09 December, 2021

Eat, drink, repeat in Launceston

Come on a flavoursome journey around Tasmania’s second city, Launceston – UNESCO’s newest City of Gastronomy.

Launceston has always been known as a hub for delicious food and world-class wines, but now it’s official. In November 2021, this serene riverside destination joined an elite group of cities recognised by UNESCO for their rich gastronomic culture. So come with us on a delectable tour of discovery through Launceston!

Stillwater. Photo: Nat Mendham.

Destination restaurant

Opened in 2000, well before Tasmania became Australia’s hotspot for foodies, Stillwater is consistently rated by critics as Launceston’s finest dining option. In a historic flour mill overlooking the Tamar River, fresh, local produce is prepared with care and flair.

From breakfast’s rye waffles with smoked salmon to dinner’s wallaby with macadamia puree, this is your go-to restaurant in town. Plus, the recent addition of boutique accommodation makes indulging even easier.

Black Cow Bistro. Photo: Chris Crerar.

More fab food and drinks

Launceston’s other outstanding dining options include steak temple Black Cow Bistro, recently launched waterfront restaurant-bar Rupert & Hound, and Grain of the Silos – the striking Peppers Silo Hotel’s paddock-to-plate restaurant. If you’re looking for something more casual but still delicious, try the local outpost of Hobart’s funky Kosaten Japanese restaurant, or next-level fast-food joint Burger Junkie.

For superior drinks and snacks, discover hidden laneway gem Bar Two, which only pours Tassie wines and spirits. Explore further, upstairs at Cinco Passiones, a lounge bar for sophisticated libations including hand-crafted cocktails. Or stroll over to newcomer Havilah. This minimalist-meets-cosy wine bar ticks all the boxes, from cheese and charcuterie to larger plates, and even classy non-alcoholic options.

Jansz Tasmania. Photo: Adam Gibson.

Vino in the valley

The Tamar Valley is renowned for producing some of the best sparkling wine not just in Australia but the world.

According to respected UK wine magazine Decanter, the valley’s House of Arras produced 2020’s sparkling wine of the year, even beating contenders from the Champagne region. It’s just one of the wineries you’ll want to visit along the Tamar Valley Wine Route for cellar-door tastings of sparkling and pinot noir in particular. Other top options include Jansz, Clover Hill, Delamere and Tamar Ridge, but if time’s tight just pick and mix at the Tamar Valley Wine Centre.

You’ll also find gins, whiskies and other craft spirits in this region, including at Turner Stillhouse, Adams Distillery and Launceston Distillery.

Tasmania Honey Company. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne.

Tasty treats, souvenirs and experiences

Find a feast of traditional lollies like peanut brittle and chocolate raspberries at Gourlay’s Sweet Shop, a Launceston institution since 1896. Bonus – they also have house-made ice cream!

Drive a little way out of town for nature’s sweetest treats at The Beehive and Tasmanian Honey Company shops. Choose from all sorts of honey, including the island’s unique leatherwood variety, and other yummy honey goodies.

Whether you’ve got chilli cravings or a sweet tooth, the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company hits the spot with handmade jams, relishes, chutneys, mustards and sauces galore.

Want to get hands-on with local produce? From mastering paella and Moroccan lamb tajine or just the basics of cooking, Sylvia’s Kitchen in Launceston has classes to suit everyone. Or head to the Tamar Valley’s Fork n Farm Homestead, where you can learn how to make the good things in life like cheese, salami, wood-fired pizza and spirits.

Discover more of the tastiest destinations in and around Launceston, including Harvest farmers market and Josef Chromy winery, in our Spirited Traveller’s Guide to Launceston.


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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