The best locally owned establishments in Canberra

Five of the best independent boutiques and eateries to head to in Australia’s capital city.

Black Fire Tapas and Pintxo Bar

This establishment – an extension of the existing Mediterranean Black Fire restaurant – is one of the latest additions to the inner-city suburb of Braddon. Choose from their impressive variety of tapas, which includes goat’s cheese churros; capsicum stuffed with crab meat; and white sausage with Swiss mushrooms and gremolata. Be sure to sample the house sangria, an addictive concoction of red or white wine and fresh fruit that’s matured for a week. Complete your meal with the delicious chocolate coulant and orange marshmallow custard.

A ring-making class at Kin Gallery
A ring-making class at Kin Gallery

2.Kin Gallery

For Ingrid Lockley-Penc, moving her jewellery gallery into the Scandinavian-inspired Palko building in Braddon late last year was a complete dream come true. Lockley-Penc founded Kin to provide local artists and designers with a place to not just showcase their work but also to work on their creations. Here, you can find contemporary pieces from over 60 Australian artists and even get your own bespoke jewellery designed. In addition, the space also offers a range of jewellery-making workshops held throughout the week for you to pick up gold and silversmithing skills, including one-day wedding ring workshops for couples.

Madeleines at L’Orange Patisserie
Madeleines at L’Orange Patisserie

3.L’Orange Patisserie

Tucked away in a sunlit arcade in Manuka is a charming café selling French pastries. A creation of Dutch-born, French-trained pastry chef Willem den Hartog, L’Orange Patisserie serves up standouts like tarts, roulades and profiteroles. Don’t miss the lemon, raspberry and rosewater flan, a Dutch specialty from near the Belgian border. Croissants and baguettes also feature at the patisserie, and every coffee comes with a madeleine baked fresh that morning. For something a little more wholesome, try the Green Goddess salad that’s made with quinoa, feta, avocado, zucchini and pesto.

A Negroni at Molly
A Negroni at Molly

4.Molly

After speakeasy Molly closed last year, when the building it formerly occupied was demolished, co-owner Antony Arena received about 2,500 emails begging him to reopen. He soon found the Canberra favourite a new home in an old bank space within the Civic area’s Melbourne Building, with quirky features such as a vault that has been converted into a function room. Upmarket yet cosy, the bar serves an extensive collection of over 500 whiskies. It’s also fitted out with a baby grand piano for live jazz nights. Like any good speakeasy, the entrance is hard to find. Make your way to a back alley off Odgers Lane, look for an unmarked door that reveals a red handrail when you enter, then follow it up an unassuming stairwell.

Trove
Trove

5.Trove

Located in the Garema Centre in the Civic area, visit this artist and designers’ collective for quality, locally made artworks, ceramics, homewares and jewellery. Trove is a cooperative of around 40 members who all live within 100km of Canberra. Expect to find items such as screen-printed tea towels from There Goes a Pig and landscape paintings by artist Jennifer Baird. As a bonus, some artists even offer customisation services for their creations.

This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine.

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