Buro city guide: Perth

Buro city guide: Perth

Go West

Text: Anna McClelland

Perth-based creative Clare Ryan clues us in on Western Australia's capital hotspots

Although writer/editor/stylist Clare Ryan's work takes her around the world (a fashion shoot for NYFW? No biggie), she still calls Perth home. Here, she shares the city's must-visit drinking, dining and shopping haunts - and everything in between.


1. Stable Hands Coffee

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This is coffee heaven tucked in a heritage-listed building in Fremantle. What makes this space stand out from all the other cool Freo cafes, apart from the on point coffee, is the interiors, which were done by AJCD interior designers. The coffee is as good as the Mattiazzi Solo chairs you sit on.

8 Bannister Street, Fremantle

2. tbsp.

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A number of great little cafes are popping up in Bayswater and tbsp is top of my list. The intimate café uses both Small Batch Roasting Co and Blacklist Coffee Roasters. You are guaranteed to be overwhelmed with their cakes - you can't go wrong with any of their Pandan cakes.

10 King William Street, Bayswater

3. Louis Baxters

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I have been getting coffee from these guys for years and they never get it wrong. This café and espresso bar in Subiaco (right on the train station) is responsible for re-introducing our tastebuds to Campos Coffee. Hallelujah! Their breakfast Cocowhip is pretty good too. Make sure you visit on a weekday as they aren't open on weekends.

Shop 2, 50 Subiaco Square, Subiaco

Pixel Coffee Brewers, 2/226 Oxford Street, Leederville. 
Little Matcha Girl, 4/10 Preston Street, Como.
Tropico North Beach Café & Restaurant, 1/109 Flora Terrace, North Beach.


1. Tiisch

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They only recently opened their doors and already Tiisch is gaining a reputation for a tasty breakfast, as well as having the best light for taking Instagram snaps. Every time I go, I tell myself that I'm going to try something different, like their Matcha pancakes, but I always end up with their bacon and egg roll. It's so good after a big night. They do takeaway too.

9B 938 Hay Street (Corner Milligan Street), Perth

2. Little Willy's
Just be careful if you Google Little Willy's! The name is as awesome as their breakfast and they serve the ultimate morning brew. They have the classics, scrambled eggs and avocado, the breakfast burrito, salmon and healthy options like bircher museli, juices and all the classics. The space is eclectic, chilled and I have a crush on it.

267 William Street, Northbridge

3. CHU Bakery

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They don't just serve sourdough toast. It's hummus, cucumber and chilli toast, or kaya, banana and coconut. This little bakery changed my life. Everything is baked fresh and you can see the team working behind the counter. The glazed cakes glisten, then croissants are buttery and their iconic Chu Puffs are always light and fluffy. It's take away only and you can sit out the front of the shop or head across the road to Hyde Park.

498 William Street, Highgate

Layup Café, 197-199 Brisbane Street, Perth.
The Little Bird Café, 100 Lake Street, Northbridge.
Architects and Heroes, 25 Rokeby Road, Subiaco.


1. Odyssea Beach Cafe

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I'm a sucker for seafood and a Bellini cocktail and this coastal spot in City Beach does both very well. On the weekend this place is heaving with all sorts of locals, some have just had a swim at the beach and others are there for a casual lunch. Their whole menu is yummy, but I always aim for fresh Fremantle octopus and sea scallops.

187 Challenger Parade, City Beach

2. Guildford Hotel

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I have four words for you. Fried cheeseburger spring rolls. This historic hotel was built in the 19th century and endured a life of renovations, extensions and a fire that nearly burnt it to the ground. After eight years it only reopened this year and the revamp is pretty amazing. You can still see burnt remains of the fire. The menu is broken down into 'one handed' and 'two handed' pub food, and then a selection of smoked meats and the fries come with rosemary salt and Keen's curry mayo which is addictive.

159 James Street, Guildford

3. Satchmo Cafe
New York jazz comes to North Perth with Satchmo Café. This café is chilled and cosy, you actually feel like you're eating in someone's dining room. They have live jazz music and a mix of bagels, burgers and sweet treats. Yes, their lemon cheese cake is that good.

1/400 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth

May Street Larder, Corner of May Street and Canning Highway, East Fremantle.
Mary Street Bakery, there's one in Mt Lawley and West Leederville.
Nood Café, 114 Oxford Street, Leederville (for all things healthy).


