Western Australia is big. The size of Texas and Alaska combined, in fact. Its capital city, Perth, is the most isolated city in the world. But it’s a beautiful, multicultural part of the world with a near-tropical climate and the Indian Ocean to the west.
The City has its charms – and plenty of good food - but it’s relatively small and you need to head out to experience all that Perth has to offer. Within an hour of the city you can find markets, amazing coastal dining, one of Australia’s best wine regions and much, much more. So jump in your car and hit the road.
No list would be complete without a great coffee and breakfast stop. Our vote for the best within an hour of Perth goes to one of our newest cafes: The Tribute Coffee and Kitchen in the southern suburb of Shelley, close to the Swan River that divides Perth into north and south.
Owned by four friends, the now-manager left his career in property development behind and spent a year learning the café craft. They’ve nailed the trifecta of coffee, food and service so this is a definite must. If you’re heading north, our pick is Regular Coffee Co. in Carine.
Whenever we want to make visitors to Perth jealous about our home town, we take them to Odyssea. A super-classy restaurant located on the ocean at City Beach, this place is a food and drink mecca with a view to die for, and a must place to go to watch the sun go down.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner - not to mention great coffee or just a drink - you'll find the best in modern Australian cuisine and an extensive wine list.
Spend an afternoon at Odyssea, and you’ll want to stay in Perth that little bit longer. Or if you are just after a coffee and snack after a swim, they have a kiosk with a range of on-the-go offerings.
Perth can get hot and when it does there is one place you must go to: Kuld Creamery. Michigan couple Mati and Kaitlyn Kuld arrived in Perth in 2015, and the relaxed lifestyle made them decide to stay and feed us their delicious handmade ice cream.
Tucked in a laneway alongside Blacksmith cafe, Kuld’s small batch ice creams feature weekly flavours inspired by their American roots and some Aussie classics, including dairy free and vegan varieties. They make use of local ingredients wherever possible, even using honey from hives just down the road. Still a hidden gem to many, but a regular haunt of those in the know.
The coastal town of Fremantle is a popular tourist destination, with plenty to see, taste and do - not to mention home to many of Perth's best beaches. An essential part of any visit to Fremantle is the historic Fremantle Markets which is a great place to buy fresh, local produce.
It's also a great place to stock up on those souvenirs for your friends and family that couldn’t join you. Foodie picks: Chimek, for some Korean-fusion fried chicken, Get Chunky for to-die-for cookies, Levis donuts for deep fried goodness, Bratwurst bar for homemade German sausages using the best Aussie ingredients …and there are even foodie treats for your furry friends from S&P decorated pet cakes!
Lulu la Delizia was recently voted Australia’s best pasta restaurant by one of the country’s top food critics – do I need to say any more? It's a small, unassuming venue located in Subiaco not far from Perth City. If you want to give this place a try - and I strongly recommend you do – I’d suggest booking in advance. It’s named in honour of their Nonna, Luigia Valvasori, who emigrated to Australia in 1952 from the town of Casarsa della Delizia, Friuli, in the far North-East of Italy, bringing with her the wonderful culinary traditions that make up the heart and soul of their creations. They focus on the pasta and use local ingredients where possible – think Nettle fazzoletti, king prawns, white vermouth, orange blossoms or Marinated Fremantle sardines in white vermouth & orange, fresh fennel, pickled celeriac, celery heart, lemon thyme.
It’s not cheap, but it doesn’t have to be. When you’ve eaten there, you won’t care what it costs. It’s one of our favourite Perth restaurant.
Located in the historic town of Guildford near the Swan Valley, Alfred's opened in 1946 and is, unsurprisingly, the longest running roadside burger kitchen in Perth. It was started by an English migrant named Alfred Cook who served delectable burgers from a small roadside caravan.
The menu is pretty straightforward, and there are more modern burger restaurants around town, but Alfred’s is very much a Perth institution. Recently refurbished to include a vintage train carriage as a restaurant car, you can stand around the camp fire with the locals after the sun goes down to enjoy your burger in warmth. But do try their famous pea & ham soup as it is cooked on the original wood fired stoves using a recipe from 1946!
Must’s co-owner and head chef Russell Blaikie is as close to a home-grown celebrity chef as you get, and his restaurant is one of WA’s best. Despite its name, Must is more than just a wine bar – it’s one of Perth’s most fashionable bistros with a leaning towards French provincial-inspired food.
A champion of regional produce, Russell grew up on a farm in Margaret River before working in Europe and returning home to open Must in 2001. As well as being one of Perth’s best chefs, he’s a fantastic bloke and what better reason do you need to visit?
The meat pie is a quintessential Aussie dish, and Perth's best example is located right on the edge of our one-hour drive in the seaside town of Mandurah. A true Perth institution, Miami bakehouse has won over 650 national and state awards for their gourmet pies, cakes, specialty breads and other delicious treats.
If you’re not travelling as far as Mandurah, there’s another outlet in Melville on the way towards Fremantle. If you’re heading further south, there’s one on the way to Bunbury. The original is still the best, though.
Overlooking Fremantle’s Leighton Beach, Bib & Tucker is a collaboration between acclaimed chef Scott Bridger and Aussie Olympic swimming legend Eamon Sullivan. With views of the Indian Ocean, this restaurant is all about showcasing the best of WA. The food combines old and new techniques, such as pickling and smoking. They even make honey from their own hives on the roof.
The duo also own Fremantle’s May Street Larder, where their “Soul Sandwich” dish of buttermilk fried chicken on polenta waffles with avocado, chilli maple syrup and jalapenos is the stuff of Perth legend, and a dish not to be missed.