Buffalo Chicken Beer Cheese Fondue Fries Are Like an Edible Sports Bar
Best breakfast/brunch: tbsp.
Brunch is just breakfast for people who can’t get be bothered getting up at a reasonable hour, but whatever time you get out of bed, head to the awkwardly named tbsp. for the best coffee and breakfast in Perth. It serves the best French toast you’ll ever eat, but you should order the fried chicken sandwich or brisket Benedict if you’re trying to impress the table of girls next to you -- provided they're impressed by bold eats . You’ll probably have to queue outside for a table, but they’ll serve you coffee while you wait.
Best burger: Short Order Burger Company
A pop-up it may be, but Short Order Burger Company knows how to draw a crowd and achieved legendary status very quickly. Based in Fremantle, but now appearing further afield, Short Order keeps the menu simple but perfectly executed: grass-fed beef cooked to order, two types of cheese, brioche bun, candied bacon… you get the idea. Hopefully the breakfast menu will return one day.
Best toasted sandwiches: Get Ya Fix
It’s technically a hipster bike shop, but when it comes to toasties -- a firm Perth favourite -- Get Ya Fix does them better than anyone. These sandwiches are of the true “jaffle” variety and feature quality ingredients, including one with reaper chilli (although you have to sign a waiver to try that). It serves some of the best coffee in Perth and stocks plenty of delicious sweet treats as well, including Mumma’s Sweet Lies decadent slices, so there’s a complete meal on offer at any time of the day. A must-visit if you haven’t been there yet.
Best steakhouse: Chophouse
When you encounter a place with a name like "Chophouse," you can guess what a meal there is going to feature: meat, and plenty of it. It's an Aussie take on the New York steakhouse, and the menu features a wide selection of steaks, as well as some of the best lamb and pork in town. For the ultimate meat experience, sign up for the "butcher's masterclass" and watch head chef Scott Alfonso cut up a whole animal right in front of you, and then eat some delicious dishes made with the end result.
Best fancy restaurant for when the parents are paying: Rockpool Bar and Grill
Curious about what a $120 wagyu steak tastes like? Rockpool's the perfect place to find out, provided you place your order when Dad’s looking the other way. Neil Perry’s flagship Perth restaurant isn’t quite as good as its Melbourne namesake, but it’s still one of the best restaurants in town -- the side dishes and desserts are as much the stars of the show as the main courses, so this is definitely somewhere to go all out. And when your parents/benefactors aren’t paying, come back and enjoy a fantastic burger at the bar for under $25. Total steal, right?
Best date spot: Mister Walker
Assuming your date (and your intentions) are respectable, how about a romantic dinner on the Swan River, with some of the best scenery in Perth? Open every day until late, Mister Walker doesn’t just rely on its 180-degree views to pull in the punters; it also offers quality food and decent service without breaking the bank. For a breakfast date (or sustenance the morning after), the super-soft waffles with bacon and maple syrup are a must-try.
Best brewpub: Little Creatures
You’re probably familiar with Little Creatures’ famous range of craft beers, but did you know that its Great Hall -- with over 1,000 seats -- is the biggest restaurant in the Southern Hemisphere? Even with that many mouths to feed, the kitchen can still turn out some fantastic dude-food, from wood-fired pizzas to brilliant share dishes like the slow-cooked beef brisket and sticky lamb ribs. It's perfect for a (very) long lunch with your mates; you can even take a tour of the brewery between courses!
Best pizza: Theo & Co. Pizzeria
World pizza champ Theo Kalogeracos of Little Caesars needs little introduction to Perth's pizza-lovers. Having split with his business partners in a somewhat messy fashion, Theo now has two of his own stores to choose from. The menu features a range of pizzas too expansive to describe here, using exotic toppings from beef short rib to meatballs and Rogan Josh-marinated lamb… and don’t forget to try one of the signature dessert pizzas.
Best for watching sports: Varsity Bar
A very close second for Perth’s Best Burger, Varsity Bar is an American college-themed sports bar located within walking distance of UWA, but don’t let that put you off. Joining a great selection of burgers and American beers on tap, there are hot dogs, chilli cheese fries, spicy chicken wings, and other bar foods you see on TV, but don’t know where to get in Perth. The ludicrously thick milkshakes -- including bacon & salted-caramel -- are served in Pyrex jugs. Not very classy, but fantastic nonetheless.
Best Thai: Wok St Chow House
Asian fusion continues to take Perth by storm with the brilliant Wok St Chow House, from the team that brought us Kitsch Bar Asia in Leederville -- the street-food-style menu is perfect for sharing and won’t leave you penniless. Open until 3am on weekends, there’s even a special late-night menu to wake up your taste buds after a big night out. If you like it hot, the shredded duck on betel leaf will blow your head off. Literally. OK, figuratively.
Best cheap eats: DuoTone
DuoTone is a small café that focuses on healthy foods, but that’s nothing to be scared of -- it's all executed very well, and in a most delicious manner possible. The standout is the range of gourmet toasts, all priced at around the $8 mark (or only $10 with a coffee from 6-9am). Pro tip: opt for the Brie, prosciutto, truffled maple syrup, and chives, although there are plenty of other sweet and savoury options. Outstanding value here.
Best beachside dining: Odyssea Beach Café
One of Perth’s newest restaurants, Odyssea has quickly established itself as the place to be for waterfront dining, at any time of day. It's open bright and early for breakfast, the food is interesting without being pretentious, the Fiori coffee's always on-point, and the view of City Beach is second to none. There are a few service kinks to be sorted out when it’s busy, and it can be rough outside when it’s windy, but there’s plenty of inside seating to be had. Or, you can just suck it up and remember how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful city.
Best café: La Veen Coffee & Kitchen
Located just out of the CBD on the corner of King & Wellington Streets, La Veen offers the best of everything, from breakfast to in-house baked sweet treats and some unique lunch options. Oh, and let’s not forget the coffee – it’s something they take very seriously, and it’s always good. Try the Tonicspresso (with a sprig of rosemary), or the intriguing Cokespresso if you’re feeling adventurous.
Best BBQ: Old Faithful Bar & BBQ
BBQ is getting a lot of attention in Perth these days, and while there are some new players in town, something always takes me back to Old Faithful Bar & BBQ. Meat is served by the 100-gram chunk, but don’t forget the spectacular sandwiches, or strictly limited Thursday lunch special double (or quad!) cheeseburger. Make sure you grab a side of smoked fried potatoes, and wash it all down with a bourbon milkshake.
Best Italian: Woodfire Italian Restaurant
Southern suburbs people look away now: unfortunately, Perth’s best Italian restaurant is to be found far North in Ellenbrook. From the team that brought us Jamie’s Italian, Woodfire is a no-frills establishment that serves authentic wood-fired pizzas (duh), handmade pasta, and some of the few arancini in Perth that don’t leave you wondering why you persist in ordering them. Make sure you stay for dessert: the lemon tart finished in the wood-fired oven is worth the journey alone, whichever side of the river you’re on.
Best crazy milkshake: Café 2TwentyFour
Insane milkshake creations are popping up everywhere, and there are a few contenders to choose from, but we're going to give the award to Café 224. Yes, you can go elsewhere for more outlandish shakes adorned with chocolate-covered bacon (or even with a hamburger) on top -- but surely that’s just saving on washing up? Café 224 keeps it sweet all the way, and all of its creations come glamorously decorated, including the legendary Golden Gaytime Megashake. Popular place, but well worth the effort.
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