Barrio Collective Coffee

Thursday
7:00am - 2:00pm
59 30 Lonsdale Street Braddon

Barrio isn’t like the other cafes and coffee roasters in Canberra. For starters, it’s tiny, with a total of about 15 seats. And those seats are all raised bar stools, giving the place an Italian espresso bar vibe. Customers chat to staff over the counter, regulars chat with other regulars at the communal table and yogis from the nearby studio grab takeaways after class. There’s a real sense of community.

The cafe’s approach is simple and unpretentious: one size for all milk coffees, one type of dairy milk and one non-dairy nut milk option, which Barrio makes itself using a blend of cashews, almonds and raisins. The milk coffees are always made with beans from Central or South America. The sweet, mild, chocolate and caramel flavours typical of beans from these regions marry well with the creamy Tilba Real Dairy milk from the south coast.

Simplest of all is the batch brew, which sits in an urn on the counter. It’s dispensed and handed over to you before you even finish ordering. And if it's cold coffee you’re after, then Barrio’s shaken iced latte won’t disappoint. It’s a frothy concoction of espresso and milk made in a cocktail shaker.

The cafe’s do-it-yourself approach carries through to menu, with all of the pickles, hummus, sodas and chai made in-house. Aside from some pastries in the cabinet, the food menu is small to match the size of the kitchen, and mostly includes variations of seasonal things on or between bread, often with a taco special.

The pickle plate is a colourful mix of produce and house-made hummus with bread soldiers. The pickles constantly change, though typically you’ll find mushrooms, cabbage and carrots.

Barrio’s signature “togorashi” seasoning (intentionally misspelled to reflect their inauthentic take on the Japanese seasoning) is typically served atop avo toast, and is also available in retail jars due to popular demand.

To avoid food envy though, go for a hash toastie – a thick sandwich oozing with meltingly soft corned beef and cheddar, and obligatory pickles to offset the richness.

Barrio’s coffee beans, togorashi and other retail items, including the cafe’s iconic, locally made cups, are available to purchase. The coffee is roasted off-site, at the Barrio’s roastery on Dairy Road in Fyshwick.

Updated: April 21st, 2022

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