Tasmania’s Top 10 Places to Eat and Drink
For a small island state, Tasmania packs some serious punch when it comes to food and wine. It’s eateries, bars, restaurants, farmers markets, wineries and distilleries make up a scene that’s practically bursting at the seams with one-of-a-kind experiences. Here are ten of our favourite spots to visit when you’re next in Tassie.
Hobart’s Salamanca Place is famous for its sprawling Saturday markets showcasing local artisans, craftsmen and producers, but if you’re a foodie, make the lesser known Farm Gate Market your priority. Held every Sunday between 8.30am and 1.30pm, the market takes over Bathurst Street in the CBD, filling the city with the smell of fresh coffee, doughnuts and freshly baked bread. Stock up on fresh fruit, pastries and pantry items, all locally grown and produced.
The coolest café
Hobart may not have the graffiti-covered laneways or the hordes of hipsters, but its newest café is straight out of Melbourne. Appropriately named Born in Brunswick, the café opened just a few months ago and is a study in white marble, pale Nordic timber and leafy greenery. Ex-MasterChef contestant Con Vailas, buddy Ben Korkmaz and up-and-coming chef Josh Retzer are bringing pour overs, superfood smoothies and deconstructed dishes to the Hobart brunch scene.
Tasmania has a tendency to attract big names from the big cities, who come looking for a sea change. Ex-restaurant critic Matthew Evans has just opened the doors on Fat Pig Farm in Cygnet, an hour south of Hobart. As the name suggests, Evans and his wife are raising rare Wessex saddleback pigs, along with cattle, on this beautiful farmland. Make sure your visit coincides with the long Friday Feasts lunches, where you’ll get to try pork that’s renowned for its sweetness and marbling. Or there’s the cooking school in the farmhouse kitchen where you can learn everything from pickling to butchery.
In ocean dining
Arguably one of the most unusual settings for a meal is the white linen-clothed table you’ll find waiting for you in the water at Coles Bay. You’ll scoff fresh oysters and sip bubbles in the private tasting by Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm, which happens in ankle deep water. The tasting experience is just one of many at Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania’s ultra luxe resort that sprawls in the shape of a giant stingray above Coles Bay.
Wine with a view
Don’t expect to find a Tasmanian Devil lurking around the corner at the new, state-of-the-art Devil’s Corner Cellar Door. This latest Brown Brothers venue is designed to showcase the region’s beautiful pinot noir but also the beauty of the region itself – the cellar door looks out across the rolling hills and vines to the Freycinet Peninsula. It’s a view worth lingering over, so save time to grab freshly shucked oysters from The Fishers or wood-fired pizza at Tombolo Café.
Did you know Tasmania has its very own whisky trail? With distilleries dating back to the 1800s, whisky is a time-honoured tipple in this part of the world. Make your way through 14 different distilleries, many using brewing barley that comes straight from the Midlands. The Kingsway Bar in Launceston stocks plenty of local drops, and is a great spot to try some of these whiskies if you don’t have time to take to the trail.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, make a beeline for the House of Anvers in Latrobe. Belgian chocolatier Igor Van Gerwen first came to Tasmania back in the late ’80s and we’re forever grateful as he brought a praline pedigree like no other, training with world renowned confectioner Roger Greets. These days House of Anvers’ sweets are made with the world’s best chocolate, but also fresh Tasmanian cream. Not to be missed!
Like whisky, Tasmania has a fantastic family of local gins made using native berries and botanicals found on the island. If you’re a gin fan, head down to Hobart’s Brooke Street Pier where you can taste a few different gins from around the state. Sud Polaire is a triple distilled small batch gin that’s definitely worth a try – it’s super smooth and perfect with some handmade tonic syrup.
Bruny Island Cheese
To try some of Tasmania’s best cheese you need to go out to another island. This one is accessible by a short ferry ride departing from the Tasmanian mainland 35 minutes drive south of Hobart and is well worth the scenic trip. Legendary cheesemaker Nick Haddow set up shop on Bruny Island back in 2001 and has gathered a cult-like following for his cheeses, which are made using traditional techniques and local ingredients. Stop in to try cheeses matured on local Huon pine or wrapped in prosciutto.
Like the rest of its foodie scene, Tasmania has plenty of award-winning fine dining establishments, but The Source at Mona combines culinary with the sensory. The onsite restaurant for the famous Museum of Old and New Art, The Source is akin to a glass greenhouse, with floor to ceiling windows and a minimalist aesthetic that lets the view speak for itself. After a few hours exploring Mona’s collection, enjoy a long lunch filled with local produce and a very extensive winelist – 10,000 bottles to be exact. They’re not all local but Australia, and Tasmania, has very strong representation.
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