Alexandra Casey is a freelance writer in Perth
Best hidden bars to explore in Perth
Hidden to those who don’t know where to look, Perth is home to many groovy hidden bars, well worth a gander and bevvy or two – from mysterious city alleyways and secretive side street saloons to basement bars. Gone are the days of tradition and convention: Perth’s bar scene boasts plenty of intrigue these days. We’ve put together a list of Perth’s best hidden bars, so you’ll have no shortage of exciting places to perch with a drink in hand. All this bar hopping got you hungry? Check out the best pizzerias in Perth.
These are the must-visit swimming spots around Perth
As Australians, a taste for time spent outdoors is woven into our DNA. We all love to cool off in the turquoise glitter of the ocean on a summer day and explore places and paradises unseen on a road trip with friends. We’ve compiled a list of 10 scenic swim spots around Perth to add to your bucket list. Want to grab a snack for the road? Check out our list of Perth's favourite fast food.
The best Mexican restaurants in Perth
Mexican food hasn't always been a staple of the Australian restaurant scene, but we've embraced the cuisine with gusto over the past few years. And there's something about Perth's gorgeous weather that cries out for the fresh, zesty flavours of Mexico. It's a scientific fact (well, we made this up but we're pretty sure that it's true) that tequila, mezcal and Mexican beer also taste better when the sun is shining, so Perth is the perfect place to enjoy a Mexican tipple, as well. Perth is home to a collection of loco Mexican joints well worth a visit, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite Mex restaurants and bars. Whether you’re searching for the perfect Mexican-inspired date location or embarking on a tequila cocktail operation with the girls, grove your way through Perth with this list of bucket list-worthy Mexican joints to guide your escapades. Vamos de fiesta! Let’s go party! Looking for more things to do in Perth? Here are nine things you have to do at least once in your life. And if you'd rather finger sandwiches than taquitos, here are the best high teas in Perth.
The best day hikes near Perth
Hiking is a great way to get some exercise while immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. With benefits such as enhanced mental wellbeing, lowered stress levels and improved mood, hiking assists in the release of endorphins, which make you feel happy. Remember to wear a hat, sunscreen and appropriate footwear and bring lots of water and snacks to keep your body fuelled. And remember to leave no trace! Here are a few of the best day hikes near Perth to get your heart pumping. Grading Bush Walks Grade 1: suitable for the disabled with assistance Grade 2: suitable for families with young children Grade 3: recommended for people with some bushwalking experience Grade 4: recommended for experienced bushwalkers Grade 5: recommended for very experienced bushwalkers
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With a share-friendly menu infused with Moroccan, Mediterranean and Greek flavours, Hadiqa will transport you to places far and wide. The restaurant and rooftop bar were inspired by the Arabic word for “garden”, with the Middle Eastern oasis providing a welcome escape, contrasting against the Perth CBD and concrete jungle surroundings. The mains menu features taste sensations of Moroccan chicken, market fish with spiced romesco, piquillo peppers and sumac congo chips, roasted eggplant with miso and fetta and braised lamp shoulder with figs and sesame. But don’t stop there! With desserts including chocolate baklava and pistachio ladyfinger, the sweet tooths are in for a treat! Hadiqa offers a range of delectable alcoholic, non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks. For something a little different: You might even enjoy a visit from belly dancers and snake handlers! Express Diffa: enjoy the Hadiqa feast experience on your lunch break! Let the Chef guide you on a journey through Morocco and the Middle East with a 3-course selection of dishes from the menu. The banquet is designed for whole table sharing, with a minimum of two people and costs $50 per person. Gearing up for summer? Here are the best spots in Perth to take a dip.
Located within the 1924 Beers Building in the heart of Fremantle is Mr Chapple. It’s a bar with delicious nom noms and a rooftop terrace overlooking renowned Freo café strip! The rooftop is a hive of activity and an awesome stop for a night of bar-hopping, The food offerings include pumpkin hummus and pizza bread, salt and pepper squid, char grilled king prawns, chilli mussels, three cheese and herb arancini, slow braised brisket, potato gnocchi with tomato and wild mushroom ragu and woodfired eggplant. One word: YUM! Want to walk off those carbs? Here are the best day hikes near Perth.
