Chatterbox Espresso Bar

30 Nov

Editor’s note: This post – while reflective of the experience at this point in time – is outdated. See Chatterbox Espresso Bar – Redux for a more relevant review.

There’s a lot of activity in my beloved Belco recently. On one of Belconnen Town Centre’s corners has been the arrival of a whole heap of yellow to announce the opening of Chatterbox Espresso Bar (sister of Mingle Espresso Bar in Civic).

A lot of the cafes in the Belconnen Town Centre are only open during the week, so I’m excited to learn that in addition to being open from 6.30am to 5pm during the week, it’s open 8am to 2pm on the weekend for breakfast and brunch.


We’re warmly welcomed and offered any of the available bright yellow seats outside. We sit in a corner. There’s not a great deal of people watching on the corner of Cameron Avenue and Chandler Street on a Saturday morning, but it’s pleasant all the same. It’s opposite where the proposed new Labor Club Hotel is expected to pop up.


I can confirm this sign is correct!

Most of the chairs are bright yellow

Most of the chairs are bright yellow

We sit for a while before menus are produced (but not as long as at A Baker!), and we’re asked for our coffee order. I search the menu for drinks, and on enquiring am told they don’t have anything else except for bottled blackcurrant, apple or orange juices – yet. Given that they’re an espresso bar, I can hardly blame them, but it surprises me all the same that the coffees aren’t featured at all on the menu, either.

The menu is a food menu only at this stage

The menu is a food menu only at this stage

It’s a long wait before our coffees are served, and our food orders haven’t been taken. When our coffees arrive, they’re excellent, but, regrettably, luke warm – perhaps they were sitting a while, which would explain the time taken, and their temperature.

It’s a shorter wait between the coffees and the food.

Truffled eggs on potato rosti with pecorino cheese

Truffled eggs on potato rosti with pecorino cheese (very similar to the potato rosti menu item which also includes eggs but a choice of salmon or other meat)

Smashed avocado with poached eggs

Smashed avocado with poached eggs (very similar to the truffled eggs, which is similar to… you get the picture)

I’ve ordered the truffled eggs, and Boyfriend has ordered the smashed avocado, but we agree to split our dishes and share.

Running yolks = tick

Running yolks = tick

The smashed avocado is yum, and works perfectly with the yolks. However, we’ve been spoilt with the generous avocado servings at Elk & Pea, and this is a little on the small side. I expect the potato rosti to be crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, but it’s very stodgy – there’s a helluva lot of potato.

I’m being very critical of what is turns out to be a rather cheap and largely tasty meal. I get a chance to take in the decor inside when we pay, and it’s really quite trendy, although the display cabinet is a little bare. As we leave, I note all the table outside are full, and a few of the tables inside – not bad for its second weekend.

Display cabinet and a little of the decor inside

Display cabinet and a little of the decor inside

I’ll be very interested to see how this little cafe develops.

Date: Saturday, 30 November

Where: Corner of Chandler Street and Cameron Avenue, Belconnen Town Centre

Cost: $34.40 ($13.50 for each of our meals, between $3.50 and $4.50 for our coffees)

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? The website is here and the food menu is here.

Chatterbox Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon


22 Responses to “Chatterbox Espresso Bar”

  1. Gary Lum December 1, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Looks good Tara. I’ll have to give it a go.

    • inthetaratory December 1, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      I’m interested to hear what you think!

      • Gary Lum December 1, 2013 at 9:44 am #

        I will let you know 🙂

      • Charlie December 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

        Hi there,

        Thank you for taking the time to post a review about our new espresso bar, Chatterbox. Your feedback is very welcome and we are implementing improvements as we speak!

        We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

        Kind regards, the team at Chatterbox 🙂

      • inthetaratory December 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

        Looking forward to our return 🙂

  2. Sam December 3, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Have been going to Chatterbox since opening. Love the place. Love the guys. Even my 4 year old ‘needs’ a baby chino every morning!!!

