Flying interstate? 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 some of the city’s most interesting breakfast food. Hinata Cafe is Perth's permanent destination for Japanese-style breakfasts, okonomiyaki, vegetable curry rice and other Japanese comfort and cafe staples. Also on the Asian breakfast-brunch tip, 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.

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Staying on the breakfast-brunch sandwich tip, Fremantle’s Peggy’s is another sandwich-pusher 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. If you like what you taste you can circle back later in the day to hit up Lola’s, the Peggy’s team’s family-friendly pizzeria. 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. In recent years, the city’s bakery scene welcomed Hunter Bread, a bijou community bread shop opened by an Iggy’s alumnus and former Aesop marketer, turning out terrific sourdough and, on weekends, croissants, pain au chocolat and other bang-on examples of viennoiseries. If you’ve got time to queue, Teeter, from young gun Natasha Brownfield, is churning out some of Perth’s best baked goods from her East Perth patisserie three days a week. 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. 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 on-site garden that supplies all of the kitchen’s fruit and veg. Be warned: word of Millbrook’s deliciousness is well and truly out, and you’ll be competing with locals for a booking.

The suburbs continue to offer the realest tastes of Asian eating – Girrawheen for Vietnamese, the communities around Hulme Court for hawker cooking – but the food court at Spencer Village is perhaps the west’s all-in-one Asian food destination: here’s to you hand-pulled roti, Taiwanese beef noodles, ube-heavy Filipino dishes and Indonesian comfort cooking. For something a little more specialised, join the queue at suburban noodle shop par excellence Two Hands Noodle Shop for springy kolo mee, kampua and other eastern Malaysian favourites. Or take a trip to Mirrabooka for $5 banh mi, con tam with grilled pork and soul-warming Afghan cooking.

Lunch is also a great time to check out Falafel Omisi, a low-key cafe in an unlikely location dishing out splendid falafel, boldly flavoured shakshuka, and the Jewish-Iraqi eggplant sandwich, the sabich, among other Middle Eastern deliciousness. Among the last year’s other openings of note, Old Young’s Kitchen in the Swan Valley does a wonderful lunch showcasing native Australian ingredients and snappy cocktails made with spirits from sibling venue, Old Young’s Distillery.

Evening:

Need to celebrate a special occasion? Hearth – the in-house restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Perth – delivers on the polish and precision one might associate with one of the world’s most recognisable luxury hotel brands. In recent years, Hearth sous-chef Brian Cole announced himself as a kitchen talent to watch with thoughtful, open-fire cooking such as rosy dry-aged Wagin roast duck and a wattleseed and pistachio ice-cream sandwich.

The last year has been interesting in that many of the food openings of note tended to be daytime venues, but the rookie class of 2022 did include a few night-time options. La Lune brings thoughtful French cooking to East Freo’s buzzing George Street precinct while Rym Tarng – a teensy Thai restaurant in Bicton – is a rousing endorsement for self-belief, persistence and the calibre of the chefs that leave Long Chim, Thai chef David Thompson’s State Buildings restaurant.

Despite all this talk of the new, the classics are called that for a reason. 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. In a short space of time, Le Rebelle has established itself as Perth’s favourite new-school French bistro.

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.

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, it changed hands in December 2023, with Tom Van Beem and Emma Pegrum now confidently steering the ship. 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, seaside address and new upstairs bar.

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

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. Or if you’re looking to grab a bottle and some takeaway, neighbouring Casa Pizza Wine, the team’s takeaway joint, serves classic and inventive pies that pair perfectly with a biodynamic drop.

Or stop by one of 2023’s best new bars Edward & Ida’s, a two-storey pub and cocktail den with some serious pedigree in the form of owner Dimitri Rtshiladze, (also Foxtrot Unicorn, Nieuw Ruin) and a fish burger that made our list of 2023’s most memorable dishes.

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:

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something very Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories about pulling into Northbridge hi-fi listening bar Astral Weeks for one last drink while listening to sweet records being played through an equally sweet sound system. Also of interest to the nocturnal crew: Lucy’s Love Shack, is the place to go for late-night rock, while Foxtrot Unicorn turns up the fun at all hours.

CAFFEINATE HERE

Perth is home to plenty of new cafes and casual spots serving everything from serious sangas to insomnia-inducing hits of espresso. Parkside Coffee feels particularly notable, not least because this joint venture from Miller & Baker and Daylight Coffee Roasters has activated a once-sleepy park in Northbridge. The newly opened Bottega Deli brings Pascucci coffee and cannoli to Claremont while Cheerio Coffee is keeping West Perth caffeinated from an itty-bitty coffee window and further afield, Coffee Heads is changing the drive-though game with a coffee spot in Vasse.

SEE THIS

Perth Cultural Centre – and the surrounding Northbridge precinct – remains ground zero for the state’s arts scene, with many of its anchor tenants the recipients of some recent facelifts. After a four-year, $400 million reboot, WA Museum Boola Bardip reopened in 2020 with the Art Gallery of Western Australia getting a new makeover in 2021. Elsewhere in the Cultural Centre, PICA provides a space for contemporary artists to shine while the Blue Room Theatre and State Theatre Centre are key players in keeping the thespian arts alive.