Rooftop at QT
With your eyes on the horizon of sparkling city lights, on the 18th floor of the QT Hotel is the Rooftop at QT. It’s the picture-perfect sunset spot that’s going wild on weekends, with gorgeous CBD views and stunning cocktails. The rooftop bar features the work of local artists and the vibrant tones of the West Australian landscape. The rooftop bites menu features a deluxe cheese plate, Italian olives, QT caviar waffle, corn and jalapeno mozzarella arancini, king prawn sliders, truffle fries, chicken burger and crispy fried soft-shell crab. Exploring the city? Don't miss out on these essential things to do in Perth.
What’s better than 360-degree views in the heart of Fremantle? The National possesses sights spanning over the port and Western Australia’s favourite island, Rottnest. There’s live music every day of the week, so get a bunch of friends together and devise a plan to tackle the smalls menu and share plates. The beautifully restored National Hotel, oozes character and charm, with a rooftop bar celebrating a range of premium international and local beers, wines and spirits. The building was originally built on the corner of High and Market Streets as a shop in 1868, and was then occupied by the National Bank in the early 1880s. When the bank relocated in 1886, the building became the beloved National Hotel. Steak Night: Every Thursday, all day long you can get a 200g black angus rump steak with chips and salad for $20 and a glass of Leeuwin Estate wine for just $6! Irish Sundays: From 3.30pm on the third Sunday of the month, the finest Irish live music will be bursting out of the doors. Coupled with $9.50 pints and $16.50 Beef and Guinness pies! Better yet, take a trip over to Rottnest Island for a little holiday.
Sweetwater Rooftop Bar
The East Fremantle based, casual garden bar boasts a charming menu of Asian-inspired share plates, great for a date night or evening with the girls. The rooftop dining experience will transport your senses to the heart of Asia, with divine dishes including prawn and snapper wontons, sweet and sour pork, cauliflower massaman, red duck and lychee curry, crispy skinned barramundi and chicken dumplings. The menu features a range of vegan, gluten free, nut free, onion and garlic free options, so there’s sure to be something to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. The relaxed setting, groovy furnishings and trendy rooftop vibe will have you feeling like you’re on vacay! A word to the wicked: take advantage of happy hour with $12 cocktails and food plates from 5 till 6pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday’s. Keen for a little dip? These are the best swimming spots in Perth.
If you’re partial to panoramic views of the Swan River and carefully curated food and drink offerings, Songbird might just be the spot for you. Inspired by the natural surrounds and beautiful birds that wander our skies, The Ritz Carlton’s esteemed rooftop bar takes high-altitude drinking to the nines. Fresh seafood, barbecued meats and seasonal produce grace the menu alongside a more informal grazing menu, decorated with creative cocktails, local spirits, craft beer and wine. Songbird Sundays: Every Sunday from 2pm, you can gather your friends together for a share plate menu. An entre of smoked salmon, beetroot chips, Japanese pumpkin with miso caramel and crispy kale, will have you licking your lips for more. The main dish of fried chicken waffle with burnt orange maple and slaw and slow-cooked lamb rump with salsa verde, caramelised onion and dukkha, will have you smiling and satisfied. And for the home run, dessert is a wild rice pudding with coconut chips, raspberry, cocoa nibs and pistachio praline. For the food only, you’ll be paying $89 per person, while $99 will include one glass of Chandon, Cape Mentelle wine or draught beer. $109 per person includes one glass of Veuve Clicquot or a cocktail. Want to explore the city (with snacks and wine)? Try the Amazing Co Mystery Picnic.
The Storehouse Subiaco
Perched atop the Vibe Hotel in Subiaco, is the rooftop restaurant and bar known as The Storehouse. The incredible views over Perth aren’t the only incentives! The bar also showcases a repertoire of wholesome meals, created with regionally sourced produce. With pan fried gnocchi, black onyx beer brioche sliders, freshly shucked Australian oysters and duck liver parfait gracing the menu, you won’t be leaving The Storehouse with any extra room in your belly! Whether you’re down for casual after work drinks, looking for a place to celebrate with a group or individual dining, the fresh, vibrant location is perfect to eat, meet or relax. Are you on island time? Head over to Rotto for a quick vacation.
