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Our favourite Canberra ‘dude food’

HerCanberra Team

Before we start, a disclaimer. This post is totally and unashamedly cliched…we’re talking meat, meat and – er – more meat. And beer. Apologies in advance to any vegetarian or teetotaller men out there. We don’t actually think that men exist totally on red meat, and I love ‘dude food’ as much as any bloke, but let’s just go with it…



We couldn’t go past this, could we? It may have moved from its iconic red caravan to the warmer climes of the Canberra Glassworks, but Brodburger remains the burger joint of choice of many Canberrans. We have it on good authority that the Broddeluxe (two x ½ pound flame grilled beef patties, two eggs, lots of crispy bacon, topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, spanish onions, homemade aioli and tomato relish) is the ultimate burger challenge for the guys. The challenge can be upped by adding fries on the side. Their milkshakes also get a big thumbs up.

After the indulgence you can take a long stroll around the foreshore and, on Sundays, peruse the Old Bus Depot Markets right next door, open between 10am and 4pm.


Could this be Canberra's best burger? Brodburger is a Canberra icon.

London B&B

The London Burgers and Beer is a big hit with the men in our lives. Big burgers, chips, beer and four plasma tvs playing sports pretty much says it all. Their burger menu is extensive, but we love the Mexican chilli beef burger with melted Swiss cheese, spicy tomato salsa, sour cream, lettuce, tomato and onion; and the Rosemary lamb burger with roast capsicum and onion, horse radish cream, lettuce, tomato and onion.


Black Fire

One of the newest additions to the Canberra dining scene is arguably one of the best for the carnivores out there. Elegantly decorated, one of the main features of Black Fire in Braddon is the open fire roast in the kitchen which, along with a wood-fire oven and charcoal grill, is used to create mouth-watering dishes of tender, juicy meat.This includes eight-hour slow roasted suckling pig and lamb, wagyu steaks, and Magret de Pato: a juicy duck breast marinated in jerez balsamico and stuffed with honey and black olives.


Magret de Pato, duck breast marinated in jerez balsamico, honey and black olives, seared and roasted for 6 minutes at 300, frico and orange berries coulis from Black Fire in Braddon.

And while the mains are must haves, it’s worth factoring in room for entrees, such as charcoal wagyu topside studded with bone marrow, and dessert, like the chocolate indulgence double mousse on a wild fennel and white chocolate silk, raspberries and butter toasted almond tart. Not to mention the sides and sauces.

Conveniently open every day from 8am to 11.30pm, there is no excuse not to go there (even if you’re vegetarian or pescetarian—they have a decent range of veggie and seafood dishes as well). Check out their menu here.

Ox Eatery

There may not be a lot of elegance to a big slab of meat, but when it’s doing its lazy dance on a rotisserie, there’s some kind of magic. Kingston’s East Hotel is home to Ox Eatery, an essential destination for the meat lover. The menu is small, simple and delicious, with an emphasis on big flavours, and the authentic imported French rotisserie spins out a variety of meats each day.

You might enjoy Angus Beef with Red Wine and Bone Marrow Butter, or Pork Belly with Apple Sauce and Crackling (below, at left), or Chicken with Lemon and Oregano, or a fresh take on lamb.  The starters and desserts are equally tasty.


If the bloke in your life loves great food (who doesn’t?) and doesn’t mind some…er, let’s call it ‘spirited’, service…get thee to Eightysix in Braddon.The menu changes daily, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find some faves on the menu. We love the fall-apart Whole Lamb Shoulder, which comes served on a thick wooden board, with lemon and accompaniments; and the Black Chicken with Buttermilk Slaw (below). So, so good.

Eightysix's blackened chicken

Eightysix’s blackened chicken


It wasn’t all that long ago that Canberra didn’t really do pubs. But all that’s changed in the last couple of years, and there are now a few good, reliable players on the scene that tick all the boxes.


As the name suggests, Hopscotch offers hops and scotch…and ‘wood-fire wizardry’. The latter comes from their Argentine wood-fired grill, imported from Northern California. Designed to cook mouth-watering meats over red-hot coals, the grill uses a mixture of Iron Bark and Red Gum to impart a light smoke flavour to the meals.


Lamb 'souva' from Hopscotch.

