10 Unique Restaurants in Canberra: A Foodie’s Guide

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Canberra
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Looking for quirky places to eat in Canberra? I’m here to share places where you can savor French onion soup in a setting that feels straight out of a Parisian bistro and enjoy fusion dishes that blend Japanese and Peruvian flavors. Join me as we uncover the coolest restaurants in Canberra.

Picture this: a spot in Canberra where the flavors of Fiji and India blend in an unexpectedly perfect way, or a place that brings the essence of Myanmar to your plate. Ever experienced that? In Canberra, that’s our normal.

I’m here to guide you through Canberra’s most unique restaurants. From intimate dining that feels like you’ve discovered the city’s best-kept secret to vibrant spots that redefine fun eating out, it’s all on the list.

Looking for the coolest places to eat in Canberra? You’re in the right place. Trust me; it’s going to be a delicious ride!

The top restaurants to visit in Canberra right now

Quirky places to eat in Canberra, Australia

Ready to explore Canberra’s best eateries? We’ve got everything from fusion dishes that blend Indonesian and Japanese cuisines to authentic Burmese meals that will transport you straight to Yangon. Join me on a tour of the quirkiest places to eat in Canberra.

Ever thought about savoring French onion soup in a spot that feels like a cozy Parisian bistro nestled in Deakin? Canberra’s dining scene has it all, ready for you to discover. Let’s dive into the most unique restaurants in Canberra.

1. Naadam Restaurant

Heading over to Naadam Restaurant feels like a mini vacation to Mongolia right in the heart of Canberra. Picture yourself stepping into a cozy ger, or yurt, as it’s known outside Mongolia.

Inside the yurt, the walls are adorned with beautiful calligraphy and authentic Mongolian art. The owner is passionate about sharing the richness of Mongolian culture with guests. It’s one of those places where you learn something new with every visit.

Now, let’s talk food. The ox tongue and ox fat jelly are must-tries. They’re unusual, sure, but absolutely delicious. And for a truly authentic experience, you can’t go past the traditional milky tea and yak milk vodka. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the King’s Set. It’s a set menu where you can sample a bit of everything.

Naadam stands out among the best restaurants in Canberra for its immersive experience. I suggest booking ahead to snag a spot. If you’re looking to shake up your dining routine with something adventurous, Naadam Restaurant should be at the top of your list.

Naadam Restaurant is one of the unique restaurants in Canberra.
Transport yourself to Mongolia at Naadam Restaurant in Canberra, stepping into a cozy ger for a unique dining experience.

2. Kita

Kita in Narrabundah is your go-to spot when craving that authentic Indonesian vibe in Canberra. This place rocks a funky atmosphere that makes every visit memorable. Serving up staples like Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng, Bubur Ayam, and a curry of the week, your taste buds are in for a trip to Indonesia without the flight.

The decor? It’s something else. Walking in, you might think you’ve entered a high-end restaurant. You’re greeted with stunning artwork, sleek wood panels, and eye-catching tables set under soothing lighting. Yet, the vibe is kept chill and welcoming with comfy lounges and armchairs inviting you to relax.

As a fan of Balinese coffee, I can say Kita’s brews took me straight back to those laid-back Bali cafe vibes. It’s the perfect blend of fine dining aesthetics and cafe coziness. If you ask me, it’s one of the best places to eat in Canberra for a casual meet-up or a solo chill session.

Open primarily from 9 PM to 9 AM, it’s ideal for night owls or early birds looking for a serene spot. It’s a safe area and there’s plenty of nearby parking.

Indulge in authentic Indonesian flavors at Kita for a memorable culinary journey without the need for a flight.
Indulge in authentic Indonesian flavors at Kita for a memorable culinary journey without the need for a flight.

3. Rama’s Fiji Indian Restaurant

Rama’s Fiji Indian Restaurant in Pearce is a gem that’s all about bringing the vibrant flavors of Fiji-Indian cuisine to Canberra. Trust me, the goat curry here is a game-changer. Cooked on the bone, it’s tender, flavorful, and just the right kind of spicy. If you’re not too keen on heat, going for mild or medium is your best bet.

What makes Rama’s stand out even more is its BYO policy. Forgot to bring a bottle? No worries, there’s a liquor store right next door. It’s like they’ve thought of everything to make your dining experience as smooth as possible.

If you’re after a dining experience that’s both delicious and unique, Rama’s Fiji Indian Restaurant is your go-to. As one of the coolest restaurants in Canberra, it’s somewhere I always recommend to friends visiting the city.

