In the past, Moonah certainly did not wear the title as Hobart's trendiest or coolest suburb. But things seem to be changing – and fast. This small but busy northern suburb has quite a lot to offer and is quickly becoming gentrified. Perhaps it's because it's on the main road thoroughfare to MONA, perhaps it's because of its wonderful multi-ethnic community, and perhaps it's because retailers are beginning to see the potential of a busy little place not too far from the city centre, but Moonah really is worth another look.
Moonah has long been the home of the AMF Bowling Alley, the Island Markets, the Mustard Pot and a number of other landmarks. But now it's becoming quite the place to have a nice meal, buy a sexy new outfit, and even get pampered up for a big night out.
Moonah is worth a visit for Miss Katt's Kustom House alone - it's a super swingin' rockabilly, 50s pinup and hotrod boutique. Some of the pieces in this store are unfathomably cool and really not the type of thing you'd find anywhere else in Hobart.
Then there's Sarah Muir body care, a lovely retro-inspired beauty parlour with gold gilded mirrors, candlelight massages set to music, and all manner of pampering served up with a glass of sparkling wine.
One of Moonah's best places to eat is Split Café. It's a great spot offering home-style European food – think delicious Hungarian goulash or garlic prawns. The husband and wife team that run this venture are a great couple and are always in the café making friendly banter with patrons.
Another surprisingly good spot to eat in Moonah is the Kawasemi Japanese Tea House in Dickinson's Arcade. The décor is gorgeous traditional Japanese, and the food won't disappoint – great miso soup, sushi, sashimi and tempura.
Moonah has its own touch of a cool Melbourne-style "laneway" with Memory Lane. There are some legitimately good shops in this hidden-away lane near Magnolia 73 café (which is also worth a visit). Down Memory Lane, you'll find the enormously popular Cutie Cups cupcakes.
Barre Code fitness studios has recently opened a site at Moonah, a massive new arts centre is currently in development, and the ever-glam Strictly Ballroom continues to serve up regular social dancing nights full of glitz and shimmer. Also worth a visit is Jing Jing's massage, Kala Thai, Pizza Capers Gourmet Kitchen and Salt. On top of this, you never have to pay for parking in Moonah, and there are always hundreds of parks available behind Dickinson's Arcade.
Moonah seems to be edging its way closer to the coolness of North Hobart every day, and it's well worth a day trip to see for yourself.