A Food Lovers' Guide to Tasmania
A Food Lovers Guide to Tasmania is a guide to restaurants, cafes, food shops, coffee, bread and Tasmanian produce that was first published in 1988 in book form.
Tasmania is a verdant, green island off the southern coast of Australia. The cool climate and fertile soils allow some of the best produce you will find anywhere to be harvested.
A Food Lovers' Guide to Tasmania was first published authors Sue Dyson and Roger McShane to alert people to the wonderful produce available in this island state. It was published in book form until 2000 and has been published in electronic form on foodtourist.com since 1996. It has also been the subject of a weekly ABC radio program since 1989 where Sue and Roger are interviewed by Chris Wisbey about produce, restaurants, wine and recipes using Tasmanian products.
There are some excellent restaurants delivering the potential of the produce in Tasmania. Others are not so produce-driven. So don't travel around Tasmania expecting every restaurant to deliver beautifully cooked local produce - just like everywhere else in the world you have to know where to eat. Many places will disappoint!
This electronic guide to Tasmania is the result of Sue and Roger visiting every corner of the state for the past 25 years seeking out the best restaurants, food shops and wines. All restaurant visits and produce that we review are fully paid for by us.
Tasmania's leading restaurants
We have chosen eleven restaurants that provide interesting and exciting dining experiences and that make good use of the wonderful produce that is available in Tasmania.
Garagistes is now firmly established as the most exciting restaurant in Tasmania. It is where everyone wants to experience when they visit Tasmania. And rightly so. The food reflects the changing seasons of Tasmania. It is sourced from the very best producers. The wine list holds tightly to their deeply-held philosophy of serving only wines that are made naturally by vignerons who grow the grapes and make the wines themselves. It is arguably the most extensive and exciting list of natural wines in Australia.
Read a full review here Garagistes
103 Murray St, Hobart. Tel +61 3 6231 0558
The Stackings is the premium restaurant at the Peppermint Bay complex in Woodbridge, 45 minutes south of Hobart. Here, David Moyle and his team turn out light, ethereal dishes based on locally-sourced products. David has a particular affinity for seafood dishes that are always perfectly fresh and perfectly cooked.
Read a full review here The Stackings at Peppermint Bay
3435 Channel Highway. Tel +61 3 6267 4088
Lebrina Restaurant is where Scott Minervini weaves his magic. This is Hobart's best venue for a special night out. The cottage is divided into a number of small rooms, the service is very professional and unobtrusive and the food is cooked in the classical tradition but with the lightest of touches.
Read a full review here Lebrina Restaurant
155 New Town Rd, New Town. Tel +61 3 6228 7775
Stillwater Restaurant is housed in an old mill clinging to the banks of the Tamar River. The service here is totally professional and serene. The wine list showcases Tasmania's best names and many from elsewhere. The food is always interesting with local produce at the forefront.
Read a full review here Stillwater
2 Bridge Road, Launceston. Tel +61 3 6331 4153
Me Wah (Hobart)
The sumptuous décor here is only outdone by the opulence of the wine list. It is one of the few places in Tasmania where you can call a Romanée Conti, for example. If you want to stick closer to home then you can sample a vertical of Grange Hermitage if you prefer. The dumplings here are exemplary so order lots of them. The XO sauce is made on the premises and is sensational. The dish of hand made noodles tossed in abalone jus is worth a journey.
Read a full review here Me Wah
16 Magnet Court, Sandy Bay. Tel +61 3
Smolt is all things to all people. You can drop in for a take away coffee at any time of day. You can breakfast here before visiting the Salamanca Market on a Saturday morning or you can dine on a three course meal at night while others sit outside enjoying a pizza.
Read a full review here Smolt
2 Salamanca Square, Hobart. Tel +61 3 6224 2554
The Source is the premium restaurant at the MONA complex. The food is edgy and creative but doesn't always hit the mark. The wine list is interesting but tends towards 'big' names, however we can always find a perfect candidate for the food such as the natural Thomas Pico from Chablis.
Read a full review here The Source
655 Main Rd, Berriedale. Tel +61 3 6277 9900
Mud Bar and Restaurant
Mud Bar has long been a favourite. It is informal and casual but the food is always of a high standard. The service here is always professional. The aspect is pleasant with views over the river and marina outside.
Read a full review here Mud Bar and Restaurant
28 Seaport Blvd, Launceston. Tel +61 3 6334 5066
Piccolo Restaurant is a local favourite serving very good Italian-inspired food. The chef here is skilled in the preparation of homely Italian dishes especially perfect pasta and risotto.
Read a full review here Piccolo Restaurant and Wine Bar
323a Elizabeth St, North Hobart. Tel +61 3 6234 4844
Ethos Eat Drink
Ethos Eat Drink serves tapas-style dishes throughout the day in the inner-city courtyard off Hobart's main street. You can drop in here for coffee, a glass of wine or beer or cider or for a full evening meal.
Read a full review here Ethos Eat Drink
100 Elizabeth St, Hobart. Tel +61 3 6231 1165
Remi de Provence
Remi de Provence is Tasmania's leading French restaurant. The food here is provincial French rather than haute cuisine - and that is a good thing. Remi Bancal is a master of regional French cuisine. His braised dishes are particularly good as are his aged steaks. The wine list features many of France's best wines.Read a full review here Remi de Provence
252 Macquarie St, Hobart. Tel +61 3 6223 3933
For the benefit of visitors to the state who might be consulting guides that were printed some time ago we provide information about restaurant closures and restaurants where the ownership has changed hands.
Strathlynn has closed
Marque IV has closed
Angasi has had a change of ownership and we have not yet reviewed it
Piccalilly has closed
Restaurant 373 has closed
Battery Point Steakhouse has closed
Tant pour Tant in Launceston has closed (5/7/2012)
The Banc in Swansea has closed
We have put The Agrarian Kitchen in a category of its own because it is such a special place. Note that it is not a restaurant but a place where you can enrol for an agrarian experience. Everyone we talk to who has enrolled in a cooking class here has raved about the experience (including ourselves!).
Read a full review here The Agrarian Kitchen
650 Lachlan Rd, Lachlan. Tel +61 3 6261 1099
Once you move outside the major centres of Hobart and Launceston, good restaurants are few and far between, especially with the sale of Angasi at Binalong Bay. However there are some gems outside the cities where you can get very good food.
Red Velvet Lounge
The Red Velvet Lounge is a favourite country destination for us. Owner and chef Steve Cumper is involved in every detail and actively seeks out local producers from the fertile area around this small town. It is advisable to book as it is very popular.
Read a full review here Red Velvet Lounge
24 Mary St, Cygnet. Tel +61 3 6295 0466
The denizens of Cygnet are fortunate to have two places of such good quality to choose from. The Lotus Eaters features a changing menu chalked on a blackboard. The cooking here is deft and the resultant dishes delicious.
Read a full review here Lotus Eaters
10 Mary St, Cygnet. Tel +61 3 6295 1996
Ut Si Cafe
Ut Si is a delightful cafe in Perth on the Midland Highway where we always stop for coffee or lunch on our travels within the state. Housed in a delightful converted church building the cafe is bright and airy and the food simple and delicious. The coffee is excellent.
Read a full review here Ut Si Cafe
86 Main Rd, Perth. Tel +61 3 6398 1125
Wild Cafe Restaurant
Wild Café Restaurant in Penguin is a pleasant spot to stop for lunch, coffee or an evening meal in the heart of the North West Coast. The café and enclosed 'outside' area have lovely views over Bass Strait.
Read a full review here Wild
87 Main Rd, Penguin. Tel +61 3 6437 2000
Drift Cafe and Restaurant
Drift Cafe and Restaurant occupies a modern space right on the beach at Devonport's Bluff area. It offers a mix of formal and informal dining in the same space with cafeteria-style ordering mixed with table service. The food we have eaten there has been very good.
Read a full review here Drift Cafe and Restaurant
41 Bluff Rd, Devonport. Tel +61 3 6424 4695
Palate at the Saffire
We have included Palate at the Saffire resort at Coles Bay even though you need to stay there to dine at the restaurant. We have done this because the cooking of chef Hugh Whitehouse is just so good.
Other restaurants, cafes and informal places to eat
This group of cafes and restaurants include many of our favourites - the ones you will find us visiting once a week for an informal meal.
Tricycle Cafe and Bar
Tricycle is one of our favourite food destinations at lunch time. The meals here are always perfectly composed and beautifully seasoned. The specials are always designed to match the mood of the day, so if it is a hot sultry day there might be a couple of light salads and a cold soup on special. In the depth of winter the style changes to beautiful hot soups and braised dishes.
Read a full review here Tricycle
77 Salamanca Place, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6223 7228
Alistair Wise and Teena Kearney modestly call their establishment a simple cake shop. However they produce a wide range of sweet things including ice creams based on either seasonal produce or whimsical flights of fancy. There are also beautiful savoury items such as the butter poached chicken sandwich and various pies and pasties, making it a perfect spot for a light lunch.
Read a full review here Sweet Envy
341 Elizabeth St, North Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6234 8805
Pigeon Hole is THE place where foodies naturally gravitate towards. Turn up on any morning and you will find local and interstate food tragics enjoying the sublime food and the great coffee. It is definitely worth a journey to sample the Taleggio eggs or one of the flavoursome panini that are always on the menu. They also now have a bakery so you can buy Hobart's best bread here as an added bonus.
Read a full review here Pigeon Hole
93 Goulburn St, West Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6236 9306
Chado The Way of Tea
Chado sells impeccably fresh teas from around the world. Varuni Kulasekera is an expert at selecting and brewing tea, so it is an ideal place for tea lovers to congregate.
Read a full review here: Chado
134 Elizabeth St, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6231 6411
Written on Tea
Written on Tea in the Hobart suburb of Sandy Bay is our restaurant of choice when we want an informal meal in Hobart. There are five or six dishes that we are addicted to and order every time we go here (which is often).
Read a full review here: Written on Tea
Shop 6, 236 Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay. Tel. +61 3 6223 3298
Crumb Street Kitchen
Here is a place that has turned into a phenomenon overnight! The opening hours are erratic, the fit-out is just as erratic, you drink from paper cups, your food is served in pizza boxes, the cutlery is plastic and yet people queue up here to ensure that they are among the lucky ones who can order before the food runs out! Simply go here for fabulous smoked brisket and ribs slowly cooked for 18 hours and their pulled pork sandwiches. You won't find better in Tasmania.
Read a full review here: Crumb Street Kitchen
144 Harrington St, Hobart. Tel +61 3 6234 7002
Black Cow bistro
Black Cow provides a very pleasant dining experience in the heart of Launceston. They have a selection of the best beef in Tasmania including the wonderful Robbins Island grass-fed Wagyu.
Read a full review here: Black Cow
cnr Paterson and George Sts, Launceston. Tel. +61 3 6331 9333
Pierre's restaurant in the heart of Launceston has been an institution for decades. New owners have now remodelled the interior giving it a more contemporary feel and the menu is now inspired by the food of France. It is a reliable and relaxing venue for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Read a full review here: Pierre's
88 George St, Launceston. Tel. +61 3 6331 6835
Me Wah (Launceston)
The Me Wah is a well-established part of the vibrant Launceston dining scene. The service is excellent, the wine list stellar and the food is very good especially the dumplings and noodle dishes.
Read a full review here: Me Wah (Launceston)
39-41 Invermay Road, Launceston. Tel. +61 3 6331 1308
Laneway is both a place to go for a light meal or for a cup of coffee and some very good cake or pastries. It is also a deli where you can buy some of the best produce from the local region.
Read a full review here: Laneway Cafe
2/38 Steele St, Devonport. Tel. +61 3 6424 4333
Fresh on Charles
Fresh on Charles is one of the most interesting and innovative cafes in Launceston. It always has great coffee, interesting vegetarian food and service that matches the vibe of the café. We love the breakfasts here.
Read a full review here: Fresh on Charles
178 Charles St, Launceston. Tel +61 3 6331 4299
Pasha's restaurant serves fresh, tasty, expertly-prepared Turkish food at reasonable prices. This is a great place for sharing food with friends.
Pasha has also opened another outlet in Kettering, south of Hobart.
Read a full review here: Pasha's
218 Elizabeth St, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6234 6300
Smokey Joe's Creole Cafe
Smokey Joe's is a great place for experiencing the foods of the southern United States and Mexico with the occasional foray into Cuba and some Central American cuisines. The enthusiastic owner is always trying out new dishes and new ingredients. He loves smoking foods and is a dab hand at integrating chilli flavours into dishes.
Read a full review here: Smokey Joe's Creole Cafe
20 Lawrence St, Launceston. Tel. +61 3 6331 0530
Orizuru Sushi Bar
Orizuru Sushi Bar is housed in the Mures complex right on Hobart's waterfront. The sashimi is very fresh and the sushi is made with care.
Read a full review here: Orizuru Sushi Bar
Victoria Dock, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6231 1790
Jackman and McRoss (various outlets)
Jackman and McRoss is a long running and very popular bakery and cafe run by Nerida and Justin McRoss.
Read a full review here: Jackman and McRoss
57 Hampden Road, Battery Point. Tel. +61 3 6223 3186
4 Victoria St, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6231 0601
32 Cross St, New Town. Tel. +61 3 6228 4688
Masaaki has a restaurant in Geeveston as well as a stall at the Farm Gate Market held in Hobart each Sunday morning. He makes very good sushi and uses superbly fresh fish for his sashimi.
Read a full review here: Masaaki
20b Church St, Geeveston. No phone.
Joseph CHromy Cellar Restaurant
A brand new building houses this cellar door restaurant in the north of the state. The food is based on the standard approach of Tasmanian vineyard restaurants with vineyard platters front and centre.
Read a full review here: Joseph Chromy Cellar Restaurant
370 Relbia Road, Relbia. Tel. +61 3
Dev'Lish is the cafe of Annie Parmentier the talented chef who used to run very successful restaurants and cafes in Sydney. The cafe is tiny but it is always crowded with regulars who come here for a fix of very good coffee and a takeaway or eat-in lunch.
Read a full review here: Dev'Lish
137 Macquarie St, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6223 4050
Choga is a small, informal Korean restaurant serving very good food in Sandy Bay. It is a regular haunt of ours.
Read a full review here: Choga
Shop 1/4 Russell Cres. Sandy Bay. Tel. +61 3 6224 4570
Sawak is a small cafe in Hobart serving pleasant Malaysian dishes with influences from the Sarawak area. We love the Bak Kut Teh which is a soup made from herbs and simmered pork bones with a deep flavour that reminds us of the Chinese herbal restaurants we used to haunt in Kuala Lumpur.
Read a full review here: Sawak
131 Collins St, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6234 3622
Over the past twenty years there has been a gradual improvement in the quality of coffee in Tasmania. The places listed below are where we head if we want a reliable cup of coffee.
Read a full review here: Tricycle
Read a full review here: Pigeon Hole
Read a full review here: Yellow Bernard
Read a full review here: Pilgrim Coffee
Read a full review here: Laneway Cafe
Read a full review here: Dev'Lish
Read a full review here: Doctor Coffee
Read a full review here Fresh on Charles
Read a full review here: Smolt
Read a full review here: Retro Cafe
Read a full review here: Ut Si
Read a full review here: Secret Buddha Cafe
Read a full review here: Inside Cafe
Read a full review here: Villino Espresso
Read a full review here: Pop Cafe
Other cafes with good coffee
Others that we like are Bruce's in Wynyard, the Criterion St Cafe, Island Cafe in Elizabeth St, the Jackman and McRoss properties (Battery Point, New Town and Victoria St in Hobart), Deli Central in Ulverstone and the Croplines in Launceston.
Hobart offers a number of bar experiences that are quirky, interesting and exciting. Here are our top picks.
Sidecar is a bar round the corner from mothership, Garagistes. This is a good place to go to wait for your table if Garagistes is full or simply to enjoy a drink and some very good food. The wines are all natural (with many by the glass) and there is also a small selection of gin, whisky, grappa etc. The place is tiny but very cool! And the yellow meat slicer must be the coolest in the state!
129 Bathurst St, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6231 1338
Lark Distillery and Café is a very popular venue on Hobart's waterfront, with locals who make Friday nights a regular gig here and with tourists who drop in to sample the fine Tasmanian whisky that they offer.
14 Davey St, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6231 9088
IXL Long Bar
From the Long Bar in the Henry Jones Art Hotel you can almost touch the fishing boats bobbing at their moorings. If there is no space at the bar, grab one of the comfortable couches in the hotel foyer.
25 Hunter St, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6210 7700
Grape Bar Bottleshop is a pleasant drinking venue in the heart of Hobart's tourist precinct Salamanca Place. There is a large range of local, interstate and overseas wines available and some well-cooked food to accompany it. They often have a J J Plum Riesling by the glass.
55 Salamanca Place, Hobart. Tel. +61 3 6224 0611
There are some interesting small markets popping up throughout Tasmania. The longest running and the most popular with tourists is the Saturday morning Salamanca Market. However an interesting new market has recently opened on the roof of the now famous MONA museum. Called MoMa it is held on Saturday afternoon from January until April. Here you will find stalls from star producers such as Miellerie Honey, Ashbolts with their iconic olive oil, Eatem Organic Farm with their organic farm produce and Ice IceCreamery with their excellent fruit-based ice creams. Varuni Kulasekera from Chado The Way of Tea is always there with her unsurpassed range of teas from China, Sri Lanka, Japan and India as well as her famous Wine Lovers Blend that we rely on to ameliorate the effects of drinking too much wine.
There is also the Farm Gate Market in Hobart each Sunday morning where food lovers gather to source fresh fruit and vegetables. Another market that is well-worth a visit is the Saturday morning Festival market in the Cimitiere St car park in Launceston which attracts a great range of the best producers from the north of the state.
Tasmania is particularly lucky with the quality of the food shops throughout the state. Many feature local produce. Here are some of the best.
A few years ago Tasmania was a bread disaster area. However, now we have some very good choices available.
Tasmania is well-known for its cool-climate wines. The quality varies enormously, but the good ones are very good. Some of our favourites are listed below.
The quality of produce is exceptional in Tasmania. Here are some of our current favourite producers.
The places below are where we go to source fine wines.