Five of our favourite Canberra cafes 2015

Natasha Rudra

Looking for a cool cafe in Canberra for festive activities? Here are five great venues.

Space Kitchen

Ricardo De Marco in his new cafe Space Kitchen.

Ricardo De Marco's latest venture is in Woden, on the bottom floor of a parking garage. But Space Kitchen hits all the trendy notes in modern cafe culture - those colourful, Instagram-ready plates of food, cheerful mashups of genre, and studiedly casual decor. The star dish is a pulled pork croquette in the shape of a golden gaytime ice cream with all the requisite swirls of colour and scattered edible flowers. It would be twee if not for the tenderness of the meat and the creamy poached egg. Grab an alcoholic milkshake and enjoy a playful brunch.

12 Furzer Street, Phillip. 

The Cupping Room

Head barista Caity Reynolds at The Cupping Room in Civic Caity Reynolds tastes coffee for flavour.

Owned by the world's best barista, Sasa Sestic, this constantly bustling cafe really livened up a hitherto dull corner of London Circuit. Brunch is always packed, serving up everything from lavender milkshakes to South American fried eggs with jalapenos and bowls of creamy sago topped with tropical fruit. Of course you can't go past the coffee, from Sestic's much admired roasting house ONA. Get a chilled cascara for an unusual summer pick me up. There's a big terrace for weekend mornings with a coffee and newspaper. 

1-13 University Avenue, Canberra 

Ivy and the Fox

Barista John-Eric Brymer at Ivy and Fox cafe and bar at the Old Canberra House on the lakefront at ANU.

Location is everything at this cafe deep in the heart of the Australian National University. It's tucked into a heritage building - Old Canberra House - but the real star of the show is the scenic view. Red chairs and tables are set up under big established trees on a bright green lawn, looking out over woodland to Lake Burley Griffin. Haloumi and thick cut bacon is dotted with crisp corn and rocket, or  try a simple eggs benedict on a fat slice of toast. 

Old Canberra House, Australian National University

Penny University

Kingston cafe Penny University.

This is an old favourite now in the heart of Kingston, filled to the brim with vintage bits and pieces and little tables scattered from the sidewalk to the narrow dining room and through to an interior courtyard. Avo on toast with quinoa is creamy and crunchy while croissant french toast is richly indulgent with plenty of mascarpone, cream and citrus. Or sip a house made iced tea with blue cornflowers and Earl Grey on a hot morning. 

15 Kennedy Street, Kingston

Patissez

Anna and Gina Petridis put Canberra on the map with a bang when they came up with their crazy freakshakes - milkshakes topped with an extravagant array of brownies, cookies and cake. There are always queues for their Manuka patisserie but don't just stop for the freakshakes, their cakes are just as exciting. Look out for their new Civic bakery opening soon. 

The Lawns, Manuka

We also love...

Eighty/Twenty: paleo and healthy eating made slick and simple.

Autolyse: the sandwiches are perfection.

Barrio: great coffee in a tiny space.

Two Before Ten: the Aranda shops project has a fantastic sense of community.

The Knox: a welcome new addition to Watson.