Canberra is Australia’s creative capital; a vibrant city surrounded by forest and nature reserves, earning it the affectionate nickname “the bush capital”. It also has some great drinking spots to kick back in after a day of exploring. We list the top 10 places to order a cold beer or cocktail.
Molly is a top spot in which to gather with friends for a colorful cocktail. There’s no advertising or bar sign here, just a plain brick wall with a large door, so make sure you don’t miss it. Step inside and you’ll be met by a contemporary interior and a huge drink selection. The bartenders are extremely professional and experts in their craft; don’t miss their espresso or apple martinis.
Polit Baris an excellent spot for those seeking a refined drink in a sophisticated atmosphere. Have your pick of whiskey, beer, vodka and gin here, with each drink exquisitely served in delicate glassware by efficent and smart waiters. You’ll find this joint through a side door and up a short flight of stairs, a peaceful place elevated above the noise of the city streets. Try the vodka martini with olives for a real kick.
Benchmark Wine Bar is a small boutique restaurant with an extensive wine selection located on the edge of the city. The wine, food and service here is impeccable, and the tasty tapas served goes extremely well with one of the merlots or sauvignon blancs on offer by the glass. A top spot for a drink with some delicious food, try the zucchini flowers and pork belly accompanied by a glass of New Zealand chardonnay.
Bar, Restaurant, Australian, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
Capitol Bar and Grill is a bar with quirky interior decor featuring various pieces of colorful artwork and sleek, shiny surfaces. Always full of customers, Capitol exudes a lively, welcoming atmosphere, and is a great choice for a beer or cocktail and a relaxing meal. There’s an excellent range of steaks available here which can be well paired with a number of the vintages on offer.
Bentspoke Brewing Co is the place to be for beer lovers. The ale selection incorporates everything from light lagers to full-bodied beers and dark stouts, and there is a diverse collection of draught varieties too. The staff here are all trained in the art of ale and on hand to dispense advice about the different offerings; if you can’t make up your mind, ask them for a taster.
The Civic Pubis a simple-looking establishment from the outside, but inside it’s a different matter. A spectacle of color, the interior features majestic light fittings and a large pool room, perfect for having tournaments with friends. Reasonably priced beer and friendly staff keep customers coming back for more here, and with a lively ambience too, this is the place for a fun drink and a pool game in the city.
Joe’s Bar at East Hotel has a relaxing atmosphere and is a great place to meet friends in Canberra. Fine produce, fine wine and family ties are prioritized at this establishment, and it is a family-friendly establishment which offers guests the very best in cold ales and tasty snacks. The liquor range here is top-notch, and guests can choose from an array of bourbon, rum and vodka varieties.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Australian, $$$
Treehouse Bar is a vibrant and modern joint with a beautiful tree installation set at the back of its bar. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is complemented by cocktails that are out of this world; don’t miss the Strawberry Blonde, made with muddled fresh lime, brown sugar, vanilla vodka, Chambord and ginger.
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The Durham is a low-key, long-established pub tucked away in a corner of Green Square, Canberra. One of the city’s original pubs, the quality here has been exceptional since it first opened its doors in the 1980s. Cider lovers should pay this joint a visit as there is a wide variety of ice-cold, local varieties on tap.
Mint Garden Bar is an outside bar set within the beautiful Gorman House site of Canberra, and is surrounded by theaters and charming studio spaces. A top spot in which to stop for a drink after a show, the wine selection here is arguably one of the largest in the city, with vintages sourced from France, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia. There is a great choice of Scottish whisky, too.