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It was a Ford showroom in the 1920s then home to The Mercury newspaper. Now you’ll find a pared-back, concrete and blond-wood space where a wood-fired scotch oven takes centre stage. If you love the essence of simple dishes cooked with passion, this is the diner for you. You can come for eggs, great coffee or Pigeon Whole bakery pastries during the daytime; in the evening enjoy chef David Moyle’s deceptive simplicity – be it a wood-roasted flathead simply dressed with butter, a piece of hangar steak or raw kingfish with salt bush. Franklin also boasts a delightful selection of natural wines on its concise, well-considered list.
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Just outside the Hobart CBD, this hole-in-the-wall spot is a local favourite. The menu is brief but delicious, the service chipper and some ingredients come from the owners’ farm. Try a croque monsieur, some Bergeron apricots with local Tongola goat’s “Curdly” or eggs with summer onion, cress and jamon. The house-made pastries are superb and the coffee just as good.
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Despite the similar name, Frank isn’t a relative of Franklin. It’s the South American-inspired grill from the people who brought us Smolt. Enjoy scallop empanadas, fire-roasted oysters with chorizo, peppers and garlic and several vegetable dishes such as charred veg with tomatillo and apple salsa and goat’s curd. You can sit on the aquamarine banquette as you feast from the open grill – options include rump cap, flat iron steak and other big, beefy options with chimichurri and salsa picante. Or focus on the flat-top grill for dishes such as free-range chicken with red onion, coriander, lemon and purple sweet potato.
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You’ll find this busy, noisy, bustling bistro at the back of Salamanca Square, next to the Tassal salmon shop that gives the restaurant its name (smolt are young salmon). But the Italian- and Spanish-inspired menu isn’t all about salmon, or even seafood. For breakfast, sit at the communal table and enjoy great coffee and house-baked biscuits. When the sun goes down, grab a booth at the back and demolish a wood-fired pizza – such as white anchovies, olives, calamari, watercress, bechamel and reggiano – paired with a drop from the food-matched wine list.
Property of: Pilgrim
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With its early opening (7am), its single origin special coffees and baristas doing their best to extract the perfect crema, Pilgrim has an enthusiastic attitude. Even better news is there’s a whole menu that doesn’t resort to clichés, which helps back up the caffeine. Choose between brioche French toast with salted caramel and fresh raspberries, rhubarb porridge with pistachio crumble and meatier options such as cider-braised beef cheeks with mushrooms. It also has an American-style hamburger joint down the back in Hudsons Laneway, called The Standard. Photo credit: facebook.com/PropertyOfPilgrim
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Tucked into North Hobart’s bustling cafe strip, Berta stands out for the quality of the cooking. Feel like a great breakfast? Sit at the window seat and eat smashed avocado on toast with Persian fetta and lemon or Spanish rice pudding with dried fruit compote, honeycomb, puffed grains and almonds. There’s also a well-priced wine list for later in the day. Lap up the chorizo croquettes with a Tassie pinot gris or get something more substantial on the fork, such as smoked Cape Grim brisket with avocado and crisp onion rings. Photo credit: facebook.com/Berta
The New Sydney Hotel
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This foodie pub proudly boasts “no pokies, no TV”. What its owners have created is a friendly space where people like to talk, eat and drink – and the latter option is a particular pleasure as there are 13 beers on tap. The food could be wallaby shanks with HP Sauce or pulled pork with spicy corn and a fried egg. There are a number of gastropub food trends on offer, too, such as the beef-cheek croquettes with smoked tomato or southern fried chicken with kimchi and sesame. For those a little less adventurous, there’s always a well-cooked and above-par chicken parmigiana or steak. Photo credit: facebook.com/NewSydneyHotel