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120a Elizabeth St, Hobart

Go for: lo-fi wine and fresh pasta

Chef and owner Matt Breen has made the most of this literal hole-in-the-wall; in 2019 he and manager Al Robertson transformed the space into a cosy, 18-seater nook where they’ve perfectly struck the balance between boisterous and sophisticated. From the most perfect snacks – salted cucumber and confit tuna on toast, striped trumpeter crudo – to Robertson’s collection of vinyl records that effortlessly match the vibrant and ever-changing (natural-focused) wine list; not to mention the warm, buzzy atmosphere and entertaining staff, Sonny is a beacon in Hobart’s bright culinary scene. It’s walk-ins only, so be prepared for a queue, but it’s worth the wait.  DOM SWEENEY

Black Cow Bistro

70 George St, Launceston 

Go for: premium dry aged beef and the best of Tassie’s fine wine scene

Do you like steak? Do you like Tasmanian pinot noir? Two of life’s simplest but most thoughtfully crafted pleasures come together seamlessly at Black Cow Bistro, located fittingly in an art deco former butcher’s shop. Opened in 2008 by Craig Will, and Bianca and James Welsh, Black Cow has maintained its reputation for showcasing the pinnacle of the state’s produce in a relaxed, bistro-style setting, complete with paleolithic-inspired wall art. Pinot noir is championed here – and local versions, typically deep and structured, stand up to the local cuts of dry-aged, free-range beef. Bring an appetite and settle in.  DOM SWEENEY


123 Collins St, Hobart

Go for: the relaxed atmosphere and the natty wine list

Kobi Ruzicka’s affection for music and wine meld wonderfully in this little sibling to the older and slightly more formal Dier Makr. With both names derived from song titles pointing to something slightly eclectic and left of centre, you can’t help but feel an undercurrent of ad lib curation that has shaped Lucinda’s offering, which has evolved significantly since it opened. Be it the 620 cuvées of natural wines or the small dishes and snacks that revolve around a network of small local producers tailored for both the curious and die-hard ‘natty’ fans, you can take comfort in knowing the staff will assist in navigating the heaving list. Wines by the glass change daily and a hidden banquette out the back is my tip for those who want to make a night of it, working through delicious food, edgy wines and, of course, tunes by Tom Waits. LUKE BURGESS

Tom McHugo’s Hobart Hotel

87 Macquarie St, Hobart

Go for: classic pub atmosphere and delicious local produce

The only problem with a visit to Tom McHugo’s is that every other pub experience thereafter will likely pale in comparison. Whitney Ball and Tom Westcott have built this venue around both their inspirational creative bent and Tasmania’s abundant produce, with a menu changing daily based on what’s available from a few select and sustainable local suppliers. That goes for the drinks menu, too, which centres on small, sustainable and minimal intervention – mostly local, with a few wildcard options from further afield. The beer tap offering is equally inspiring. A convivial and somewhat familiar British-Australian pub atmosphere is invitation enough to while away a few hours watching the world go by; the menu and wine offering will have you glued to your seat.  DOM SWEENEY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Adam Gibson and Chris Crerar and Courtesy of Tom McHugo’s Hobart Hotel, Lucinda Wine Bar AND SONNY.