Tasting Hobart – Cafes, Bakeries and Coffee

Hey all. Today I’m reviewing some of the places we ate in destination Hobart, places where we had lunch. We didn’t eat out a lot in Hobart, not for dinner at least. We self-catered a bit as the room we had had a cooktop so we saved a few bucks by cooking there, which was nice. Of course, for lunch we ate out as we were already out of the room for the day. A couple of days we ate at the places we were at – at Port Arthur, there’s a café in the visitor centre. It was all right. And at Mona I had a burger there and chips which wasn’t too bad either. There’s a range of places to eat including two pretty fancy restaurants which you need to book for in advance.

But today’s post is about three little places around Hobart where we ate, and also my wife had coffees or chai. Anyways –

  1. Pigeon Hole

One of the places we had lunch whilst in Hobart was at a little funky cafe called ‘Pigeon Hole’. 

Actually I rather liked it even though I didn’t choose the location. It’s n it the sort of place I rush to because anywhere that serves a lot of smashed avo generally doesn’t excite me. I apologise for not being into the modern cuisine as many are but that’s just me.

But what I did love was the decor and feel of the place which was low lit and had a feature wall of jars with pickled fruit and veg on it such as quince but it all felt like an evil scientist’s lab somehow. I almost expected to see a baby T-Rex in a jar or something! They also had those cool light bulbs where you can see the lit up wires.

So I had the Reuben sandwich with pastrami and sauerkraut and all in all it was pretty tasty. The menu was a small one, and there was your typical smashed avo choices on it. One of which my wife tried, and she seemed to like that too. She finished off with a cup of chai which met with approval and I had a slice of cheesecake which also proved to be very agreeable. 

So it’s not a bad choice all in all. If you like breakfast any time of the day or smashed avo then I think you will be very happy at Pigeon Hole. It’s a bit of an uphill walk from the centre of town but worth it.

  • Pilgrim Coffee

So Pilgrim Coffee is another trendy sort of café where we had lunch on the Thursday of our week in Hobart. It was very central, only a stone’s throw from where we were staying on Elizabeth Street, it was on Liverpool and the entrance was not where Google told us, the original store front must have been around the corner because the outside there had an arrow pointing to where we entered on Liverpool st. I think they’ve expanded a bit and bought out another shop. There was a space that looked like it was still being fixed up for more tables.

Obviously, it’s a coffee shop first, but it has a selection of sandwiches including a few vegan selections and a range of all-day breakfast options. My wife had the felafel dish with salad and bread, and I had a roast pork sandwich, which was great as I had been eying off a couple of Vietnamese places doing pork rolls in the mall, but this is where we’d ended up in the end.

The pork roll was okay, it came with crackling and an apple sauce I barely noticed, but it wasn’t too bad. My wife was less happy with her falafels and coffee, she was a little disappointed. It’s pretty common in Hobart and Tasmania I would say not to find the usual soft drinks for sale – Coke, Pepsi etc. Instead they often offer Hartley’s Soft Drinks, a Tasmanian company, and I had a couple of those and they were nice (but I didn’t try the cola). The other option some places offer, such as Pilgrim Coffee is an artisan (for want of a better word) option of drinks. And I tried a cola from the brand offered at Pilgrim Coffee, can’t find the brand but it was called ‘Smoked Cola’. I found it pretty nasty, it was quite bitter. It was a big thumbs down from me.

All in all, it’s a trendy place the likes of which you can find here and there in Hobart, or Melbourne and I’m sure other Australian capitals. The menu is limited and the food was okay but not outstanding. It’s more of a place for coffee. Not highly recommended.

  • Jackman & McRoss (Bakery, Battery Point)

Finally, on our final day we headed to the brilliant suburb of Battery Point with an incredible number of historic houses and buildings. It’s a steep but short walk uphill from Salamanca, and you can’t fail to be stunned by the incredible buildings. Jackman and McRoss is a large bakery with three rooms for tables and dining in, as well as a few tables out the front, and when we went there for lunch on a Saturday it was absolutely packed. This usually tells you something about the quality of the food.

So we went inside, and there wasn’t a table in the first two rooms to be had. So we were shown into a smaller room behind the main ones and were the first on a table there. Soon though the other two tables – one a large one suitable for a family, were taken too. We were handed a menu, and there were a couple of sandwiches which caught my eye. In particular the Roast Beef, Gouda, horseradish cream, house pickle on rye.

So I tried to order the roast beef, but I was told all but the vegetarian sandwich were already sold out. It was around 130pm and people were still coming in for lunch so I was pretty surprised. How do you run out of sandwiches? I guess ALL the cold meat (if it was cold) had run out. That’s quite an oversight.

In the end I took a King Island Lamb, Pink-eye potato and Rosemary Pie. There was a wide range of pies and pasties on the menu, I asked about the Lamb Cornish Pastie, but the waitress shook her head. Actually our waitress seemed generally unenthused about the establishment she was working in, which was a bit of a concern!

My wife had eggs benedict. She was reasonably happy with them and actually found this place did the best coffee she had had in Hobart. My Lamb Pie actually was pretty nice, although it came on its own so it wasn’t a large meal. I had a side salad I ordered separately. All in all we liked this place, I think. I do like it when you get to sit in the ‘back room’ of a place, a smaller room it feels a little exclusive.

Thanks for reading today, these were my three lunch spots for you! When I review MONA in a special post I will probably write about the food there too, likewise with Port Arthur.

Take care, and May the Journey Never End!

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