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Entertainment

Top 20 restaurants in Canberra

Aubergine

Owner and chef Ben Willis.

Kirsten Lawson If you want an up-to-date meal, excellently executed, with cool surprises in the food, Aubergine is top of the list. This is fine dining that delivers an excitement you don't always find at this end.

Artisan

The Artisan Restaurant, Narrabundah Shops.

Bryan Martin Whenever anyone mentions cubes to me, and it comes up more than you'd think, this dish of pork belly pings around the brain. Do they have a laser level in the kitchen?

Courgette

Courgette restaurant, head chef Kurt Newmann cooking in the kitchen.

Kirsten Lawson It's a rather hushed, formal place, but not uptight. There's a sense of calm in the carpets and white linen, well-spaced tableware and pretty elegant service.

Dieci e Mezzo

Restaurant review dieci e mezzo in civic.

Bryan Martin The menu is modern Italian with a really interesting range of entrees, including a gorgonzola tart, tuna carpaccio and a delicate scallop and celeriac arrangement.

Ellacure

Ellacure, Bruce.

Bryan Martin I'm not sure what they're doing that creates this feeling of comfort and a sense of belonging. They're well versed in service, and it's always busy but under control.

Grazing

Kurt Neumann

Kirsten Lawson It's in the Royal Hotel in the village of Gundaroo, a building nearly 200 years old, with walls as thick as Arnold Schwarzenegger's thighs. And there's a new chef in charge.

Iori

Chef Freddy Ng.

Bryan Martin And of course, since this is Japanese, Iori's sushi and sashimi combinations never fail to excite, such a fresh, precise arrangement of tuna, kingfish, salmon.

Italian and Sons

Italian & Sons.

Bryan Martin You've got to love the personality in the food at Italian and Sons, the impressive wine list, the ambience, the old-school Latin gist of the place. And pizzas aren't bad either.

Jewel of India

Goat Curry from the Jewel of India restaurant.

Kirsten Lawson We generally head to the city because here you'll get some regional specialties and a bunch of goat recipes, and how can you go past that? It's also at Manuka.

Lanterne Rooms

Lanterne Rooms

Kirsten Lawson Most little shopping centres have a restaurant and many are Asian, but Campbell is one of the lucky ones. Places as fine - and fun - as the Lanterne Rooms are rare indeed.

Le Tres Bon

Le Tres Bon in Bungendore.

Kirsten Lawson It is absolutely worth the drive. He's in a rickety, atmospheric little shopfront on the main street, small tables, old wooden chairs of that French spindly kind, Parisian prints on the walls.

Mecca Bah

Mecca Bah

Kirsten Lawson The action is in pizzas, boat-shaped and knotted together at each end to contain the fillings. A favourite is sardines with caramelised onion and olive pizza.

Mezzalira

Chef  Megan Taylor

Catriona Jackson Mezzalira holds a place in the top 20 after one and half decades for very simple reasons - the food is good and often exciting, the wine list a good combination of local, Italian and reliable Australian greats.

Ottoman Cuisine

Ottoman Cuisine in Barton.

Kirsten Lawson What you get now at this temple of Turkish and wider Mediterranean cuisine is understated opulence, a carpeted and chandeliered sophistication with spaced tables, offering a lovely relaxation.

Pistachio

Pistachio in Torrens serves up hazelnut crumbed lambs brains with air dried proscuitto, sage, smoked bacon and split jus.

Kirsten Lawson It's a menu that sticks to the point and gives you the feeling that Keeley, who you just know is out back looking after your meal, is careful about just how much he can handle.

Pulp Kitchen

calves liver with onion tart  tatin  at Pulp Kitchen in Ainslie.

Kirsten Lawson Think bare tabletops with tealight candles, dim lights, a small space, a dark alley for the loos. In the food, big Brit-themed flavours, with beautifully handled offal like a seam of gold through the menu.

Rubicon

Chefs Evan Speed, left, and Owen Kenyon at the Rubicon Restaurant in Griffith.

Kirsten Lawson If you can't build it around a piece of meat, where do you start? Well, Owen Kenyon at Rubicon has the answers. A menu full of answers (albeit a menu of four dishes).

Sage

Sage Restaurant.

Bryan Martin The chef is a Frenchman. Well, he sounds and looks French - Clement Chauvin, see I told you. He met a local girl and has a new bub, born in a kitchen no less.

Silo Bakery

Paul Davies

Bryan Martin Pride of place is a blackboard with half a dozen wines available by the glass. Graham Hudson is an uncompromising wine lover with a huge knowledge and natural lean toward interesting regional wines.

Thirst Wine Bar and Eatery

Crispy fish salad.

Kirsten Lawson Jeff Piper - no, he's not Thai, used to run a classic French-based modern Australian place in the same spot - throws all his love of intense and pungent and wild Thai flavours into this food.

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Recent reviews

Santa Lucia

The Catanzariti family started feeding the ACT 40 years ago.

Comments

Malamay

A brilliant schmickly operated exotic restaurant.

Comments

Tandoor Indian

How did suburbanisation of Indian food happen in Australia?

Comments

Silo Bakery

Perennial favourite for the city's best bread.

Comments 1

Onred

Onred at the top of Red Hill starts with some inbuilt advantages.

Comments 1

Bicicletta

A little beacon of warmth in the corner of a courtyard.

Comments 2


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Poll Booth

Which of our top 20 Canberra restaurants is your favourite?

Poll form
  • Please select an answer.
  • View results
Artisan

3%

Aubergine

9%

Courgette and Water's Edge

5%

Dieci e Mezzo

4%

Ellacure

9%

Grazing

1%

Iori

1%

Italian and Sons

6%

Jewel of India

2%

Lanterne Rooms

3%

Le Tres Bon

1%

Mecca Bah

0%

Mezzalira

1%

Ottoman Cuisine

3%

Pistachio

7%

Pulp Kitchen

1%

Rubicon

6%

Sage

5%

Silo Bakery

1%

Thirst Wine Bar and Eatery

1%

My favourite is not listed here

31%

Total votes: 352.

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Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

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