“That’s a big question,” Stuart says.
We might not have the reputation of Melbourne yet, but there’s no doubt Canberra has some great coffee shops. Who does it best, though?
Jodie reckons her home brew is “always perfection”, and Sharon says she’s yet to have a bad one anywhere. Bruce says there is no difference – “beans are the same, machines are the same, barista training is the same” – and it all comes down to the milk.
But we asked anyway, and here are your other responses, ranked in no particular order from north to south (with some other honourable mentions).
SV Coffee & Bakery (Lawson)
“Hands down best coffee and muffins in Canberra,” Morgan says, throwing in a raspberry and white-chocolate muffin and a chef’s kiss.
Jayne casts another vote for SV Coffee and Bakery, describing it as “consistently amazing coffee with the most lovely service”.
“Best coffee, muffins, service and the only place I’ve seen green coconut bread anywhere,” Kathy adds.
SV Coffee & Bakery, at 23B Swagman Street, Lawson, is open from 6:30 am to 12 pm, Monday, 6:30 to 2 pm, Tuesday to Friday, and 8 am to 3 pm, Saturday to Sunday. Visit their website for more information.
Neutral Grounds (Belconnen)
Brendan names and fames Neutral Grounds in Belconnen for its “great coffee, amazing food and even better service”.
Annie seconds with “outstanding coffee and people”.
Neutral Grounds, at 47 Nettlefold Street, Belconnen, is open from 6:15 am to 2 pm, Monday to Friday and 7 am to 1 pm, Saturday (closed on Sunday). Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Matty starts with Barrio Collective Coffee in Braddon as “the winner for me”, but a close second goes to INTRA.
“It’s right up there!”
James rattles off his top two: “INTRA in Campbell and Little Oink in Cook.”
INTRA, at 30/12 Provan Street, Campbell, is open from 6:30 am to 2 pm, Monday to Friday and 8 am to 2 pm, Saturday to Sunday. Visit their website for more information.
“Hands down, the best coffee I’ve ever had.”
Scott doesn’t pull his punches. And he’s far from alone.
Fran, Stavros, Lyn and Ruth all praise BrewBar for its “hot, tasty coffees”, which are always “strong”.
While we’re on Anketell Street, Troy the tradie is a frequent visitor at Bunnings Tuggeranong but always makes sure to stop at Cafe Beetroot.
“Friendly staff, efficient and great coffee,” he says.
Paul and Angelina say Two Before Ten “always”.
BrewBar Cafe, at South.Point Tuggeranong, Anketell Street, Greenway, is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 2:30 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 2:30 pm, and on Sunday from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Common Grounds (Gowrie)
Natalie reckons there is “some sort of brown-magic going on” at Common Grounds at the Gowrie Shops.
“By far the best I’ve had.”
Farrell agrees, while Pat, a connoisseur from Melbourne, reckons she scored a very nice drop there.
Common Grounds, at 4/1 Jeffries Street, Gowrie, is open from 7:30 am to 2 pm, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 2 pm, Saturday to Sunday, and again 5:30 to 8:30 pm, Thursday to Sunday. Visit their website for more information.
Redbrick is not so much one coffee shop as a “local roaster, wholesaler and distributor of coffee and coffee things”.
Based in Fyshwick, their products spread far and wide across Canberra to Redbrick Coffee in Curtin, Clay in Turner, and Makeshift in Civic, to name a few.
Brooke says no matter where they are, they’re the “best in Canberra”.
Craig says he’ll drink their coffee “all day long”.
Russell wastes no time.
Ben says the $3 ‘Super-Size’ option is “perfect every time and ready in a minute”. Leos prefers the triple-shot espresso, and Jeremy says no matter the order, it’s always “hot, consistent, cheap and yummy”.
Can’t argue with that combination, and it does go to show that service stations aren’t the certain sentence to a night on the loo we might judge them to be.
Indeed, both Kerry and Darrell go to Coles service stations for their fix.
“Large, strong latte for good value and with minimal waiting,” for the latter. Provided the machines aren’t down.
Patrick offers some thoughts as to why.
“I never found a cafe where I could get good coffee some of the time without getting bad coffee the rest of the time and usually paying more than $5 each time,” he says.
“After the better part of 20 years working – and buying coffee – all over Canberra, I now buy my coffee for $3 at service stations because it’s cheap, decent and exactly the same every time, no matter where or when I buy it.”
Not McDonald’s (also everywhere)
The same can’t be said for McDonald’s, it seems.
“Not McDonald’s,” Rod says.
“Anywhere but McDonald’s,” Kaarin seconds.
“I have had a few good coffees in Canberra, but the only coffee I can’t stand is from McDonald’s.”
Dave thinks Canberra “blows Melbourne out of the water for coffee for a couple of years now”.
Punilly enough, Tracey agrees: “I think Canberra coffee beats Melbourne coffee by a long shot!”
Joshua says the big difference is the long wait times in Canberra: “There’s no sense of urgency.”
Other honourable mentions
The cafes listed above received multiple mentions, but there are plenty of other standouts.
“Oh, this is a hard one,” Shane says.
“For the Woden area, Coffee Cafe is definitely my pick – would be solidly in my top five across Canberra – followed by Double Shot in Deakin. Braddon has dropped off, but Elemental is usually pretty good.”
Oliver Brown and Damingle Cafe, both in Gungahlin, also came up. Then there is Farmer’s Daughter in Yarralumla, Harvest in Civic, Bean Addiction in Mitchell, Cosy T’s in Macquarie, Tinker Tailor in Casey, Cafeneion in Torrens, 8T8, Plumb Cafe, Ona Coffee Cup and Coaster – all in Fyshwick.
Cup of Joy in Belconnen Westfield has the best dirty chai Jodie has ever had. Similarly, Kiitos in Campbell has the “most delicious coffee” Matt has ever had. While Lyn reckons Canberra’s oldest cafe, Gus’s, does it best. And Jessica says Pressed Coffee Co in Civic is “made to perfection every time”.
“There are too many,” another commenter says.
Have we missed any?