1. Long Chim

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I would like to thank David Thompson for opening Australia's first Long Chim in Perth. This place is hot and I'm not just talking about the chilli.  The restaurant is in the basement of the newly revamped State Buildings and is full of young professionals from the city, cool kids and tourists. You can sit in the courtyard, near the bar or in the main dining room. Be sure to listen to the wait staff, if they say that the meal is hot... then it's hot. Test your chilli tolerance and try the Chiang Mai-style larp.

State Buildings, Barrack Street and St Georges Terrace

2. Bib & Tucker

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This restaurant sits right on the beach and never disappoints with its menu or sunset. I can honestly say I have never had a bad meal here and whenever I have a visitor in Perth, I take them here. They are known for wood-fired pizzas and rotisserie pork belly, but it's the dessert that makes me happy. I always get dessert.

18 Leighton Beach Blvd, North Fremantle

3. Alfred's Pizza
Tucked away downstairs in the middle of the city, this pizzeria/bar knows how to make good pizzas. The space is small so I wouldn't go there with a big group of people and you have to really creep on diners to get their table once they've finished eating. Get in early on a Friday night because the place gets packed.

37 Barrack Street, Perth

Bread in Common, 43 Pakenham Street, Fremantle.
Il Lido Italian Canteen, 88 Marine Parade, Cottesloe.
El Publico, 511 Beaufort Street, Highgate.


1. Sweetwater Rooftop Bar

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The cocktails, the view, the décor. This place is the best thing since gin! Speaking of gin, I have two favourite cocktails from here. The Cucumber Gimlet (gin, cucumber, St Germain, Simple and Elderflower cordial) and the Pornstar Martini (passionfruit, vanilla vodka, pineapple, vanilla syrup, lime and champagne). I could honestly sit and relax here from day to night.

Level 6, Unit 116/1Silas Street, East Fremantle

2. Helvetica

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Known for its whisky and cocktails, this bar was one of the first laneway bars in Perth. What I love, is that the bar tenders are passionate about their drinks and will chat to you about how the drinks are made, the ingredients and will make suggestions on what you should try.

101 St Georges Terrace, Perth (off Howard Lane)

3. Strange Company
For when you can't be bothered reading through a 20-page cocktail list. The guys at Strange Company have refined their cocktail selection so it's neat and tidy. The industrial-style space looks like a shed and has that chilled Freo vibe. Try Lou's Spiced Daiquiri ($19), it's fresh with lime, Dr Fish's spiced rum and simple syrup.

5 Nairn Street, Fremantle


Late Night Valentine, 446 Beaufort Street, Highgate.
The Laneway Lounge, 414a Murray Street, Perth.
The Classroom, 1/356 Charles Street, North Perth.



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This port city is where the old meets the new and ticks all the boxes when it comes to food, bars, coastline, nightlife, culture and history (there also a prison and a few museums). Whether you head into north Fremantle for a drink at Mrs Browns and live music at Mojo's or you head to south Fremantle for the best hot dog of your life from Run Amuk, you can explore Fremantle for days with food markets, museums and the beach.


It's in the centre of everything and full of rooftop bars (Mechanics Institute), hidden cafés (Eillo cafe) and Perth's cultural scene. I wouldn't roam the streets at 3am as there are a number of nightclubs that attract an interesting crowd, but the local cafes and retail stores that have opened on and around William Street are great and it is Perth's answer to Dim Sum.


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Perth is renowned for its beaches, so stay by the beach in Cottesloe. It's that perfect blend of a laid back coastal vibe with the hint of a restaurant and bar scene. Along the coast are restaurants, bars and a great walking track and if you head over the railway (inland) you will hit Napolean Street which is gaining a reputation for some great coffee spots and not a Dome in sight.


1. COMO The Treasury

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The first COMO hotel in Australia is in a league of its own.  It's a luxury hotel that sits in the heart of the Perth CBD in the newly revamped State Buildings, buildings that date back to the 19th century. The hotel occupies the upper levels, while the bottom level boasts a number of new restaurants, shops and bars. The hotel rooms are spacious and grand and were previously offices, that were occupied for over a decade, by the state treasury officials. The minimal colour palette is chic and the old meets new architecture is grand. Oh and the pool; you have to visit the pool.

1 Cathedral Ave, Perth

2. Alex

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Not only is it the cutest hotel in Perth, but it encourages visitors to get out and experience the city. There's a rooftop terrace that has a great view and the hotel lends out bikes. The rooms are small but the communal areas are inviting and comfortable. The hotel is connected to Shadow Wine Bar and is surrounded by restaurants, bars and the Art Gallery of WA.

