It’s known for pristine wilderness, art (hello, MONA) and a burgeoning restaurant scene, but Tasmania’s bars are getting in on the act. Here are 10 of the best places to wet your whistle.
It’s the restaurant on everyone’s lips, thanks to David Moyle’s forward-thinking modern Australian food. But the bar colonising one section of this concrete- and cowhide-decorated former car showroom is no mere afterthought; it’s Hobart’s go-to for minimal-intervention, thought-provoking wines and interesting ales.
30 Argyle Street, Hobart; (03) 6234 3375
The Glass House
The most chichi address in Hobart, The Glass House is a glowing apparition that juts over the water atop an innovative four-storey floating pier. At this no-expense-spared bar, the drinks list runs to some serious saké action (the perfect match for chef Sam Gasson’s Japanese-inspired snacking menu), along with Tassie-centric wines and whisky and classic cocktails made with local spirits.
Brooke Street Pier, Hobart; (03) 6223 1032
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Named in loose homage to a Led Zeppelin song (D’yer Mak’er), Dier Makr has a similarly rock’n’roll approach to the world of food and wine. It’s natural all the way, baby, with a killer roster of low-intervention, orange and road-less-travelled wines from all over the globe, backed by the smarts to really sell them. Add nicely crafted cocktails that speak to the seasons (warm your cockles with honey, Cynar liqueur and tequila) and snacks such as wallaby tail pie for a true bite of the Tassie terroir.
121-123 Collins Street, Hobart; (03) 6288 8910
Looking for fun in Hobart town? Head straight to this quirky heritage-listed cottage where a bus is parked in the courtyard (you know, for seating) and plenty of the action happens in an AstroTurf-ed courtyard with gas heaters (you know, for Hobart’s climate). The drinks, you ask? Oodles of craft beers, cider and cocktails (try the Miss Kinky: Boatrocker’s Miss Pinky wheat beer, Campari, lemon juice and mint).
5 Knopwood Street, Hobart; (03) 6223 3621
Willing Bros. Wine Merchants
It’s a wine bar with enough edge to make the inhabitants of North Hobart feel smug, with a bit of nicely adjudicated roughness (exposed red brick; bare globes hanging artistically above the bar) and a personality-full cast of French, Spanish and Italian wines in the cellar mixing it with the locals. Menu-wise, the Mediterranean-leaning food (truffled tortilla; marinated chicken skewers with yoghurt, pepitas and currants) answers the vino’s call.
390 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart; (03) 6234 3053
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Fico Bistro & Vino
Another forward-thinking restaurant making waves in Hobart’s happening food scene? Well, yes, but grab a seat at the bar for a night of food and wine snacking. It’s hotly contested real estate but worth the fight to sample your way through an Italian-loving wine list with the help of Bruny Island oysters, salumi, and rabbit and goose rillettes.
151 Macquarie Street, Hobart; (03) 6245 3391
So it’s at MONA, the sex and death-obsessed Museum of Old and New Art that put Hobart on the cultural map – which means you’ll need to pay to access the Void bar. But it’s worth it to sip cocktails three levels underground while marveling at the feat of engineering that carved the sheer rock walls. The drinks list is no slouch either, with global excitement ranging from the Scottish Monkey (whiskey, chartreuse and Oloroso with honey, lemon and herbs) to the Bangkok Glock (lemongrass and lime-infused tequila with Campari and vermouth).
MONA, 655 Main Road, Berriedale; (03) 6277 9900
Two Meter Tall
Get your craft ale and cider fix 40 minutes’ drive from Hobart at Two Meter Tall’s Farm Bar. It’s true farmhouse brewing, using local river water, grain and hops grown on the River Derwent-hugging farm and natural fermentation processes. Truly funkadelic – plus there’s a barbecue you’re welcome to fire up (BYO picnic).
2862 Lyell Highway, Hayes; 0400 969 677
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St John Craft Beer Bar
This one takes the mantle of the craft-beer epicenter of Tasmania’s north and you’ll find plenty of good times here with up to 14 taps of local, Australian and international craft beer at any one time, 170-plus bottled beers and a whole bunch of ciders, wines and artisan spirits.
133 St John Street, Launceston; (03) 6333 0340
American soul meets southern barbecue… Bakers Lane is usually cited as Launceston’s hottest hangout with the coolest drinks. After getting your fill of seafood gumbo and collard greens in the restaurant, hit the bar for a Hot Choc Mint (dark crème de menthe hot chocolate) or a Lemony Snicket (lemon myrtle vodka, La Poire Grey Goose, Limoncello, fresh lemon).
81 York Street, Launceston; (03) 6334 2414
Top image: Franklin
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