  3. lizzygoodthings December 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Good to hear that there are a few more good cafes in the Belconnen area…. I lived in Totterdell Street for a few years and it was slim pickings!

  4. Maria Richan June 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Chatterbox has been brilliant from day one! Coffee is fantastic the food is consistent and flavoursome particularly smashed avocados. The coffee is the best in belconnen.

    Well done guys! Awesome work!

  5. curiouspaola February 27, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    Love your blog!
    I was in Canberra last weekend for the first time and I was not prepared at all and didn’t know the city at all (I like a bit of adventure…).

    Then once there I found your blog and I had an amazing experience in this beautiful city!
    I went to Chatterbox and the Ha Ha Bar (and much more!) and absolutely fell in love with Belgo.

    Will mention them – and your blog as well – in my next blog post about Canberra. Coming soon.

    Keep up the good work!

    • inthetaratory February 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

      I’m so happy to hear that! I can’t wait to read your blog!


  1. Mt Rogers | In The Taratory - December 1, 2013

    […] Chatterbox Espresso Bar ( […]

  2. Altitude Cafe | In The Taratory - December 15, 2013

    […] from a packet? This is hardly a deal breaker, but given the quality of bread at other breakfast venues in Canberra, I get flashbacks of servo breakfasts in Central Queensland. We each choose […]

  3. Canberra’s Best Breakfasts – wherever you live | HerCanberra - February 28, 2014

    […] ricotta hotcakes at Ha Ha Bar in Belco with their delicious All Muddled Up breakfast mocktail. Chatterbox, also in Belco, is becoming a popular spot (and is very well priced!) We love the smashed avocado […]

  4. My Canberra Series: Tara’s Canberra | HerCanberra - February 28, 2014

    […] and ricotta hotcakes at Ha Ha Bar in Belco with their delicious All Muddled Up breakfast mocktail. Chatterbox, also in Belco, is becoming a popular spot (and is very well […]

  5. Canberra – a review by my parents | In The Taratory - March 16, 2014

    […] Must fix this during future visits], we did experience some very good and different experiences.  Chatterbox Espresso Cafe in Belconnen cooks a great breakfast.  We loved the Smashed Avocado and Eggs Benedict.  A […]

  6. Urban Roast, Belconnen | In The Taratory - May 13, 2014

    […] our first visit at Chatterbox we’ve become big fans of Belconnen’s newest and increasingly popular breakfast venue […]

  7. Little Oink Cafe, Cook | In The Taratory - June 15, 2014

    […] with beans from the folk at Two Before Ten – aren’t quite as delicious or as pretty as Chatterbox‘s, but they more than pass the […]

  8. Human Brochure weekend – a review by Jane | In The Taratory - November 11, 2014

    […] we head to Chatterbox in Belconnen for our official first meal of the day. Momentarily forgetting that we have a midday reservation at […]

  9. Pho Hub, Belconnen | In The Taratory - November 14, 2014

    […] have the potential to create a real street and cafe culture. Remedy by Lonsdale Street Roasters and Chatterbox have helped to kick that […]

  10. Brunch at Eightysix | In The Taratory - November 16, 2014

    […] Boyfriend’s not convinced with his dish, describing it as arty but essentially a dessert pastry with eggs on top. That said, every element of the dish is perfect – I think it’s the concept that doesn’t quite win him over. (Boyfriend still maintains there is nowhere better for breakfast than Chatterbox.) […]

  11. Why the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan matters to you* | In The Taratory - November 20, 2014

    […] to have a street cafe culture – restaurants like Pho Hub, Lonsdale Street Roasters and Chatterbox have been a great start, as well as the Westfield restaurants on Lathlain Street – so where […]

  12. Hercanberra Photo A Day | Wallpapers - January 19, 2015

    […] Chatterbox Espresso Bar | In The Taratory – 20/11/2014 · There’s a lot of activity in my beloved Belco recently. On one of Belconnen Town Centre’s corners has been the arrival of a whole heap of yellow to …… […]

What do you reckon?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: