Hobart’s best venues
Hobart is a cool place to visit, especially for eating and drinking! Not only are there many excellent venues to visit, but, unlike larger cities like Melbourne and Sydney, it is possible to access most of the compulsory places to visit by walking!
We are very lucky in Hobart to have a number of bars within easy walking distance of the very centre of the CBD, each of which has a different focus.
A great place to start your tour of Hobart is the small bar in front of one of Hobart’s leading restaurants, Dier Makr. It is called Lucinda (think Tom Waits) and it is the perfect place to visit for either a quick snack and a glass of wine or to settle in for the evening. The menu for Lucinda is becoming more and more ambitious – you can even order a cooked-to-order souffle on occasions!
Of course, no visit to Hobart would be complete without a meal at Dier Makr, but you have to book to make sure of your table as it is very popular and both the food and wine selections are of top quality. A meal we had here recently was exemplary. Hobart is very lucky to have three restaurants that are at the top of their game (Dier Makr, Fico and The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery) serving food that is always delicious but never pretentious!
In addition to Lucinda there is Tom McHugo’s pub where you can order a beer, but it could be a naturally fermented beer from the clever people at Two Metres Tall or a natural Australian, Italian or French wine from their deep selection. It is only one block from the central GPO.
It is also compulsory to have a meal at this venue. The food is the creation of Tom Westcott who is well known for his obsession with fermenting and sourcing fresh, organic vegetables from some of Tasmania’s best suppliers, such as Fat Carrot Farm. The food here represents some of the best value in Tasmania and is a place we dine at often.
Just up the street is the fabulous and popular Fico which also caters for walk-ins at their bar where you can order a cocktail or a top end Burgundy if you feel like pushing the boat out. But make sure that you book for an evening meal here as the food is some of the best in Tasmania! Their risotto is exemplary.
And while we are talking Italian restaurants, another place to check out is the lively Peppina Restaurant in the Tasman Hotel. Here they use the best local produce to produce dishes with an Italian accent both for hotel guests and for anyone else who is looking for an upmarket experience.
A venue that we enjoy visiting for breakfast (but it is open throughout the day) is Rosie in My Midnight Dreams in the Brooke Street Pier. The coffee, food and service here are exemplary.
A twenty minute walk to North Hobart sees you sitting at Willing Bros sipping one of Tasmania’s better wines or one of the interesting beers that are available, unless you happen upon tiny Sonny on your walk and drop in for a glass of well-chosen wine or three!
Another great venue on the fringe of the CBD is Templo which serves Mediterranean accented food and an interesting selection of wine in their tiny venue. Make sure you book here as it is very popular. In the same area is the newly opened Ogee which is gaining a lot of attention.
If you head for the waterfront from the CBD then you might stumble upon another very cool bar, namely Institut Polaire which is a perfect place to try a cocktail based on local spirits or a wine from their impressive selection.
Another treasure on the waterfront is Lark Distillery which stocks around 250 premium whiskies, including the full Lark range of Tasmanian products. This is a very congenial venue that makes it almost too easy to relax and enjoy the libations available.
Many of the restaurants we have mentioned so far are either open for lunch and dinner or just dinner. This leaves the problem of breakfast and in-between!
We have three favourite places for breakfast. The first is Sunbear where the dishes are clever and very satisfying and the coffee good. Two blocks further away from the CBD is Hamlet which opens early and serves delicious food until early afternoon. You can also have a very good coffee and an excellent pastry at Pigeon Whole Café in Argyle St in the CBD, but be aware this place is insanely popular so you may have a short wait.
Hobart also has a vibrant coffee scene with venues such as Will Priestley’s Pilgrim Coffee and nearby, in the same street, Straight Up who roast their own specialty coffee providing locals with some of the best coffee available. We also love the coffee at Somewhere Coffee Bar where they go to extraordinary lengths to source the world’s best beans and also make the coffee (we love their pour over offerings) with love and attention. We also like Yellow Bernard in the CBD, Wide Awake Specialty Coffee in North Hobart and Rosie in My Midnight Dreams (mentioned above) on the waterfront.
If you do end up in Sandy Bay then make the walk worthwhile by checking out Vermey’s Butchery, one of the best in the state and Me Wah restaurant which has Yum Cha at the weekends at which the dumplings are well worth the walk!
Speaking of butchers, we are very lucky in Hobart to have three butchers of exceptional quality giving us choice as they all have a slightly different focus. Vermey’s stocks a very good range of meats and also has some aged beef as well. Further down Sandy Bay Road is Bayside Meats / Meat Mistress where the meat is sourced from local suppliers nominated on displays behind the counter. There is also Huon Valley Meat Co in West Hobart who also stock local products and have an amazing display in the window of their aged beef.
And while all of these venues are within walking distance of each other, there are two places that you will have to hire a car or catch a taxi/Uber to visit.
No visit to Hobart is complete without a visit to The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery in New Norfolk which is a short drive from Hobart along the picturesque Derwent River. This is a perfect place for a weekend lunch in a beautiful dining room where you will be served some of the best food in Australia. You can also book a tour of their amazing garden prior to your meal – it is well-worth it!
Not too far further along the Derwent from the Agrarian complex is the bar operated on the property of the Two Metre Tall brewery. Here they turn out some of the best naturally fermented beers and ciders in Australia. Make sure you check which days they are open before you make the journey here.