Island Espresso is a little café in the sea of Elizabeth Street North real estate.
This Girl has been around Hobart 20 something years and Island Espresso has been part of the landscape as long as I can remember. Which is 16 years apparently because that’s how long the business has been in the Knezevic family.
Various family members have taken the reins at various times, but now its run by sisters Elisa and Marina.
For 16 years I’ve passed by their doors. This time I walked in. To be fair, I called up a friend and announced it was about time we tried Island Espresso.
Hidden behind its modest wooden doors is a humble little café. The girls call it home style, and family focused, a little kitchy, and vintage. There’s evidence of their love for fine china and old fashioned baking. Elisa and Marina’s biggest inspiration comes from their mum’s love of cooking and sharing family meals with loved ones.
Their favourite dish is the zucchini and goat cheese fritters served with Tasmanian smoked salmon, beetroot salsa and horseradish cream, but when in a rush, the meal of choice is a hearty bowl of west African peanut soup or a chicken wrap.
You can build your own breaky with toast and eggs of your choice for $9, sides for $3.50 each and condiments for $3. Alternatively, you’ll find granola and seasonal fruits or sautéed mushrooms and goats cheese. There’s a few lunch-style dishes on the menu like the zucchini and goats cheese fritters or a Nicoise salad for $10, or a little extra if you want hot smoked salmon to go with.
We chose from the daily specials board, the beef burger on a brioche bun for $15 and the goats cheese, cherry tomato and parsley tart with rocket salad for $14.50.
There’s a display of cakes and biscuits too and being the sweet tooth that I am and Monte Carlo aficionado, that’s what I chose. My luncheon companion, Stevie-baby-baby, went for a raspberry friend.
We didn’t have a boozy lunch but you don’t have to go dry, there are a few wines by the glass!
Elisa and Marina say they like chilly but sunny days in Hobart, their loyal customer base, some of who have been visiting them daily for 10 years. Like The Two Girls they love the sense of community in Hobart. Like the rest of the hospitality industry, they also love the tourist season!
Island Expresso has a breakfast and lunch menu. Breakfast is available until 2.30 pm.
You can find Island Espresso at 171 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. Call them on 6231 3317.