Top Restaurants in Tasmania
Isolation from mainland Australia has made Tasmania sustainable and creative when it comes to food and drink. From wineries, cideries, and distilleries to hip tapas joints and bucolic restaurants out on the farm, Tasmania serves some of the most memorable meals in Australia.
30 Argyle St, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia
One of Australia’s most acclaimed restaurants happens to be in Hobart, where chef Analiese Gregory plays with local, foraged, and homegrown ingredients in her daily-changing menu. One night, you might find burrata curd tossed with saltbush and fermented Jerusalem artichoke. Another, it’ll be licorice-seasoned lamb ribs, grilled for everyone to see in the 10-tonne Scotch oven, which emits the smell of burnt honey. The modern concrete dining room, housed in a 1923 Ford showroom next to the old Mercury newspaper offices (reimagined as the Press Hall), is outfitted with blond wood tables and animal-hide rugs. House-made wines and tangy desserts—perhaps strawberry gum milk sorbet scooped over rhubarb and damson plum sauce—add to the fun.
93 Goulburn St, West Hobart TAS 7000, Australia
This West Hobart café has long been known for sourdough: stone-ground, organic fruit, fig and walnut—you name it. But the owners of Weston Farm took it over in 2013 and added new breakfast and lunch favorites that outshine the bread—from baked eggs over chorizo hash coated in saffron yogurt to pork and fennel meatballs smothered in spicy paprika sauce. Most produce comes from the farm, including the smoked paprika, which won gold in the 2017 Delicious Magazine awards. (The farm also rents out a cottage overlooking its olive groves.) A mini marble-bar bakery, Pigeon Whole Bakers, fronts Franklin restaurant and is run by the original Pigeon Hole baker, Jay Patey. This is now the place to get your sourdough bread and doughnuts.
341 Elizabeth St, North Hobart TAS 7000, Australia
The craft cookies, cakes, and ice cream churned daily here from local milk and fruit are as creative as they come. Ask for a nostalgic Australian treat, and you might be offered a Mit Mat (a ganache-filled play on the Tim Tam), a Ro-Vo (a room-temperature spin-off of an iced VoVo), or a Jatz pie (like a caramel slice topped with a mosaic of Arnott’s Jatz crackers). The bloke behind the brilliance is none other than Alistair Wise, son of cookbook author Sally Wise, who spent a stint working with Gordon Ramsay. This emporium of happiness—and envy, to be sure—also whips up scrumptious savories including a mean scallop pie and a buttery poached chicken “sanger” with bacon, lettuce, hummus, mayo, and hard-boiled egg.
98 Patrick Street
A tiny northern Hobart restaurant with brick walls and no more than 20 seats joined the city’s dining scene in 2017, quickly winning over locals with its reinvented riffs on Italian classics. Chef Matt Breen’s Aussie-Italian ethos was partially honed at Smolt, where he worked in Salamanca Square for several years. At Templo, Breen’s blackboard menu features around 10 dishes; two of them are often broccolini-chili gnocchetti and beef carpaccio with radicchio and anchovy cream. If you can’t decide, order the chef’s menu for $60 and try every plate except dessert. It’s all meant to be shared, just like a nice bottle of red (there’s a solid list of Australian and Italian vintages, or you can BYO for a $15 corkage fee).
3435 Channel Hwy, Woodbridge TAS 7162, Australia
Owned by the Franklin restaurant team, Peppermint Bay Hotel in Woodbridge is a destination restaurant not only for its modern Aussie fare cooked up with farm-fresh produce (a lot of it grown on-site). It’s also beloved for its panoramic views of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and regular concerts featuring the likes of Justin Townes Earle and Marlon Williams, which travelers can sail to on a Peppermint Bay cruise from Sullivans Cove in Hobart. While you’re in Woodbridge, pop by the tasting room at Woodbridge Smokehouse to sample ocean trout and Atlantic salmon smoked over a variety of hardwoods including shavings from the surrounding apple orchard.
6 Cattley St, Burnie TAS 7320, Australia
This restaurant in northwest Tasmania—defined by a blond wood wall, white bucket chairs, and stoneware dishes—wouldn’t feel out of place in hip Hobart, or even in Sydney or Melbourne. It’s Scandinavian in style, but the food veers more French and Italian: pork, chorizo, and pea risotto; seared scallops with pickled fennel; duck rillettes; a lemon brûlée tart with raspberry chantilly cream. But seven-course degustation dinners and acoustic-guitar sessions are very, well, Tasmanian. Degustation dishes could feature everything from mint-cured ocean trout and sous vide squid for starters to entrées of slow-cooked lamb belly and confit duck served over charred peach purée and prosciutto.
