Flying interstate over the break? Broadsheet’s city cheat sheets cover everything from new players that live up to the hype to old-favourites that continue to deliver. This is a hit list that’ll have you making the most of every minute in Perth.

EAT HERE

Morning:

While beachgoers will find the lure of mornings at Il Lido and Bib & Tucker hard to resist, you’ll have to head inland to taste the year’s most interesting new breakfast cooking. If Forklore’s location at City West wasn’t surprising enough, the predominantly Asian-accented menu – tonkotsu congee and plus-sized chicken katsu sandwiches share menu space with ‘nduja cheeseburgers – is certain to turn heads.

Staying on the breakfast-brunch sandwich tip, Fremantle sandwich bar Peggy’s is another newcomer of note and has quickly made a name for its thoughtful combos including a saucy egg-salad ciabatta and a chicken schnitzel sandwich spiked with dill mayonnaise. Although Ethos Deli & Dining Room isn’t new, the Young George crew’s New York-inspired deli has bolstered its already strong sandwich menu with impressive options including a girthy chicken-fried steak pork-strip sandwich plus a prawn roll.

Bakeries remain perpetually popular out west, and for good reason. The house-milled flour at Miller & Baker is deployed in baguettes to pastries; Chu Bakery’s range of French and Asian-leaning pastries plus a location opposite Hyde Park is an unbeatable combo; and 2021 debutant Grain Bakery is winning over Lathlain with its irresistible blend of nostalgia and artisan baking. The continued growth of Big Loaf Bakery means North Street Store’s legendary cinnamon buns are available at a growing number of places, but a visit to the Cottesloe corner store seems very right.

Afternoon:

The best lunch west of the Nullarbor is still found at Millbrook, a winery restaurant in Jarrahdale (about a one-hour drive from the CBD) with an onsite garden that supplies all of the kitchen’s fruit and veg. The good news is that Millbrook is getting better and sharper, with the dynamic between executive chef Guy Jeffreys and head chef Jamie Hembrow paying dividends for eaters. The not-so-good news is that word of Millbrook’s deliciousness is well and truly out and you’ll be competing with locals for a booking. Reservations are essential, not least for the restaurant’s No Waste Mondays where the current wait for a table is three months.

When it opened in the city centre at the start of the year, The Humble Onion behaved like a cafe, but with the introduction of dinner services, has slowly morphed into something closer to a restaurant. Chef Chris Howard certainly applies restaurant-thinking to his fortifying lunch cooking, whether you’re talking house-made ham (our man’s charcuterie is some of the city’s finest), addictive foccacia or turning out excellent in-house pies. Drasko’s Hot Chicken, a fried chicken shop opened by a Noma alumnus in the inner-city hood of Mount Hawthorn, is another new arrival that should be on your daytime food radar, although it also opens in evenings: don’t even think of missing the Serbian-style beans.

The suburbs continue to offer the realest tastes of Asian eating – Girrawheen for Vietnamese, the communities around Leach Highway for hawker cooking – but the food court at Spencer Village is perhaps the west’s all-in-one Asian food destination. Until international borders open properly, the hand-pulled roti, Taiwanese beef noodles and Indonesian comfort cooking and more will continue to sate wanderlust.

Evening:

Need to celebrate a special occasion? Wildflower, the rooftop restaurant atop Como The Treasury, puts the fine in fine dining and its standards are as exacting as the world-class hotel it resides in. The six seasons of the indigenous Nyoongar calendar inform the menu, and native ingredients such as peppermint gum, Geraldton wax and native basil are the stars of Matt Sartori’s menu.

After a slow start to the year, the back half of 2021 was notable for a slew of key openings: for our money, the best of an impressive bunch was The Corner Dairy, Sam and Tom Hart’s neighbourhood spot in Doubleview. The vibe is casual and breezy, but chef James Cole Bowen brings serious firepower to the kitchen via chicken wings stuffed with ‘nduja, whole deboned Manjimup trout and a terrific beer-inspired barley and malt ice cream dessert. Will Meyrick’s Will Street was another welcome arrival with the Bali-based chef’s pan-Asian menu delivering big-time on the flavour and spice fronts. Although they’re discussed in the Drinks section of the guide, this year’s crop of wine bar openings are also places you’d stop in for a bite as much as you would a glass of something tasty.

Despite all this talk of the new, the favourites still come correct. The northern Italian-inspired food of Lulu La Delizia still makes it one of Perth’s must-dos, while Monsterella remains a benchmark in the best-pizza-in-Perth discussions.

Late-night:

When it comes to late-night dining in Perth, Chinatown remains a solid go-to (Izakaya Grill! Happy Family Inn!). Otherwise, consider hitting up Alabama Song for late-night fried chicken, or try Yes Please Perth for burgers, gnocchi and other favourites.

DRINK HERE

Afternoon:

The popularity of Wines of While continues to grow: so much so that there are now Instagram accounts dedicated to this pioneering William Street enoteca. While the natural wine focus remains, chef Jack Botha – formerly of London wine bar Brawn – is gently expanding on the kitchen’s European menu. As ever, arriving here in the afternoon is the best way to nab a table for the night. In Fremantle, Madalena’s continues to draw a crowd with its snappy drinks list and address.

Pre-dinner, post-dinner (and dinner, if need be):

As mentioned earlier, it’s been a big year for wine bar openings in Perth. At Casa in Mount Hawthorn, a serious commitment to wine-handling (everything is stored in temperature-specific fridges), design and good eating come together to create the neighbourhood bottle-shop-bar of our organic wine dreams. Paul Bentley, who turned heads at Si Paradiso, is in the kitchen. Nieuw Ruin in Fremantle offers a boho Freo take on the wine bar genre via nostalgic small plates and a homey Antiques Roadshow aesthetic. Factor in the efforts of establishments such as North Bird Wine Store, Mummucc, No Mafia, Wine Merchant and Besk and the prognosis is looking good for wine drinkers out west.

Late-night:

Fittingly, the city’s best late-night drinking options are in venues underground: all the better to not notice time slipping by, my dear. Live jazz, oysters and Martinis make hotel bar Poole’s Temple a luxe, interwar-era fantasy. Lucy’s Love Shack, meanwhile, is the place to go for late-night rock, and Foxtrot Unicorn turns up the fun at all hours.

CAFFEINATE HERE

Is it just us or is the State Buildings precinct feel extra hummy right now? Much of that daily buzz is being generated by the loyal customers at Telegram Coffee who know they can drop by this cafe in a box for great drinks and platinum chat. High Noon Saloon is another cafe that nails the great coffee and chat one-two while Micrology Coffee Roasters’ Osborne Park headquarters combines a slick Studio-Gram fit-out with all things caffeinated.

SEE THIS

Following on from the four-year, $400 million reboot of WA Museum Boola Bardip, which opened in 2020, the Art Gallery of Western Australia got a welcome facelift this year. Running till May, the gallery’s reopening exhibit The View From Here paints a compelling picture of the new cosmopolitan Western Australia.

SHOP HERE

What does an $800 million redevelopment look like? At the new Karrinyup Shopping Centre, it translates to a serious commitment to fashion – including Perth’s first Sephora – and Australian designers plus a dizzying food offering.