Launceston is Tasmania's second major city (behind Hobart) and is bursting with food and wine hotspots, cultural destinations and natural wonders. It’s also only a short drive from Holm Oak’s estate, so on child-free evenings, you can often find us doing the rounds of the wine bars and drinking establishments in Launceston. After heavy development and new launches over the last few years, Launceston’s food and wine scene is now thriving. Here’s our pick of the great wine bars and drinking establishments in Launceston, one of Australia’s oldest cities.
This funky little place in a quiet alley in Launceston showcases a great range of Tasmanian craft whisky and gin, as well as an impressive range of beers. Its design is industrial cool with curious artwork and ambient lighting.
Address: 33 Kingsway 7250 Launceston
Named after its founding position on Saint John Street in Launceston, this intimate craft beer venue features up to 14 taps of international, Australian and, of course, Tasmanian, craft beer, as well as more than 170 bottled beer options, ciders, wines and top shelf spirits. One of the best bits about this bar is that you can BYO food or order street food from the food van that’s positioned out the back from 5pm.
Address: 133 St John Street Launceston
Looking for a special place? Make it Geronimo. Some of the best food created in Launceston is found on this menu, and the wines match the quality of the dishes. Enjoy lamb rump, braised lamb, eggplant, baba ganoush and mint with Holm Oak’s Cabernet Merlot. The food at the bar is just as tasty – polenta fries with garlic aioli, chicken liver parfait with port wine jelly, or jamon and Taleggio brioche toastie with a Monkey Mule cocktail featuring cardamom-infused vodka, chilli and ginger beer.
Address: 186 Charles Street, Launceston
This small family-run business is big on character. Its focus is clearly on selling Tasmanian craft beer but Tassie ciders and other spirits are also in the line-up. The exposed brick walls, timber benches and open fire make this a truly inviting place to sit back and enjoy the local drops – the owners rebuilt the old site with Tasmanian-sourced materials only, including Huon pine tap handles. And the heart-warming meaning behind this place is that it’s named after the owner’s sister, Tandy, who died from ovarian cancer a few years ago. A portion of the sale of each beer sold in Tandy’s goes to the Ovarian Cancer Australia.
Address: 100-102 Elizabeth Street Launceston
This place blends old world charm with slick modern touches to create sophisticated a drinking establishment serving Tasmania wines, whisky, local brews with an ever-changing tasting menu. This old building has been refurbished but the owners have preserved the history of this old building with dark timber touches, brown leather chesterfields and dimmed lighting. Enjoy elegant dishes at the restaurant after a few drinks at the bar.
Address: 61 Cameron Street, Launceston
Mudbar and Restaurant is a feel-good place to eat and be seen and a cool place to hang out. This restaurant and bar perched on the North Esk River’s edge makes a great special occasion spot. Choose from the bar’s super-long but high-quality wine list, boutique beers and spirits, or a fun cocktail.
Address: 28 Seaport Boulevard, Launceston
Fancy a cider? This is your go-to cider house in Launceston. It may be a hole in the wall but this little bar is the outlet for the Red Brick Road’s handcrafted ciders. Owners and cider makers Corey Baker and Karina Dambergs use their winemaking background to create their top-tasting ciders (Karina was sparkling winemaker at Clover Hill in Pipers River for years). Their approach to making cider is simple: real cider, made from real Tassie fruit, by real people. The hopped cider and the sparkling cider are our favourite drops.
Address: 63a Brisbane St, Launceston
Did someone say hipster hangout? With themed nights like Fuego Fridays ($20 Gin & Juice Jugs) and Beats, Tins & Chicken Wings, there’s a particular crowd that’s heading to Bakers Lane. They love frisky espresso martinis and chipotle crispy chicken burgers, live acoustic acts and DJ sets all weekend.
Address: 81 York Street, Launceston
If it’s confident elegance you’re after, the bar at Stillwater has your name on it. After a sensitive renovation, this old riverside mill makes the perfect spot for wine lovers interested in trying top local Tassie drops as well as exciting overseas wines. The food is refined yet simple – how does a charcuterie board with cornichons washed down with a glass of Tassie Riesling sound? Or whisky-cured Huon salmon with a white Burgundy? It’s all possible at Stillwater.
Address: 2 Bridge Rd, Launceston
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