2023 has been a wild year! As we count down the days ’til we switch on our out-of-office auto-replies, we’re reflecting on some of the eating and drinking that got us excited over the past 12 months – from old favourites and hidden gems to the latest venue openings, from seasoned operators and charming newbies.
Feeling hungry? Here are just a few of our favourite cafés to open in 2023.
Wards Central Dining
The Hot Bread empire just keeps growing – and while we were devastated by the closure of their Northbridge outpost Peoples Cafeteria earlier in the year, the opening of Wards Central Dining in Shenton Park was a salve to our sadness. Located within a former hospital ward built in 1938, it’s a refined take on their winning combination that has seen their other venues become such favourites.
On the go? Pop into Wards for the classic North Street Store staples – fresh bread, pastries, pantry provisions takeaway coffees, also enjoyed on the sizeable deck and sprawling lawns outside – but you can also settle into one of the eatery’s light-filled corners for an extensive dine-in offering. (And any menu that has a section titled “HOLLANDAISE DELIGHTS” gets our wholehearted stamp of approval!)
Victoria House, 4 Thorburn Way, Shenton Park
We firmly maintain that Perth’s very own superstar baker Tash Brownfield can do no wrong – and her itty-bitty Claisebrook bakery Teeter is definitive proof (pardon the pun). Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings as more of a “pastry door” than a fully-fledged café, we’re not at all surprised at the lines that form: these pastries are mind-bendingly good, teetering (‘scuse us) the line between traditional viennoserie and contemporary flavours. If you eat just one croissant in your life, let it be this one.
145a Claisebrook Road, Perth
One of the openings that slid under the radar this year in spite of its CBD location, Deli Gabe transformed an old-school pastry shop into a stylish coffee haven. As well as top-tier brews, refresh yourself with Australian-made artisan bevvies Ordinary Soda and signature “GABE-O-CCINO” drinks (including a rather tempting Milo number). Feeling peckish? Treat yourself to a cookie or scone made by the folks at Wonder Bakehouse, a mortadella or kimchi tuna toastie, or one of those absolutely gorg bagels. Tucked below the European Hotel? Who’d have thought…
97 Murray Street, Perth
Long-time hospo hero Josh McGinnity (Micrology Coffee Roasters, Laika, Hylin to name just a few of his previous projects) has head north! Now open, his latest venture is Runyeh Coffee – a light, bright and pared-back space bringing excellent brews and brunch to Heathridge. Micrology beans (of course) take care of the former, while lunch offerings include stellar made-to-order sandwiches: a Runyeh twist on a Reuben, a chicken schnitty, a truffle mushroom melt on buttery slices of milk loaf.
Shop 11, 99 Caridean Street, Heathridge
Sisters Annabella and Victoria La Pegna have put their continental twist on the Claremont corner store with the unveiling of Bottega Deli in October. With Bella leading the charge FOH, Victoria’s cooking at Bottega centres predominantly around a low-waste ethos and cucina povera: simple, inexpensive food lovingly prepared – although you’ll find some bougier ingredients sneaking in. Alongside panini, a rotating selection of pastas can be eaten on the go or taken home for later – just make sure you grab a sfogliatelle and a coffee for the road!
70 Bay View Terrace, Claremont
Subi pop-up Obi was the talk of the town, becoming one of Perth’s most well-loved coffee spots even in its earliest iterations. They kept things simple while they worked on a more permanent iteration, with top notch Micrology brews and Toastface sammies to cure any rumbling tummies – until finally their expanded café opened in May, with extra bites on offer and the same great vibes.
Shop 2, 500 Hay Street, Subiaco
Pint-sized Smidge Bakery opened at the tail end of 2023, tucked away down Maylands’ Lyric Lane at the front of (excellent pizzeria) Rossonero. With foundations in what we’d call the Little Treat Lifestyle (TM), the bakery serves up small-batch goodies like indulgent cinni scrolls, perfectly golden choc chip cookies and vegan and gluten free friands. More of a savoury tooth? You’ll be delighted by Gen’s family-recipe tortière pasties and ham and cheese toasties sandwiched in fluffy slabs of focaccia! With Smidge’s friends Deli’s Continental starting in the same spot before going onto soaring success, we’ve got high hopes!
18 Lyric Lane, Maylands
Nazzar on Beaufort
After months of delays, Nazzar on Beaufort triumphantly, finally, opened their doors in September! Located in the heart of Mount Lawley, they’re serving up their signature Mediterranean(ish) twist on brunch six days a week. Tempting menu highlights include the Nazzar take on Turkish eggs, Persian corn fritters – or, excitingly, a fried chicken croissant with spiced butter, pickled cucumber, smoked labneh and curry leaf.
539 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley
Run by husband-and-wife-team Jason and Claire Millar, specialty coffee roasters Pique first started firing in 2021 – but they’ve officially opened their Wembley coffee bar. Since November, they’ve been providing much-needed caffeination to the people of Wembley (including refreshingly cold taps of nitro, nitro oat or coffee cola), as well as a tidy selections of snacks courtesy of Zonts Bakehouse.
48 Grantham Street, Wembley
The excellent Livid Skate Cafe has practically become a part of the Scabs furniture, and 2023 saw the crew expand their easy-breezy empire with another cafe in Freo’s new FOMO precinct, Kokomo’s. The new location continues the celebration of skate culture and great coffee, with the added inspiration of Japanese architecture and the friendly vibes of the Port City.
FOMO Freo, 46 William Street, Fremantle
CBD lunches had an upgrade with the addition of Neighbourhood Bagels to the Terrace end of King Street in November. The Neighbourhood experience has been inspired by the time-honoured tradition of New York-style bagels – and while they’ve kept things classic enough for the purists (lox, pastrami, egg salad, you get the vibe), we’re pleased to say you’ll also find a few options sneaking in there that are more West Australia than West Village.
172 St Georges Terrace, Perth
Cover image: Runyeh Coffee