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My Canberra series: Sophia's Canberra

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photo 2Our My Canberra series is about seeing our city with new fresh eyes.  We have sought out well known Canberrans, authors, HerCanberra readers and bloggers to share their favourite parts of Canberra. It has so much to offer, but sometimes it’s hard to find those fantastic places without knowing someone to recommend them. 

Sophia Brady is a freelance marketing and communications professional by day, currently really enjoying living it up in Canberra. She’s lived in six different countries, but somehow keeps getting pulled back to Canberra. This is her third time living here – first as a university student; then newly married; and now as a mother. She lives all things family, food and travel and blogs at

This is HER Canberra.

Northside or Southside?

I love the inner north. I started out living in Canberra as a University student residing at Fenner Hall on Northbourne Ave and have stayed in the vicinity ever since. I adore the urban lifestyle and community feel along Lonsdale St, Braddon not to mention all the great coffee options within walking distance!

Favourite Cheap Eats

For a cheap and cheery crowd pleaser, I head to Sammy’s Kitchen in Civic. It is big, crowded, a little noisy but I love this Canberra institution! I have never left Sammy’s hungry or disappointed, with its big menu full of tempting Chinese, Malaysian and Hawker dishes; my go to meal is the Char Kway Teow. I have learnt to call ahead and reserve a table to avoid waiting in line for one.

Favourite Mid-range Restaurant

I enjoy a good old informal pub meal for the atmosphere, food and drinks. On Monday and Tuesday nights, I gravitate towards Debacle in Braddon to indulge in 2 for 1 house made pizza with the family. For a lazy weekend alfresco lunch I head to Edgar’s Inn at Ainslie shops.

Favourite Fine Dining

For a night of delectable Asian inspired share plates and cocktails, I round up all my gal pals and book a table at Soju Girl in Civic. To celebrate a family milestone with my daughter and husband, we all worship the rustic Italian fare at Italian and Sons in Braddon. I take my out of town friends to marvel at the creations at Eightysix in Braddon.


Soju Girl’s amazing cocktails


Best Coffee

Sweet Bones in Braddon is my coffee go to with the bonus of having the best tasting cupcakes in town.

Best Breakfast

I do not tend to eat a large breakfast but prefer to snack on pastries and coffee. I am yet to pass up an opportunity to eat a Cinnamon scroll from Cornucopia in Braddon or a chocolate croissant from Autolyse.

Favourite Book Store

I live with two avid readers who like to buy and devour their books in bulk, so we hang out for the bi-annual Lifeline Bookfairs. With 200,000 donated items for sale, it is also a feel good way to help raise the funding needed to keep the Lifeline Canberra crisis line available to the community.

Best Shopping Spot

Canberra has the best access to some of the freshest seafood I have ever had and to satisfy my fishy cravings, I head to wholesaler Fish Co Downunder in Fyshwick. For organic produce I stop in at Choku Bai Jo in Lyneham.

For buying unique gifts, I like to browse the wares at Shop Handmade in Civic or Lonsdale St Traders; otherwise the Canberra Centre has me covered for everything else.

Shop Handmade has all kinds of unique pieces.

Shop Handmade has all kinds of unique pieces.


Best walk

Can’t bet a walk around Lake Burley Griffin! No matter how long or short of a walk I take around the lake, I always feel the better for it. The peaceful surrounds, views to our spectacular cultural institutions automatically puts me in a better mood and frame of mind.

“Must Do” Canberra experience

For out of towners, I would suggest letting Canberra surprise them and spending some time in New Acton. I love the neighbourhood feel that houses a mixture of residential and commercial buildings with a quirky mix of hotels, bars, cafes and an arthouse movie cinema still with plenty of green space throughout. I think it is a fascinating place to spend a day or night challenging the perception of Canberra.

The gorgeous Nishi staircase in New Acton

The gorgeous Nishi staircase in New Acton


How I get away from it all

I go for a walk and take advantage of Canberra’s green unpolluted space.

Great kid friendly activities

Running free and counting kangaroos at the foot of Mt Ainslie. Coming from living in the centre of Sydney my daughter (and I) still delight in seeing kangaroos so close to the city in Canberra.

Best thing about being a Canberran is….

The access to great food, wine and coffee! Plus the traffic, everywhere takes 15 minutes to get to or less!

Want to share YOUR Canberra? Email us at!

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2 Responses to My Canberra series: Sophia's Canberra

Sandy says: 18 June, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Dear Amanda,

Thank you so much for doing Her Canberra, I love it, I was telling the lady in Handmade Canberra that it was my favourite thing on Facebook/twitter, I really appreciate your hard work and creative ideas.


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