Unlocked Canberra: City and the Inner North

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Canberra, it’s been a while since we’ve been able to really explore our city.

For 10 weeks, while our city was doing what was necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 in our community, our world became very small. But now it’s time to hug more than home.

We’re excited to introduce you to Canberra Unlocked — a series that will explore the city’s seven regions, uncovering hidden gems and giving you the best playbook for your next adventure.

Up first — the City and Inner North. Home to leafy streets and heritage buildings, it never fails to surprise and delight, with new restaurants, cafes and shops opening almost weekly.


The Inner North is spoiled for choice when it comes to destination dining – which is especially tempting after 18 months of no international travel.

Recently opened Talk to in the city center presents Canberra to an authentic Mexican, while White ChacoThe fusion of Japanese and Taiwanese cuisine serves what many say is Canberra’s best ramen.

Do you crave Vietnamese? Go to the Canberra version of Chinatown in Dickson for an authentic photo Vietnamese Restaurant Pho Phu Quoc—An institution among locals.

Can’t you decide? Verity Lane Market‘s European-style dining hall is home to a multitude of options including wood-fired pizza, tapas, pasta and bao; and if your tastes run more to the cuisine of Modern Oz, that of Braddon Corella Bar was named as a finalist in the Gourmet Traveler 2022 Restaurant Awards. If you’re looking to heighten your evening, book a table at 12 seats Mu Omakase will give you (12-20 course) a memorable dinner.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a summer without ice cream — and at Dickson’s Poured Milk Bar, the gelato is cold and ready. The only question — will it be one shot or two?


Coffee cultivation runs deep in the Inner North of Canberra, with latte at Braddon Neighborhood being essential for locals and visitors alike. Those who want their oatmeal milk with a side of inner inspiration can go to Acton’s Instagrammable. Močan and Green Grout.

The Inner North also boasts hidden suburban gems, two prominent being The Knox Made in Watson and that of Downer Gang Gang Cafe. Both welcome customers of all ages for relaxing meals in an equally relaxed setting and if you’re looking for a snapshot of Canberra’s social history, Tilley’s in Lyneham, with its jazz club interiors, offers a time capsule like no other.

As the sun soaks below the horizon (or a little earlier, in these summer months), the bar scene of the Inner North is revived. Starting night at BentSpoke Brewing CoBraddon’s brewery and gastropub gives you the opportunity to buy a literal taste of Canberra, while across the road, Rizla serves the most delicious drops of the cool climatic wine region of Canberra and beyond.

On the other side of the city, one of Canberra’s newest nightclubs, Cicada Bar, offers custom cocktails with a focus on sustainability while a truly underground experience awaits at Acton’s High Jinks. Think: modern speech with all the ornaments.


Of course, the inclusion of Canberra city within the Inner North means there’s a lot of shopping, and really, who doesn’t want to support local manufacturers and shops after the last 18 months? As if you needed an apology …

Braddon’s Lonsdale Street is the epicenter of shopping in the Inner North, and a natural place to start is POP Canberra– a bright and lovingly cared-for empiricism of all local affairs. Do you want to reduce, reuse and recycle? Melbourne mailbox Goodbye opens soon and will feature top brands at pre-order prices.

You will discover that sustainable fashion appears in many forms on Lonsdale Street, especially at nearby shops The Dirty Sink of Sancho (feature image) and Lost Vintage, who focus on street art and fashion and high-fashioned and vintage fashion respectively, and across the road, discover lovingly crafted jewelry at Kin Gallery, as well as jewelry workshops.

It’s worth planning your inner north adventure to coincide with the weekly Haig Park Markets—Sunday is a must for locals who see a leafy corridor of Braddon’s Haig Park living with stalls selling vegetables, flowers, pastries, crafts and more.

After all that shopping you will definitely need some TLC, so why not get into a newly opened day medication, Holy shrine? Adytum’s mix of heart-style bath and traditional spas will soothe the most weary souls (and soles).

Looking for something outside? The National Botanical Garden is a short drive from Braddon and offers miles of loving flora to explore, including the lush Rainforest Gully — a summer favorite for little ones.


Hidden in Watson is one of the most enchanting surprises in the Inner North — Canberra’s smallest gallery. Containing only one room, the Gallery of Small Things offers a new perspective on curation, with rotating exhibitions of local and interstate artists.

From small to epic, a visit to the National Museum of Australia it is a must for the Inner North, whether you are exploring some of its many permanent exhibitions or catching a summer craze—Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes opens on December 17th and we can’t wait!


To end your inner northern adventure — a little fun. The RUC Turner Bowls Club not only is a sweet slice of suburb serving excellent bar food, it is also home to some of Canberra’s most picturesque barefoot bowls.

A lazy Sunday afternoon reservation will take advantage of most of this breezy spot or exchange Friday tree drinks for barefoot bowls and stay for the next music.

This spring, spend and keep local while you explore Canberra unlocked. See visitcanberra.com.au for more inspiration.

Main image: Sancho’s Dirty Laundry by Pew Pew Studio

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