Need a hit of well-crafted caffeine in Tasmania’s capital? Here’s our list of the best coffee spots and cafés in Hobart.
Pilgrim Coffee, with its exposed-brick interior, is nestled in the most unlikely spot for a hip café: within a shopping complex near a major supermarket and across the road from Royal Hobart Hospital. You'll find yourself sipping coffee with everyone from cardiologists to retirees doing their weekly food shop. There are more than 15 blends to choose from and most of the coffee is sourced from Melbourne's Sensory Lab and Proud Mary Coffee. Make sure you sample their food too – its topnotch brunch-style dishes (slow-cooked eggs, Middle Eastern Grain Bowl with quinoa and tahini) work all day.
48 Argyle Street, Hobart; (03) 6234 1999
Born in Brunswick
The very controversially named Born in Brunswick is actually located in North Hobart but serves a very Melbourne-style drop: expect incredible coffee in cool, colourful cups that wouldn’t be out of place in a hipster café on Brunswick Street. They’re serious about their coffee, offering espresso, batch brew and pour-over filter coffee made from blends roasted by Industry Beans, and a changing array of single origin and from various roasters. The menu all-day brunch menu also takes cues from Melbourne café culture. The Salmon Mi Cuit comes with garlic cream, pickled wakame and slow-boiled egg; a native honey, juniper and wattleseed cheesecake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast; and upping the avant-garde stakes is cured wallaby, with garlic chive scramble and pepperberry relish.
410 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart
The coffee at Straight Up is roasted in-house so customers get to see the process from bean to cup. They’re also expert latte artists; ask for a tulip swan to see. The accompanying menu is full of delicious vegetarian and 100 per cent gluten-free treats such as chocolate Belgian waffles and toasted cornbread with haloumi and scrambled eggs. This is straight-up one of the most amazing cafés in Hobart – watch out for the new bakery opening up in Moonah.
202a Liverpool St, Hobart; (03) 6236 9237
The interiors of Plumb are fairly minimal but who needs colourful décor where there are wall-to-wall views of Bellerive Beach? It’s located at Blundstone Arena, so if you don’t spot a professional cricketer while you’re sipping your flat white, feel free to request a refund. The coffee blends are from Botero Roastery, based in northern New South Wales and crafted to keep the skip in any cricketer’s step.
15 Derwent Street, Bellerive (top of the steps at the Western Stand entrance); (03) 6282 0447
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Bury Me Standing
These guys specialise in the best bagels this side of New York City, but they do a mean coffee too. Surprisingly, great takeaway coffee can be difficult to find at Salamanca Market (Saturday) and Farm Gate Markets (Sunday) – if you scan the crowds and see a queue of people waiting for coffee, you can bet it’s the hole-in-the-wall that is Bury Me Standing. They use coffee roasted about 20 minutes away in Kingston by Clique Roasters and is definitely worth the wait, as are the pot-boiled bagels (only available on weekdays).
104 Bathurst Street, Hobart; 0424 365 027
Beyond the high-street façade of North Hobart’s Elizabeth Street you’ll find a cosmopolitan café and restaurant strip, bolstered in no small part by Berta where quality coffee from Veneziano in Melbourne and a cosy atmosphere is the perfect antidote to a windy and cold Hobart day. If you love the brew, grab a bag of ground or whole beans to go. Breakfast and brunch is the order of the day; make sure you check out the impressive egg section: eggs accompany everything from Japanese pancake and cured salmon to pulled pork and sweet potato hash.
323A Elizabeth Street, North Hobart; (03) 6234 4844
Abundance on the Quay
Abundance on the Quay is tucked away in beautiful Bellerive below a modern block of flats. It may be inconspicuous, but make sure you book ahead; it’s a local favourite and always jam-packed with customers and their pets (dogs are most welcome). You’ll be treated to smooth, excellent coffee from local roasters Villino made with precision. The menu focuses on local produce (Cygnet bacon and ham, Pigeon Hole breads), or shop the curated range of clothing and homewares sold in the store. And if you really can’t get enough of the coffee, stay at the owners’ other pet project: The Bellerive Bluff Coach House.
1/5 Clarence Street, Bellerive; (03) 6245 1054
Mulberry Street Espresso
A new addition to the Hobart coffee scene, Mulberry Street Espresso’s owner and barista Fedi El Saouda has been in the business since 1997 and brought his skills from coffee-competitive Sydney to the CBD of Hobart. In his tiny space, he brews up Black Label and Columbian Reserve coffee from Sydney’s Schibello Caffé, as well as single-origin specials. The menu, and the space, is Euro-inspired with a neat range of ready-made baked goods (the tempting muffins are made in-house), sandwiches, quiches, snacks and desserts.
137 Macquarie Street, Hobart; 0404 214 082
If you want to get to know a few locals, Small-fry is the place to be. It’ll entice you with its delicious coffee (from Ritual Coffee in Launceston) but you’ll stay for the great company around the communal table. The menu, divided into Breakfast and Not Breakfast, includes favourites such as the croque four-cheese toastie with onion jam and steak frites.
3/129 Bathurst Street, Hobart; (03) 6231 1338
Maldini Italian Café Restaurant
Family-owned and-run Maldini is where you’ll spy old Hobart faithfuls doing their thing. It could be a retired TV star writing his weekly newspaper column or perhaps a local politician hashing out a deal. Maldini brews old-school Italian espresso from Melbourne-based Vivo coffee – think strong and robust. Enjoy impeccable service and Italian-influenced breakfasts, such as sardines on toast with caponata and braised cannellini beans with Tuscan sausage and eggs, while you watch locals mingle with tourists at the Salamanca Market.
47 Salamanca Place, Hobart; (03) 6223 460
Room for a Pony
Room for a Pony has a hip, minimalist feel, with a menu full of local produce and beans from Tasmanian roasters Zimmah Coffee. Inside it’s light and bright but also cosy; outside, there’s plenty of room to drink and dine. Room for a pony, in fact – it’s a great coffee stop or those lugging a stroller around Hobart. In addition to the perfectly extracted fruits of the espresso machine, there’s house-bottled cold-filter single origin for caffeine on the run.
Top image: Born in Brunswick
SEE ALSO: The Foodie’s Guide to Hobart