Tasmania – hungry for Hobart

Hobart is now a foodie's delight

By Tricia Brown
Meadowbank Winery in the Coal Valley wine region of Southern Tasmania

Meadowbank Winery in the Coal Valley wine region of Southern Tasmania [©Meadowbank Winery]

Seafood entree at Meadowbank Estate, Coal River Valley, Tasmania.
Meadowbank Estate Restaurant, Coal Valley, Tasmania

When I moved to Hobart the first thing I noticed was that it was different. Where else in Australia can you sit outside amongst beautiful early 19th century sandstone buildings with a snow covered mountain behind you and anchored only metres away, a gigantic orange ice breaker? It had a feeling of Europe although I couldn't put my finger on where exactly,  but I was hooked!

Some years later and with first love wearing off,  I longed for the cafes, restaurants and general buzz of the Sydney and Melbourne food scenes. With airfares incredibly cheap it was easy to indulge interstate, but something happened.....

Hobart, and indeed all of Tasmania, developed its own food culture and has since become renowned for excellent produce, outstanding bakeries, award winning cafes and restaurants, not to mention the number of vineyards and wineries producing some of the best wine on the planet.

Ambassadors such as Tetsuya Wakuda have taken the message to the world about Tasmania's produce and so the bar has been set, and it is high.

For this reason I find it impossible to choose only one cafe or restaurant for coffee, lunch or dinner for a day out in Hobart. Three of my favourite cafes for breakfast and coffee are below along with two delicatessens that would stack up against any of the foodstores in Australia. I've thrown in lunch at a vineyard restaurant for something a bit special and the rest of the day is yours!

Start by wandering through the many interesting galleries and shops of Salamanca Place on Hobart's historic Derwent River waterfront. Many of the buildings here were warehouses and date back to the whaling days of the 1830's. Today, they are full of art, design, jewellery, food, wine and more to tempt the visitor...

Elizabeth Street in North Hobart is another restaurant and shopping precinct, perhaps Hobart's equivalent to Chapel Street, and well worth a visit. There's a restaurant here to suit everyone's taste and budget.


Tricycle Cafe

This lively cafe in the Salamanca Arts Centre complex has a fun, friendly atmosphere with extremely pleasant staff. Along with standard items, the Tricycle BLT is a big hit being generous serves of bacon, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise between thick slices of toasted sourdough bread. For a quick but healthy fix try the Breakfast trifle - seasonal poached fruit, rolled grains and greek yoghurt. Delicious daily specials as well as the excellent organic fairtrade coffee make this a great place to start the day before exploring the shops and galleries of Salamanca Place...more.

Open: Mon-Fri 8.30am-4pm, Sat 8.30am-2.30pm (market hours), Closed Sundays
77 Salamanca Place,
Tel 03 6223 7228

Pigeon Hole

Pigeon Hole is a tiny hole in the wall cafe with excellent coffee and a small but interesting menu.  Almost everything is made in house using the best local ingredients and produce. Don't expect the usual breakfast menu items but instead try the slow cooked baked beans. For lunch, the panini (baked each day) are excellent with great fillings such as the Italian meatballs, passata and parmesan. This little cafe is quite different but very good and well worth a visit. Warning: the small cakes, friands and sweet things on offer are addictive...more.

Open: Tues-Sat 7.30am-4pm
93 Goulburn Street,
West Hobart
Tel 03 6236 9306

The Lansdowne Cafe

A local favourite and worst kept secret, The Lansdowne Cafe or TLC as it is known is always packed with smug "Lansdowners" who appreciate having a cafe of this standard right in their midst. Although there is lots of parking, it is often a problem to get a table here not helped by those "in" not wanting to leave in a hurry. It's nothing flash to look at but the coffee is good and the brunch and lunch menus are excellent...more.

Open: 7 days for breakfast and lunch
68 Lansdowne Crescent,
West Hobart
Tel 03 6234 6386


Hill Street Grocer

If you have been to The Lansdowne Cafe then you are just minutes away from the Hill Street Grocer, a family run grocery store offering the freshest produce and gourmet items. This place is always busy yet staff remain cheerful and ready to help at every opportunity achieving the highest levels of customer service. Fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy products and even the wine are sourced from local growers and makers. An absolute gem!...read more.

Open: 7 days
109 Hill Street,
West Hobart
Tel 03 6234 6849

Wursthaus Kitchen

A European style deli stocking only the highest quality local and imported products. It is not only a deli but a butcher/charcuterie, wine and cheese store and a cooking school. Catering options are available and a variety of tantalising cooked and pre-prepared foods are available. Instead of going out for dinner you might want to grab some pre-cooked dishes here or better still buy a selection of items for a mouth watering platter of unforgettable local produce...read more.

Open: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 9am-5pm
1 Montpelier Retreat,
Battery Point
Tel 03 6224 0644


Frogmore Creek (formerly Meadowbank Estate)

Around 15 minutes drive from Hobart, Forgmore's multi award-winning restaurant continues to deliver, after somewhat of a lull in 2011/12. Beautiful wines, all available by the glass, allow for perfect food and wine combinations. The entrée-sized dishes are designed to share and taste from the menu with greater flexibility. There are a couple of larger size shared plates also – a saddle of lamb, soft polenta, green olives, raisins and almonds was a glorious mix of sweet and salty, smooth and crunchy. A tiny lemon tart with fresh raspberries and vanilla bean ice cream was a stunning success. Especially good is the soft-centred chocolate pudding on the menu in winter. With fresh seasonal produce their catch cry, friendly staff, gorgeous views and a relaxed atmosphere, it's a place to linger and savour...read more. 

Open: 7 days 10am-5pm, lunch 12 noon-3pm
699 Richmond Road,
Tel 03 6248 4484


The Source at Moorilla/MONA

The Source at MONA is fabulous, for lunch especially – we love it. Tour the incredible MONA in the morning, then relax in the afternoon over an excellent meal, a la carte or degustation, depending on the day (see details below). Let expert sommelier Joseph Burton look after your wine choices (The Source has one of the best wine lists in the State) while you take in the view, the food and enjoy your company. If you are staying in the city, catch the MONA ferry up and back; no need to worry about drink driving and that extra glass of Sauternes you are contemplating with dessert!

Open: Lunch 7 days in January, 12.30 - 2.30pm. [Closed on Tuesdays Feb-Dec]. A la carte all days except Sunday (degustation only)
            Dinner 6:30 - 8:30 pm start, Wed-Sat, degustation only, choice of 3, 5, 7 or 9 courses.
655 Main Road,
Tel 03 6277 9900


Excellent restaurants around town include Garagistes, Ethos, Monty's on Montpelier, Me Wah and further afield, The Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet and Peppermint Bay at Woodbridge, also with its own ferry from Hobart.



  • Coal River Valley (TAS)
  • Hobart (TAS)
  • Southern Tasmania (TAS)

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