Where the beer on tap is on point, schnittys are golden, footy is screened from every angle and live music adds to the vibe, not destroys it. This is where mates are getting together on the weekend, co-workers are ending the week and families are grabbing a weeknight dinner. These are Canberra’s best pubs.
When we talk about the full package when it comes to pubs, Assembly will pretty much win the general consensus every time. Nailing the art of the ‘pub scene’ with flying colours, they are open what feels like 24/7 and always busy. More than just a weeknight schnitzel and beer deal kind of pub, their menu sets them apart from the rest. For breakfast sit down for a smashed avo and corn fritters or get stuck into all the iconic pub classics plus some elevated menu items for lunch and dinner. For drinks, well obviously get your favourite beer on tap, plus wines and really great cocktails. A huge venue that’s ready to host your Sunday drinks with live music in the beer garden to NRL nights in the restaurant, they truly are ‘The People’s Pub’.
If you’re not from Canberra you might just miss it, but outside the city’s bustling CBD sits one of Canberra’s most beloved neighbourhood pubs. Edgar’s Inn is a second home to many and has mastered that casual, cosy vibe. If it’s not their Sunday roast special, it’s the epic Italian-style pizzas from next-door sister venue Mama Dough that keep locals coming back. Making sure all the pub essentials are still ticked off, head there for pub classics, breakfast, beers, local wines, live music, sports, specials night and trivia.
A pub from 12pm turned almost nightclub at night, Hopscotch is a long-lived favourite in the capital. With a huge beer garden and long tables, it invites large group get-togethers and plenty of celebrations. The menu is modern and refreshed and features easy-going share plates, pizza, pasta, burgers, salad and the standard, parmigiana, schnitzel and steak. While pints are always encouraged, the Hoppy signature cocktails and jugs are always crowd-pleasers. Each day also features something new, from trivia, live music, 50c wings and $15 pizzas.
The Kingston Hotel
Known as ‘the Kingo’ by regulars, The Kingston Hotel is one of Canberra’s original watering holes and has stood the test of time. Offering a more traditional English-styled pub than many in the capital, the hotel and pub is known for its old-school charm. Inside find carpeted flooring, dark wood furniture, low light lamps and pool tables, while outside enjoy the secluded beer garden for those hot summer days. On tap, find Australian classics such as Melbourne Bitter and Carlton Draught plus craft and international beers, and for food get the classics done exceptionally well.
BentSpoke Brewing Co.
With the added beauty of brewing their very own beers (including non-alcoholic), BentSpoke Brewing Co’s BrewPub is every beer enthusiast’s dream. A session at the pub can be spent grabbing pints of your favourite BentSpoke beer, getting a taster with a paddle or taking turns ordering a round of jugs and enjoying a pub-style menu. In a generous setting where the beers are brewed on-site, get the old-school pub feel with modern benefits.
A popular casual meeting spot for locals in Woden, The Alby is fully decked out. Utilising close to 1,000 square metres, its spaces include a chef’s table for private dining, a beer garden, games basement, duckpin bowling, pinballs, pool tables and more! For food, enjoy a pub-style menu with all your favourites including pizza, burgers, and steaks. Providing you with all the friendly pub inclusions, check out their specials board for $7 house beer and wine, a $15 house cocktail, $20 lunch specials and what games will be on the big screen.
An iconic venue in Manuka, Public’s refreshed pub vibes attract locals every day of the week. From a modernised pub menu that has been elevated to sit within contemporary cuisine and a generous beer, wine, spirits and cocktail list, to four different seating options, it’s the perfect venue to adapt to any kind of occasion. Keeping the classic pub weekly specials, head in from Monday to Thursday for a $25 meal and from 3-5pm for happy hour, including a cocktail of the month (which never disappoints).
Walt + Burley
With the sun beginning to set, a cool drink in hand and a bunch of your favourite people, there is no better place to soak up those picture-perfect views of Canberra than at Walt and Burley. Taking your pub experience lakeside, get the best of casual dining including beers on tap, cocktails, wine and delicious modern pub food. Adapting to your vibe, whether it’s outside on a long table, casual standing or high stool seating at the bar, or in the dining room, Walt is here to accommodate every mealtime experience. Never a dull moment, there is always something happening in the pub, including happy hour, live music and a range of one-off events and masterclasses.
For more beer garden vibes, check out Canberra’s top places to dine alfresco.