Braddon is Canberra’s trendy up-and-coming neighbourhood, it’s one of the most popular dining destinations for Canberra’s hip youth. Keep heading north and you’ll arrive in Dickson, which known as Canberra’s Chinatown.
A short walk north of Civic will put you on Lonsdale Street, and in the lively heart of Braddon. Coffee culture is king here, and you can get your quality caffeine fix down the northern end of the street. Coffee is roasted freshly in view of customers at Lonsdale Street Roasters, where ordering a Saturday morning latte is a rite of passage for anyone living in the area. Another option is Rye Café, also on Lonsdale Street, with their fresh, simple food and great coffee.
Once you’ve finished sipping your coffee or three, head to Lonsdale Street Traders. Here you can spend the afternoon browsing pop-up stalls from local businesses selling fashion, homewares, and art, all conveniently bundled together in a repurposed warehouse.
If all this shopping is a little exhausting, wander around the corner to Mort Street for a boutique beverage at Bentspoke Brewing Co. Grab a bar stool upstairs by the window and relax with an afternoon beer or cider (brewed on site). You’ll probably also notice the Canberra theme reflected in the name of the drop you’re drinking, with the Braddon Bitter and Barley Griffin some of the best on tap.
Night time in Braddon also has a lot to offer. Cocktail cravings can be satisfied at the Knightsbridge Penthouse on Mort Street where you can listen to soul, funk, disco and hip-hop late into the evening.
Further up Northbourne Avenue in Dickson it’s all about exotic dining. Take your pick from Peruvian pan-fried dory fillet, Brazilian Barbecue or Laotian green curry. The restaurant strips on Woolley Street or on nearby Challis and Cape Streets have it all.
Dickson is also known as Canberra’s Chinatown and boasts the biggest hub of Asian restaurants and grocers in town. Dickson Asian Noodle House is one of the most popular establishments in the area and is famed for its laksa. Dickson Dumpling House is another popular highlight where we suggest ordering the prawn and pumpkin dumplings.
Haig Park at the end of Lonsdale Street is Braddon’s green space. It’s densely packed with trees to make a windbreak and reduce city noise, with the majority of the trees planted in 1921.
As well as a calming, beautifully-landscaped courtyard, the Gorman Arts Centre houses local arts organisations and offers multi-use performance spaces, tuition areas, and a gallery.
A welcoming and relaxing atmosphere can be found at the Canberra City Bowls Club in Braddon, where you’ll be able to start a team and take it easy for an afternoon on the bowling green.
Dickson playing fields on Antill Street are used by a number of different sporting clubs, from football and rugby, to frisbee.
The Nearby Dickson Library offers free library services to the public seven days a week, including free internet services and Wi-Fi.
The Dickson Community Health Centre, conveniently located on Dickson Place, has you covered for your health needs, including physiotherapy and maternal health services.
FREE & FRUGAL
The most popular deal is local pizzeria Debacle’s two-for-one deal on Monday and Tuesdays, where you can happily feast on half-price gourmet pizzas while enjoying the wide range of boutique brews.
You’re sorted in Dickson for a cheap feed. For only $10 you can pick up a lunch special all week at Cholo’s Peruvian Cuisine, or grab a schnitzel at the Dickson’ Tradie’s. There’s also the excellent Wednesday night $15 burger and beer special at Sub Urban, which is well worth the trip.
For some fitness and sightseeing, take a wander through the dense, green branches of Haig Park. If you’re after something a little more challenging, the trek up to the Mount Ainslie Lookout is a must. Not only will you get some exercise but you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view over the whole of Canberra. Head up there at dawn for an even more spectacular experience, as the sun rises over the nation’s capital.