The food in Tasmania is arguably the best in the country. With incredible produce at their fingertips, chefs are free to experiment with only the finest, freshest ingredients. After collating a list of recommended restaurants, cafes, and markets, I shortlisted my favorites, and started making bookings. Bookings are essential at most of the restaurants I’ve listed below.
The first stop on our agenda is a casual burger lunch at The Standard. Located down an alleyway, there’s limited seating but it’s perfect for a takeaway burg fix. We order the standard burger, the animal burger, plus fries. The patties are super thin (something I really like), and the serving of fries is giant. I’m a fan of the peppery punch, too.
52 Liverpool St, Hobart TAS
Open every day 11am – 10pm
My favorite meal in Hobart is the two-hatted fine dining restaurant Franklin where the menu changes daily. The food is purposeful, the ambiance is industrial and cool, plus you can sit at the bar and get the best view in the house of chefs in action. Chicken liver parfait on rye is a tasty mouthful, the confit zucchini is so bold in flavor with goat milk cheese grated on top, and the beetroot with radicchio is perfectly balanced. There’s a lot of smoking action at Franklin. We get in on the smokiness with the smoked bone marrow rice with toasted cime di rapa (umami alert). The whole roasted flathead is delicate and tender, and the side of potatoes with creme fraiche is superb. Only the dessert of cherries, berries with buckwheat jelly and sheeps milk yoghurt isn’t to my taste. The buckwheat jelly is texturally a bit off-putting for me. All in all, a memorable and flavor-filled meal that I will recommend to my friends over and over again.
28-30 Argyle St, Hobart TAS
Tuesday – Saturday 11:30am till late
I’d eat at Templo again and again. This gem of an Italian restaurant is the size of your living room. Twenty people can squeeze into the tiny space with one round communal table, a bar, and a few scattered tables. The succinct blackboard menu changes most days according to seasonality. All small servings are designed to be shared. Each and every dish is outstanding – faultlessly balanced and leaning towards savory flavors (aka exactly what my palate loves).
The handmade ribbons of pasta with meatballs and bechamel is my idea of a perfect dish. But even better is the stracceti with a tomato sugo and smoked roe. The sauce is rich, the pasta sheets are silky, and there’s an added crunch from breadcrumbs strewn on top. Next are the proteins: mirror dory is served on a bed of beans, grapes, and pine nuts; veal scallopine is accompanied by potatoes and an irresistible, garlicky sauce. We finish with the best panna cotta I’ve ever eaten – unbelievably creamy with a crunchy shard on top that reminds me of a cat’s tongue (the biscuit, not the animal).
98 Patrick St, Hobart, TAS
Thu to Mon 12-3 and 6 till late
Ethos Eat Drink
Produce-driven Ethos Eat Drink only offers a tasting menu – you can pick from the short or long menu. We wisely pick the former, as it turns out even the short degustation isn’t all that short. Every single dish heroes a local ingredient with simplicity and elegance. Without fail I’m blown away by the artful care that goes into every plate. The sourdough bread (which is excellent, by the way) is made in-house, and the staff knows exactly where the wheat comes from: Callington Mill in Oatlands. The Japanese pumpkin with bacon dashi and smoked bacon is served with grapes that were picked from one of the chef’s backyards. But the stand-out for me is the flavor bomb of the pork shoulder, heirloom tomatoes, garlic butter, and consomme. So. Damn. Tasty. The menu at Ethos changes daily, depending on what produce arrives at the restaurant in the morning.
Ethos Eat Drink
100 Elizabeth St, Hobart, TAS
It’s raining when we arrive for lunch at Frogmore Creek Wines, but it’s picturesque and serene nonetheless. The menu solely features share plates, boasting dishes with the most beautiful presentation we come across in Tassie so far. The vibrant cured salmon, potato salad, seaweed cracker, and miso dressing is the best of our savories. Our other two picks aren’t quite as vibrant: both the braised lamb shoulder croquettes with babaganoush, preserved lemon, pine nuts, and rocket salad, and the Richmond Farm baby vegetable salad, hummus, roasted beetroot, hazelnut, and garlic soil are pleasant enough, but don’t quite hit the mark. It’s the textures of citrus fruit dessert that’s the highlight here with textures galore and handsome plating to boot. It. Is. Incredible. Lemon ice cream, vanilla cream, orange segments, praline, mini meringue, and milk crumble sing together like Bone Thugs n Harmony (odd analogy, I know). Don’t miss out on a wine tasting – it’s free if you dined at the restaurant. Straight after lunch we catch our flight back to Sydney, because the vineyard is only about a 15-minute drive away from Hobart airport.
