Your insider guide to Launceston CBD

This riverside city is a gateway to some of the best food and wine experiences in Tasmania. But with an alluring blend of culture, culinary delights and shopping, it's a destination in its own right.

People mill around several market stalls at Harvest Market, Launceston.
  • Melanie Tait
  • November 2018
  • Updated January 2021

If you find yourself in the pretty town of Launceston for the weekend, hold off on heading straight to the nearby wineries – stay a while and discover the unique history of the place and treat yourself to some of Tassie’s most delicious produce.

Harvest Market

Breakfast with the locals on fresh bread and snacks like Afghani bolani (pita-style flatbread stuffed with vegetables) at the Saturday morning Harvest Market in the CBD. Plus, you can stock up on everything from local salmon to Tasmanian cheeses while chatting with producers.

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG)

The QVMAG is the custodian of Tasmania’s history. There are rolling exhibitions by local artists, while the permanent collection showcases the fascinating zoological history of the state – think taxidermied Tasmanian tigers and trays of bugs and birds. If you ask nicely, there’s usually a keen scientist on site who will be happy to show you around.

A large red coil sculpture on the lawn in front of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.
The inspiring QVMAG in Launceston combines art, history and science.

Mission on George

You’ll find everything at this charmingly eclectic op shop, from that vintage winter coat you didn’t know you needed during a summer trip (Tasmania!) to the mug you’ve always wanted commemorating the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Who knows what treasure you’ll dig up at Mission on George.

Black Cow Bistro

At this upmarket eatery, it's all about Tasmanian steak – local, grass-fed and hormone-free. It’s so fabled that when Nigella Lawson visited, this was where she tucked into her very first meal. Even if you’re not a steak lover, you’ll be well catered for with the best local produce that can be sourced on the day at Black Cow Bistro. Dishes such as Kingfish sashimi, crispy pork belly, and house-made kimchi are also on offer.

Diners give their order to a waiter at Black Cow Bistro.
Enjoy the finest steak at Black Cow Bistro, Launceston.

Inside Café & Store

Set within the CBD’s tech precinct, this locavore's paradise has a cool industrial feel. It’s all local – from the milk in the coffee to the pickled fennel they serve with the eggs Benedict. The Inside Café also houses a store filled with tempting homewares and quirky souvenirs.

Peppers Silo Hotel & Day Spa

In an exemplary act of creative repurposing of space, Peppers has transformed an unused riverside grain silo into designer accommodation. Even if you don’t stay, book in at the day spa for a Shearer’s Crook Back Massage.

Evening view of Pepper’s Silo Hotel.
Industrial meets modern design at Pepper's Silo Hotel, Launceston.

Pinot Shop

This boutique riverside wine shop is devoted almost entirely to the finest local reds. Pinot Shop proprietor Michele Round is always on hand to recommend exquisite drops to go with your dinner or to take home as Tassie souvenirs.

Beyond the CBD: Evandale

Located just a 20-minute drive from the Launceston CBD, Evandale is a carefully preserved historic village that is now home to a collection of galleries and cafés. Handmark showcases some of Tasmania’s hippest artists, the Ingleside Bakery Café offers a delicious ploughman’s lunch celebrating local produce, and the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company is great for a delicious lesson in condiment-making… and topiary!

The white-painted brick facade of a historic building in the town of Evandale.
Not far from Launceston, the town of Evandale oozes vintage charm.