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Pub Grub: Five Faves

Molly McLaughlin

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Ever get a craving for a hearty pub meal that’s simple, modern and downright delicious? Us too. All we want is meat, chips, veg and gravy, but finding great classic food in the bush capital is a bigger ask than it seems. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five local pubs and their signature dishes that tick all the boxes.

CHICKEN SCHNITZEL: THE DISTRICT (CRACE)

Credit: Tim Bean Photography

Behold, the pub classic to rule all pub classics: the chicken schnitzel. The District’s chicken breast schnitzel with crispy chips and fresh salad is the perfect portion size (generous but not overwhelming), and brings a simple elegance to the humble schnitty. The meal is also available as a dinner special with any tap beer or house wine for $20 on Thursday or as a lunch special with the same inclusions and price from Monday – Friday.

The District itself is a great little local, close to both Belconnen and Gungahlin town centres, and the rest of the mouth-watering menu is definitely worth checking out too.

The District | 56 Abena Avenue, Crace | 9 am – 10 pm every day | 6174 3147 | thedistrict.com.au

PORK BELLY: THE DUXTON (O’CONNOR)

At the bustling O’Connor shops you’ll find The Duxton and its braised pork belly with black cabbage, heritage carrots, apple, labneh, dukkah, lemon and paprika dressing. The pork belly is, of course, the star of the show, but the dukkah brings a unique Middle Eastern flavour to the dish while the spicy dressing keeps things interesting.

With a full menu available til late every day, The Duxton is a family-friendly space with plenty of room to move, plus trivia every Wednesday night.

The Duxton | Corner of Sargood and Macpherson St, O’Connor | 12 pm – late Mon to Thurs, 11.30am ’til late Fri, 9 am ’til late Sat & Sun | 6162 0799 | theduxton.com.au

SAUSAGES: OLD CANBERRA INN (LYNEHAM)

If it’s a simple bangers and mash you’re after, The Old Canberra Inn comes through with the goods: chargrilled Toulouse sausages with garlic mash and green beans, plus your choice of mushroom sauce, peppercorn sauce, chimichurri, butter or gravy. These pork sausos are a little bit peppery, a little bit salty, and completely yum.

Built in 1857, before the city of Canberra even existed, the Old Canberra Inn is a local institution that has maintained its charm, with a cosy atmosphere (fireplace included) and craft beers on tap.

Old Canberra Inn | 195 Mouat Street, Lyneham | 11.30 am – 10 pm Sun to Thurs, 11.30am til late Fri & Sat | 6134 6000 | oldcanberrainn.com.au

KANGAROO: THE DOCK (KINGSTON)

Credit: facebook.com/pg/thedockkingston

With an elevated take on an Aussie staple, The Dock serves up kangaroo with roast potato salad, salsa verde, radichio and horseradish marscapone. That’s a lot of ingredients, but all we know is that it’s delightful. Even better, kangaroo meat is extremely low in fat with high levels of B vitamins, so this is a pub meal that your body will thank you for.

With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating right on the Kingston Foreshore, The Dock is the ideal spot for a lazy lunch or casual evening.

The Dock | 7/81 Giles St, Kingston | 11 am – late every day | 6239 6333 | thedockkingston.com.au

SCOTCH FILLET: BENTSPOKE BREWING CO. (BRADDON)

Bentspoke Brewery is not only known for its variety of freshly brewed beers (18 plus a cider at last count), it also draws a crowd of hungry punters eager to sample its innovative, locally sourced menu. Take 350g of scotch fillet steak and add kumara and sage puree, roasted kipfler potatoes, pear and fennel slaw and horseradish cream and you’ve got the perfect accompaniment to your beverage of choice. While a little more upmarket than your average steak, this meal is a must-try for every Canberra carnivore.

Bentspoke Brewing Co. | 38 Mort St, Braddon (entry from Elouera St) | 11 am til midnight every day | 6257 5220 | oldcanberrainn.com.au

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Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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