Boy, do we love a lazy Sunday afternoon in South Fremantle.
Or, as we like to call it – God’s country! In recent years it’s become a bustling spot, filled with great bars, cafés and shops, while still maintaining that low-key Freo energy that makes it oh-so-great.
EAT & DRINK
Okay, okay, we’ve talked about Madalena’s before. But sitting outside in the late afternoon sunshine is basically bliss – or, more recently, in their upstairs bar sipping on a delicious cocktail. If you’re into seafood, you’ll be in heaven – we’re still kept awake at night by some of the euphorically simple meals we’ve had here over the years.
406 South Terrace, South Fremantle
The Little Concept
“For those in the know, a short journey down the aptly named Cappuccino Strip will bring you to Wray Avenue – the demilitarised zone between the opposing territories of Fremantle city and the evermore trendy and promiscuous cousin below – South Fremantle. Geo-politics aside, it is here that you will find the little known, but much loved, cafe called TLC.
A superior coffee is a given but it’s the intangible attributes that make this place home. A certain je ne sais quoi if you will. I can’t put my finger on whether it’s the catwalk of weird and wonderful pooches, the soft echoes of The Doors or whatever trendy backing album is playing that morning or the fact that the friendly staff know my order before needing encouragement, but if you’re in need of a little tender lovin’ coffee care then TLC is where you need to be.”
7 Wray Avenue, Fremantle
Next door neighbours to Madalena’s, and attached to South Beach Cycles, Third Wheel is a super chill coffee spot with a backyard vibe. With house-made nut milk and tofu sandwiches on deck, it’s a particularly good option for vegan pals.
408 South Terrace, South Fremantle
From the man behind one of our all time favourite food trucks, Eat No Evil, La Cabaña soared into our hearts and our summers from the get-go. And while it should come as no surprise their food menu is delish, their tequila and mezcal offerings also pack a punch – just make sure you pack a sombrero for their sunny South Freo alfresco area. With most of the menu dairy, gluten and nut-free, plus with heaps of vegan options as well, it’s the perfect spot for a big group of mates.
400 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Wild in the Street
From the same crew as coastal taqueria La Cabaña, Wild in the Street is turning up the temperature even more, promising “sexy food and good times”. While the big-sister restaurant down the road also promises a good time, this newer iteration puts more of a focus on cocktails and share plates – a winning combo for a night as colourful as the neighbourhood.
2/388 South Terrace, Fremantle
Little Loaf Lunch Bar
After a long night of boogying, you need one thing: a visit to Little Loaf, stat. The South Freo outpost to cult bakery North Street Store, they’ll have you feeling right as rain in no time – whether it’s with a truly breathtaking bacon and egg baguette, one of their signature cinny scrolls, or perhaps venturing out with one of their rotating specials. If you manage to wrangle a stool to soak up that South Freo sun, your day is truly off to a stellar start – or settle in at their expanded, cosy dining room next door.
2/390 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Hot diggity dog! Family-run joint Run Amuk has been slinging the hottest hot dogs out of Freo since 2011, and they’ve stuck around with good reason: they’re so damn tasty. Whether you like your dogs classic, “unleashed”, vegan or spicy AF, you won’t be able to get enough.
386A South Terrace, South Fremantle
Sanco Japanese Cuisine
This low-key South Freo eatery has flown a little too under the radar for our liking – especially with how darn good it is. Sanco’s set menus are quickly becoming a thing of legend, finding the satisfying balance between meticulous and unpretentious. If you’re ordering à la carte, make sure you don’t miss the sashimi selection of the day.
2/19 Douro Road, South Fremantle
Big Rigz Burgers
Big Rigz by name, big burgs by nature. We may still mourn the loss of Missy Moo’s, but Big Rigz have been a damn fine replacement. Featuring a stacked lineup of big, juicy burgers, clear your schedule for a big post-feed walk around the delightful streets of South Freo afterwards.
1/231 South Terrace, South Fremantle
The Local Hotel
We have to admit – the more northern-dwelling team members among us slept on the Local… And the southsiders were only too happy to let them continue on in ignorance! A lush, plant-filled fit out, delish food on offer and ice cold pints? You’ll wish this was your neighbourhood watering hole.
282 South Terrace, South Fremantle
To put it simply, Percy Flint’s is an absolute treat. A small bar and eatery (and sister venue to Picabar), they do some bang up pub fare (parmis, steak sandwiches) as well as some more small-bar-high-brow options, plus a tidy little rotating wine list. Whatever you get, it’s best enjoyed while the South Freo sun slowly sets on a warm Sunday afternoon – whether you’re in the courtyard or watching the world go by out the front.
211 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Running with Thieves
Life’s a funny old thing, ain’t it? You have all these grand plans to launch your brand new venue, with a restaurant, brewery and distillery, and then… well, 2020. After a brief stint pivoting to producing hand sanitiser, November of 2020 saw Running With Thieves finally able to open, for real. As well as a micro-brewery and restaurant, the space also contains a distillery producing both gin and vodka varieties, plus a retail outlet for you to take all those goodies home. (And just take it from us, those watermelon and wild mint seltzers… They go down a treat.)
218 Marine Terrace, South Fremantle
Ootong & Lincoln
It’s hard to miss this South Freo institution, particularly with its iconic Anya Brock zebra mural. Pairing a quirky vintage-industrial fit out with home made everything right down to the jams – if you haven’t already had brunch at Ootong & Lincoln, you need to ASAP.
