Nestled at the end of the Tamar River, Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city – home to more than 70,000 people.
The food and drink scene here is booming and it’s easy to see why. Passionate, creative people and incredible seasonal produce make for the perfect foodie storm.
So much so, that the city has been designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy – international recognition that the area is a global leader in quality produce that offers exceptional food and drink.
Read on for a weekend guide to Launceston. There is so much foodie goodness to explore, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Where to eat and drink in Launceston
This is a farmers’ market not to be missed! Harvest Launceston is held in the centre of town every Saturday morning.
Cheese, bread, juice, meat, fruit and vegetables, salt, olive oil, wine and gin are just some of the foodie finds here, and there are coffee stands and food stalls to fuel you up while shopping. Bring your shopping bag and stock up on goodies for your visit.
Harvest Launceston: 71 Cimitiere St, Launceston
Luxury Tours Tasmania
When you have 30 vineyards on your doorstep you definitely need a driver – and a tour with Adam from Luxury Tours Tasmania is the perfect choice.
The vehicle is super luxurious with excellent heating and cooling, and plenty of space to store any purchases from the trip. An itinerary can be created to suit specific tastes and needs based on the seasons and producers available.
Interesting commentary is provided along the way and Adam is a font of local knowledge. A sample itinerary includes a gin distillery, winery (or two), lunch and a brewery, but you can work with Adam to tweak the itinerary to suit.
Luxury Tours Tasmania: contact to arrange pick-up from your accommodation.
Local ingredients with a modern Asian twist are what it’s all about at Pachinko.
Lovely wait staff greet diners in this inviting space, discreetly situated on the Quadrant Mall. There are table options and a long bench bar for seating to enjoy the myriad of delicious dishes on offer.
As the staff walk you through the ever-changing seasonal menu, the drinks flow from a finely curated list of local specialties. Take all the decision making off the table and choose the ‘Feed me’ menu and let the capable chef take care of you.
Pachinko: 23 Quadrant Mall, Launceston
One of Launceston’s premier dining experiences on the River Tamar, Stillwater is a foodie experience not to be missed.
The menu is perfectly balanced with local heroes including oysters, scallops, beef and pork all complimented with seasonal ingredients. The service is exceptional and unrushed. There is a delicious dessert menu at the end, so save a little room for that.
Top tip: when making a reservation request a table by the window to look out onto the harbour – the view is stunning.
Stillwater: 2 Bridge Rd, Launceston
This welcoming space is a labour of love and generously invites people inside to nourish their body and soul through an amazing global menu and a state-of-the-art brew station.
Sustainability is at the heart of production – there is zero food waste, limited single use plastics, and the coffee is roasted and ground on site. The coffee is a blend of Indian and Ethiopian beans linked back to the heritage of owner Archana Brammall.
The building was originally the town theatre and elements have been retained, tipping their creative hat to the building’s origin.
Enjoy a long brunch here (the porridge is amazing!) or pop in for an evening drink. The space is created to embrace the community and you will feel right at home here.
Tatler Lane: 5/74-82 St John St, Launceston
Self-proclaimed as Launceston’s first brew pub, Du Cane is a casual place to enjoy local brews and ciders.
Named after the walks and experiences in the Du Cane Ranges near Cradle Mountain, the beverages are uncomplicated and easy to drink. The food offering here pairs perfectly, while offering simple yet delicious woodfire pizzas made from local ingredients.
You can gather your crew on one of the communal tables or find a quiet seat behind the beer tanks. There is also some outdoor seating perfect for when the weather is fine.
Du Cane: 60 -64 Elizabeth St, Launceston
James Boag Brewery Tour
The James Boag Brewery Tour is an historic experience right in the heart of town.
Beer has been brewed here since the 1880s and the story is one of determination, passion and community. Learn about the competition between Tassie brewers, the Boags’ family history, the process of making beer, and the innovation influencing sustainability and quality.
At the conclusion of the tour, take the opportunity to taste some of the award-winning beers in the historic bar. Bookings essential.
James Boag Brewery Tour: 39 William St, Launceston
Where to stay in Launceston, Tasmania
There are a range of accommodation options in Launceston and most of the big chain hotels are located within the CBD. There are also plenty of short-stay cosy cottages – ideal for a weekend adventure – and are often semi or fully self-contained.
This refurbished cottage within walking distance from the CBD comes complete with a bath tub, large shower, comfortable bed, mini fridge and coffee machine.
There is a selection of other Airbnb options in Launceston, many in cosy historic homes.
Disclaimer: The writer was a guest of Luxury Tours Tasmania and Tatler Lane. All other expenses were paid for by the writer.