Pigeon Hole Cafe, West Hobart, Tasmania © Tourism Tasmania/Adam Gibson
Hobart’s best coffee shops
For a small city, Hobart packs a big caffeine punch. As you wander the historic streets, you’ll always be mere steps from an excellent café. Here are some of the best.
By Carolyn Beasley
Hobart has one of Australia’s strongest coffee cultures, closely following Melbourne’s lead. Whether you’re lingering over a dark, warming single origin on a blustery winter’s morning, or pepping up with a perky summer cold brew, Hobart has you covered.
Pigeon Hole Café
Where: 93 Goulburn St, West Hobart
Pigeon Hole Café was started by farmers, Richard and Belinda Weston, to showcase the produce from their own sustainable farm, and this is genuine farm to table dining. Try the smoky beans on polenta bread and zesty tomatillo verde, and if you like non-dairy milk in your coffee, there are four varieties to choose from. Try the Weston’s preserves or the award winning smoked paprika, and grab a bottle to take home with you.
Where: 48 Argyle St, Hobart
After a fire in 2018 ripped through this café, Pilgrim Coffee is back, having reopened in late 2020. The new space has a real sense of place, with exposed brick walls highlighting the history of the building in the city centre. Pilgrim serves Australian roasted coffees, featuring a house blend by Sensory Lab Coffee Roasters and a rotating roster of at least six single origin coffees on offer daily. Get adventurous and experiment with their various extraction methods, and stay for a bite with freshly baked focaccia or the highly-rated pork-belly sandwich.
Where: Mount Wellington, Wellington Park
Lost Freight is a glammed up shipping container perched halfway up kunanyi/Mount Wellington at Three Springs. Take a seat at the outdoor picnic tables and sip a locally roasted Zimmah coffee, while enjoying the view over Hobart. Sample the sweet treats or a light lunch, before heading further up the mountain to the lofty heights, or take a hike on the forested trails.
Straight Up Coffee + Food
Where: 202a Liverpool St, Hobart
There’s a no-nonsense approach to coffee and food here at Straight Up Coffee + Food, with everything being prepared on-site with good health in mind. The coffee is roasted in-house by Straight Up Roasters, with single origin beans and blends rotating through the menu. This city café is completely gluten free and vegetarian with many vegan options. The owners compost everything from cardboard to food waste, and of course, use biodegradable packaging for takeaway.
Where: 211A Elizabeth St, Hobart
In the eclectic neighbourhood of North Hobart (that’s NoHo, in local terms) you’ll find this quirky café serving locally roasted, custom blended coffee and single origin beans from Single O, amongst others. The food at Shoebox Café is well-priced Korean/Japanese fusion, with loads of gluten free and vegan options. Try the sesame seed pancake wrap stuffed with ethically raised Peking duck.
Where: 464 Macquarie St, South Hobart
A South Hobart favourite, Ginger Brown serves consistently good rich, dark coffee, and from the window seat you’ll have great views of kunanyi/Mount Wellington. If food’s on your mind check out the spectacular specials like the house-made crumpet with raspberry mascarpone and lemon curd, or the menu staple of cinnamon hot cakes, served with blueberry compote, dark chocolate ganache and fresh berries.
Dandy Lane Food & Specialty Coffee
Where: 10/138 Collins St, Hobart
Coffee leads the experience at the inner-city venue Dandy Lane. Each week you’ll find a featured Villino single origin for enjoying black, and Villino Synergy for milk-based coffees. Then there’s batch brew and cold brew, plus the iced lattes. The breakfast and lunch menu feature the Dandy rosti with spinach, poached eggs and various optional additions. If you’re brave, try the hearty Mac Daddy Burger – stuffed with mac and cheese croquettes, bacon jam and kewpie mayonnaise.
Jackman & McRoss
Where: 57 Hampden Rd, Battery Point
Jackman & McRoss is a Hobart icon, and these days has three outlets. The original is in the historic neighbourhood of Battery Point and is a delightful break from your morning stroll. If the sun’s out, pull up a chair outside and watch life go by with a coffee and some delectable baked goodies. The breakfasts are highly rated, as are the scallop and wakame pies.
Machine Laundry Café
Where: 12 Salamanca Square, Battery Point
There are two things every traveller needs; good coffee and clean clothes (at least occasionally). Machine Laundry Café takes care of both necessities at once and has been washing and re-caffeinating here in Salamanca Square since 1997. The café uses their own blended coffee beans and local suppliers to produce delicious food like the fat boy roti, stuffed with grilled chicken, bacon, salad and spicy peanut sauce.