Looking to shake up your restaurant routine? Here are six new places to sink your…
With Canberra expanding its hospitality industry at (what feels like) the speed of light, the lists of new coffee spots just keep coming!
It’s been six long months since we gave you 10 coffee spots to try this year and only a few weeks since we gave you five more but it seems to me like it wasn’t enough! So, here are another six to track down…
Damn Fine Coffee Roasters – Westside Acton Park
These guys popped up not long ago alongside the opening of Westside Acton Park, and they’re full of attitude – I think the name says it all really. Damn Fine is a no bull**** kind of place – a place you can go when you want your coffee fast, and you want it to go, no stuffing around.
They operate out of a shipping container which has their name spray-painted all over it, and they actually provide a drive-thru coffee service. You can literally drive your car up to them and order a cappuccino to go, never having to leave the toasty haven of your vehicle. I’d say it’s a real bloke-y kind of coffee ‘shop’ (if you can even call it that), which fits in well with the overall atmosphere of Westside.
Damn Fine is supplied by the well-known local Lonsdale Street Roasters, and they also offer a pretty tasty selection of hot teas and ‘exotic iced teas’ including Peach Melba, Raspberry Lime and Turkish Apple.
Where: Barrine Drive, Westside Acton Park, Canberra
When: Open Mon-Sun 7am-5pm
Contact: 0401 745 466
Kickstart Expresso – Dickson
These guys opened up late last year, situated on Wooley Street in Dickson just around the corner from Blockbuster. Not the most glamorous location, but that is by no means a reflection upon what you should expect from them.
They’re a small space, a little bigger than just a hole in the wall with room inside for just a few people, and they serve some pretty good coffee. There’s a few spaces outside you can situate yourself if you’re planning to stay a while. But Kickstart Expresso sits right on the edge of the road, offering a drive-thru coffee service like Damn Fine, although their fit-out is much more refined and thoughtful.
It’s really rustic and there’s lots of wooden décor – some of it reminded me of what you might find in a house on the coast. You won’t be seeing any spray paint on the outside of their shop. Their coffee is supplied by Toby’s Estate, which would be familiar to those of you who have been to Superfine and in my experience is yet to disappoint me.
Where: Wooley Street, Dickson
When: Open Mon-Sat 6am-3pm
Contact: 0448 403 277
Hideout – Barton
From the outside, this spot looks quite peaceful and blends into its surroundings. Nestled at the bottom of a public service building on National Circuit in Barton, surrounded by many-a-buildings of similar appearance, first impressions suggest their name (Hideout) is an aptly appointed one; however, you would be sorely mistaken.
Upon entering what seems like such a serene scene, the Hideout idea promptly flies right out the window. It’s a caffeinated jungle! Packed to the brim with literally HERDS of public servants, the sheer volume of people inside the café, combined with the noise accompanying them is overwhelming. The baristas behind the bar actually have a microphone hooked up to announce people’s orders. And there’s not one, but two coffee machines operating.
Two baristas grind up coffee and set up the shots, while another three baristas steam and pour milk. So it takes FIVE individual baristas to churn out orders, which are literally announced every five seconds. In addition to that there is another three to five staff floating around taking orders, calling orders and running dine-in coffees out to patrons. Craziness. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it’s awesome.
Where: 6 National Circuit, Barton
When: Mon-Fri 7.30am-4pm
Ona Coffee – Fyshwick
Home to the World’s Best Barista – Sasa Sestic – Ona Fyshwick is definitely a must-see. The coffee house itself is not a new one, and it’s been a long-standing favourite among Canberrans. As director of Ona Coffee, Sasa worked tirelessly for years building up its reputation around town and they now supply beans to a great number of local cafes.
They also have three popular establishments around Canberra, including the Fyshwick location, Ona on the Lawns in Manuka and The Cupping Room (you would have seen that one featured in our earlier top ten to try!) Ona Fyshwick isn’t exactly a new contender in Canberra’s coffee game, however, after Sasa took out the World Championship title it’s become a kind of world coffee-capital.
There is huge emphasis on quality coffee with Ona. They are always looking to find ways to produce amazing coffee, and then improving on that to make a great tasting coffee taste even better, and more exciting. Experiencing specialty coffee the way Ona does it is definitely something that you should tick off your coffee-related bucket list.
Where: Unit 3/68 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick
When: Open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat & Sun 8am-3pm
Contact: (02) 6162 3320
Twelve – Civic
In the wake of their big move to Aranda, Two Before Ten (mentioned in the last top ten) decided to open a new location, opposite of their old café on Marcus Clarke Street, to cater for their long-standing loyal following of surrounding public servants and city-goers.
So, Twelve was born. The fit out is different to the original café, and much smaller – essentially it’s just an Espresso Bar with a few sweet and savoury treats. It’s not like a miniature copy of the old store but it still has some similarities to it, and the overall vibe isn’t too far apart from what you would have experienced at the original café either – it’s somewhere in the middle. (I guess that’s why they called it Twelve!)
The space is clean and simple, surrounded by large glass walls allowing an abundance of natural light to flow in. Although it’s just an Espresso Bar, if you feel like dining in there is some seating available. There are a few small tables inside and a large communal bench just outside of the front window (which is in a prime people-watching position!) All of the coffee served is supplied by Two Before Ten, of course, and there are numerous blends available including The Juggernaut and Atlas, as well as some Single Origin.
Where: Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra (In between Chicken Gourmet and IGA)
Espresso Room – Belconnen, Woden & Tuggeranong
These guys are an unsuspecting contender in Canberra’s specialty coffee scene with all three locations situated inside their respective town centres. In my experience most of the coffee available inside shopping centres is pretty gnarly, to put it bluntly. But Espresso Room completely destroys that preconception.
Supplied by Ona Coffee, these guys are serious about what they do. They don’t just exist to supply a social convenience for mall-goers – they’re bringing the world of specialty coffee into the forefront of our community. It’s not so underground anymore – specialty coffee is becoming a concept that the everyday person is familiar with, or has at least heard of before.
Having said that, don’t be scared away if you’re not familiar with the concept. In my experience, coffee culture can sometimes be a bit clique-y, like you can only be a part of the club if you drink espresso and know what a pourover is. But not with Espresso Room – walk in and order a caramel latte and a few babycinos for the kids and you’ll be welcomed in with open arms, not snubbed off by a pretentious barista with knuckle tattoos and suspenders who’s probably 23 years old and hasn’t experienced a world outside their Mum’s house before. The guys at Espresso Room will take the time to talk with you, and maybe even teach you a little something about coffee you didn’t know before.
Where: Westfield Belconnen, Westfield Woden, Tuggeranong Hyperdome
When: Open seven days. Open-close times vary depending on centre trading hours.