For four decades north-siders have made the weekly pilgrimage to the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, to peruse the rows upon rows of some of the freshest produce you can find in Canberra and the surrounding region.
One step into the markets and all your senses are ignited. A stroll through the space uncovers every colour imaginable; from the bright and shiny reds, greens and yellows of the fruit and veg; to the darker, marbled tones of succulent meats and sauces.
Sounds of goodies being packaged, friendly traders yelling ‘come get your fresh lemons!’ and a constant murmur of happy customers creates a bustling atmosphere, while your lungs are filled with the aroma of roasting coffee, freshly-baked bread and blooms from the florist.
All these ingredients combine to create the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets in which we all know and love, but what many of us may not know is that it’s so much more than a place to buy your groceries. It’s a dining destination in itself, boasting a variety of cafes, bakeries and eateries.
Let OutInCanberra take you on a journey through our series of articles that reveal the hidden gems of the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets.
Whether you want to take a break from shopping, catch up with family and friends or grab a coffee and bite to eat, the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets has the perfect place for you.
Here, among the region’s freshest produce, you are spoilt for choice at one of the market’s cafés and bakeries. Each offering a unique and different dining experience, why not eat your way through the market’s breakfast and lunch venues and try them all!
If you love the smell of fresh bread or have a sweet tooth and haven’t heard of Knead Patisserie then have we got a treat for you!
Knead Patisserie at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets follows a simple philosophy: to use real ingredients and create delicious food from scratch for its loyal customers on a daily basis. Trust us, once you’ve dined here, you will become part of the Knead fan base.
“We make everything from scratch – all our bread is hand-made, we use no preservatives, everything is natural. The ingredients and care that we put in making everything speaks for itself,” owner Andrew McCormack explains.
The bakery and café serves an array of rustic breads that are all lovingly hand-rolled including; baguettes, traditional boiled bagels, sourdough, light rye and multigrain cobbs. Welcome the warmer weather and swing past Knead to take your pick from the variety of rolls and loafs for your next spring picnic.
“We also don’t use any yeast in our sourdough which creates a more flavoursome taste,” Andrew adds.
While you’re there why not also peruse its range of desserts including crème brûlée, frangipane, chocolate ganache and berry cheesecake tarts; and individual cakes, muffins and pastries – the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea.
“All our croissants and danishes are made over three days using traditional methods. We make the dough, then the next day we laminate and cut it, and on the third day we cook it. This creates amazing layers in our pastry and ensures they are crispy,” Andrew says.
If you’re in search of a memorable dine-in meal, Knead also offers gourmet sausage rolls and pies, sandwiches, quiches and authentic pizzas; so you have no excuse but to pop in to experience what the locals are raving about.
Beppe’s Cafe is run by Ornela Anastasopoulous and her husband, who welcome you with open arms into their cafe. The service is homely and you definitely feel like part of the family when you walk in.
A home away from home for many Belconnen locals, the cafe offers a relaxed environment filled with chatter and the enticing aromas of a bustling kitchen.
Ornela prides the cafe on using only the very best ingredients, many of which are sourced directly from the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets.
Beppe’s offers a unique breakfast and lunch menu, with gourmet dishes and specials alongside the classic dishes we all know and love. The grilled fish is a popular favourite among customers with the fish itself bought from the local fish shop just metres away.
There is also a range of light meals available in the cabinet to-go, as well as tempting sweet treats made in-house including gluten-free options, mouthwatering gelato and specialty Nerissimo coffee.
“We have hamburgers, egg and bacon rolls, pastas, soups, freshly-made sandwiches, pies, lasagna and many types of pastries. We also have a specials board that changes regularly,” Ornela says.
“We have many regulars who come back and bring their family and friends – I love getting to know all of my customers and I enjoy seeing and making them happy.”
Café the Annapurna
Café the Annapurna adds to the variety of cuisines available at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets and features a selection of dishes that are rich in culture – a reflection of owner Ashok Subedi’s Nepalese upbringing.
‘Annapurna’ is a stunning mountainous region in Nepal, and the name certainly lives up to its reputation, with Ashok and his brothers serving up a variety of dishes at the pinnacle of freshness and flavour.
“I have had a passion for cooking for as long as I can remember – almost 16 years. I enjoy talking to people everyday and creating delicious food for them,” Ashok says.
“We’re all about the quality here at good value for money.”
Café the Annapurna has a strong reputation for offering quick and tasty cuisine, and boasts a varied and seasonal menu to suit any appetite. Standout menu choices include the chicken burger, traditional Nepalese dumplings and gourmet sandwiches.
If you’re not an early riser then have no fear! Café the Annapurna also conveniently offers an all-day breakfast menu, inclusive of much-loved buttermilk pancakes.