With all the shiny new small bars opening around Perth, or the old bars getting renovated to keep up with the times, sometimes you crave an authentic experience of yesteryear. Like a pint that’s less than $10. Or a bar mat perennially soaked in beer. Perhaps a carpet that still hasn’t quite shaken that smell of cigarette smoke even after all these years…
Perth’s old school pub scene is still going strong, you’ve just gotta hunt around a little. And if you’re in the mood for an honest pint and schnitty combo without the glossy white walls or expansive indoor planet setup, here’s a few options to whet your whistle and maybe hear a couple of yarns or two from the regulars while you’re at it.
The Civic Hotel
This Inglewood mainstay legitimately has something for everyone on any given night of the week – from wrestling and heavy metal to sports, tribute bands and a crackling fireplace for the colder months. Some cracking meal deals and friendly bar staff make it the ideal location to catch the game or cop a feed any night of the week.
Photo via @hotel.motel.pub
This not-so-hidden-secret just out of the main hustle and bustle of Northbridge has become legendary for its $6 happy hours every day from 12-1pm and 5-6pm that cover basically everything on tap along with wine and spirits. The Australian Poker League drops in on Saturdays and Thursdays, along with some very rowdy karaoke on Fridays, and some pretty nice rooms upstairs if you imbibe in one too many!
Photo via @heritageperth
The Railway Hotel
The rough and tumble Railway Hotel down in North Fremantle is a fantastic supporter of live original music, and you can’t go wrong with a pub this close to the beach. The beer garden is a must once things start to heat up a little, with plenty of live music offerings under the warm Freo sun hitting the spot.
Photo via @jackson_lavell
43 Below is an inner city sanctum for many, offering a respite from the busy city streets with a warm, cosy feeling room that’s actually a refurbishment of Perth’s oldest bar – The Alhambra from the 1920s. Featuring a heap of tap beer options and a nice hearty menu, try your best not to get stuck there for the arvo after a sneaky lunch beer.
Photo via @43below
Mt Henry Tavern
The Mt Henry Tav is your go-to for sport-on-TV action on the weekends, with plenty of big screens to catch all kinds of sports (although focused on footy of course). Kids eat for free on Sundays, or you can stop in during the week for the Wednesday quiz night, or one of their great value meal deals every night.
Photo via @curbyourhungerfoodtruck
The Carlisle Hotel
The Carlisle Hotel is your one stop shop for some ridiculous drink and food specials, the latter being particular inviting given The Carlisle’s penchant for serving their pub grub the way it should – big and hearty. It’s been renovated fairly recently, but fortunately in a way that’s made sure they’ve lost none of their old school pub charm.
Photo via @thecarlislehotel
The Charles Hotel
The Charles Hotel regularly plays host to some of Australia’s favourite pub rock acts, and is also home to the long-running Perth Blues Club every Tuesday night. The North Perth haunt has also been a champion for local and national comedy for years with their Comedy Lounge on Thursday nights.
Photo via @charleshotelperth
The Flying Scotsman
The Flying Scotsman is a Mt Lawley institution that needs no introduction. It was established in 19-bloody-34, so they must have been doing something right for the past 80-odd years. Maybe it’s the bodyboard-sized parmis, their alfresco area being one of the best people watching spots in Perth, or their Wednesday student night, which has been a fixture on any uni student worth their salt’s calendar for decades.
Photo via @iansb99
For those who might prefer to skip the flashier Cottesloe Beach Hotel down the road, The Ocean Beach Hotel keeps it casual with stunning beach views in the front bar, and a warm and friendly sports bar out the back. Shoot some pool, bask in the beer garden (especially on a Sunday arvo if you’re feeling frisky), or grab a stool out front and watch the Indian Ocean do its thing.
Photo via @rossjhamilton
The Carlton Hotel
The jewel in Perth’s good old-fashioned pub scene crown, The Carlton Hotel in East Perth is definitely a throwback. Scuffed-up pool tables, a sparkling old jukebox and a beer garden that’s probably seen better days, what it lacks in sparkle in more than makes up in charm. Friendly bar staff will pour whatever you need, and whoever pulls up next to you on a bar stool will very likely have an interesting story to tell. One for the more adventurous pub-farers out there.
Photo via @carmenbraidy
Did we miss a place that should be on here? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Header photo by Rennie Ellis