258 South Terrace, South Fremantle
One of our favourite bakeries, Wild is hitting home runs on more than just their funky, fermenty sourdough. Head into their South Freo bakery and feast your eyes on their cabinet of treats – from tarts and pastries, babka, macarons and biscuits, to freshly baked pretzels, sausage rolls, pies and slices of pizza bigger than your head… we know where we’re heading this Sunday for lunch.
346 South Terrace, South Fremantle
South Freo’s Roasting Warehouse have a holistic approach to keeping it local – from sourcing local produce and ingredients for their cafe to engaging with local communities that grow the beans. Head there for a pretty-as-a-picture (and just as tasty) brunch plates and remember to grab a bag of beans to take home with you.
312 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Gluten intolerant? Vegetarian? No dairy? No worries! Little Lefroy’s has built their whole menu around being intolerance-friendly. That means no matter your dietary requirements, you’ll be able to get an amazing feed that your friends will love too. The cafe also tries to operate as sustainably as possible, too, with carbon neutral takeaway packaging and bottled water, as well as a mostly-recycled fit out and locally sourced produce. So your brunch will make you feel good in your body and your mind! Fridays and Saturdays also see the cafe open up for tapas in the evening. It’s enough to make you wish you were a local.
310 South Terrace, South Fremantle
A South Freo classic! Open since 1978, Ruocco’s serves up irresistibly old-school Italian vibes – from wood-fired pizzas to heaving plates of pasta and lemon-splashed platters of misto fritto. Dining on a cold winter’s night? Make sure to leave room for their well-loved sticky date pud!
217 South Terrace, South Fremantle
This neighbourhood café and art space is as chill as they come. Perch amongst Kerfuffle’s mismatched chairs with a dirty chai and a croissant or grab a coffee out the front and watch the world go by.
244 South Terrace, South Fremantle
SEE, DO & SHOP
The WA coastline has some beaut dog-friendly beaches, and South Beach’s is one of the best. Chilled pooches to go with the chilled vibes of the area, you’re bound to make as many new friends as your furry one does.
Marine Terrace, South Fremantle
The Neighbourhood Sauna
Pair your icy dip in the ocean with a steam in the Neighbourhood’s South Beach sauna! Positioned right on the beach, you can watch the waves roll in while you steam – and cool off with another refreshing swim! As they say: “The pace is slow, the sauna hot and the water is cold.”
Sometimes we think we might use the phrase “treasure trove” too much, but then we have to describe somewhere like Ginger Morris and, well… it’s a treasure trove. This beautiful store stocks everything from antiques, homewares, collectibles jewellery and fashion. The mother and daughter team behind Ginger Morris have a no rules ethos – instead filling their store with whatever is beautiful or interesting.
271 South Terrace, South Fremantle
As if the South Freo strip needed any more charm, Harbour Plants arrived! Squished between Madalena’s and La Cabaña, the locally owned garden centre will have your thumb looking green in no time. Specialising in native and waterwise plants, make sure you pick up a delicious La Paleta icey pole on the way out.
404 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Need more greenery in your life? As well as their Leederville store, LnJ Garden have an impressive South Freo garden centre. With some of the best prices going around, be wary that you still don’t end up spending a fortune thanks to their huge range of plants and pots.
227 Hampton Road, South Fremantle
Explore Some Art
Not only are the streets of South Freo blessed with some fantastic murals, you can also explore a few great galleries in the area. Within a couple of blocks you’ll find Red Umbrella and Earlywork/Artitja Art Galleries.
South Fremantle is not wanting for fresh food markets (see more below), and Peaches is one of the best. Once you’ve grabbed all the right goods, head next door to Paper Cup for a delicious coffee or healthy snack and say g’day to the friendly owners who are always up for a yarn.
195 Hampton Road, South Fremantle
Freo’s “original whole foods store”, Manna is a must-visit for anyone looking for an organic, local grocer, low-waste bulk food or eco-friendly cleaning and body products. Come with an empty stomach – their in-store cafe will leave you sated whether you’re a vegan or omnivore.
274 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Speaking of whole foods and zero waste! The Storehouse opened at the end of 2018 and has fast become one of Perth’s best sustainable shopping destinations. Wall to wall spices, flours, grains and more have you covered for any bulk food needs, and they’ve also got an impressive range of cleaning and body products. No just zero waste, these guys are zero fuss, with a mission to make a sustainable lifestyle as straightforward as possible.
22/219 Hampton Road, South Fremantle
South Fremantle Power Station
One of the more iconic (and brutal) landmarks in the area would have to be the imposing South Fremantle Power Station. While you’re not allowed to go inside, this abandoned behemoth is definitely worth checking out from the outside.
McTaggart Cove, North Coogee
Freo Farmers Market
This is a bit of a cheat as its Beaconsfield (but close enough, right?). The first Sunday of every month is the “Big Market” day at the Freo Farmers Market, which sees the already booming market expand to offer vintage and pre-loved clothing, jewellery, crafts, gifts and more. But even on their regular Sundays, the Freo Farmers Market has one of the best selections of food vendors of any market: traditional Persian by Parvin, African breakfasts, brunch burgers, crepes, Tom the Greek, Wholly Wrap, Treacle Treat, Sesame and Kombination Seafood… the list goes on!
Bruce Lee Oval, Caesar Street, Beaconsfield
Header image credit: Ruocco’s