Hobart's Best Cafes

posted on: Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The hottest new opening in town: breakfast at Betsey

The dining room at Providore in Hobart

Hobart, stop it! Not only is the Tasmanian capital super beautiful, but there are so many amazing Hobart cafes and restaurants that I would happily eat at all year long, with each and every one sourcing their produce locally from some of the best organic growers in the country. 

Beautiful flowers at the Hobart Botanical Gardens

A heaped plate of delicious salads at Providore

Straight Up coffee + food's kitsch cabinet

Conveniently, the best Hobart cafes and restaurants are all located within a one kilometre radius of each other and all somehow related to each other... Here are my Top 6 picks. You must visit ASAP!

Betsey and Franklin, 28 Argyle Street
The hottest and newest Hobart restaurant in town, Franklin is the much-anticipated restaurant and bar run by chef David Moyle. Offering an innovative use of Tasmanian seafood and an edited selection of biodynamic wines, I had a light red from Piemonte and a bar snack of sea urchin, leek and nasturtium while enjoying the pared back interiors in what was once the Mercury newspaper building. Same owners, same chef: Betsey is the sister cafe next door. Consisting of nothing but one long room and one long communal table it still manages to feel exciting to be in. The menu changes day to day and mirrors Franklin's seafood focus. I was thrilled to have smoked Tas fish on rye bread with radish, herbs and greens for breakfast.

Pigeon Hole Bakers, 24-32 Argyle Street
Hiding behind Betsey, and opposite Franklin, is Pigeon Hole Bakers who do literally operate from a hole in the wall. The modern bakers open a latch at the side of their workspace each morning and set up a small display of malt and linseed rounds, bosc pear and sultana sourdough, and rye and rhubarb galettes. Needless to say, there's a line from the crack of dawn.

Pigeon Hole Café, 93 Goulburn Street
To confuse things, four blocks away is the awesome Pigeon Hole Cafe which was once owned by Pigeon Hole Bakers and still uses their bread. The new owners have created a menu to showcase the produce from their Hobart farm: Weston Farm. Brunch options like eggs en cocotte with preserved lemon, lovage oil and tallegio had me coming back and back. And it's cool to hear that the Pigeon Hole chefs each rotate one week a month out on the farm to get inspiration and knowledge of the produce.

Straight Up coffee + food, 202 Liverpool Street
The kitsch interior cafe is true to its name serving untampered-with whole foods like avocado and haloumi on cornbread, cabbage wrapped with tomato braise and gluten free cranberry and pistachio cookies and good coffee.

The Standard, Hudsons Lane off Liverpool Street
This teeny tiny burger joint is heavy on quality ingredients and a sense of irony. Down a graffitied alley way you happen upon a counter where you order burgers, curly fries or oreo milkshakes from a staff member in an American diner outfit. A little while later a cook emerges from the kitchen upstairs to hand deliver the greaseproof-paper wrapped burger in a paper bag.  Seating is on a custom-built bleachers.

Ethos and Providore, 100 Elizabeth Street
Book well in advance for dinner at Ethos, a stunning restaurant devoted to exceptional produce and wine. Easier to access is their cafe next door, Providore. It's also a huge and beautiful space with a focus on seasonal ingredients and a relaxed vibe. At lunch a huge banquet of salads and sweets are laid out, with customers serving themselves to options like potato, pear and chrysanthemum salad and quince and almond cakes. There's also a great selection of preserves, jams and ice creams - I saw one that was homemade mint, rum and raw sugar  - and cookbooks for sale.

Looking for more of Hobart's best cafes? Check out my article The Apple Isle!

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