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There’s nothing common about Coogee Common. Not its sprawling garden, not the warmth of the renovated Coogee Hotel space, and not the produce-driven, no-waste cooking of chef Nathaniel Murray, an alum of Melbourne fine diner Vue du Monde. You'll find earthy cooking in the dining room; counter meals and snacks in the pub; and vegetables, fruit and honey in the backyard.
Acqua e Sale
The pizza at this Sardinian-influenced diner is among the city's best. The handmade pasta, meanwhile, is uniformly excellent and the portions are big. Don’t miss the chewy house-made bread: it’s half-sourdough, half-yeast and is baked daily in the same woodfire oven as the pizza.
Fleur at The Royal
Fleur refuses to be pigeonholed. Take the French name, Japanese-ish food, and the native produce. What is certain, though, is that this one of the most exciting restaurants in Perth. It’s not fine dining in the traditional sense. But the cooking is intricate, the dishes are as delicious as they are creative and the service is warm.
You’ll find plenty of Balinese staples at this homey Kenwick diner, including ayam betutu and bebek betutu (braised chicken and duck respectively) and sambal matah (a spicy salsa), but most punters at this 20-person eatery are here for the babi guling, a deep dive into porky deliciousness featuring roast pork belly, house-made pork sausage and steamed pork.
Ethos Deli & Dining Room
Ethos' kitchen only cooks West Australian ingredients, all the soft drinks are house-made, and the no-waste menu – focusing on secondary cuts of meat, by-catches and imperfect produce – leans hard into Eastern European food culture. The results – from comforting takeaway sandwiches to heftier dinner and all-day brunch dishes – make a compelling (and delicious) argument for this approach.
This spot took over from Rokeby Road icon the Witch's Cauldron at the end of 2019. It's a worthy replacement. Dishes include pork and veal meatballs, grilled flatbreads topped with mushrooms and taleggio, and some fine pizzas. The wine list is equally approachable, with drops to satisfy everyone from casual drinkers to grape nerds.
Kailis Fish Market Cafe
This is one of Freo's best-loved spots. Now, after a makeover, it's looking better than ever. The food here is a cut above your average fish’n’chip joint. Choose from different fish fillets at the fry section. Or wander over to the whole-seafood for some sardines and king prawns. Then there's raw and grilled seafood, plus a killer fish burger. It's all backed up by a big wine list and a good roster of bottled cocktails.
This casual, dog-friendly taqueria in South Freo is landing bold blows for Aus-Mexican cooking. Maybe you'll find a pork and pineapple taco dressed with a native strawberry and saltbush sauce. Or try the beef rib enlivened with a mole, a traditional Mexican marinade, made here with wattleseed. From the bar: wine, local beers, tequila and mezcal.