Where: Shop 33, 180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach 2026
Opening Hours: Tue - Fri 4pm - 12am, Sat 12pm - 12am, Sun 11 - 12am
Phone: 02 9130 8290
Canteen Bar and Diner gathers Bondi hipsters and Australian surfer prototypes to feed them Mex pub grub. I can see the attractive qualities of Canteen – think grungy, suburban backyard garage-like interior swarming with pretty barmen – but I'm going to be honest, this place sure ain't going to be everyone's cup of tea. That's not to say, however, that an evening's damn good time can't be had. Canteen is a stone's throw away from Australia's iconic white-sanded gem on Campbell Parade and is ideal for a casual post-beach bevvie. Word of warning though: don't take this place too seriously. I have an inkling this may very well be what the Canteen crew are going for anyway, so go on let loose.
Canteen's entrance terrace sports wooden benches, umbrellas and hipsters. Lots of hipsters. Of a summer evening, Canteen's open-air frontage will pack out early and I'm certain it'll be the choice for many. I wouldn't blame them either, because to Canteen's credit, atmosphere's aplenty. A neat beverage list including beers, wines and the occasional cocktail will set you up for an evening on the booze, but what we're really here for is some grub.
Canteen's menu is inventive and affordable. The Nacho Libre ($15.50) is kind of what you'd make yourself at home, but comes out fresh and fast so we're not bagging it. Expect the usual suspects here: spicy nachos with chilli con carne, fresh guoc, sour cream, sweet chilli and melted tasty cheese. The Jenga Croquettes ($11.50) are also a decent option to start. Stuffed with chorizo and pumpkin and served with smoked paprika aioli, these bad boys have a bit of kick. Alternatively the Chuck Norris Texan Wings ($11.50) will go down a treat with the dudes.
A few tongue-in-cheekers from the mains menu like Canteen's Amaze Balls (meatballs in tomato sauce for $17.50), Mr. T Bone ($19.50) and the F-ing Good Fish & Chips ($16.50) might satisfy the hungriest of them all and are probably best mopped up with a few coldies. "Our beers colder than your girlfriend's heart," runs the slogan. Yes, we thought so too. Just a little odd.
Lest we forget the fact that there's a pool table, DJs throughout summer and that bare feet are welcome. With decent food and drink on offer I'm optimistic you'll find a comfy nook to settle in for the night. Canteen's eclectic and kitsch digs seem to be governed by a mantra of the 'carefree' so if that's your kind of thing then this place is your ticket to some summer lovin'.
By Lisa Omagari
Good For Groups: