Everyone loves a night out for dinner! Whether it’s a special occasion or you don’t feel like cooking, a trip to a restaurant can be a lovely way to spend an evening.
Canberra is lucky enough to be home to many excellent restaurants, but believe it or not, they can be found not just in the city centre. As Northern Canberra expands, more and more amazing restaurants will continue to open, and the CBD might not always be the most convenient spot for you to visit.
Which is why we’ve put together this article. We’ll give you a few things to look out for in a great restaurant, as well as a guide to the best North Canberra has to offer.
What makes a great restaurant?
If you’re planning a night out, you want everything to be perfect across the whole experience. Here’s what to look for in a great restaurant:
- Atmosphere. From the decor to the furniture to the music playing, the atmosphere of the restaurant truly makes the difference between an enjoyable night and an average one. Great restaurants put as much care into the way you feel in their space as they do into the food they serve.
- Excellent service. Prompt, attentive and considerate service is key to making you feel welcome in a restaurant. Plus, the enthusiasm of the restaurant’s staff is usually a good indicator of the quality of the venue itself.
- Reasonable prices. Whether it’s fine dining or casual, no one wants to feel ripped off – you want to feel like your dinner was money well spent. Keep an eye out for restaurants with reasonably priced menus without sacrificing quality for cash.
- Quality ingredients. Any home cook knows that the food is only ever as good as its ingredients. Great restaurants that care about their food – and your health – use fresh ingredients, locally sourced where possible, and practise good food safety.
- Good location. You shouldn’t have to drive halfway across town for a good meal. A good location means the restaurant is centrally positioned, has ample parking, and is easily accessible.
The best restaurants in North Canberra
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 maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Olive at Hawker is a Mediterranean restaurant run by industry veterans John and Aleka Yianoulakis. This family-run establishment has a delicious menu heavily influenced by Greek and Italian cuisine, as well as a light rustic Mediterranean décor – perfect for intimate dining with friends and family.
Google reviewer Colleen Norman writes, “Delightful experience with delicious food and ambience. An extensive menu. Will certainly return.”
Looking to get away, but not totally out of town? Located in Hall on the outskirts of Canberra, 1882 brings together the best of local food, beer and wine. With a modern and relaxed look, 1882 often hosts great events such as gin and whiskey tastings, champagne and charcuterie nights, and 5-course degustation dinners in partnership with local wineries.
As Facebook user Mitch Parker writes, “Always love this place. Friendly staff, drinks are great and the food is fantastic.”
The Atrium Restaurant and Bar, at the Pavilion Hotel on Northbourne, is open seven days for breakfast, lunch, dinner and 24-hour room service. Set among a warm, inviting, tropical atrium, diners enjoy plenty of options. Happy hour is held at the Atrium Bar. The Atrium Restaurant and Bar is part of the reputable Capital Hotel Group.
Harrison Hewitt wrote on Google, “Nice hotel, good restaurant and bar area with a great atmosphere. Staff were friendly and helpful.”
“For locals, by locals,” says The Knox. This café-restaurant is dedicated to sustainability and supporting local businesses. The Knox supports local suppliers and businesses in more ways than one –their menu is made of locally sourced produce, and their retail range features only local businesses and artists, selling everything from produce and homeware to other miscellaneous goods.
Happy customer Tracey Monahan left a Facebook review for The Knox, saying, “What a great cafe. Service was great and really friendly. Great food. Had the Miso Salmon. Wonderful flavours. Sat outdoors in the sun. Great atmosphere. We will definitely go back!”
Restaurant Two14, at the Deco Hotel, is a stylish restaurant with a relaxed and flexible menu. Dine in a warm, contemporary space and savour quality dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If in-between meals, head to the elegant bar. Restaurant Two14 has weeknight specials and a social hour (4pm to 6pm). Open 7 days.
On Google, Maggie Espinoza wrote, “Visually inviting, physically heavenly, decidedly tasty and delicious dining. Quite extraordinary and boasts so many tasty extras …”
No. 10 Restaurant and Bar dishes up fresh, tasty food in a relaxed setting. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this family friendly venue in Abode Hotel, Belconnen, features local ingredients. Breakfast starts early. Lunches and dinners feature small, large and sweet plates. Express lunches and takeaway available. Order online. Open seven days.
On Google, Jennifer Kellett wrote, “Quite a nice little spot for a casual afterward get together or catch up with friends.”
This Korean BBQ restaurant commands gorgeous waterfront views and serves up delicious Korean food to boot. With a wide range of menu items and generous portion sizes, value for money is the name of the game at Korean BBQ. All set in a bright and friendly environment with vibrant décor, Insadong is an excellent destination for friends and family graving some tasty Korean BBQ.
On Google, Timothy Nemes writes, “If you have never had Korean BBQ, go to Insadong, you will love it. Lake front views and BBQ heaven. Korean food is awesome! I’ll be back.”
Boss Burgers serves up delicious gourmet burgers from two convenient locations – a shop in Mitchell, and a truck in Barton. The menu boasts classic grilled chicken and beef burgers, as well as Reuben burgers and Mediterranean lamb. Often partnering up with wineries to host tasty events, there’s something for everyone at Boss Burgers.
As ‘Local Guide’ Alex Madge writes in this Google review, “Awesome friendly server and some of the best burgers in Canberra. A hidden gem.”
Can’t decide where to go for dinner? Check out our articles on the best Italian restaurants, the best Chinese restaurants and the best restaurants and bars on the Kingston Foreshore for some great recommendations.
Your experience with restaurants in North Canberra
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 North Canberra restaurants we’ve listed above? Have we missed your favourite? If so, please share your feedback in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bring my young children to a restaurant?
Yes, but do consider the type of venue that you are visiting. Fine-dining restaurants are generally not kid-friendly, but casual and family restaurants certainly are. If you call ahead, you can even organise a highchair and some colouring-in books to keep your child comfortable and entertained during your meal.
Do all restaurants accept BYO?
No. While there are plenty of venues in Canberra that do allow you to bring your own alcohol, there are exceptions to the rule. Restaurants will specify either in your booking information or on their website – if not, call up ahead of time and find out.
What’s the best way to travel around North Canberra?
North Canberra is well serviced by buses during the day. However, if you’re out later in the evening for dinner, then you’re best off either driving yourself, calling a taxi or using a rideshare service.
Do Canberra restaurants do takeaway?
For the most part, yes. There are plenty of restaurants that offer takeaway options on their menu, and many more still that will allow you to take any leftovers from your meal home with you in takeaway containers.
Can any restaurant cater to my dietary requirements?
Nowadays you shouldn’t have any problem finding menu options that are already vegetarian or gluten-free, but when it comes to other requirements such as dairy-free or vegan, then it’s probably a good idea to call ahead and ask whether the restaurant can accommodate you.