Canberra is our nation’s capital and the home of politics and freezing cold weather. I visit not occasionally for work and have been impressed of late with the blooming food scene, in keeping with it’s capital city sisters.

Here is a gradually expanding list of my Canberra recommendations!

Lilotang – modern Japanese food

Lilotang is Canberra’s most awarded Japanese restaurant, conveniently located in the Burbury hotel if you’re staying nearby.

It is my favourite cosy restaurant to enjoy a hot sukiyaki to warm the soul on a chilly Canberra night (like the vegetarian option with added 65*C egg here!). Their menu is also packed with sashimi, sushi, and a banquet menu if dining with 2+ people.

Buvette – breakfast buffet

Buvette is also located within a hotel complex, this time the Hotel Realm. They are usually a bistro and wine but I found their breakfast buffet to be unexpectedly awesome, particularly if you’re after some tasty healthy options!

All the usual hot and cold options feature here including eggs and vegetables, yogurts, muesli, fruit, pastries and rather good coffee!

Otis Dining Hall – for dining with the group

We came here as a work group and were thoroughly impressed with the quality of the food. Think of comfort food favourites like lamb shoulder, whole fish, roasted pumpkin tortellini and pork belly, but also dishes like KFQ (quail rather than chicken) and salted wallaby.

And for dessert, you have to go for creme caramal with smoked sea salt and Japanese whisky, or the OTIS magnum meringue!

Little Bird – healthy lunchin’ and brunchin’

A great little unassuming cafe with fantastic food. Try breakfast with creamy porridge, chia smoothie bowls, smashed avo, ham and potato corquettes or pulled pork eggs benny. Or try the lunch menu after 11:30am with this maple roasted pumpkin salad, chicken salad with lime chimichurri and black beans, grilled salmon with black rice and miso or something more hearty like the wagyu beef burger or lamb and mushroom ragout gnocchi!