Long known as ‘the Apple Isle’, Tasmania is renowned for its pristine waterways, clean air and rich array of produce, harvested from its bountiful orchards, lush pastures, brimming lakes and coastline. From a local perspective, we know that food-loving visitors to Launceston and northern Tasmania are truly spoilt for choice, so, to make it easy, here’s our personal gourmet guide.
Tasmanian Truffles, Deloraine
Meet Doug, ‘chief forager’ at Australia’s first truffle farm. Since its first harvest in 1999, Tasmanian Truffles has put the island on the map for the excellence of its premium nuggets of earthy heaven. There are a range of activities on offer for visitors, from a seasonal truffle hunt and lunch (December through February) to a one-hour tour and tasting available all year round.
Image Source: Tasmanian Truffles
George Town Seafoods, George Town
This predominantly wholesale operation is well known and loved for the quality of its spanking-fresh seafood. Happily, though, visitors can pick up their catch of the day from a retail outlet in town, as well as at Launceston’s Saturday Harvest Market, and in Hobart at the Farm Gate Market, held every Sunday.
Alps & Amici, East Launceston
Award-winning chef Daniel Alps, formerly of Strathlynn restaurant in Rosevears, heads up this friendly ‘corner store’, whose old-school personal service is matched by the range and quality of merchandise, ‘from the everyday to the extraordinary’. Local and seasonal are the focus – and best of all, much of that produce comes in the form of meals-to-go, cakes, bread and pastries, so it’s an ideal place to load up for your self-catering accommodation. There’s also a café onsite.
Image Source: Alps & Amici
Trevallyn Grocer On the Hill, Trevallyn
Just three minutes by car from Launceston’s CBD, this self-styled local grocer is so much more than that. It stocks a great range of Tasmanian produce, gifts and hampers, and, interestingly, an unusually comprehensive range of South African goods, too, so visitors from that part of the world will feel right at home! Alongside the fresh, mostly local, produce, wines and beers, you’ll find prepared meals – roast chooks, salads, oven-ready pizzas – to take out. There’s an online store, too.
Cocobean Chocolate, Launceston
It describes itself as a ‘chic chocolate boutique’, and you’ll see why when you visit the premises in the centre of town on George Street. Handmade chocolates and other treats, such as ‘dessert jars’ are on offer here, as well as good coffee. This is not just an essential stopover for sweet-tooths, but a great place to pick up gifts to take home, too.
Image Source: Cocobean Chocolate
Amelia Espresso, Launceston
Also on George Street, this pocket-rocket of a café thinks local and acts local, too, sourcing its beans from Launceston roasters Ritual Coffee, its milk from Tasmanian cooperative Betta and snacky treats from gluten-free bakers Birdseed, as well as bread and other baked goods from sourdough bakery Apiece. Definitely somewhere to get your sightseeing off on the right foot.
Kyeema Seafoods, Kings Meadow
Great Tasmanian seafood, as well as from further afield, to be had here, just a couple of minutes’ drive south of Launceston’s CBD. We particularly like its range of takeaway platters, which are ideal for a lunch or dinner back at your B&B or a picnic on the go – and you only need to give them an hour’s notice to prepare them. There are gift hampers, too, featuring a range of smoked and pickled products.
Casalinga Gourmet Meats, Launceston
Sourcing the best meat, poultry and game, including venison and wallaby, from around the island, Rob and Rose Perry offer top-quality cuts, as well as a fantastic range of house-made smallgoods and sausages. Visitors coming to stay for the Christmas and/or summer holidays should definitely jump in and order a ham or turkey online.
Landfall Farm Fresh, Launceston
Taking the paddock-to-plate philosophy as seriously as they do literally, the folk at Landfall Farm Fresh sell dry-aged lamb and beef straight from their own farm in the Tamar Valley, as well as top-quality meat and poultry from elsewhere in the state, such as Cape Grim Beef, Scottsdale Pork and Nichols chickens. Customers can be assured that all their animals have been raised free range, following the highest standards of animal welfare.
Van Diemens Land Creamery, Elizabeth Town
For ice-cream, gelato and sorbet fans, this artisan dairy is likely to be a place you’ll want to return to more than once (or at least stock up while you’re there) – and not just because of the quality of the products, but the sheer number of flavours on offer. VDLC handmakes more than 40 – including Whisky Cream, Peach and Lemon Myrtle, and Pear, Ginger and Cinnamon. Find about 24 varieties on any given day at the café and retail outlet in Elizabeth Town, about 45 minutes’ drive west of Launceston.
Image Source: Van Diemens Land Creamery
Last and certainly not least, don’t forget that our own beloved Tamar Valley is home to a number of wineries and growers scattered along the fertile length of the Tamar River. So be sure to take time to discover everything from berry and nut farms to cheesemakers. And pop in and say hello to us while you’re here.