699 Richmond Rd, Cambridge, TAS
Restaurant open 7 days 11.30am-4pm
The Italian and Spanish inspired food at Smolt is good for a casual meal, especially when you’ve grown bored of trawling through Salamanca Markets. I power through the markets within 45 minutes and don’t really find anything interesting except to buy some berries. I make a lunch booking at Smolt because it’s a stone’s throw away from Salamanca Markets. The house-made pappardelle with lamb ragu, chilli, garlic, and parmesan delivers on flavor and al dente (albeit a bit thick) pasta. We also share the roasted cauliflower with hummus and the beetroot salad with goats curd, both of which aren’t anything to get too excited about, but are generous and unpretentious.
2 Salamanca Square, Hobart, TAS
7 days 8.30am until late
Daci & Daci
As a late afternoon snack, we drop in to Daci & Daci for a slice of cake. We ogle the cabinet, and finally settle on the Tropicana cake, which turns out to be terribly dry, and seemed like it was sitting in the cabinet for a few days too many. After approaching the staff, they kindly refund me and offer me another cake. I go for the ricotta cheesecake instead and it’s miles better (bonus points for the side serving of cream – YUM). It’s probably best to go in the morning when everything is fresher. Also, note that the first set of cabinets doesn’t display their full range of pastries and cakes; make sure you head around to the right side as well for the unrefrigerated display section, too.
Dacy & Daci
9-11 Murray St, Hobart, TAS
7 days 7am-6pm
Pigeon Whole Bakers
We first try the ruby sourdough when we have dinner at Franklin. I’m enamoured by this bread, so I find out right away where it’s from. Turns out it’s from nextdoor neighbor Pigeon Whole Bakers. I pick up a loaf to take back to Sydney on our last day, temporarily tempted by the donuts but able to restrain myself.
Pigeon Whole Bakers
32 Argyle St, Hobart, TAS
Mon-Fri 7.30am to 2pm
Sat & Sun 8am-1pm
We make a pit stop at Pilgrim to sit down and relax with a cup of coffee, newspaper in hand, while people watching on the sidewalk. Pilgrim was recommended to me numerous times, and the coffee doesn’t disappoint.
48 Argyle St, Hobart, TAS
Mon – Fri 6.30am-4.30pm, Sat – Sun 8am-2pm
Farm Gate Market
Far better than the Salamanca Markets, the Farm Gate Markets on Sunday morning get my vote. It’s not as touristy as Salamanca, and it’s much more about produce and food instead of tacky souvenirs. A famous sushi truck commands a queue, where you can get your sushi hand-rolled to order. Or if you’re like me and hate lining up, to the left you can purchase a selection of pre-made sushi, too. Other stalls offer the likes of octopus, wallaby burritos, bubble & squeak, and artisan bread.
Farm Gate Market
104 Bathurst St, Hobart, TAS
As we don’t drive (I don’t know how to adult, so what of it?), we book into a Bruny Island food tour by Pennicott Journeys. Chauffeuring us around the island to six food stops, our guide fills the silence with local stories and white wallaby sightings. Our first stop is at Get Shucked for oysters, followed by a cheese tasting at Bruny Island Cheese Company, and morning tea at the Berry Farm. Lunch and a wine tasting are at Bruny Island Premium Wines. The day ends with a bit of fudge at Bruny Island Providore, and a whisky (or gin in my case) tasting at the House of Whisky. To be honest, you could explore the produce of Bruny Island better on your own with a rental car. The food tour promised to reveal the stories behind the producers, which they didn’t quite deliver on. Tasting the food is all well and good, but I’m always interested to hear what the winemaker, cheesemaker or berry farmer have to say.