The local guide to Braddon

The local guide to Braddon

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There is no suburb in Canberra that has as much personality as Braddon in Canberra’s inner-north.

From what was once an industrial area with sprawling car yards and dealerships, Braddon’s hipster scene has come a very long way. Now, the 2612 postcode is to Canberra what Newtown is to Sydney, or Fitzroy is to Melbourne – a neighbourhood bustling with cafés, op-shops, craft breweries and bars.

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Braddon is arguably Canberra’s most colourful quarter, and there is plenty of things to see and do in the area. Here is a list of what the locals love:

Haig Park Village Markets

On every Sunday from 8am-2pm, Haig Park Village Markets is situated at the intersection between Lonsdale Street and Girrahween Street. The farmers market is a huge hit with local families – just make sure you turn up early so you can find a carpark. If you want to support regional farmers and local businesses, then Haig Park Village Markets must be your first point of call.

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Barrio Collective

Barrio is the most hipster coffee joint in Braddon, and perhaps the entirety of Canberra. Right in the middle of Braddon’s main shopping precinct, you won’t miss Barrio because of the locals lining up outside in desperate need of their daily coffee fix. All blends are roasted in Canberra and the coffee is arguably the best in town. Dealing with the crowds on a weekend morning is worth it because the coffee is that good. You can also order food but there is often nowhere to sit, so ordering a takeaway and walking through Haig Park is always the next best option.

Elemental Café

There’s no denying it, hash browns, eggs, and bacon are meant to be on a burger bun drizzled with aioli. The Workers Burger at Elemental Cafe is the perfect hangover cure and hits all the right places. You can get the burger as part of a meal deal with a free coffee and sit outside, taking in all that Lonsdale Street has to offer. If you prefer to sit inside, then be prepared to be surrounded by Canberra Raiders paraphernalia and a chat to the friendly owners who never fail to greet you upon arrival.

Grease Monkey

A burger joint set up in an old mechanic’s garage, Grease Monkey pays homage to what Braddon once was. Overlooking Braddon’s famous rainbow junction, Grease Monkey’s name doesn’t disappoint – you are guaranteed a greasy burger experience chased down with a local beer. A good pit stop on the way to Assembly Pub, Grease Monkey even has a DJ play on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Lost Vintage

What started off as a DIY project has turned into a hidden fashion hotspot amongst Braddon’s hipster youth. Priding itself on using only recycles materials and second-hand furniture, Lost Vintage pays homage to slow fashion in all the right ways. While it’s not cheap, Lost Vintage takes you back to the 90s with its endless supply of denim jeans, branded and non-branded t-shirts and quirky accessories.

Braddon Brew

A locally owned hidden gem that specialises in coffee and beer, there is no wrong time to go to Braddon Brew. A father and son duo, the owners go out of their way to personalise custom roasted coffee or offer a range of quirky craft classics that will have you wanting more. To make your Braddon experience even more special, childhood mementos such as Yu-Gi-Oh cards, Jenga and Uno are available to play with your mates. What more could you want from a night out in Braddon?

Frugii Dessert Laboratory

Frugii or Messina – the two ice creameries, both alike in dignity, in fair Braddon, where we lay our scene. If you are truly a Braddon local then you would prefer Frugii over Messina. Why may you ask? Because Frugii is a family owned business with flavours as eclectic and as vibrant as Braddon itself. Tucked away in the Ori building, the icecream and gelato on offer will always surprise you: Black Truffle, Vegemite on Sourdough, and even Roasted Cauliflower with Rose Harissa. You can also treat yourself to homemade cakes and chocolates.

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BentSpoke Brewing Co

Yes, don’t worry, I wasn’t going to forget Bentspoke Brewing Co. It wouldn’t be much of a local guide to Braddon if I didn’t mention the brewery that is a living testament to the local culture – unpretentious and full of variety. Housing over 18 different types of beer and cider, the award-winning brewery guarantees a good quality beverage smack bang in the heart of Braddon. Just some of the brews you might find on tap include the Barley Griffin, the Braddon Bitter, and the Skywhale Ale.

Photography courtesy of Region Media

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