Each with its own unique flavour, the Urban Villages surrounding Perth City are growing exponentially with exciting new things to see and do. Café’s, restaurants, bars, and retail outlets add to the existing character instigated by old heritage buildings and the distinct layout of each precinct.
Always bustling with people out for dinner, drinks, or a night on the town, Leederville has it all. Expect to find independent film theatres, record stores and endless good places to dine. It’s a funky precinct lined cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops. You’ll get some of the best coffee in Perth here at one of the many alfresco cafes where you can sit outside, enjoy the sunshine and the people watching. There’s plenty of cuisine choices from tapas, seafood, burgers or quality pub food. Leederville has a grittier feel than Subiaco, with edgy local designer stores and a laid back feel. It’s roughly a five minute journey by car north west from Perth city, and is accessible by train, one stop from Perth on the Joondalup Line.
The bustling district of Leederville abounds with some of the greatest variety the city has to offer, from speciality coffee, bookstores, theatre, retail and restaurants for every preference and budget. Leederville’s main strip on Oxford Street is lined with stores to browse through after picking up a takeaway at the popular FOAM Coffee Bar. You’ll find many affordable to high-end clothing stores like Elroy, Varga Girl and Atlas Divine. There’s also many gift and record stores, including Oxford St Books and Remedy. Adjacent to Oxford Street is Newcastle Street, equally teaming with things to explore in the day or night. From Spanish tapas and fine wine at Duende, to more casual fare at Pinchos Tapas and Tsuke-Ba’s Japanese takeaway.
For dessert, Gusto Gelato is nearby and late at night, bars like The Garden and Kitsch Bar are reliable go-to’s. Greens and Co serve their famous decorative cakes and coffee late into the night, it also makes a great stopover for a hot drink on the way to the Luna Cinema. Those feeling adventurous can take the Leederville Food Safari, powered by rickshaw drivers with local knowledge. Tour the burgeoning street art scene between meal courses at Ria Malay Kitchen, Kitsch Bar and other well-loved venues.
With most of the action happening along Rokeby Road, Subiaco has a sophisticated character of its own. Home to some of Perth’s most unique small bars and cafes, this trendy suburb is situated five kilometres west from the Perth CBD, and is only three train stops from Perth on the Fremantle line. Subiaco offers premier shopping, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, and has several art galleries, museums, theatres, parks and gardens which makes it a popular tourist destination. Subiaco is well known for its numerous shops of fashion, jewellery, homewares and many boutiques specialising in Australian pearls.
Subiaco is home to cultural gems like the 79-year old Regal Theatre that once saw Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire grace the stage. Check out what’s on here and enjoy an early dinner at the nearby Indian restaurant Chutney Mary’s, or the iconic Subiaco Hotel, for a pre-show meal. On a Saturday, you’ll find fresh local produce and vendors serving coffee and breakfast at The Subiaco Farmers Market from 8am until noon. Owned and covered with the work of local artist Murray Gill and his wife Juanita, the quaint bar called Juanita’s specialise in fine wine, paired with generous platters full with antipasto and home-baked goods. Further down the street, there’s the popular family-run business Meeka. A modern Australian restaurant with a middle eastern twist, the menu features creative twists on tagines and exotic share plates that nod to the variety that can be discovered along Rokeby Rod.
Home to the famous Beaufort St Festival, all 6km of the Mt Lawley street is packed with some of Perth’s most loved café’s, restaurants and independent clothing stores. The Beaufort Street strip offers a selection of stylish restaurants, pubs, cafes, nightclubs, book stores, shops, bakeries, a theatre and a buzzing atmosphere full of character, day and night. Shop for clothes or jewellery, enjoy an afternoon in the beer gardens of one of the quality pubs such as the Brisbane Hotel or The Queens, who offer hearty meals and an extensive range of beers and wines. Mt Lawley is five minutes by car north east of Perth, and Beaufort Street runs from the city and through Mt Lawley. There is a Mt Lawley train station which runs on the Midland line, however there is roughly a ten to fifteen minute walk (1.4km) to the Beaufort Street strip.
