X-Wray was doing drinks from Mason jars way before it became a thing. Sound impossibly, tiresomely trendy? Think again. The eclectic cafe and live music venue is actually one of the most welcoming, community-minded places in town.

Owner Greg Leaver chats to his customers as he whips them up Rubra-blend flat whites; there are communal wooden tables in the bright outdoor courtyard; and some regulars even help themselves to drinks behind the bar.

Since chef Ricky Mandozzi – who worked at Melbourne joints MoVida and Taxi Dining Room – joined the fold, the seasonal tapas-style food’s had an upgrade. On weekday mornings, try his breakfast burritos, made with haloumi or pork, for just $10.

Live music is on Tuesday to Friday, with local up-and-comers,such as Mei Saraswati, King of the Travellers, Michael Triscariand Slums, playing for a $5 cover charge – or free before 8pm.

Fun fact: when Freo hip-hop/funk band Koi Child played X-Wray, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker was in the audience. Impressed, he asked them to support Tame at an upcoming gig. He’s since mixed and recorded the band’s album, scoring it a deal with a subsidiary of Warner Music Australia. How’s that for community?

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Updated: January 17th, 2023

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