50 James Street, Perth

3. Hougoumont Hotel
I'm not sure what's better, the fact that the bedrooms are transformed shipping containers, or that the hotel provides complimentary wine and cheese in the lounge on weekdays at 5pm. This hotel is right in the mix of Fremantle and walking distance to all of Fremantle's cafes and restaurants, including my favourite Bread In Common.

15 Bannister Street, Fremantle



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This iconic women's boutique stocks a number of Australian and International labels such as Balmain, Chloe, Rick Owens and Stella McCartney. You can't miss the building on the corner of Stirling Highway and Weld Street and the window displays alone will draw you in. I'll probably bump into you there.

56 Weld Street, Nedlands

2. Varga Girl

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Oxford Street is full of fun shops such as Varga Girl. You'll find local Perth labels Empire Rose, Aurelio Costarella and Monster Alphabets amongst international labels M Missoni, NOM*d and Current Elliot. This boutique won Best Retailer for 2015 at the WA Fashion Awards and owner Leith Groves dances to the beat of her own drum, constantly introducing new labels, featuring quirky homewares and vintage finds. The jewellery alone is worth a pit stop.

148 Oxford Street, Leederville

3. Hunter Store

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Hunter Store is actually just up from Varga Girl and has quickly become Perth's go-to shoe store.  From Italian leather to Australian designs, the kicks at Hunter Store are next level as well as bags from Status Anxiety, earrings from Lazurah and Celine sunglasses. Owner Alice is also opening up a boutique (around the corner) that will be dedicated to men.

1/226 Carr Place, Leederville

Guys, head to Flannel menswear store on Napolean Street in Cottesloe; Simon Chandler will sort you out.


1. The Bird

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All the cool kids hang here. I've been to their Hip Hop karaoke and it is hilarious, actually, their Hip Hop Kara "Yo!" ke is one of the many things this place is known for. They have live music most nights, just check their website to see who is up and coming.

181 William Street, Northbridge

2. The Ellington Jazz Club
The stage always has someone playing jazz, cabaret or hip hop, but it's the jazz that The Ellington Jazz Club is known for. The décor is simple, just a room with a bar and lots of chairs and tables. You can book a table for the show, or try your luck at the bar, first come, first served. If you're not a fan of the act on stage, then you can bail to the cocktail bar upstairs.

191 Beaufort Street, Perth

3. Fremantle Arts Centre

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As soon as the weather warms up I'll book as many shows as I can at the Fremantle Arts Centre. This live music venue hosts local, national and international talent. I've seen John Butler and Bernard Fanning play here and the crowd and atmosphere is awesome. They also have Sunday music from October to March where local and touring acts hit the stage for free; just get in early for a prime position.

1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle


1. Linton and Kay Galleries

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This old building in the middle of the city exhibits artists from around the world. They also have a Subiaco showroom, but the city gallery is the hero. Expect anything from sculpture, photography, mixed media to painting. There's always something happening here.

137 St Georges Terrace, Perth

2. Art Gallery of Western Australia

The Art Gallery of Western Australia has showcased some exciting exhibitions over the last few years, and I'm not just talking about the State Art Collection. I really enjoyed the recent Comic Tragics exhibition and the new Arthouse Dine café has also just opened. In summer they also open up the rooftop, so keep an eye out for that.

Perth Cultural Centre, Roe Street, Perth

3. Moores Building
This space often gets forgotten but always has an assortment of contemporary art on show. The Moores has six individual spaces and supports the local Fremantle community. I like to get out there and make a day of it by visiting the Moore and Moore Café which is attached to the space.

46 Henry Street, Fremantle



1. City of Perth Library

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The new seven story building in the Cathedral Square precinct is so architecturally beautiful that you'll enjoy getting lost and roaming through the different levels. From the staircase to the mountains of books, the space is worth a visit, especially in winter.

573 Hay Street, Cathedral Square

2. Budburst Small Bar

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It's cosy, there's live music, blankets to put over you if you sit outside and the menu has all the winter staples. Their almighty croquet monsieur is warm layers of cheesy goodness.

406 Oxford Street, Mount Hawthorn

3. The Old Laundry
These guys know how to put on a quiz night in winter. It's a fun night with heaters, wine, olives and hilarious questions about a Disney Movie or an episode of Friends.

22 Angove Street, North Perth


1. Rooftop Movies

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Perth has quite a few outdoor cinemas during summer, but the location puts this one at the top of my list. Situated at the top of a multi-story carpark in Northbridge, the Rooftop Movies screens cult classics and new releases with the Perth skyline as the backdrop. There are also food trucks, beanbags, ice-cream and a bar.

