The inner-city suburb of Northbridge has long been considered Perth CBD’s cooler little sibling. But while it still buzzes with the cutting-edge bars and gritty street art that made it popular a decade ago, Northbridge is all grown up.
Elegant wine bars and restaurants now exist alongside hole-in-the-wall eateries and hip fashion stores. It’s a melting pot of cultures, transporting you to Beijing, Brooklyn and Bologna – perhaps in a single night. This is our essential guide to Northbridge – fun things to do, the best restaurants to visit, and much more.
A can’t-be-beaten location, vintage-style bikes for hire and Vasse Virgin toiletries from Margaret River are just a few of the spoils at this stay. Wake up with barista coffee from the espresso bar while thumbing through art books. See off the day with a nightcap on the rooftop terrace, looking over the historic warehouses below, before retiring to your chic room.
Eat and Drink
Named for the American poet, this buzzy spot was one of Perth’s first small bars. You’ll need your wits to find it: enter via a car park then down a graffiti-splashed laneway. Inside, you’ll find impeccable drinks and tongue-in-cheek service (beers served in brown paper bags, anyone?).
It means “temporary rest spot”, which is fitting given that the location of this convivial eatery is between Perth’s slick offices and Northbridge’s busy bars. The savviest way to enjoy the Middle Easterninspired share plates is with the Feed Me menu, a spread prepared to your group’s tastes. Book early to avoid disappointment.
North Bird Wine Store and Bar
With about 150 drops on the list, wine may be the drawcard here but the Mediterranean-meets-native-Australian menu at this ambient wine bar is worth attention. The moody space – filled with greenery, exposed brick and lots of black – is divided into a bar and sit-down restaurant by a moon gate.
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This cult gelateria dishes up traditional gelato with a few unexpected flavours – from delicate lavender honeycomb to zingy black sesame and yuzu. Husbandand- wife owners Chez and Carly De Bartolo are alumni of the Gelato University near Bologna, Italy, and make the sweet treat from scratch using local ingredients. Grab a take-home tub to devour later.
Wines of While
Down near the end of William Street, this welcoming wine bar stocks biodynamic, natural drops from around the world. The staff will share recommendations, educating you with every pour. Like its interiors, the food is understated and minimal (such as a whole artichoke served with taramasalata) to let the wine shine.
Take in dinner and a show
In the Bible, The Rechabites were a sober bunch. But this historic hall of worship is now a destination for unbridled good times. The ground-floor restaurant, Double Rainbow Bar & Eating House, serves pan-Asian dishes inspired by the seasons (hearty Korean in winter, fresh Vietnamese in summer). Try the luscious marron roll and the gin-based Raspberry Sour Bomb cocktail that’s so popular it’s now on tap. Afterwards, wander upstairs to Rechabite Hall for a ticketed show, whether it’s cabaret, circus or a touring band. The balcony booths offer the premier view.
Catch a rooftop movie
From October until the end of March, the top of the Roe Street car park is transformed into a kitsch movie theatre, complete with retro caravans, pink flamingos and palm trees. Soak up the balmy nights with a pre-screening beer and technicolour sunset over the Northbridge skyline. Then sink into a beanbag to watch the latest blockbuster or a cult classic.