Where to eat, shop, play and live in Belconnen

Where to eat, shop, play and live in Belconnen

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One of the most populous districts of Canberra, there’s not much you can’t do in Belconnen.

Hugging the picturesque Lake Ginninderra, it’s home to many of Canberra’s top sporting teams, including the Raiders, Brumbies and Capitals, and where the country’s sporting greats are made at the Australian Institute of Sport. It’s where Canberrans go to be entertained at GIO Stadium or buy some of the region’s freshest local produce at the Belconnen Fresh Food markets, and where students from around the country and the world come to be educated at University of Canberra and Canberra Institute of Technology. And it offers up state-of-the-art care at Calvary Hospital or the brand new University of Canberra Hospital.

While many already call Belconnen home, the region is continuing to expand, with the addition of some of Canberra’s newest communities in the works, including Ginninderry.

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EATS

CHATTERBOX ESPRESSO BAR

If you like your servings generous, Chatterbox Espresso Bar ticks all the boxes. The family-friendly cafe is a buzzing spot seven days a week, with the coffee machine working hard on weekdays to keep the local workers caffeinated, with more leisurely dining on the weekend. Dishes on the extensive brunch menu are available as half or full serves so let your hunger do the ordering.

THE HUNGRY BUDDHA

Originally a hidden, underground restaurant in Curtin, The Hungry Buddha is now a popular restaurant in Belconnen, serving authentic Nepalese and Indian cuisine. Settle in with the banquet of flavoursome entrees and fragrant curries, served with rice, naan, and raita.

RICARDO’S CAFE

This is one for those with a sweet tooth amongst us. Well-known for their colourful display of creative pastries and cakes, Ricardo’s is a friendly cafe located at Jamison Shops. As well as serving Insta-worthy dishes, they also encourage sleep ins thanks to their all-day breakfast menu.

TO ALL MY FRIENDS

This relaxed suburban bar serves up pizza, beer and good times. Sitting at the Cook Shops, it’s the place to go for beer lovers, with a drinks list dominated by craft brews, including plenty of local options, and a menu to match, with their wood-fired pizzas the specialty.

TWO BEFORE TEN

Once a derelict building, Two Before Ten turned the Aranda Shops into a bustling community. The cafe is a relaxing spot to enjoy a coffee or meal, and the space also houses their roastery, where the team are often hard at work, roasting, cupping, blending and brewing, so you can enjoy the aroma of freshly roasting coffee while you linger.

OLIVE AT HAWKER

From slow cooked lamb, to lovingly made Moussaka and tasty Spanakopita, Olive at Hawker is one of the best places in Canberra to go for Greek cuisine. Located at Hawker shops, the family-run Greek restaurant radiates rustic charm, and is great for group catch ups.

PLAY

LAKE GINNINDERRA

At the heart of Belconnen is Lake Ginninderra, surrounded by picturesque parkland. A seven kilometre walking track will take you around the full lake, which is bike and pram friendly. Along the way you’ll find barbeques, picnic tables, playgrounds, a skate park, fishing jetties, spots for swimming or sailing and an off-leash dog area.

SHEPHERDS LOOKOUT

Offering one of the most impressive views along the Murrumbidgee River is Shepherds Lookout. Leaving from Stockdill Drive in Holt, the lookout is accessible via an easy 45 minute return walk through the beautiful Woodstock Nature Reserve.

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Sitting on the shores of Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen Arts Centre is the region’s hub for arts and cultural activity. Along with new exhibitions each month which showcase the talents of local artists, the centre hosts musical, dance and theatrical performances, artist talks, and a range of creative workshops.

SHOP

MEET GATHER COLLECT

Tucked underneath the Aranda shops, this boutique stocks a beautiful range of products by Australian designers and makers, from accessories and jewellery to ceramics, personal care products and plenty for kids. It’s a go-to if you’re looking for a gift, and there’s a lot more on offer than meets the eye. Pick up a new skill thanks to their regular program of classes and workshops, or you can have a custom piece of furniture made.

BELCONNEN FRESH FOOD MARKETS

For more than 40 years, Belconnen Fresh Food Markets has been one of the city’s top spots to buy fresh, local produce. Stock up on everything from fresh meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, to fresh bread, flowers, deli items, specialty liquor, and a range of sustainable and organic produce.

WESTFIELD BELCONNEN

Belconnen’s main shopping mall boasts more than 200 retailers, including Canberra’s only 24-hour Kmart, plus casual dining, restaurants, beauty services, cinemas and an indoor kids play centre.

LIVE

Belconnen is where you can live big with larger family homes and more spacious blocks, like the beautiful old homes of Melba and Giralang.

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Bringing new life to the lakeside precinct is a series of high-rise buildings, offering up apartment living. Or there’s the opportunity to build in one of Canberra’s newest communities, like Ginninderry, with more land yet to be released.

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