From holes in the wall to places to linger over coffee and brunch to a spot up the mountain.
Just like everything else that has come of age in Hobart over the past several years, the Tassie capital is well and truly in the throes of its third-wave coffee movement and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad brew here. Here are some Hobart cafes to add to your itinerary for an incredible coffee.
1. Pigeon Hole
Tucked away in the quiet hilly streets of West Hobart, yet a stone’s throw from the city centre, this little gem of a cafe is supported entirely by its own farm, Weston Farm. Bag a table in this cosy space for coffee courtesy of local roasters Villino and something hearty and delicious from its all-day menu – which runs the gamut between oat porridge with warm farm apples and whey caramel, and slow-baked smoky beans on polenta bread with zesty tomatillo verde.
Villino Coffee Roasters, one of the longest-running coffee roasters and wholesalers in Tasmania, has two of its own cafes in the Hobart CBD. Villino Coffee serves a concise and flavour-packed food menu alongside its comprehensive range of just-roasted brews: choose between espresso, cold brew, pour-over, cascara tea made from coffee cherry pulp and even a coffee flight (doppio, batch brew and flat white). For coffee to go, try its hole-in-the-wall little brother 20 metres down the road, the specialty coffee outfit Ecru.
Try Ecru for coffee to go.
3. Yellow Bernard
The owners of this specialty spot in the middle of Hobart’s CBD are passionate about perfecting the art of good coffee and delivering it with ever-friendly and efficient service. Pull up a stool along the window bench with your cup, find a sunny spot on the street outside or grab it to go.
4. The Stagg/Atlas Espresso
This small, family-run coffee shop is all about delivering high-quality takeaway coffee and homemade treats to the people of Hobart. Order your coffee black, white or cold brew, pick up a sweet or savoury daily-baked muffin or banana bread with cinnamon butter from the hole in the wall and you’ll feel like a local in no time. The owners of The Stagg also run Atlas Espresso, a seven-minute walk down Elizabeth Street towards the waterfront.
5. Island Espresso
A Hobart stalwart, Island Espresso pours consistently good local coffee from its cosy spot on Elizabeth Street in Midtown.
Have a Turkish breakfast for a change. (Image: Island Espresso)
Head upstairs to the loft space on a cold day to be warmed by the fireplace and hearty meals like roast tomato soup or gin-spiked sourdough bread and butter pudding.
6. Room For A Pony
In recent years, the eclectic suburb of North Hobart has emerged as one of Hobart’s hippest spots to hang out. Bounce between the arthouse State Cinema and the many bars and eateries, and don’t forget to refuel on coffee.
Room For A Pony serves up a mean cup of coffee and features a standout brunch menu too. (Image: Osborne Images)
Room For A Pony is a standout here – a cafe occupying a former petrol station site that’s been outfitted with a light industrial touch, wall art, hanging plants and a sunny outside spot out front. It serves an all-day menu and wood-fired pizzas into the night. And, of course, excellent coffee.
Room For A Pony occupies a former petrol station site. (Image: Osborne Images)
7. Born in Brunswick
As its name suggests, North Hobart’s Born In Brunswick has taken its cues from Melbourne coffee culture to create a light and airy space with a Scandi feel that is serious about its beans.
Run by ex-Masterchef contestant Con Vailas and his best mate Ben Korkmaz, it serves blends from Melbourne roasters Industry beans. Its single-origin espresso, batch brew and pour-over filter coffee are on a rotating roster that represents a variety of roasters and origins.
As well as excellent coffee guaranteed, the food here is locally sourced, sustainable and seasonal and its all-day brunch menu covers dishes like potato hash with celeriac and black sesame remoulade, fried egg and pecorino cheese; and crispy fried chicken burger with black pepper and mustard mayo, sugar loaf slaw and pickles on brioche.
Born in Brunswick is run by ex-Masterchef contestant Con Vailas and his best mate Ben Korkmaz. (Image: Natalie Mendham)
8. Parklane Espresso
Head to Parklane Espresso for your caffeine fix when you’re exploring the cobblestones and old merchant buildings of Salamanca Place.
This niche purveyor of quality coffee is tucked off the square and packs a big punch for a small space; it also has a short but sweet food menu.