Savor Fiji-Indian cuisine at Rama's, with their game-changing goat curry—tender, flavorful, and perfectly spiced.
Savor Fiji-Indian cuisine at Rama’s, with their game-changing goat curry—tender, flavorful, and perfectly spiced.

4. Myanmar Corner

Dropping into Myanmar Corner near Casey feels like discovering one of Canberra’s best restaurants. If you’ve never tried Burmese food, this spot will change your game.

Starting with the Pickled Tea Leaf Salad, it’s an eye-opener. I mean, who knew eating tea leaves could be this delicious? It’s a burst of flavors that sets the tone for an unforgettable meal.

Then there’s the Mohinga. Imagine a creamy fish broth that’s mildly spiced and so comforting, you’ll forget any reservations you had about fish dishes. It’s smooth, rich, and just plain delightful.

What I loved most about this place was hearing the staff happily singing in Burmese from the kitchen. It’s those little details that make a meal at Myanmar Corner not just dining, but an experience.

Given how popular this hidden Australian gem is among those in the know, snagging a table might require a bit of planning. Also, if you enjoy a bit of exploring after your meal, the area around Casey has some nice spots to wind down your evening.

Myanmar Corner is one of the unique restaurants in Canberra.
Discover game-changing Burmese cuisine at Myanmar Corner near Casey.

5. Canteen

Canteen is your ticket to an authentic Japanese dining experience right in the heart of Canberra, nestled within an industrial building that’s as cool as it sounds. This place is all about serving up delicious ramen in a setting that’s bright, airy, and offers the option to bask in the sunshine at their outdoor seating.

Let me tell you about the Spicy Daddy and Tokyo Bird ramen dishes. The house-made noodles have the perfect texture. Plus, the broth combined with aromatic oil is a match made in heaven. It’s the kind of meal that leaves you planning your next visit before you’ve even left. And for those who appreciate a good drink, their selection of Japanese whiskey is something to get excited about.

Located a stone’s throw from the Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve, Canteen is perfectly positioned for a post-meal adventure. Whether you’re a ramen lover or just curious, this spot is a must-try among the fun restaurants in Canberra.

Savor authentic Japanese cuisine at Canteen in Canberra's industrial-chic setting, with delicious ramen and outdoor seating.
Savor authentic Japanese cuisine at Canteen in Canberra’s industrial-chic setting, with delicious ramen and outdoor seating. | Image Source: http://www.eatcanteen.com.au/

6. INKA

INKA in Canberra’s CBD is like hitting the jackpot for anyone who loves a fusion that’s out of the ordinary. This place brings together the best of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine in a way that’s simply genius. The atmosphere is just as impressive, with its lofty ceilings and decor that’ll have you pulling out your phone for photos.

Now, onto the main event: the food. You’ve got to try the tostadas and snapper tiradito. Both are mind-blowingly good. And for dessert, the coconut yuzu is a dream. The chefs here are creating art on a plate.

Heads up: make sure you book ahead. INKA is no secret among food lovers in Canberra, and tables fill up fast. Trust me, it’s worth the bit of extra planning.

After enjoying what might just be the meal of your life, you’re right in the CBD. If you’re up for a walk or another round of drinks, you’re in the perfect spot. For a dining experience that’s truly one of a kind, INKA is a must-visit among the unique Canberra restaurants.

Experience culinary fusion at its best at INKA, where Japanese and Peruvian cuisine unite in genius harmony.
Experience culinary fusion at its best at INKA, where Japanese and Peruvian cuisine unite in genius harmony.

7. Street of Asia

Street of Asia in Tuggeranong takes you straight to the heart of Thai and Malaysian cuisine without leaving Canberra. This spot is a local favorite, especially known for its laksa. My favorite is the roast pork version, which often comes with wontons. It’s all about generous portions here, and the prices? Totally wallet-friendly.

It’s all about generous portions here, and the prices? Totally wallet-friendly. I can’t recommend this spot enough if you’re after cheap eats in Canberra. Yes, there might be a bit of a wait for your food during dinner time. They run a tight ship with only a few chefs, but trust me, it’s worth it. The flavors are spot on, and it feels like every dish is prepared with a lot of love and care.

If you’re planning a visit, maybe head there a bit earlier or during off-peak hours to beat the rush.

For anyone in Canberra looking for delicious Thai and Malaysian eats, Street of Asia is definitely a place to check out. Just be prepared to become a regular, because it’s that good!

