One of the familiar rituals for Canberrans in summer is to pack up the car and make the trip to the South Coast. Braidwood will be familiar to many as a handy halfway stop on the two-hour drive down the Kings Highway between Canberra and Bateman’s Bay. There’s a park to stretch the legs and a conveniently located bathroom, but it’s worth lingering a little longer to grab a snack or meal. There is no shortage of places to delight the taste buds in the historical and quirky town.
Why you’ll love it
The heritage-listed town of Braidwood is full of old churches, galleries, craft and antique shops operating from restored old buildings which been going strong since the gold rush of the 1850s. The historic buildings are home to several cafes, bakeries and restaurants where you’ll find country hospitality, old-fashioned service, and plenty of sweet and savoury food options to sustain you for the rest of the drive.
The Braidwood Bakery is something of a legend. It has been a fixture on the main street for decades and with upgrades and renovations over that time, is now a spacious and inviting space. The pies and sweet treats are impressive (especially the vanilla slices) but it’s a popular place and you can often be elbow to elbow with others at peak times.
The Boiled Lolly across the road from the two bakeries is another local institution that has served several generations. The shelves are stacked high with hundreds of different types of lollies, as well as ice cream, homemade fudge and milkshakes. Their wraps and sandwiches are fresh, made on the spot and served quickly.
Tucked away just around the corner is Dojo Bread, a relative newcomer to the scene but the home of superb freshly baked artisan bread. Their sourdough is exceptional, but try to time your visit for earlier in the day – they sell out quickly.
Still on a sweet note, The Albion Café is the perfect place for a quick meal. The coffee is top notch (it’s from Lonsdale St Roasters) and the food delicious. The atmosphere is relaxed, there is impressive local wine, and you can buy up big on regional produce that includes fruit, vegetables, eggs and condiments.
If you’re towing a boat or caravan, the Kings Highway Diner has convenient parking right out front. It’s the last place as you drive out of town to the coast or the first place you see on the right as you return to Canberra. The country-style meals are huge, generous and satisfying.
Braidwood is an easy drive from Canberra. Follow the King’s Highway from Queanbeyan and through Bungendore directly to Braidwood. All of the cafes mentioned are on the main street.
When to go
Braidwood is a town for all seasons. In summer, the main street is often full of people selling their fresh local fruit. Pick up boxes of fresh, juicy peaches and delicious honey from local producers. Autumn is perfect for tramping through the crisp autumn leaves in the park. There’s always a cosy open fire roaring somewhere in the town in winter, and spring is the best time to stroll the streets and see the historic village at its best.
- Distance from Canberra: 87km
- Driving time from Canberra: around an hour
- Recommended for: fans of homely, delicious cafes, excellent bakeries and country-style pubs with tasty meals
- More information: Visit NSW: Braidwood
Have you spent time in Braidwood recently? We’d love to hear your tips for places to grab a great meal there.