Tasmania, the island-state at the bottom of Australia, is having a moment. “Tassie,” as Australians call it, has always offered naturalist escape with its rugged mountains, beautiful beaches, and abundant wildlife. But the opening of the irreverent Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in 2011 sparked a “MONA effect” in Hobart (and across the island), bringing new outside attention and internal energy to the capital city’s cultural offerings. Alongside a thriving art scene, the city’s restaurants are blooming, with confident local chefs stepping up their game and buzz attracting mainland chefs to open new projects.
“We’re in proximity to a lot of really great farmers and produce. That’s the starting point,” says Analiese Gregory, one of the chefs who helped spark the Hobart renaissance. Local oysters, wasabi, truffles, leatherwood honey, and apples infuse dishes with Tassie character. Chefs at all kinds of restaurants rely on the Tasmanian pantry, from old-school eateries like Jackman & McRoss or Tom McHugo’s to Italian pasta specialist Templo, Cantonese stalwart Me Wah, and international darling Masaaki’s Sushi (set to reopen in Geeveston after a move in the spring). Meanwhile, pure water and a temperate climate make fertile ground for world-class distilleries (especially whiskey and gin), as well as wine, beer, and cider.
Even as the dining scene heats up, Hobart maintains the charm of a small town, with walkable streets and warm service everywhere you go. That relaxed vibe has given the city an edge over Sydney and Melbourne. “When I lived in Sydney, Hobart was always the place I’d come to when I was stressed and needed R&R and time away,” Gregory says.
For a perfect post-hike meal or a lazy breakfast before a visit to MONA, here are Hobart’s 20 essential restaurants.
Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.
Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than 20 Australian dollars (Less than $14 USD)
$$ = 21 - 49 Australian dollars ($15 - $34 USD)
$$$ = 50 - 75 Australian dollars ($35 - $52 USD)
$$$$ = 76 Australian dollars ($52 USD and up)
Originally from Montréal, Audrey Bourget is a food and travel journalist based in Australia, where she writes for local and international media.Read More