If you had to capture the menu in a few words, it would be ‘international BBQ’…a quick look at the dishes reveals a classic French-inspired Rib-Eye Steak with Duck Fat Potatoes, Ratatouille, Paris Butter ($36) sitting alongside anArgentine Slow Cooked Brisket with Red Chimmi Churri, Soft Maize, Smoked Eschallots ($27) and Korean Bbq Pork Bulgogi, Kimchi Slaw, Pickled Ginger, Spring Onions ($27). Other exotic offerings hail from the Middle East, the Caribbean, Greece, and Italy, with the All-American Beef Burger with Mustard, Ketchup, Monteray Jack Cheese, Onions, White Butter Bun ($18) keeping traditionalists happy.

In a word? Yum.

Edgar’s Inn

Edgar’s Inn in Ainslie is a slick, refined sort of pub that’s retained the staple comforts of a neighbourhood watering hole. The menu is among the best pub grub in town at reasonable prices, and your bloke can catch his favourite sporton the big screens while enjoying a one of the many beers. There is also a decent wine selection for the non-beer drinkers in the family.

The menu is simple yet covers all the bases – snacks, burgers, steak, fish, pizza, salads and vegetarian and gluten free options, and everything is cooked thoughtfully without being over the top. We love that they’re not afraid to offer Steak with retro Dianne, Mushroom or Pepper Sauce…


Public in Manuka is our ‘local’. The food is great quality ‘pub grub’, you can get a decent tipple if you’re fussy about your wine (like me), there are nightly specials, and there’s a really friendly and relaxed environment that – at least during the day and early evening – is perfect for the whole family.

It’s a surprising menu – the ‘sharing’ plates, in particular, break out of the usual pub fare with things like Soft Shell Crab Tortillas and Kingfish Sashimi.  But they also do great burgers, steak sandwiches, sliders, and more of the usual suspects with a twist; but our favourite remains the Public Pie Floater. Perfect comfort food.

Public's Pie Floater

Public’s Pie Floater


Ribs are quite possibly the most masculine food ever. Meat, oozy sauce, bones that demand to be picked up and gnawed…they’re (literally) fingerlicking good.


Smoque, in Petrie Plaza in the city, is meaty man heaven with diners encouraged “to embrace the simplicity of good barbeque and eat with your hands.” Their Southern American BBQ ribs (below) come in Memphis Pork or Smoque Signature Texas Beef Rib and are nothing short of mouthwatering. The pulled pork sloppy joes and wings are amazing, and the BBQ Trifecta (a platter of pulled pork, pork ribs and brisket with a side of your choice) is huge and delicious. If he’s into dessert (or you are) then finish with the brownies and salted caramel ice cream.


The signature ribs from Smoque.

Elk and Pea

Just down the road in Braddon, the ribs from Elk and Pea carry the eating house’s South American influence; the Pork Spare Ribs – raspberry and chipotle glazed spare ribs with pilar and herbs. You can’t go wrong with anything else on the menu, either…the selection of tacos is to die for.


The Grill at the RUC Rugby Union Club in Barton have amazing  BBQ Chilli Short Ribs, served with tabasco wedges and garden salad. If that’s not your style, then you could always go a RUC Scotch Fillet Burger, Salt & Pepper Squid Salad or a variety of salads. See the menu here.


Bentspoke Brewing Co.

Usually, beer is a bit of an afterthought, an aside to the food. But, at these places, it’s the highlight.

Canberra’s newest microbrewery and taphouse, BentSpoke Brewing Co. is a fantastic inner city destination for beer and cider aficionados and lovers of pub grub. It has a fantastic range of beers, including Barley Griffin, Crankshaft, Mort’s Gold, Dick Tracy and Braddon Bitter;and Adam’s Cider, but there’s much more to it than ale.

Every Sunday is Roast and Ribs day – expect dishes like Big Nut braised ribs alongside rosemary and garlic crusted lamb roast and lemon and thyme roasted Burrawong chicken. Best make a booking on 02 6257 5220.

bent spokt.jpg

Crankshaft's younger sister Sprocket, available from BentSpoke Brewing Co.


Zierholz Premium Brewery may be hidden away on Kembla Street in Fyshwick, but it’s home to handcrafted beer and some wonderful European-inspired food, reflecting master brewer,Christoph Zierholz’s, German heritage.

The menu includes such treats as The Footlong Kransky Roll – Kransky sausage on rustic bread w/ dried shallots, sauerkraut and mustard;  The Otto Krause Burger, and The Haus Special Slow Roasted Pork Knuckle served with Sauerkraut, braised red cabbage and mash. There are also banquets for sharing, and a kids’ menu.


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  • You can’t have a discussion of ribs and not mention Soul Food Kitchen in Erindale. By far and away the best ribs in Canberra in my humble opinion. And you can tick two items of this list because the man in my life highly rates their burgers!

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