Top 10 places in Hobart to drink coffee
I am updating the list of coffee shops here to reflect changes over the last year or so. My personal favourite at the moment is Villino but I would like to know your TopTen pics.
Please email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The IXL building dockside was once a jam factory. The business died and the building declined in line with Tasmania's economy. How easily the decayed shell might have been bulldozed, but someone had the good sense to preserve the timber beams, the iron brackets, the convict bricks, the scarred sandstone, and to engineer a complex of shops, apartments and the Henry Jones Art Hotel with a modern mix of steel and glass. My taste entirely. Choose from one of two cafes, Jam Packed or Timeless Way, and take a table in the atrium, warm all year round due to the effective use of passive solar heating. This is Tasmania at it's resurgent best.
Elizabeth Street Pier
The premier commercial waterfront position in Hobart is commanded by T42. You could be seated on the Riviera. For this reason it has to be on this list even though, after one too many experiences of toweringly indifferent service, I have banned myself from ever patronising them again. Make up your own mind. However, we are spoiled for choice in Hobart.
Salamanca Place is how the people of Hobart like to think of their city. A row of stone-fronted, convict-era warehouses that have been converted to arts precinct and eateries, Parliament House to the left as you sit, and the ships and boats at Princes Wharf and Sullivans Cove glimpsed through tall trees. What better place to appreciate the moveable feast. The aspect is northerly so, even in winter, you will be pleased to take an outside table at Retro or Zum or The Quarry.
see also www.salamanca.com.au
NEW mid 2013 - Parklane, a hole in the wall with the smoothest espresso in Hobart (imho,km), behind SMOLT.
Behind the warehouses that line Salamanca Place is an unshaded square, home to shops and restaurants, a wind-sheltered spot to watch children outwit their parents. My choice of cafe is tucked in the far corner where you can also watch people (some of whom have no clue) playing pavement chess. The Machine Laundry Cafe has been much written about because it is both a laundry and a coffee shop. I suppose the original idea was that you spent more money while you waited for your shorts to spin but I cannot imagine that the novelty is maintained other than as a talking point and, in a world lacking originality, it does achieve that. You would no doubt choose to sit outside anyway and, in terms of position, this is the mayor's office.
Is it just me or does everyone feel bright, bohemian and sophisticated surrounded by floor-to-ceiling books. Bookshops, and this is the best in the Hobart CBD, were always going to fit seamlessly with the espresso bar and tiny, tiny tables with upright chairs of no particular comfort. Once upon a more trusting time you had opportunity to read a chapter or two before deciding whether the author was worth spending money on. Today, at Fullers, don’t even think of going up to the mezzanine-level Afterword Cafe until you have paid for books. Of course, you may bring your own. Books, that is. The coffee is worth paying for.
Mount Nelson Signal Station
A coffee shop on the summit of Mt Wellington wouldn’t work, would it - way too windy. So the next best option for a panorama of the Derwent estuary, the city, the harbour and the eastern shore, is from the signal station on Mt Nelson. This is an overseas-visitor favourite. Drink in the expanse from behind the glass front of the Signal Station Cafe.
Royal Botanical Gardens
City gardens, especially when they have the royal seal of approval, are so civilising. Trees that have stood since before European settlement, lawns, flowers and native shrubs, conservatory, a coldhouse of Antarctic flora, this is Hobart’s pride. And in this peaceful haven is the Botanical Gardens Cafe. From the balcony you also take in views of the river. Don’t hurry. This is one place where you never feel that they want the table more than they want you.
What Double Bay is to Sydney, Sandy Bay is to Hobart. It’s the suburb of choice for much of the moneyed class. After listing my preferred outlooks of history and heritage, and wide horizons of water and trees, it might seem strange to pick a cafe which gazes from its balconey on to a supermarket carpark. But this is one place where you will want to sit indoors. That is, if, like me, you enjoy coffee but love the smell of roasting coffee beans. Tasmanian Coffee Roasters does it all on the premises. You will probably fall for the apple muffin too.
Blackmans Bay Beach
Strictly speaking, this is not Hobart. It’s down the coast a few kilometres, but the Beach Restaurant is right on the beach and, in a waterside city, it is remarkable how few restaurants and cafes have been able to secure waterside premises. Perhaps in the years to come the beach and building will be underwater. In the meantime, you will appreciate the view and, indoors, the fire in winter.
This is an enterprise with a long history, an icon for the people of southern Tasmania. Of course, you go to a brewery to drink beer, and very good it is too, but they also operate the Cascade Brewery Cafe and they serve an acceptable coffee. To sit in the fine garden, under one of the magnificent trees, while contemplating the two hundred year-old factory facade, with Mt Wellington as the backdrop, is to appreciate the Hobart that many have come to love.