Why you’ll love it
Tasmania’s restaurant and café culture takes on its own personality on the east coast. From exclusive dining at high-end restaurants to freshly cooked fish and chips served piping hot from a seaside fish punt, and treat-laden afternoon tea in cosy cafes, you’ll find a dining experience that is perfect for you. One of the great joys of wandering is discovering that little gem of a restaurant or cafe along the way, but here are few suggestions to get you started.
One of the great joys of wandering is discovering that little gem of a restaurant along the way
Where you’ll find it
In a restaurant
House guests at Saffire Freycinet can experience true indulgence at the resort’s Palate Restaurant, where seasonal Tasmanian and east coast ingredients are transformed into an unforgettable culinary experience. For a special dining experience, treat yourself to the degustation or à la carte menus at the award-winning restaurant at Piermont Resort, Swansea.
In Orford, tasty casual meals, Tasmanian cellar door sales and local gourmet products are available at the Gateway Café, and Scorchers Pizza has delicious gourmet wood fired pizzas accompanied by Tasmanian wines and beers. Soak up the view over a long lunch or dinner at the waterfront Saltshaker Restaurant which features organic and fair trade ingredients.
At Freycinet Lodge, within Freycinet National Park, you can enjoy the fine à la carte menu at the Bay Restaurant or tasty meals in the casual atmosphere of Richardson’s Bistro. At Freycinet Marine Farm in Coles Bay you can savour delicate oysters and mussels, plucked straight from the sea and shucked before your eyes. Buy your own oysters, mussels, rock lobster and abalone, or enjoy fresh seafood prepared onsite and accompanied by Tasmanian wines and beers.
The family-friendly BrewHaus Café and Bar at White Sands Resort, Four Mile Creek offers modern Australian cuisine, matched to the Ironhouse range of brews. Inland from St Helens, at Pyengana, is the Holy Cow Café at the Pyengana Dairy Company, featuring light meals, lush handmade ice cream and fine Pyengana cheeses. Also at Pyengana is the quintessentially Tasmanian Pub in the Paddock—the St Columba Falls Hotel. Apart from being one of Tasmania’s oldest licensed pubs, the Pub in the Paddock is known for its welcoming, country-style accommodation and hearty meals, and for its resident porcine celebrity—Pinky the pig. You’ll just have to pay a visit to find out why…
At a café
You can still find a traditional Devonshire tea in a quaint east coast tearoom or indulge yourself in luscious gourmet treats in a stylish café. Try Gallery Artspaces in Triabunna for good coffee, tasty snacks and local art, or Artifakt Gallery and Café in Swansea for delicious coffee and snacks and a chance to browse the collection of local art and crafts.
Visit the recently opened Fire and Ice Café next to the Caltex Service station, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 5 days per week (Thursday through Monday). Stop in at the Bark Mill Tavern and bakery in Swansea for a tasty snack or light meal, and a chance to visit the Bark Mill Museum. The quirky Pondering Frog, south of Bicheno, specialises in house-made berry ice creams, Devonshire tea (with enormous fluffy scones) and a selection of house-made cherry wines and liqueurs, preserves and local honey. And frogs. Lots of frogs…
Visit Blue Edge Bakery and Pasinis Café, Wine Bar and Deli in Bicheno and Tombolo café at Coles Bay, where your espresso need will be met with award-winning Tasmanian Villino coffee, as well as sweet treats and light meals made with local ingredients.
The Purple Possum is a café and wholefoods store in the lush mountain landscape of St Marys that also features a mini-gallery, produce garden and bric-a-brac shed, and Mount Elephant Pancakes, located in the mountains near St Marys, specialises in delicate, European-style sweet or savoury crepes, seasoned with forest, mountain and ocean views.
In St Helens, visit Mohr and Smith Café, Restaurant and Bar and don’t miss the Lifebuoy Café and Quail St Emporium. Crossroads Wine Bar and Café features live music from local and interstate performers in a friendly, casual atmosphere.
You’re on the coast, on holiday, so of course you’ll want to find the best fish and chips on the island. If you’re interested in a takeaway menu that features locally caught lobster, then pay a visit to Oyster Bay Seafoods in the centre of Swansea or Tasmanian Coastal Seafoods at the Gulch in Bicheno. And don’t miss the fish punts at St Helens, including the Captain’s Catch at the Blue Shed, for the freshest local fish and chips you’ll find anywhere.
Many restaurants and cafes on the Great Eastern Drive have outdoor dining options designed to take full advantage of the region’s scenery. But one of the most memorable al fresco dining experiences you can have on Tasmania’s east coast is to pack a hamper of the local produce you’ve gathered at providores, markets and farm gates along the Great Eastern Drive, match it with your favourite east coast wine or beer and unfurl your picnic blanket. Your only remaining challenge will be choosing which incredible view you’d like to soak in while you indulge your taste buds…
- The Bay Restaurant/Richardson’s Bistro, Freycinet Lodge
- The Pondering Frog (Coles Bay Turnoff)
- Tombolo Freycinet
- Freycinet Marine Farm
- The Blue Shed
- Salty Seas Seafood Market
- Mohr & Smith
- The Lifebuoy Café and Quail St Emporium
- The Captain’s Catch (The Blue Shed)
- Blue Edge Bakery
- Tasmanian Coastal Seafoods
- Sea Life Centre
- The Gulch
- Granite Seafood and Bar
Swansea / Cranbrook
- Piermont, Swansea
- Saltshaker Restaurant
- Artifakt Cafe
- Bark Mill Tavern
- Oyster Bay Seafoods
- Fire and Ice Café
- Felicity’s Vintage and Tea Room
- Spring Vale Wines (pop up vineyard seafood restaurant)
Four Mile Creek
Travel times and driving distances
To help plan your visit, you can check our travel times and driving distances.