Tasmania is fast becoming Australia’s food and beverage capital
The southernmost island state of Tasmania is one of the most scenic destinations in Australia, thanks to its lush rolling mountainscapes and crystalline bays. But in recent years, it’s been steadily building its reputation of the culinary kind. This new-found popularity among foodies will come as no surprise to locals.
Tasmania experiences four distinct seasons with plenty of rainfall. This weather, combined with its fertile soil and diverse geography, creates ideal conditions for growing produce. In the north, you’ll find one of the state’s most sought-after exports: black truffles. These luxurious nuggets thrive in the loamy Tasmanian soil; visit in winter and you can join a truffle hunt to forage for yourself. If you’re a seafood lover, head south for some world-class lobster. Three oceans collide in the Tasman Sea so it’s little wonder that the body of water is a veritable hub of biodiversity.
On the beverage front, Tasmania is equally impressive. The state is famous for many different kinds of alcohol; it’s home to over 200 vineyards, two of Australia’s most famous beer brands – Cascade and James Boag – and the world-famous whisky distillery, Sullivan’s Cove, just to name a few.
There truly is something for every food and drink aficionado in Tasmania. So, hit the road to discover six of the best places to wine and dine.
Josef Chromy Wines
What better place to kick off a list of iconic food and drink destinations than Josef Chromy Wines? This Tasmanian institution sits on 151 sprawling acres in the town of Relbia, south of Launceston. Launceston’s vibrant food culture has been internationally recognised as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, one of only 49 in the world.
The winery and vineyard’s namesake, Josef Chromy OAM, established Josef Chromy Wines in 2007 but it wasn’t his first foray in the industry. Chromy was a pioneer of the Tasmanian food and wine scene, having previously owned several of the state’s leading wineries. In a few short years, Josef Chromy Wines went from a new venture by an industry-leader to a certified success, collecting 14 trophies and 170 medals.
Josef Chromy Wines is known for impeccable cool-climate wines. Sample a glass of pinot gris with a delicious meal from Head Chef Nick Raitt and his team. While wine is the main attraction, the restaurant has been awarded a prestigious chef’s hat by the Australian Good Food Guide every year since 2017.
Lark holds a lot of titles to its name. It’s Tasmania’s oldest running distillery and the first certified carbon neutral distillery in Australia. It has also won dozens of accolades and in 2015 its founder, Bill Lark, was inducted into the Whisky Hall of Fame, making him just the seventh person in history to be inducted outside of Scotland or Ireland. The most famous whiskies in Lark’s repertoire are the Classic Cask and Symphony No 1.
Tour the sprawling Pontville distillery (about 30 minutes north of Hobart) to learn about the liquid gold they produce. Of course, there will be plenty of testers along the way. If you’re not a whisky fan, Lark also produces their own gin. Head to Gin(bar) in Hobart to taste Forty Spotted Gin or to try your hand at blending your own bottle.
The Source Restaurant at Mona
If Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) is on your Tasmanian bucket list, make sure you book a table at The Source restaurant while you’re there. This eatery at the top of Mona serves up sensational dishes that champion seasonal produce. Think: ricotta gnocchi with black truffle in the winter and pork belly with almond and raisin mole in summer.
Creative dishes aside, the venue’s ambience takes the dining experience to another level entirely. Floor-to-ceiling windows grant indoor visitors uninterrupted views of the surrounding River Derwent while they eat. Outside, an entirely different experience is available. The Source has unique ‘living tables’ which are adorned in moss and foliage.
Italian food is not hard to find in Hobart, but few have the culinary chops to match Fico.
This award-winning bistro is run by Oskar Rossi, ex-Vue de Monde chef and his Italian partner, Frederica Andrisani. Fico’s menu rotates weekly to cater for its firm focus on sustainably sourcing ingredients from local growers. Seafood, homemade pasta and free-range meat make frequent appearances but whatever the menu, expect a fusion of fresh flavours with an Italian twist.
Fico also boasts a strong wine list; so strong, in fact, that it was awarded Best Wine List in Tasmania in 2021 and 2022 in Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards.
One of Tasmania’s most awarded restaurants is also among its most picturesque. Stillwater sits on the banks of the Tamar River in Launceston, inside a restored flour mill from the 1800s. With exposed wood beams and warm lighting, the restaurant exudes a luxurious yet cosy atmosphere.
The Stillwater team is serious about their produce. Their meat is grass-fed and free from antibiotics, while their seafood is all sustainably harvested in Tasmania. Even their water has earned its place on the table, sourced from the famous Cape Grim area – home of the cleanest air in the world.
Willing Bros. Wine Merchants
There’s nothing quite like unwinding after a long day in a neighbourhood wine bar with good drinks and good company. Willing Bros. Wine Merchants in North Hobart fits this bill perfectly. The lively local haunt has a wine list of around 300 bottles from Tasmania and beyond, with a generous 15–20 wines available by-the-glass.
You won’t go hungry at Willing Bros either. They offer an impressive menu, ranging from cheese to antipasto, pizza and steak with frites.
Get there: Our self-drive tour around Tasmania gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, without worrying about travel arrangements. We’ll take care of the logistics – car rental, quality accommodation and great sightseeing – while you enjoy the journey. Click to browse our Tasmania tours or give us a call to speak to a travel specialist.