Street of Asia is one of the unique restaurants in Canberra.
Try Thai and Malaysian cuisine at Street of Asia, known for generous portions and affordable prices. | Image Source: https://southpointcanberra.com.au/

8. Little Istanbul

Little Istanbul in Tuggeranong is like a slice of Turkish delight right here in Canberra. Just a stone’s throw from Street of Asia, this place offers a spacious dining area, both indoors and out.

We had the kebab banquet for two, and let me tell you, it was a feast for the senses. The bread arrives steaming straight from the oven. And the dips – hummus, Havuc, and Pancar – are the perfect starters, fresh and full of flavor.

But let’s talk about the main event: the meat. Every piece, especially the lamb cutlets, was cooked to sheer perfection. Little Istanbul knows their stuff when it comes to grilling.

The interior adds to the whole experience. You’ll find decorative pendant bulb lights and comfy lounge dining that make you feel right at home. It’s the perfect spot for a laid-back meal that still feels a bit special.

Given how popular this spot is, I’d recommend booking ahead to secure a table. And after indulging in some of the best Turkish food in Canberra, why not check out Tuggeranong Town Park Beach? It’s a great way to round off an evening at one of the most fun places to eat in Canberra.

Little Istanbul offers Turkish delight, with spacious indoor and outdoor dining near the Street of Asia.
Little Istanbul offers Turkish delight, with spacious indoor and outdoor dining near the Street of Asia.

9. Dada

Dada is Canberra’s hidden gem, no doubt about it. This spot is where Asian fusion gets a whole new meaning, blending flavors from Korea, Japan, and beyond in the most amazing dishes.

When I say you’ve got to try the Korean chicken and Korean chicken tortellini, I mean it. Both are simply out of this world. And the kimchi fried rice? It’ll make you see this classic side in a new light.

The drink selection might be on the smaller side, but every wine and beer has been chosen to perfectly match the bold flavors on the menu. Plus, the service here istop-notch. It’s clear the team at Dada goes above and beyond to make every visit special.

If you’re wondering where to eat in Canberra, I’d highly recommend checking out Dada. It’s a cut above the rest in terms of creativity and flavor.

Dada offers amazing Asian fusion dishes blending flavors from Korea, Japan, and beyond.
Dada offers amazing Asian fusion dishes blending flavors from Korea, Japan, and beyond.

10. Ondine

Ondine in Deakin is where you head when you’re craving that unbeatable traditional French cuisine in Canberra. Honestly, it’s like stepping into a French culinary haven. The French onion soup sets the bar high right from the start. And the beef bourguignon is so rich and comforting, you’d swear you were dining in a quaint bistro in France.

The whole experience makes you feel like you’ve come home to a family meal – if your family includes a world-class French chef, that is. It’s that blend of homeliness and culinary excellence that makes Ondine stand out.

For a little adventure before your meal, a trip to the Red Hill Lookout is highly recommended. One of the best places to visit in Canberra, it’s close by and offers a beautiful view of the area. You might even spot kangaroos hanging out in their natural habitat!

Ondine is one of the unique restaurants in Canberra.
Experience traditional French cuisine at Ondine in Deakin, Canberra.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the quirkiest restaurants in Canberra

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in Canberra? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Canberra’s most unique restaurants.

What food is Canberra known for?

Canberra’s food scene is eclectic. You’ll find everything from hearty Australian classics to innovative fusion dishes. The city is particularly known for its truffles, especially during the winter months, and its vibrant café culture that serves up some of the best coffee and brunches around, making it one of the destinations for unique restaurants in Australia.

What is unique about Canberra?

Canberra is unique because it’s a city designed with purpose and nature in mind. Unlike other bustling capitals, it’s filled with green spaces, national parks, and lakes. Plus, its status as Australia’s capital means you’ve got access to some of the country’s most significant cultural institutions and monuments, making it an appealing destination for those who fly to Australia.

A row of canoes lined up on the shore of a lake in Canberra.
Capital Paddle in Canberra, ACT, Australia

What is Canberra best known for?

Canberra is best known as the political heart of Australia, home to Parliament House, the High Court, and numerous national museums and galleries, making it a gem in Oceania.

Is Canberra a walkable city?

Yes, Canberra is surprisingly walkable, especially around the central areas and the parliamentary triangle. For a city of its size, it’s easy to get around on foot to explore Australia’s beautiful spots, including the major sights, parks, and lakes. Plus, there are plenty of bike paths and public transport options when you want to venture further, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Australia.

The top restaurants in Canberra for all types of travelers
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