However you slice or dice it, Launceston is one delicious destination!
Tasmania’s second largest city offers visitors an array of dining experiences to suit every taste and budget. Located in the heart of the lush Tamar Valley, and with the north coast within easy reach, you’ll enjoy some of the country’s best fresh produce, meat and seafood during your stay – and it’s all served up with lashings of culinary creativity.
Here’s just a handful of the great places to eat in Launceston. Book your stay with Choice Hotels.
Cheap and Cheerful
The Royal Oak Hotel
Pub grub is the budget mainstay for most travellers and there are friendly public houses dotted across Lonnie’s Victorian-era CBD. Head for The Royal Oak Hotel, which is steeped in history (much of it on display on the walls). The hotel gets consistently good reviews for its classic pub menu – including a mighty fine roast of the day.
There’s certainly nothing cheap about fabulous Bryher in the historic Kinross House building on George Street. ‘Well priced’ would be a better description for the innovative café fare on offer. This stylish bolthole takes whatever is in season and turns it into ‘wow’. It’s open daily for breakfast and lunch.
It’s a well-worn cliché, but hey, it’s the truth: no visit to Launceston would be complete unless you’ve rubbed shoulders with the region’s many gourmet producers and artisans at the solely food-focused Harvest Market – held on Saturday mornings in the city centre. Graze on the mouth-watering wares of cheesemongers, sourdough bakers, pastry chefs, truffle farmers and more. Everyone gets a free side of good vibes, topped with lashings of community spirit.
Geronimo Aperitivo Bar and Restaurant
If you want to spoil yourself just a little on your Lonnie visit, but you don’t want to blow your holiday budget right out of the water, leap into Geronimo Aperitivo Bar and Restaurant on Charles Street. This bustling eatery serves up top notch cocktails and European-style cuisine that’s reasonably priced. The menu is a mix of small and large plates, and one between two will suffice on the generously sized sides. If you do decide to push the boat out, opt for the sumptuous seafood platter.
Where there are wineries, there are generally nice things to eat, and located just out of town on the Tamar Highway, Velo Wines is no exception to that particularly tasty rule. This is one of the 30+ vineyards that make up the Tamar Valley wine region, renowned for its cool climate drops like pinot noir, pinot gris and chardonnay. Enjoy a tasting at the cellar door and a meal at Timbre Kitchen – the vineyard’s onsite eatery. The restaurant is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday, and dinner on Friday and Saturday. The menu isn’t extensive, but it doesn’t need to be. It simply draws on what’s in season locally.
You’ve seen the incredible fresh Tamar produce on display at the Harvest Market, now see it brought to life in the hands of the team at Stillwater. This restaurant has been at the forefront of Launceston’s, and indeed Tasmania’s, fine dining scene for more than two decades. However, it constantly reinvents itself with superb seasonal menus. The setting in an old flour mill on the Tamar riverfront is truly sublime.
Black Cow Bistro
The Stillwater team are also behind popular upscale steakhouse Black Cow Bistro in the heart of the CBD. The bistro is housed in what was originally an Art Deco era butcher shop, so space is at a bit of a premium. However, the waitstaff manage the crowd with flawless efficiency. Choose from a variety of cuts of prime Tasmanian grass fed, free range, hormone free, dry aged beef, framed with a range of sauces and sides.
Provincial Italian cuisine has long been inspired by heart and home, and Novaro’s Restaurant runs with that theme. Occupying a sumptuously restored Edwardian terrace, the setting is intimate; the menu of Italian classics like ricotta gnocchi in a burnt butter sauce, slow roasted lamb and rich duck ragù, will warm the cockles on the coldest of Tassie winter’s eves.
Need a place to stay and eat?
There are lots of delicious reasons to book a stay at Quality Hotel Colonial Launceston, not least of which is the hotel’s inhouse eatery – Three Steps On George. The hotel was originally constructed in the 1840s to house a grammar school, and today it effortlessly melds old world charm with modern comfort. Three Steps On George feels very much like a quintessential English pub, but it actually occupies what was originally the school gymnasium. Relax with a drink at the central bar under the soaring vaulted ceiling, before ordering from the menu of hearty homestyle favourites (all of which are exceptionally well-priced). You can’t really go wrong here.
About the writer
Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. He has previously had the opportunity to travel the world as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten.
Cover image: Timbre Kitchen. Image: Kelly Slater