Tasmania is having a moment. A really big moment. Once the absolute butt of Australian jokes, the tables have turned dramatically and Van Diemen’s land is now the top of many an Aussie’s travel list; and the pretty capital Hobart is at the centre of attention.
Offering some of the very best produce, dining, drinking and scenery in the whole world, while retaining a small town charm (read: no annoying city traffic jams, ever) Hobart also knows how to pull in the big names.
With the must-visit event of winter Dark Mofo at MONA cranking up, it’s time to get to Hobart and party! Here are the very best restaurants, cafes and things to do to best enjoy Hobart’s festival season.
It might be tiny, but new Hobart cafe Small Fry packs a punch. There’s just one long table and the chef works on one side making your breakfast while you sip your coffee and wait on the other. It’s worth a visit for the cool fit out alone.
Pigeon Hole Cafe
One of the best cafes in Hobart, Pigeon Hole Cafe serves up excellent organic fare with much of the produce coming from sister enterprise, Weston Farm. The menu is full of winners but the house cooked beans with jamon and farm greens and the reuben toastie cannot be beaten on a cool Hobart day.
Smack bang in the middle of the city, Pilgrim Coffee is where the action is at. Get in early on weekends to get a front row seat for the delicious brunch offerings and top notch coffee. A favourite with visiting foodies, there’s always a healthy option here.
I’m not sure anyone would expect to find some of the best Greek food outside the Meditterranean in Hobart, but the newly opened Urban Greek delivers just that. This restaurant serves up seriously good traditional Cretan delicacies such as chargrilled octopus, and everything comes topped with lots of delicious olive oil. Top tip: try the deconstructed Baklava dessert. It’s divine.
The hippest restaurant in town, Franklin in Hobart city is a must-book affair. Loved for the cool and daily changing menu by chef David Moyle, excellent wine list and pared-back interiors, the hip kids of Hobart (and there’s lots of them now) are all here.
Winston Ale House
The Winston Ale House on Elizabeth Street is Hobart’s go-to drinking spot. There’s an extensive selection of beers on tap that perfectly complement the American-style grub. Their famous buffalo wings and the Winston Burger are our pick.
Dunalley Fish Market
If you drive east from Hobart for 45 minutes you’ll hit the clear, arctic waters of Dunalley and the Dunalley Fish Market, one of the best and freshest fish and chips shops in the entire world IMHO. Run by a gruff fisherman with seafood caught right off the back of the pier, there’s only one thing on the menu— the fisherman’s basket. There’s also the cutest seal— yes, seal— that swims alongside the shop doing tricks and charming customers on the reg.
Bonus tip: If you happen to be driving up to Launceston, you have to stop at Ut Si, a short 10 minute drive from Launceston Airport. In a gorgeous, converted church surrounded by a beautiful organic garden, Ut Si does simple homemade food to perfection. The spiced quince tart with vanilla bean cream is probably the best thing I have eaten in the last decade.
Tom Hounslow Knives
Tom Hounslow is a second-generation cutler (aka knife maker) who crafts incredible knives using ancient Japanese techniques. His knives are such high quality that he’s in demand from some of the world’s best chefs. The prices aren’t for the faint-hearted, but they are a lifetime investment.
If you like your wine recommendations at the level of Netflix movie Somm (i.e. from hilarious Master Sommeliers) then Cool Wine is the spot for you. May I recommend a delightful Tasmanian Pinot Noir with notes of plum?
Sunday Farm Gate Markets
Hands down the best and freshest markets I’ve ever encountered. If you’re in Hobart on a Sunday head down to the Farm Gate Markets from 7:30am to get the best in cheeses, wines, herbs, organic grass-fed meat, and anything else you could ever want to cook the dinner of your dreams.
David Walsh’s all out quirky Museum of New And Old Art is a must visit in Hobart. Known for pushing the boundaries (did you catch the poo machines?) and one of the biggest parties in the country (Dark Mofo y’all) you’d be crazy not to check it out.
Eat All The Cheese On Bruny Island
Hike Up Mt Wellington
A hike up Mt Wellington is a great way to get the best views over the city and walk off all the amazing Tasmanian food and wine you’ve no doubt been imbibing. Be sure to bring your scarf, beanie and gloves though—it gets cold up there!
Looking for more things to do in Tasmania? Check out 7 Reasons To Make Tasmania Your Next Mini Break Destination!
Image credits: Small Fry Hobart, hobartcity.com.au, onthreelegs.com, Phoebe Grealy