One of Perth’s innermost suburbs is now one of its most bustling and exciting areas. Here’s where to go to make the most of Subi.

Subiaco (or Subi, to everyone) owes its name to a band of Benedictine monks, who moved to the area in 1851. They called their monastery “New Subiaco” to commemorate Subiaco, the Italian town where the Benedictine Order was born.

From then, Subi’s population continued to climb (it increased dramatically at the onset of the gold rush) – by the 1970s it had one of the highest population densities in Perth. In the ’80s the suburb was a blend of older houses and an increasing number of warehouses.

We have an urban-renewal project called “Subi Centro” to thank for making Subiaco the thriving hub for dining and nightlife it is now. The project – established in 1994 – recognised the potential of the municipality’s inner-city location, and sought to demolish and repurpose the industrial sites along the railway line.

After that, a new train station closer to the centre of the suburb was built, and Subi was given a new life. Now, walk a couple of blocks down from the train station and you can watch a show at the Regal Theatre, one of Perth’s few remaining live theatres; grab a coffee at Blacklist; or have a long lunch at Lulu La Delizia, one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. If you’re after something more casual, Jus Burgers offers some of the best burgers in town.

Restaurants

  • Affectionately called “Lulu’s”, this osteria is the city’s standard bearer for contemporary Italian. Nigella Lawson even called its owner the “prince of pasta”. Its meatballs and burrata are also outstanding.

  • A buzzing Greek-style diner from the team behind Vinotto. Sit in the olive tree-lined courtyard and start off with a shot of ouzo, either neat or diluted. Then, order share-friendly plates of sour cherry dolmades, lamb meatballs and charcoal-grilled meats.

  • This handsome 400-person space might be big but there’s detail in the design, drinks list and versatile all-day menu. Order crudites, cheeseburgers, or a ribeye for two with classic condiments.

  • Sharp food complements the riotous cocktail menu at this modern Asian restaurant, set in the former Funtastico site on Rokeby Road. Go for cured kingfish spring rolls, a prawn toast spinoff and plump Abrolhos Island scallops.

  • 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.

  • Greece is the word.

Cafes

  • If you like no holds-barred, bombastic brunches, Architects and Heroes will get a big tick. Plus, it's underpinned by a serious commitment to high-quality coffee.

  • Greek heritage means everything at this charming cafe.

  • The high-end coffee store features “risk-free” pricing, a well-stocked retail space and rare single-origin coffees served in wine glasses.

  • Stock your pantry with wholefoods sold in bulk quantities.

Bars

  • From the team behind nearby diner Bark, this welcoming wine bar offers topnotch wines and Spanish-leaning share plates. Around 20 wines rotate regularly by the glass, be it a German riesling or Western Australian skin-contact wine, meaning you’ll always have a reason to return.

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  • Once a suburban warehouse, this micro-distillery and bar is a lush, local haunt for superlative gin cocktails, wine, beer and comforting food. Finding it is half the fun.

  • This brewery nods to one of WA’s soft drink pioneers. Yet you’ll find a much wider range here. Go for a hazy mid-strength, a classic lager and an award-winning porter. Order by the pint, paddle or in tinnies to go. Also on the menu: share-friendly plates with Southeast and South Asian flavours.

  • A shabby-chic small bar from the same team behind Northbridge’s Bivouac Canteen.

  • A Boston-Irish-themed pub from the Varsity team (that's not quite a sports bar)

  • This historic icon still dazzles in the present.

Shops