2. The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

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People have been lining up to get into this iconic bar's Sunday session for years and after a recent revamp it really is the perfect place to enjoy a hot summer's day. The cocktails are fresh, the décor screams summer and you'll find most of Perth there. They don't really encourage people coming straight from the beach (dripping wet), but the vibe is pretty relaxed.

104 Marine Parade, Cottesloe

3. Hawkers Markets
The Twilight Hawkers Markets which run every Friday night in the city (near Forrest Chase) from October to late April. These street food markets have everything from tapas to ice-cream and jelly coconuts, plus live music. The atmosphere is fun and it's a great way to start a Friday night in the city.


Everything in Elizabeth Quay is new, but The Reveley has quickly taken the title of having the best view of the city with the Swan River on one side and city on the other. You can also head to the rooftop which is home to Henry's Rooftop Bar, named after Perth's first civil engineer.

Eastern Promenade, Elizabeth Quay, Perth


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1. There is a secret tunnel under the Perth Concert Hall that is currently used for yoga classes during the day and a Winter Arts Bar at night. Keep track on what is happening in these tunnels as the events tend to pop-up and pop-down quickly; 

2. Just out of Perth on the way to York (a small town) is the Ruined Piano Sanctuary. The graveyard is on Wambyn Olive Farm and is truly beautiful and slightly eerie. If you continue onto York you'll find a number of small antique shops - this is more of a day, but worth it. 

3. For nature lovers who don't want to head to the hills or deal with the crowds catching Pokémon at Kings Park, there is a hidden oasis in the city. Right in the heart of the city is John Oldham Park, a little hidden sanctuary on Mounts Bay Road that has small waterfalls and hidden bridges. 


1. Toastface Grillah
Down Grand Lane in the city you will find all of your coffee and toastie needs at Toastface Grillah. I'm a fan of the Chilli Cheese with cheddar, chilli and smoked paprika, and also a fan of the toasties being under $10. Ghostface Killah loves the sandwiches so much that he has even performed here.

143 Barrack Street, Perth

2. Jazz Cellar
Hidden in the suburbs of Mount Hawthorn is a small underground jazz club that plays three hours every Friday night. You enter through an old red telephone booth, which is all part of the fun. Make sure you book tickets because the space is tiny.

Corner of Buxton Street & Scarborough Beach Road, 139 Buxton Street, Mt Hawthorn

3. Raw Kitchen

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As the name suggests, this restaurant's menu is raw and healthy. What you might not realise is that on the second level of the restaurant is a yoga studio. It really is one big healthy hub.

181A High Street, Fremantle


1. Movement Co

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You can leap, jump, swing, and rock climb. This massive space is home to a mix of classes that will have you either stretching or laughing. I've tried most of their classes and always favour the flexibility class after a long day. I love the open space, fresh air and group atmosphere. No egos here.

7/97 Hector Street, Osborne Park

Pure Moves do a great Reformer Pilates class in Cottesloe, 460 Stirling Highway, Perth.
Queen Street Gym in the city will have you dripping in sweat if you try one of their box and bike sessions. 20 Queen Street, Perth.


1. I'm obsessed with Bodhi J on Pier Street. They do facials, massages and all the relaxing things, but they use local product range Sodashi which is amazing.

2. If you need a quick pick me up after a flight then Lauren Wood Skin Clinic has a half hour treatment that involves a Healite and vitamin serums that will rehydrate and plump the skin. 

3. For brows and makeup, Alison Jade in Cottesloe, no questions. I wouldn't go to anyone else. 


1. Bluebird Vintage

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My friends are going to hate me for sharing this with everyone. This is my favourite shop. Quirky retro and vintage pieces from jewellery to taxidermy and clothing. Every time I walk into this shop I stay for hours. It's tiny, but bursting with stock and the shops next door are also full of hidden treasures.

288 Cambridge Street, Wembley

2. Hunters and Collectors

This store makes me so happy. They always have a rotation of new Danish and mid-century furniture coming through. You can never guess what they'll release next.

614 Stirling Highway, Mosman Park

3. Angove Street Collective

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This shop is a collective of local designers and shop owners. There's a florist, furniture company and a number of homewares, clothing and art by local Perth creatives. The space is huge and there is a café attached called Miss Watson's. There are also a few shops across the road on Angove Street if you wanted to go for a stroll.

31 Angove Street, North Perth

Instagram: @ryanclareyeah

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