Apparently it’s pronounced ‘On-Ah’, not ‘Oh-Nah’, mind blown!
‘On-Ah Manuka’ aka ‘ONA On The Lawns’ is the original ONA venue and probably their most relaxed offering. Sitting in a fantastic little strip of cafes at Manuka shops, including Urban Pantry & Patissez, although it is probably our pick of the strip for a quality brew or relaxed lunch.
The fit out of the café itself is open and airy and has these fantastic aircraft hanger type doors than can open completely to bring the outside in. In winter the windows contribute to a bright greenhouse type effect inside which can be seen in one of the photographs.
On more than one visit the staff have recommended different coffee offerings discussing each of their flavour profiles with us without being overly pretentious or condescending. The food is consistent and delicious without being extraordinarily adventurous. Another thing we have come to love is the milkshakes on offer. Children and adults alike will flip over the stylised appearance and flavour of the ‘salted caramel and popcorn shake’, which I personally find far more appealing than the diabetes inducing ‘Freak shakes’ from Patissez next door.
If you’re looking for a relaxing lunch or quality brew in the inner south area, you would be hard pressed to beat ONA Manuka. And you may even catch Sasa Sestic ‘the coffee man’ and ONA royalty himself sipping a brew on the lawn!
I’m still saying it Oh-Nah by the way.
- Similar (if not the same) coffee and food offerings as The Cupping Room & the ONA Coffee House in Fyshwick, but we find this venue the most picturesque and relaxing to visit.
- The staff really love sharing their craft. On more than one occasion we have found them to be friendly and efficient but take the time to share the tasting notes of their current coffee offerings.
- Where it is situated at the historic Manuka Shops imparts a bit more Canberra history and soul than other inner south offerings like the brank spanking Kingston Foreshore.
Not So Much…
- Can be a pain to park in Manuka if visited on the weekend as it can become super, super busy.
- Let me put a caveat on the following point; we love ONA Manuka, it wouldn’t be on the list otherwise. But I find that there can be something slightly clinical and un organic about the fit out, or the lay out, or the minimalist branding, or… I can’t quite work it out. But if & when I do you’ll be the first to know.
- Seasonal menu change would be nice.