9. Jackman and McRoss
Hobart’s favourite bakery is perched high up in the historic suburb of Battery Point. Make your way up to Jackman and McRoss via Kelly’s Steeps from Salamanca Place and duly reward yourself upon arrival.
You’ll find a huge range of freshly made cakes and pastries to choose from – think seasonal sweet Danishes, apple and cinnamon scrolls and classic jam tarts, and savoury pies, quiches and bagels. Enjoy alongside a cup of great coffee or a special brew – like a hot and spicy winter tonic with ginger, honey, turmeric and lemon.
10. Lost Freight Cafe
Surely Hobart’s most surprising – and welcome – coffee spot comes halfway up kunanyi/Mt Wellington. Lost Freight is a shipping container cafe located at the Springs.
You can get a really decent coffee here, or a matcha latte or hot blackcurrant, plus a selection of locally sourced savoury bites – from sausage rolls to pies and ham and cheese toasties – and sweets, like gluten-free chocolate brownies, jaffa creams and ginger nut cookies.
There’s room to cosy up inside and space to stretch out al fresco while you fuel up before a hike: from here you can set out on a number of short bushwalks including the 3.4-kilometre climb to the summit, The Springs to the Pinnacle.
Find Lost Freight halfway up kunanyi/Mt Wellington.
11. Ginger Brown
South Hobart’s favourite Ginger Brown is known as the best coffee spot in the suburb. Grab a seat at the window bench for views of kunanyi/Mt Wellington.
Menu items include a toasted panini sandwich with all manner of fillings and gluten- and dairy-free options like hot-smoked ocean trout bowl with brown rice, kimchi, edamame, pickled ginger, kewpie mayo, soy and togarashi; and house hot cakes with caramelised banana butter, cherry compote and chocolate dukkah.
12. Hobart Coffee Roasters
Open since late 2021, this glitzy Franklin Wharf outfit is known as much for its strong, freshly roasted coffee as it is for its warm and friendly service.
Caffeine aside, Hobart Coffee Roasters also serves a small yet comprehensive menu of savoury and sweet bites: think potato hash with roasted pumpkin, fried eggs and hollandaise; and crepes topped with a cold brew reduction, ice cream and berries.
13. Staple Coffee
Modern, minimalist and monochrome, Staple Coffee exudes an effortlessly chic Japanese vibe, though its owners are actually of Greek heritage.
A super compact space tucked away down street art-covered Bidencopes Lane, this family-run Hobart cafe is all about sharing good coffee, good vibes and good conversation. They also do a mean hot chocolate (pick your flavour from jaffa orange, mint, chai, chilli or white choc).
Those who need to run on more than just caffeine can pick up a filled bagel – made by the talented bakers at Pigeon Whole – and chase it up with an enticing selection of cookies, brownies and other treats. The cafe’s covetable ceramic mugs are also available for purchase.
14. Zimmah Coffee
The latte art game is strong at this NoHo cafe-cum-coffee roastery. Though the focus at Zimmah is on its house-roasted (and ground) beans, which it sells direct to the public as well as wholesale, you’ll find a steady stream of punters pushing through its doors for a freshly extracted espresso or velvety smooth flat white.
The cosy space – with its dim lighting and chesterfield sofas – is a great spot to shelter away from Tassie’s cool climes.
15. Somewhere Coffee Bar
Brian Lam, Somewhere Coffee’s impossibly knowledgeable owner/operator, is as exacting about the cafe’s drinkware as he is about serving sizes (six-ounce takeaway cups only, to keep the ratio of coffee to milk just so), the size of the grind (to ensure optimal extraction), and sourcing single origin beans from an array of global roasteries (to showcase the best in the business).
This Midtown Hobart cafe has a satisfyingly simple menu and occasionally plays host to coffee-tasting events. In short, it’s one of Hobart’s best coffee shops.
16. Pilgrim Coffee
Known in local circles as one of Hobart’s best cafes, Pilgrim Coffee was a popular haunt until a blaze gutted the space back in mid-2018. Thankfully, the coffee shop has since risen from the ashes, welcoming loyal patrons back as of late 2020.
Owner Will Priestly is arguably Hobart’s most awarded barista: he won the Australian Latte Art Championship and came second in the World Barista Championship in London in 2010; he’s also triumphed at the Tasmanian Barista Champions more than once.