Home to some of Perth’s best wine bars including Five Bar and Must Winebar, the entire 6km length of Beaufort St is jammed full of some of Perth’s best bars, cafés and restaurants. With Happy Hour from 4-10pm from Tuesday to Friday’s, Clarences is a well-loved neighborhood bar, specializing in burgers, craft beer, small bites and ice-cream sandwiches. Mount Lawley’s most famous pub The Flying Scotsman is the place to be for a local brew and live music. Upstairs you’ll find Defectors Bar, a darkly lit speakeasy style venue with 500 spirits behind the bar, live music Thursday’s and monthly swing and salsa dance events. The Mary St Bakery draws consistent crowds for their all day brunch menu and so does Veggie Mama despite being down the tail end of Beaufort St. For restaurants, the long enduring Cantina 663 is a must visit for their incredible menu and wine list.
Just a few hundred meters away from Defectors Bar, you’ll find The Astor Theatre, a three-story art deco building, known as one of Perth’s most diverse venues to see everything from live music, comedy, burlesque, and theatre. Across the road you’ll find Planet Books, a space you can spend hours in browsing books and giftware.
Home to galleries, live music, bars, and endless things to do, Northridge is the natural home of some of Perth’s biggest annual events including the Fringe Festival and Perth International Arts Festival. Just north of the CBD and only a short walk from the Perth train station, lies Perth’s dining and nightlife precinct packed with bars, restaurants, food halls, nightclubs and shops. You’ll find China Town offering a huge selection of Asian cuisine, and it’s also home to WA’s major cultural institutions such as the Art Gallery of WA, the State Theatre Centre of WA and the State Library. You can also enjoy Perth’s biggest free outdoor screen at the Northbridge Piazza, on the corner of James and Lake Streets, which regularly shows free movies and music or you can join in the free Tai Chi or yoga classes! Northbridge is alive day and night with something for all tastes and budgets.
Right on the periphery of the CBD, William St in Northbridge is where a lot of the action happens, with European style eateries like Shadow Wine Bar close by to The Hummus Club, La Cholita’s Mexican cuisine, and Sauma’s Indian Street Food. Further down towards the Roe St end of Willam, you’ll also find Aisura Sushi and Chi Cho new wave gelato, a remarkable place with flavours like lavender and honey and buttered popcorn to sample. Rotating their inspired flavours weekly, they often collaborate with chefs from local venues to create interesting desserts using their gelato. Adjacent on Francis St there’s Hong Kong BBQ, Frank’d Hotdogs and cocktails and a laid-back atmosphere at Frisk Bar. Lucky Chans Ramen Bar is another crowd favourite with three stories of Chinese laundry-themed interiors to explore.
Next door to Chi Cho is New Edition, with a sign welcoming those with gelato in hand to browse their independent bookstore. With recommended books displayed on open tables, they’re sophisticated and varied selection delights anyone who stops by. Nearby, the Perth Cultural Centre contains the WA Museum, the Art Gallery of WA, PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts), The Urban Orchard and other public spaces. The Cultural Centre hosts a huge range of events all year around, from exhibitions, live music, and festivals. Visit the The Art Gallery of Western Australia to see famous historical works by Aboriginal artists and settlers like the famous Frederick McCubin, or have a drink at PICA bar before seeing a show, or exhibit.
There’s more to Victoria Park than just The Crown Perth and Burswood Theatre. With so much more to offer in the way of food, markets, and cafes — it’s a promising and ever-expanding precinct, only ten minutes south of the CBD by car.
For Malaysian cuisine, visit Satay on Charcoal and for Korean and American fusion, check out Chimek who offer an indulgent menu of black charcoal beef burgers and fried chicken. Neho Asian tapas delights their customers with their collection of funny translated Chinese signs on the walls and an inspired menu, including tea smoked duck and ‘pandacotta’ infused with pandan. For steaks, char-grilled meats and torched marshmallow desserts, visit Hey Griller on Albany Highway. During the day, Harvest Espresso serves one of the best breakfasts in Perth with a colourful and diverse menu that’s perfectly executed.
For those in town on a Sunday, The Victoria Markets is worth the early wake-up call. Open from 8am ‘til noon, you can stock up on all your organic local produce and fresh baked goods. Another popular destination is the Twilight Hawkers Market on a Friday evening. Home to 20 food vendors, there’s everything from gozleme, bao, to chocolate and marshmallow covered donuts to choose from. For some daytime respite, visit Revive Day Spa for a treatment, or The Crown Perth for a relaxing High Tea on a Sunday afternoon. Home to gift stores like White Lily Home and Gift, In Retrospect, and The Good Store, Victoria Park also offers plenty of daytime shopping.