2 Bridge Rd, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia
Stillwater is a longtime favorite in Launceston for its location on the Tamar River in a lovingly restored 1830s flour mill. Original beams, polished timber floors, and water views set the scene for seasonal dishes such as whiskey-cured Huon salmon; slow-roasted Flinders Island rack of lamb (flavored like ocean salt from the sea-swept grasses the lamb eat); and Cape Grim steak (which hails from the capital of clean air). The same owners run Black Cow Bistro a few blocks up the road, which is doing more incredible things with Cape Grim cuts. Save room for the sweet basil panna cotta with strawberries and breadcrumbs. You can hike it off at Cradle Mountain tomorrow.
39/41 Invermay Rd, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia
Me Wah is considered one of the best Asian restaurants in Australia, and lucky for travelers there’s a location in Launceston as well as in Hobart. The cuisine is Cantonese-Australian fusion—think prawn chow mein, lamb pancakes, ginger scallops served in the shell, trevalla dumplings, and fried ice cream. Diners can also find specialties that are quintessentially Tasmanian such as deep-fried Bruny Island oysters. Banquet options and modern desserts add to the exquisite setting (that’s what me wah means in Chinese). The ambience is old-school with impeccable service to match. Savor the smiles; you’ll never see this many at an Australian restaurant again.
11a The Avenue, New Norfolk TAS 7140, Australia
Rodney Dunn and Séverine Demanet, founders of the eponymous schoolhouse turned farm and the cooking school less than 10 minutes away, opened the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery in 2015 to share their produce and cooking with a wider audience. The light-flooded space, with original stamped tin reflecting off the high ceiling, is so beautiful you’d never guess it was once a mental asylum. The only mental hardship now is deciding what to order for lunch, whether it’s the wood-roasted southern lamb or the hot smoked bay trout. Still can’t decide? For $70 per person, the kitchen will feed you the best dishes of the day. If you’re road tripping up the Derwent River, at least stop in for a biscuit or a lamington with Agrarian Kitchen jam.
699 Richmond Rd, Cambridge TAS 7170, Australia
Overlooking the Coal River Valley, Barilla Bay, and the vineyards that produce the winery’s award-winning rieslings, sauvignon blancs, and other cool-climate varietals, Frogmore Creek is also home to a restaurant you can write home about, open daily for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here you can pair the star of the most recent wine harvest with colorful dishes such as beef tataki with horseradish gnocchi or cured yellowtail kingfish sweetened by seaweed and soy caramel, apple, and pomegranate. Edible flowers and bright sauce droplets create art on the plate. But the real masterpieces are the desserts. If “chess mate” and “lemon basil legos” are on the menu, order both. In late 2017, Frogmore Creek opened a second restaurant inside the MACq 01 building on the Hobart waterfront.
81 York St, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia
Don’t let the name or menu fool you. This is neither a bakery nor the wings and burgers joint the menu might have you think. Rather, it’s a lively bar in the otherwise quiet city of Launceston that attracts vegans and meat eaters alike. Vegans and “vegos” come for the shrub burger (with fried pumpkin, eggplant, and vegan lemon aioli) or the veggie enchiladas. Carnivores swear by the “sanga” (sandwich) with slow-roasted pork shoulder doused in whiskey barbecue sauce and topped with coleslaw and apple peach chutney. An Aussie craft beer or Baileys and butterscotch espresso martini on the side patio, strung with faux ivy, isn’t too shabby either. The best times are had on live music and DJ nights, when the bar buzzes late.
Like the Irish pubs of the motherland, the New Sydney Hotel is warm and welcoming to all. More than two dozen tap beers—one pumped by hand—and artisan ciders are complemented by mulled pinot noir (spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and house-made syrup) as well as hot cider (Willie Smith’s organic cider plus ginger syrup and dark rum) in winter. Sip one alongside wallaby tartare or pork knuckle slow-cooked for 72 hours. Like any Irish pub worth its Guinness, the New Sydney Hotel also hosts nightly music, the most popular being the traditional Irish jam that’s been running on Saturdays for 25 years. Snag a cozy seat by the log fire, and soak up the ambience.
2064 Huon Hwy, Grove TAS 7109, Australia
This rustic barn turned tasting room, museum and shop highlights Tasmania‘s apple- and cider-producing heritage, while also serving as the home of Willie Smith’s Organic Cider and Charles Oats Distilling. It offers a delicious food menu, too, featuring the stars of southern Tasmanian produce (Huon cold-smoked salmon, Spring Bay mussels, Summer Hill bread) plus cider pairings. A hive of activity year-round, the Apple Shed really heats up in the Austral winter, when you can sip spiced cider (Willie Smith’s Original plus ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and pimento) during live music on Fridays as well as the first Sunday of the month. Better yet, come for the Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival: a pagan-inspired weekend of music, merriment, and wassailing—scaring nasties out of the orchard to ensure a bumper autumn crop.