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Coolest Neighbourhoods: Canberra’s Trendiest Suburbs Revealed

Canberra’s neighbourhoods punch well above their weight when it comes to cool factor.

With its thriving arts scene and funky cafes, cool, cultured Canberra is in hot demand. Grab your cold brew and read on to explore seven of the trendiest enclaves in town.


Next door in Ainslie, institutional restaurant Pilot heralds Australian produce and local wines, while Edgar’s redefines the classic suburban pub. Foodies make a beeline for the famous Ainslie IGA – stocking the largest cheese selection in Canberra – and make their way up Mount Ainslie for a sunset picnic with a view. Here, residents benefit from that quaint, postcard-perfect lifestyle while being just minutes from the CBD. Coupling bountiful walking and cycling tracks with the city’s culture and amenities on its doorstep makes Ainslie one of Canberra’s most coveted places to live.


One of Canberra’s oldest suburbs, Kingston sits just five minutes’ drive from the city centre and has undergone immense transformation to become one of the city’s most in-demand areas. The colourful Kingston foreshore hosts a mix of stylish cafes, waterfront restaurants and relaxed pubs humming on weekends. At the back of the foreshore, you’ll find the Old Bus Depot Markets, held each Sunday, crammed with local produce, handmade crafts and artisan wares. Don’t miss brunch at Penny University or Local Press and sweet pastries from Silo Bakery.  


The eclectic suburb of Lyneham contrasts some of Canberra’s oldest buildings with a spate of modern apartment blocks designed for urban convenience. Despite this, the suburb has retained its bohemian charm, with on-trend brunch spots such as The Front and Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery. There are walking trails, sporting facilities and bike path along Sullivan’s Creek for a scenic commute into the city. Stock up on fresh local produce at the community-run Capital Region Farmers Market each Saturday and check out some of the city’s top festivals, concerts, and events at EPIC.


Kingston’s smaller sister, Manuka is a leafy, pocket-sized neighbourhood within striking distance of the city centre. Life here centres around the village with Franklin and Bougainville streets becoming hotspots for cafes, late-night bars and eateries. Sophisticated and affluent, Manuka lures everyone from politicians and professionals to families and socialites. Apart from the food, it offers plenty of entertainment with old-school sporting fields, art deco Manuka Pool and upmarket boutiques and designer stores.


Nestled alongside Lake Burley Griffin, the cultural precinct of NewActon helped cement Canberra’s ‘it’ factor over recent years. From dawn till dusk, the neighbourhood is abuzz with hip eateries – think Mocan & Green Grout, High Jinks and Monster Kitchen and Bar within Ovolo Nishi – luring gourmands far and wide. The precinct showcases an ever-evolving arts scene, cinema, community gardens and yoga studios, enticing young Canberrans and out-of-towners for its unbeatable community-rich lifestyle.

Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets


Often the first port of call for discerning travellers to Canberra, Braddon’s reputation is assured by back-to-back brunch spots, coffee roasters and fashion boutiques lining Lonsdale Street. The inner-city suburb has well and truly evolved from its industrial roots to become a hipster haven thick with pop-up design stores and trendy op shops. Foodies head to cafe favourites Barrio Collective, Rye and Sweet Bones, while after hours locals gather at BentSpoke Brewing Co or the sprawling beer garden at Assembly.


A few decades ago, and you’d be told to hurry straight through Fyshwick, an area remembered for its sordid past. Nowadays, the suburb is being reincarnated as an exciting new hub for food and shopping (watch out Braddon), in a dynamic mix of old and new. Think bookshops and vintage stores laden with retro finds and brewers and bakers converting industrial warehouses into spaces for all things tasty and delicious. Get your fill of artisan produce at Urban Providore, sample tap beers at Capital Bewing Co., and tuck into a heavenly slice of cake or French pastry at Flute. This is a suburb high on the hit list for trendsetting hipsters.

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