Within the four red walls of an old phone box, lies the entrance of a toe-tapping, finger-snapping underground speakeasy. It’s a vintage treasure chest of all things wild and wacky, and will transport you to the 1920s and 30s when Jazz, Swing and Charleston were all the rage. Rock up, to rock out for three hours of traditional live vintage jazz every Friday evening. Doors open at 5.45pm and the band starts at 7.30pm. So, bring your lover, your brother or your lover’s mother to eat, drink and dance the night away! Tickets for the Jazz Cellar are $30, and there is a BYO food and alcohol license, as the venue doesn’t serve food or drink. Get your groove on at the Perth Concert Hall.
Hula Bula Bar
Dive into this exotic wonderland and treat yourself to a tropical cocktail that’s bound to tickle your tastebuds. Born in 2005, the Hula Bula Bar continues the culture of the Tiki lounge from the golden 50s and 60s. The venue is Perth’s original Rum Bar, boasting an impressive and diverse collection of fine rums from around the globe, so it’s no surprise that the star of the show is their rum-based tiki cocktails. It’s a kooky little paradise, offering a selection of rum, cocktails, beer, cider, spirits and wine, as well as non-alcoholic beverages for those who work harder than they play. Swing in at six on a Saturday for $12 cocktails until 8pm. Are you on island time? Head over to Rotto for a quick vacation.
Howdy, howdy, let’s get rowdy! With a name like Foxtrot Unicorn, a good time is simply, undeniable! Located underground, in an old 1887-built bank vault – is this, or is this not giving you Gringotts Bank vibes – is Foxtrot, a venue that once housed the Western Australian Club. It’s a jarrah-clad sanctuary for lovers of the drink, packed with up-cycled materials and salvaged furniture, art and curio from iconic WA pubs that were knocked down many moons ago. The original bank safes are still part of the architectural features. Wander in for one of Perth’s best cocktails – we recommend the Honeycomb Old Fashioned (Starward Two-Fold Whisky, local honey, agave, wattle seed and walnut bitters) or the Finger Lime Breakfast Martini (Old Young's Gin, finger lime, lime & orange curaçao). Or sit at the bar for a crisp lager and a chin wag! You can expect fine Australian spirits, classic and creative cocktails, a locally sourced wine list and some very deluxe jaffles – mushroom mac and cheese, BBQ chicken, salami and feta, oh my! Foxtrot Unicorn also offer a small selection of bar snacks, including local cheeses, Black Pig Deli parfait and quality tinned seafood. Gearing up for summer? Here are the best spots in Perth to take a dip.
Vamos de fiesta! Let’s go party! Hold on to your hats, – and by hats, we mean sombreros – because you’re in for a treat! Caballitos is a late-night tequila bar, nightclub and Mexican Cantina, in the soul of Perth. DJs, mariachi bands, pole dancing and pinata parties, what more could you want? There’s even the resident live tattoo artist inking free, custom flash tatts! Spanish for “Little Horse,” Caballitos has over 200 tequilas and mezcals, loads of loco cocktails, beers, vino and twists on authentic Mexican tipples. Is mole and margaritas your thing? Check out our list of the best Mexican restaurants in Perth.
Varnish on King
In the basement of a 1921-built heritage building, perched in the heart of Perth’s CBD is Varnish on King. The interior is a homage to the nouveau dive bars of the United States, while nodding to Perth’s own culture and history with sepia-toned images of the neighbourhood’s yesteryear lining the walls. In true dive bar spirit, Kentucky bourbons and American whiskeys line the shelves behind the bar. It’s a venue that “doesn’t play by the rules” and offers weird and wonderful perks for their customers, such as the ‘Bacon & Whiskey flight’ where four different styles of Whiskey are paired up to four different styles of bacon! Strange, but we like it! The food offerings feature fusion of American classics with an Australian twist and will have you licking your lips for more. The drink selections are bound to suit every taste and preference, with both whiskey drinkers and wine in very capable hands. Their mantra is simple: “We source the best food the best wine and the best whiskey to be able to share it with our guests, who quickly become friends”. Fans of Americana should check out The Nest for rich and delicious soul food.