Australia’s capital city, Canberra, often gets a bad rap for being artificial or boring, but for blogger and foodlover Anna Johnston of ShenANNAgans, it’s anything but!

Anna Johnston at Helm Winery Canberra

Anna Johnston at Helm Winery Canberra

What is your favourite city in the world, and why?

Canberra, Australia is one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s so diverse, we’ve got all the National buildings, houses of Parliament, incredible restaurants and cafes, world renowned food, beer and wine suppliers, a rad cultural, arts and theatre scene, and gorgeous walking and biking trails too. It’s basically a giant country town (we employ cows to help mow the grass) but with all the perks of a capital city.

The coat of arms and flag atop Parliament House

The coat of arms and flag atop Parliament House

What is your idea of a perfect day in this city?

Most Saturdays are my idea of a perfect day in Canberra. I kick off at the Capital Region Farmers Markets, I could spend hours chatting with vendors and sampling their produce. (My life seems to revolve around food!) I’ll swing past my fave coffee spot on the way home and get caffeinated, last weekend’s brekkie was Banana crepes with lashings of Nutella.  I often do picnic lunches by the Lake in the warmer months, or the George Harcourt has an open fire place and wicked tasty pub tukka during the cooler months. A Ginger Beer and Spud Spokes (chips/fries) with BBQ Sauce from Bentspoke is an excellent place to while away the afternoon.

Peanut Butter French Toast from Loading Zone

Peanut Butter French Toast from Loading Zone

What are your favourite things to do in this city?

Get coffee at one of the many brew spots around town – Word on the street is, Canberra is one of the few places outside of Melbourne that has decent coffee almost anywhere. Explains my fussy coffee consumption.

Run/Walk Bridge to Bridge (about 5km) – Canberra is STUNNING and the area around the lake is gorgeous. Excellent for people watching too.

Picnic by the lake – The views of the cities key landmarks and beyond are amazing.

Telstra Tower & Lake Burley Griffin

Telstra Tower & Lake Burley Griffin


What’s your favourite place to eat in this city, and what dish is your favourite?

Favourite Coffee/Breakfast Joints – Farmers Daughter in Yarralumla, ask for Hannah, she’s the most magical barista you’ll ever meet. Pulp Kitchen in Ainslie have a bowl of coffee (whoever thought of this concept should know I love them), and the Cotechino Sausage with Soft Fried Eggs and Gruyere Béchamel on Toast is amaze. #yarm

Favourite Brunch/Lunch Joints – Loading Zone in the laneway behind the Melbourne building in the city do the tastiest Peanut butter French toast with mango & berry compote in the whole of the city. #drool And Penny University in Kingston, the PU Burger is delightful. Pulled pork #allhalethepig with fennel, apple and cabbage slaw washed down with a cold pressed juice (they change the juices daily) all the deliciousness.

Favourite Dinner Joint – Beach Burrito in Garema Place, their taco Tuesday is the business. And The Hamlet in Braddon is great for that food truck experience, Bratwurst and Schnitzel the size of my head from The Brathaus are amazing.

Pulled Pork Burger from Penny University

Pulled Pork Burger from Penny University

If you could dedicate a song to this city, which one would it be?

All Star by Smash Mouth

“So much to do so much to see
So what’s wrong with taking the back streets
You’ll never know if you don’t go
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow”

Bowl of Coffee from Pulp Kitchen

Bowl of Coffee from Pulp Kitchen

If this city was a person, what would she be like?

She’s a confident, bold, muso, ready, sexy, suited, sports-obsessed, and craft beer drinking hipster. She is well-rounded and high achieving…. the perfect kind of woman right?!

Sunset over Lake Burley Griffin

Sunset over Lake Burley Griffin

Do you know have any insider’s tips for visitors to this city? 

Canberra is often forgotten as a travel destination, I get it, why would anyone visit a city designed for politicians and public servants right? But there is so much more to see and do in Canberra, especially from a cultural and foodie point of view.

Last year I participated in the Human Brochure, basically it was a living breathing travel brochure created by 101 locals. There were 4 streams – Adventure, Family Fun, Food & Wine & Art & Culture. We were tasked with the challenge to share all the amazing things happening around town, check out the link for details about the many things happening in Canberra that maybe only the natives would know about.


Short bio:

shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 – something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry.

I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. Some say I is coffee blooded, I needs the coffee to do the standing, walking, and words putting into sentence doing. I am a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about my adventures.

Living the dream. BOOM!

Find out why, at her social media links below!


Social media links:







Comments (6)

  • Susan Reply

    Canberra sounds amazing, had no idea there was such a cool food vibe going on there.

    March 14, 2015 at 11:01 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      It’s surprisingly cool! I hope you can visit some day 🙂 Thanks for reading 🙂

      March 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm
  • Anna @ shenANNAgans Reply

    Thank you so much for having me, tis such an honor to feature on your fine blog. Haven’t been able to get ‘All Star’ out of my head this week either. LOL! 🙂

    I forgot to ask you, what’s your favourite Canberra bar and restaurant/cafe?

    March 14, 2015 at 3:59 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      My pleasure – thanks for being here!

      Hmmm… I don’t know that I know enough yet to comment on a favourite… but I thought Penny University was pretty cool when we went there, and I also love Me and Mrs Jones for brunch 🙂

      March 18, 2015 at 8:10 pm
  • Agness Reply

    This girl absolutely rocks! 🙂 I’ve been following her for months and the way she’s been enjoying her life is just amazing!! Go girl go!!

    March 15, 2015 at 3:36 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Isn’t she awesome! She’s pretty cool when you meet her in person, too 😉

      March 18, 2015 at 8:11 pm

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