In case you are a stranger to Canberra I thought I would let you know that some of the Capital's best dining spots are to be found in ordinary suburban shops. Nearly every set of shops throughout the burbs of Canberra has a very cool little cafe, or restaurant or bar. Take for example the southern suburb of Farrer - it is home to one awesome kid friendly cafe called the Fox and Bow, and it is most definitely worth the visit next time you are in the capital of Oz!
Farrer is about a 15 - 20 minute drive from the centre of Canberra. There is a reasonable amount of parking right in front of the row of shops where Fox and Bow is located. Access in to the cafe for those of you with prams is very easy and there is also quite a bit of space to park them next to your table. The cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating, and when we arrived about 8.30am on a weekend, we easily scored a table. However by the time we left an hour later, this cafe was packed to the rafters, so I suggest you make an effort to get there early (you can book a table during the week but not for weekends).
The outdoor area of the Fox and Bow is dominated by a pretty darn cool graffiti mural of a fox lurking behind a tree and a mad hatters tea party. And just down from here in the alley way, you will find a basketball hoop, hopscotch & tic tac toe games (drawn on the ground) for kidlets to play on. Otherwise there are some toys for little people to play with inside the cafe too.
Now lets talk about their amazing food...it was THE best breakfast we had in Canberra. And as the Capital has quite a few outstanding cafes this is quite a big call. The Fox and Bow serve up an all day brunch. Firstly we shall examine the "Little Rascals" menu. It has 3 options: 1. Bacon & Cheese Jaffle ($7.90) 2. Kids Pancake with Strawberries & Chocolate Ice Cream ($10.90) 3. Kids Fish & Chips ($10.90).
The Kids Pancake is decadent and delicious for breakfast that's for sure. The two perfectly formed and very thick pancakes are topped with a huge scoop of chocolate ice cream and this dish will be certain to put a smile on the dial of your offspring! It may also make the other cubs in your litter a wee bit jealous if they order the Jaffle (which trust me is equally as delicious, but chocolate ice cream for breakfast will always be a winner!!!).
Like wise, the food for bigger people at Fox and Bow is pure quality. The Toasty Nuts ($13.90) was my choice - it is a gorgeous plate full of fresh fruit, yoghurt and nutty granola and I was so happy with it until I saw.......
Senorita Fox! Any yes this is one foxy, drool worthy dish! On top of a big chunky slice of sourdough you will find Tasmanian smoked salmon, haloumi, avocado, poached eggs, asparagus, pesto, seeds and pea shoots - I was green with envy of this one!
The blokes in our group of course went for the Mr Fox ($20.90) - a big pan full of breakfast delights. Sourdough toast, fried eggs, hash brown, bacon, mushies, tomato, spicy sausages and some greens to keep them healthy. All of the names on the menu at Fox and Bow are seriously quirky. For example The Codfather (fish & chips), Roadrunner Beep Beep (a fancy chicken burger), or You Gotta Be Squiddin Me (smokey paprika squid & salad). Every single meal that we saw coming out of the kitchen was styled beautifully and they were all very generous in size.
Of course we washed down our breakfast with coffee. Five Senses coffee from Sydney to be exact - I actually haven't seen it served anywhere else in the Capital as they seem to all favour the local brand Ona. And the coffee was brilliant, and we would have ordered a second cup if the the queue to order wasn't so darn long (you have to order and pay for your meals at the front counter). The Fox and Bow also serve up some reasonably priced mega shakes. You can choose between the Farrer'O - a chocolate fudge & Ferrero Roche gelato thickshake or the Borat - a shake made of almond milk, dates, espresso and pistachio gelato. They cost $7.90 as do their Kiss Me Katut, Donkey Kong and Ohh Darla smoothies - I'm thinking the owner has one kooky sense of humor!
Now my little men were quite intrigued by the phone box out the front of the cafe. And it wasn't because of Super Fox on the outside of it - they just don't see them in Sydney! They wanted to make a phone call from it, to see what happened!! So maybe bring a few spare coins and let the kidlets ring Nanna & Poppy so that you can enjoy your coffee in peace x
Now if for some reason all those roundabouts in Canberra freak you out, and you don't have the confidence to drive down to Farrer, they also have another cafe closer to the city in Acton,called Ivy & The Fox. Unfortunately it was closed when we visited on a long weekend - but it is at the top of our review list for our next visit, as it looks seriously kid friendly too!
Farrer Shops, Farrer Place, Canberra ACT
Mon - Fri: 7.30am - 4.00pm
Sat - Sun: 8.00am - 3.30pm
Some other kid friendly places to dine in Canberra: