Rob Burnett
Rob Burnett
Travel Tip

Launceston for locavores

Edwina Dick
Launceston’s a town where exceptional produce, passionate locavore chefs and a food-loving community spectacularly collide. Restaurants like multi award-winning Stillwater, Josef Chromy and The Red Feather Inn have led the way in securing the picturesque city’s culinary credentials. Spend a few days here though, and you’ll realise that these are just the beginning…

Grain of the Silos

Launceston’s new Peppers Silo Hotel is home to Grain of the Silos restaurant, where the food experience has proven equal to the unforgettable river-side setting. Here the kitchen crew produce paddock to plate inspired menus designed by renowned Tasmanian-born chef, Massimo Mele. Descend from a river-view room luxuriously encased in one of the heritage-listed former wheat silos, to the lively Grain dining space —whatever the time, the best of Northern Tasmania on your plate is a given.

An interior photo of an empty restaurant at Peppers Silo Hotel in Launceston Tasmania
Rob Burnett
Grain of the Silos Restaurant

Hallams Seafood Restaurant

It’s with good reason that ‘Eating oysters in Tassie’ has just ranked as the ‘highest Aussie food experience’ in Lonely Planet’s new Ultimate Eatlist. Order yours natural or cold-dressed from Hallams Seafood Restaurant and enter territory of the sublime. Housed in an elegant boathouse on the banks of the Tamar, Hallam’s contemporary dishes feature exclusively line-caught and sustainable local seafood—here is Launceston’s ultimate seafood stop.

Clarendon Arms

You’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier village than Evandale, and now thanks to Lydia Nettlefold of Red Feather Inn fame, you can find contemporary country-dining here too. The Clarendon Arms is just 15 minutes from the city and five past the airport, offering an English gastro pub-style experience with a distinctly Tasmanian edge. In the winter, dine fire-side. In the summer time, pull up a table in the enormous paved garden and chill to live music.  Come for Sunday lunch, strolling through the Evandale Market on your way.

sculpture of penny farthing bicycle in front of a historic pub at Evandale in northern Tasmania
Brian Dullaghan
Clarendon Arms

Alps & Amici Foodstore and Kitchen

All hail Launceston chef legend, Daniel Alps, whose ready-made gourmet meals mean a self-catering stay in Launceston can be delicious AND relaxing.  Dubbed the ‘locastore for locavores’, stop by his Alps & Amici grocery shop for the very best selection of Northern Tasmanian wine and produce. Eating-in for breakfast or lunch at the adjoining café is a treat—a favourite local spot indeed.

Harvest Market

If you’re in Launceston on a Saturday morning, don’t miss the Harvest Market. Spread across a carpark opposite Victorian landmark, the Albert Hall, here you’ll sample a taste of ‘Launnie’ life as well as the local flavours.  Set aside time to grab a fresh coffee, brekkie or brunch onsite. Pull up a chair at one of the share tables, or enjoy on-the-move as you chat to farmers, vintners and artisan food producers—sample their goodies and it’s unlikely you’ll walk away empty handed.

A harvest market filled with shoppers and market stalls
Rob Burnett
Harvest Launceston

Geronimo

Geronimo Aperitivo Bar & Restaurant combines urban elegance and precision with regional warmth. Here a young, talented team oversee a chic, relaxed dining experience. Sip on the perfect negroni while you peruse the modern, Mediterranean-inspired menu of exquisite share plates.  Keep an eye on the specials, which incorporate seasonal rarities from the Tamar Valley region, and be pleasantly baffled by the choice of Tasmanian spirits.

Bryher Café

Housed in a Victorian terrace on George Street, Bryher Café’s ever-changing menu reflects the seasons of Northern Tassie to the day. At Bryher, as much as possible is made from scratch— even the yoghurts, cordials and tea-blends are created onsite.  Here, the insta-worthy breakfasts, brunches and lunches taste even better than they look — a result of exceptional produce combined with creative soul.

external photo of a cafe with outdoor seating in Launceston
Supplied courtesy of Bryher
Coffee and cake awaits at Bryher

Hazelbrae House

For a while now, the Hazelbrae hazelnut farm (at Hagley, approximately 25 minutes-drive from the city) has been a favourite on the foodie trail. Now onsite eatery, Hazelbrae House, has upped the ante thanks to executive chef Nathan Johnston taking up residence.  Johnston (who spent a decade in European Michelin star restaurants) sources all his produce locally, and offers brunch and lunch daily, as well as dinner twice a month.

Black Cow

The windswept north west coast of Tasmania grows the world’s most tender, grass-fed beef (think Robbins Island Wagyu and Cape Grim just for starters).  At Black Cow, the team (from the Stillwater family) prepare premium dry aged, free range, hormone-free Tasmanian beef to perfection. For the ultimate steak-night, book a table at Black Cow’s dining room. It’s elegantly and appropriately homed in a converted Art Deco butcher store in central Launceston.

Group of people in restaurant being served by male waiter at Black Cow Bistro in Launceston
Chris Crerar
Black Cow Bistro

Smokey Joes Creole Café

Launceston’s a long way from Louisiana, but thanks to American Jon Peterson’s Smokey Joe’s Creole Cafe, it’s one of the few places in the country where you can indulge in truly authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine. Jon’s crazy for Northern Tasmanian heritage meats and fresh (sometimes foraged) produce.  If you’re salivating at the thought of real jambalaya, gumbo and fiery home-cooked sauce on everything, rustic Smokey Joes is a must-visit.

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