The name Yocal is a portmanteau of the words yokel (yes, as in slack-jawed) and local. Both hint at the way the place operates. It serves American-inspired fare that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the cafe is owned and staffed by Freolocals.
The spot draws crowds of regulars for its honest food at low prices, smooth Dimattina coffee, chilled-out service and homey vibe. The last one quite literally –Yocal is set up inside a heritage cottage with wall gardens and hanging potted plants.
Oh, and the bench you’re sitting on, and the veranda rail? Justin Elvin, the carpenter from Palletico who is from – yep, you guessed it, Freo – made them from a recycled squash court and an old barge that used to run along the Swan River.
For breakfast, people obsess over the nutmeg-spiced potato latke, inspired by chef Casper Wilkes’ mum’s recipe. It’s served with trout from Pemberton’s Holy Smoke. Also popular is the chorizo beef burger, made with a blend of Harvey beef, chorizo mince, sage and smoked paprika, and topped with braised jalapeño and red-pepper mayo.
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