A walk, a good cup of coffee, and my furry best friend in tow, coupled with lake views, wonderful food and a cafe that welcomes four-legged companions with enthusiastic pats, are just about all my favourite things rolled into one, which makes for a great outing.
So grab the leash as Region Media rounds up three dog-friendly cafes near beautiful walking tracks in Canberra to check out.
Stella’s by the lake
Opened in September 2020, Stella’s by the lake is a relaxed cafe right across the road from Lake Ginninderra in Belconnen, which serves hearty and healthy meals for people and their dogs.
With a dedicated pup menu, they take pleasing both you and your furry friend very seriously. For the pooches, choose from either in-house-made specialties including a ‘puppacino’, bone broth, watermelon popsicle, or the most popular item: a peanut butter bacon doughnut. They also stock a selection of locally made Louie Loves ‘Em Homemade Dog Treats to enjoy at the cafe or to takeaway.
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For humans, cafe classics have been faithfully refreshed and modernised with breakfast options including eggs benedict, smoked salmon bagels and smashed avo. For lunch, there is a good selection of burgers, salads and nourish bowls to tempt your taste buds.
Stella’s by the lake is located at 63/1 Beissel Street, Belconnen, and is open Monday to Friday from 6:30 am to 3:00 pm; Saturday from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm; and Sunday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
On Lake Cafe
On Lake Cafe welcomes customers to enjoy coffee and Greek street food with lakeside views. Located in Bowen Park, not far from where Brodburger’s original food van once operated, On Lake Cafe’s deck looks out across Lake Burley Griffin and the mountains beyond.
The location is a great meeting point after a walk, where you can sip your coffee and watch life on the lake unfold. There is plenty of parking, toilets are close by and pets are welcome!
“It’s the first cafe on the lake and something Canberrans have been craving for decades,” says Yanni Pounartzis, who’s responsible for On Lake Cafe’s branding.
“The area is perfect for dog lovers to enjoy a coffee with their best friends. And it’s not just people who enjoy visiting On Lake Cafe – dogs enjoy it, too.
“The array of breeds who visit have provided an opportunity to feature them in an online campaign on Facebook and Instagram. This is not only a fun campaign for dog lovers, but it also communicates that dogs are welcome. Our campaign features each dog posing proudly along with their names and breed.”
The chalked menu offers Greek street food – both sweet and savoury – along with some cafe staples of bacon and egg rolls.
On Lake Cafe is located at Bowen Park in Barton. It is open seven days a week from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Two Before Ten (Greenway)
The two-storey sunlit space at Lake Tuggeranong that is the home of sustainable specialty coffee roasters and regional produce purveyors Two Before Ten was planned specifically to be a comfortable cafe at the bottom of the new large apartment blocks.
The Greenway site is one of seven Two Before Ten locations for owner, community builder and successful entrepreneur Chris Dennis, who could not resist setting up shop in the beautiful surroundings.
“We’d been planning to do something in Tuggeranong for quite a while,” he says. “I grew up in ‘Tuggers’ and love the area. I love how close you feel to the mountains and the proliferation of native fauna and flora. And Pine Island – it’s so nice on a summer’s day.
“We found out about the Greenway site through a friend who worked as an architect in the area. It was a no-brainer. Six-metre ceilings, copious amounts of glass, northeast facing, on the water – you don’t get opportunities like that very often.”
The atmosphere is mellow and cheerful, and the big location has a few different spaces to enjoy a meal, with dogs and their owners having the pick of the bunch on the outside tables right on the shore of the lake.
Two Before Ten is located on Cynthia Teague Crescent, Greenway, overlooking Lake Tuggeranong. It’s open Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.