For years Mizzuna at the University of Canberra has been the go-to place for uni students to grab a bite to eat, have a coffee with friends, a meeting place for group assignments and private escape to cram in some last-minute study.

As a previous UC student myself, I can positively say that Mizzuna is a right of passage of sorts – a part of our university education, with many students and staff having fond memories of socialising over a beer, meal or coffee in between classes in its outdoor area, which capitalises of the sunshine. The hustle and bustle coming from the café makes for a lively hub as the term kicks in and students begin pouring into the café.

Those living in Bruce and beyond can also enjoy the culinary delights at Mizzuna, with the café open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. And the best part is you can savour the delicious food at student prices, and did we mention that the coffee is bloody darn good? Rivalling that of any boutique coffee joint in the city.

Manager Pete Uotila has been at the helm of Mizzuna for a decade, and says that the cafe’s unique location offers him a plethora of rewarding relationships with regular campus goers.

“We are open all year round and see new faces as a new wave of students come through every year, and of course, there is the uni staff as well. That’s by far what I love most about my job – the people,” he says.

The menu boasts a homely vibe, handy for res kids who are missing mum’s cooking, and everything is made in house. It also covers anything that you could possibly want for breakfast or lunch, from healthy salads to substantial burgers.

“Being a UC student myself, I loved Mizzuna so much that I bought the place! And so we’ve designed a menu that caters for what we know, from experience, what uni students need – ‘study power’ to ‘hangover cure’,” Owner Spiro Tsiros laughs.

Pizza lovers can’t go past the Cajun Chicken and Grilled Prawn Pizza with sweet chilli aioli and shallots, while another popular feed is the almighty Mizzuna Burger, described as an “absolute beast” as it arrives to our table – an 8oz beef patty with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, onion and aioli, and served with a side of perfectly seasoned chips.

The premise is fully licenced with nice cold beer and delectable wine available to accompany your meal and provide some respite at the end of a stressful day of wagging class.

Or for some small bites or a plate to share with friends, Mizzuna’s new snacks range has something to please even the fussiest of taste buds. Choose from Five Spice Chicken Wings, Mexican Street Corn with chipotle aioli and parmesan, and the Kale Chips with lemon and dukkha salt. Or why not order all of the above!

You’re also spoilt for choice with a range of super smoothies and juices. Our top pick is the Lean and Green, a concoction of cucumber, pineapple, kale, chia and coconut water. And for those on the run, there is an enticing cabinet filled with sandwiches, wraps, rolls, salads, desserts and quiches made fresh every morning.

The café has installed big open doors just in time for the warmer months which integrate a seamless indoor-outdoor flow.

As O-Week draws to an end, new UC students and staff, as well as food and coffee lovers across Canberra who want to experience quality dining without feeling like they are on campus, can expect a new hang-out, great music, even better coffee and tasty food.

Photography: Emma Roberts