups.

Cool, I don’t feel so alone with my attitude now!

Whatever happened to the customer is always right?

I loath those plastic throw away cups with the baby spout, and always insist on a regular porcelain cup, but not infrequently they ignore your request.

Particularly the coffee chains. They know what we “need”.

We “need” to trash our planet or we will be unable to maintain our lifestyle!

bryansworld bryansworld 10:55 am 22 May 15

Maya123 said :

bryansworld said :

Ezy said :

bryansworld said :

On a related issue, there are a lot of take away coffees drunk on this planet. I understand that the vast majority of takeaway paper cups have a plastic lining, which means they cannot be recycled at our current recycling facilities in Australia. Where in Canberra uses cups that are recyclable here?

Get yourself one of these: http://www.keepcup.com.au

Got one, and use it when I can. Spread the word! But, still amazed at the number of non-recyclable cups that we as a collective must churn through. Particularly saddened by the cafes that have decided that completely disposable is the way to go. I try to avoid these ones. Must be financially better for a business to not have to wash up?

“Particularly saddened by the cafes that have decided that completely disposable is the way to go. I try to avoid these ones.”

Same here. I will walk past them and into one that serves coffee in reusable cups.

Cool, I don’t feel so alone with my attitude now!

CJ CJ 7:15 am 22 May 15

My only complaint with Lonsdale Street Roasters over many visits in past years was that the coffee was almost always lukewarm by the time it arrived at our table. Taste-wise it was fine, with good body and balance, and the selection of beans to take home was excellent. I second a previous poster re the Johnny Cash blend.

MattLowe MattLowe 11:53 pm 21 May 15

2 B4 10

Maya123 Maya123 10:04 pm 21 May 15

bryansworld said :

Ezy said :

bryansworld said :

On a related issue, there are a lot of take away coffees drunk on this planet. I understand that the vast majority of takeaway paper cups have a plastic lining, which means they cannot be recycled at our current recycling facilities in Australia. Where in Canberra uses cups that are recyclable here?

Get yourself one of these: http://www.keepcup.com.au

Got one, and use it when I can. Spread the word! But, still amazed at the number of non-recyclable cups that we as a collective must churn through. Particularly saddened by the cafes that have decided that completely disposable is the way to go. I try to avoid these ones. Must be financially better for a business to not have to wash up?

“Particularly saddened by the cafes that have decided that completely disposable is the way to go. I try to avoid these ones.”

Same here. I will walk past them and into one that serves coffee in reusable cups.

MotherHen MotherHen 7:00 pm 21 May 15

Niugini Arabica at Duffy does a nice latte and is a lovely spot to sit on a sunny day. They roast their own beans (from the PNG highlands) and also sell coffee beans so you can also enjoy at home.

SparksAndSawdust SparksAndSawdust 6:15 pm 21 May 15

Sly Fox Coffee on the bike path near MacArthur Avenue – the only coffee I don’t have to add sugar 🙂

Vindalu Vindalu 4:46 pm 21 May 15

Hi Guys – loved reading everyone’s take on good coffee. I travel around the ACT all day long and usually do 3 coffees a day; yes, and I hate to admit it – they’re double shots. Coffee Guru does it for me, consistently good with slight variations in excellence among the various outlets. I’d give first prize to their Weston franchise. Coffee is more than a matter of personal taste; to get the max flavour with depth and minimal bitterness takes skill and attention to detail. I could wax lyrical about coffee for pages having had several coffee shops and been a trainer in the hosp industry throughout the coffee boom but I’ll end on this note. There are better coffees than coffee guru but they are few, for a consistent happy hit I love em!

Ezy Ezy 3:48 pm 21 May 15

garglebutt said :

I struggle to find a decent cup around Woden town centre. Urban Bean (Ona beans) is okay but goes well down hill during mid morning peak. Gizmo’s (Cosmorex) at IP Australia is okay most of the time. Nothing like the Cupping Room or 10 to 2 though ????.

Espresso Room in Westfield are not a bad option around that area. They should be close to the same standard as Cupping Room because they are under the Ona/Project Origin umbrella. Other options within a 15 minute walk are Lava in Phillip or Stand By Me in Lyons.

garglebutt garglebutt 3:28 pm 21 May 15

I struggle to find a decent cup around Woden town centre. Urban Bean (Ona beans) is okay but goes well down hill during mid morning peak. Gizmo’s (Cosmorex) at IP Australia is okay most of the time. Nothing like the Cupping Room or 10 to 2 though ????.

garglebutt garglebutt 3:19 pm 21 May 15

Holden Caulfield said :

But I can observe and comment on coffee culture, which, it has to be said, like wine culture, or cycling culture, is often full of people who take the subject much too seriously.

I think the focus and attention that “a good coffee” receives is mildly amusing at best and a complete embarrassment at worst.

The fact that the coffee shops using stale old Vittoria beans and the like still have lots of customers shows that there is plenty of breadth in the market for all levels of taste.

Each to their own of course but many people are interested in finding a better product at an acceptable price which is what this discussion is about. I walk past half a dozen coffee shops every day to find a better product because I’d rather drink water than a mediocre cup of coffee.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:41 pm 21 May 15

Ezy said :

Fair enough, I understand and respect your point of view. But to be embarrassed about having a passion and an interest no matter what the subject is? I totally disagree with that comment. If you can’t get excited about things in your life, then why bother getting up in the morning. You could be into building model planes for all I know, that could be your thing? I’m not going to look down on you for that. There are always different levels of ways people consume things. You can walk in with your blinders on and just see coffee as a ‘coffee’ and thats it.

Fair enough in return. And thanks for your honest reply.

It’s the depth to which coffee culture has entered the mainstream that is the interesting thing for me. People often look at me odd when I say I don’t really like coffee as if there is something wrong with me. Talk about having blinders on, haha.

You’re right, it’s good to have passions, especially if they are a bit left of centre. It helps the world go around.

However, in my experience, some coffee snobs (for want of a better term), not all, remind me of the gag:

Q: How do you know if someone is vegan?
A: Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

It’s good to have passions, we agree, it’s also good to know when to curb your enthusiasm.

Ezy said :

I am a little different when it comes to this subject – I see it as much more in coffee than just the drink itself. It is an experience, an opportunity to learn and interact. The things I have learnt and the conversations I have had whilst waiting in line for a coffee – my eyes and ears are always open, it is fully immersive. The people I have met and relationships I have built with some of the owners of local and interstate cafés are valuable, all of this before getting the coffee itself. The cafe has really become a social hub and bit like the modern day roman forum – important meetings take place, deals are made, relationships start and end. The first thing I do when I get to an unfamiliar town is head to the best local cafe and have a chat to the guys behind the machine, they are a great source of information on your surroundings.

That’s not a bad way to look beyond the drink itself. And I’m all for the social aspect of “meeting for a coffee”, it’s just rare that I’ll actually have one.

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