The capital of the island state is often accused of being a little sleepy. With its tiny population, it can hardly be blamed for not being ‘open all hours’ like its mainland counterparts. Even so, there are places to go and people to see in Hobart, even at night. You just have to know where to look.
If you’re considering Hobart as a place to live, study or holiday, remember that any place is what you make it. Getting to know your city before you arrive is a smart thing to do but sometimes, being right there on the ground is the easiest way to appreciate its best points. Our little Hobart nightlife guide should point you in the right direction.
Hobart’s passion for fine local produce is evident in its restaurant menus. Seafoods like local abalone, oysters, scallops and farmed salmon vie for attention with export-quality beef and lamb. Then there are the berries, the cheeses, the chocolates, the breads. Turn up hungry and prepare to be delighted.
Here are just three of the many Hobart restaurants that you should try for yourself.
- The Beach – Definitely worth the drive along the Southern Outlet, The Beach Restaurant is a casual bistro on the waterfront at Blackman’s Bay. The fireplace and sofas lend a cosy ambience and the food features a selection of pizzas, seafood dishes and grills. Dip your toes in the water after dinner.
- Urban Greek – Go full Greek and dive into this Cretian specialty restaurant where the food is all made from traditional family recipes. The attractive fit-out and sumptuous menu make it feel like coming home, no matter where you’re from.
- The Drunken Admiral – Prepare for a fun time in this old-worldly wooden dining hall, brimming with nautical paraphernalia. The Drunken Admiral Seafarers Restaurant has been there since 1979 and is a destination venue for regular visitors. Enjoy a steaming bowl of seafood chowder or the best fish and chips you’ve ever had!
When you’re a little thirsty and you want a cosy spot for a quiet – or not so quiet – drink, Hobart has plenty of options. Here are a few for your consideration.
- IXL Long Bar – Nestled in one of Hobart’s most iconic heritage-listed buildings down at the wharf, IXL Long Bar is part of the Henry Jones Art Hotel complex. It’s a sophisticated establishment that offers live entertainment, fabulous food and drinks and art on the walls. There’s often a wine tasting event or master class on which makes for a more interactive experience.
- Lark Distillery – On Friday and Saturday nights, this waterfront distillery is open until late, dispensing exquisite whisky to connoisseurs and the inexperienced alike. With more than 150 premium malt whiskies on offer, it’s certainly the place to go for a serious tipple. Try the in-house rum, gin, brandy or vodka, all made with proud Tasmanian ingredients.
- Republic Bar & Café – Take a stroll up to North Hobart and you’ll find the art deco Republic, a little rough around the edges but full of personality. Choose from over 100 craft beers while catching one of the local or visiting artists. The gig guide tells you what’s on.
Get your boogie on at one of Hobart’s nightclubs.
- Telegraph Hotel – At ‘The Tele’, you can give karaoke a good shot, you can have a dance and you can party hard. There’s always something fun going on and plenty of noise emanating from the Morrison Street venue to draw the crowds in.
- Ivory Lounge Bar – Tear up the dance floor at Ivory Lounge Bar where the young, hip crowd go to let their hair down. Open from 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights, it offers table service and cosy lounging areas. Beats are provided by DJs specialising in house, tech, tropic and afro.
- Twisted Lime – Considered a relaxed, friendly ‘dive’ bar, Twisted Lime is the cool place to hang out for cheap drinks, 8-ball tables and chalkboard tables you can actually draw on. The cruisy bartenders are part of the entertainment.
Friday nights at Sandy Bay, a couple of kilometres outside of Hobart’s CBD are perfect for outdoor entertainment. Family-friendly and dog-friendly, they are the ideal spot for a stroll around, taking in the sights, sounds and smells. Held on the first and third Friday of every month between October and March, the Hobart Twilight Market is a showcase of Tassie produce. Have a chat with the stallholders and learn about their products. Be entertained by live music and sample some of the city’s finest foods and beverages.
Sink your teeth into sweet, colourful donuts or a lovingly made duck roll. Get buzzed on fresh fudge and try to resist the homemade pies. Pick up a handmade whisky chutney to go with your small-batch camembert and sourdough loaf and grab a couple of bottles of local cider to wash them down.
At Street Eats Franko – a street food night market – you can sprawl out on the lawn with a picnic blanket and listen to the musos as they serenade the enthusiastic crowds. Choose from Korean steamed bao, Indonesian martabak crepes, sourdough donuts, Bass Strait octopus and so much more! Street Eats Franko is on every Friday night from November to the end of April at Franklin Square.