Social club. Meeting room. Place of business. Somewhere to relax. Daily ritual. Weekend treat. A good café is all these and more – not forgetting somewhere to score great coffee and food. Here’s a hit-list of our 10 Perth favourites to slot into your routine.
Mary Street Bakery
Although the Mary Street Bakery family has grown steadily over the years, there’s something endearing about the original – and not just because, you know, it’s actually on Mary Street. Weekends see the place in full voice with the kitchen doing a steady line in big-flavour winners: anyone for kingfish curries or fried chicken pancakes?
507 Beaufort Street (corner Beaufort and Mary streets), Highgate; 0499 509 300
Located in the city’s oldest address, the State Buildings, this little box is a masterclass in urban chic. Telegram, with its perpetually buzzing coffee cart, exemplifies commitment to quality. The drinks are made with care, smiles come easy to staff, plus the snack cabinet is filled with temptation: think doughnuts, Portuguese egg tarts and croissants galore.
28 Barrack Street, Perth
In a former auto-electrician’s garage on Canning Highway, Sprolo – and its attached micro-roaster, Blacklist – is quietly serving some of the city’s best coffee. Parents will dig the child-friendly space while the Asian-influenced pastries and brunch dishes enjoy more universal appeal.
138 Canning Highway, Como; 0401 625 134
Grouch & Co Speciality Coffee
The presence of quality-minded roasters in suburbia is proof that Perth’s coffee culture is heading in the right direction. Whether it’s constantly monitoring its beans’ supply chain or commissioning a local ceramicist to produce Japanese-style cups, team Grouch makes a point of sweating both the big and little things.
1/45 McCoy Street, Myaree; (08) 9317 1951
Gun barista Phil Arnold has pulled shots at cafes around town. For his latest trick, he’s teamed up with brother Anthony and opened Stable Hands, an airy café in Freo’s west end with a focus on native ingredients – saltbush and finger lime, say – and, for those moments when coffee just doesn’t cut it, craft cocktails and boutique wine.
8 Bannister Street, Fremantle; (08) 9430 7309
A laneway hole-in-the-wall serving toasted cheese sandwiches named as an homage to someone in the Wu-Tang Hip Hop Clan? Toastface Grillah could so easily be a victim of its own coolness, which makes this café’s warmth of welcome, deliciousness of cooking and bang for buck so appealing.
Rear, 143 Barrack Street, Perth; 0409 115 909
Bread in Common
The joys of seasonal flavour and good bread are celebrated daily at this bakery-slash-mess-hall-style-diner. Elegant steak sandwiches and old-fashioned pies dominate the casual bakery menu while everything served in the restaurant proper is designed to play nice with Bread in Common’s addictive house-baked sourdough.
43 Pakenham Street, Fremantle; (08) 9336 1032
Odyssea Beach Cafe
Yes, the views from this beachfront café sure are something, but there’s substance to go with Odyssea’s breezy, coastal style. Southern-style fried chicken with corn bread and tea-cured salmon are typical of the relaxed house style while playful cocktails and a well-stocked cellar are on-hand to help turn any visit into a celebration.
187 Challenger Parade, City Beach; (08) 9385 7979
Antz In Ya Pantz HQ
Serious about its business, but casual in the way it goes about it, Antz in Ya Pantz is an ideal champion for the born-again Vic Park. Sterling coffee aside, a commitment to reducing waste (customers must drink-in or bring their own cup) and great bagels are further ticks for this cosy cafe.
732 Albany Highway, Victoria Park; (08) 6102 3148
You can’t miss this cult bakery, just look for the queue. From crisp, golden breads and Viennoiserie to cakes and desserts that are by turns glossy, airy and decadent, Chu continues to command a loyal following. If real estate in the cosy café is tight, head to picturesque Hyde Park across the road and enjoy your baked goods alfresco.
498 William Street, Highgate; (08) 9328 4740
Top image: Stable Hands