Here it is. We’ve been poring through our recommendations, assessing, critiquing, delving deep into our hearts, in order to bring you our list of Perth’s best, tip-top, cream of the crop cafes. Behold, in alphabetical order…
Shopping centre coffee has certainly had an upgrade over the last few years. No longer solely the domain of chains and franchises, cafes like Alex Junior have been steadily raising the bar. Family-run Dunsborough roastery the Cape Effect provide the beans, keeping up the theme of supporting independent local producers – the cafe also features a retail space in partnership with the Cafe Collective that showcases WA creatives.
Shop 13, Padbury Shopping Centre, corner of Warburton and Leichhardt Avenues, Padbury
After spending a few years as a pop-up coffee spot, 2019 saw Artem’s move into a permanent brick-and-mortar location in Mount Pleasant. When a cafe is smoking their own meats, fermenting their own chilli sauce, and having their coffee beans roasted to their own recipe… you know they’re not kidding about quality. Stop in any time for their aforementioned A-grade coffee, or their small-yet-inspired brunch menu (think duck omelette, crab roll, chicken rendang salad), but those who know will make sure to be there on the weekend for their signature Reuben toastie, and leaving room for one of their donuts, of course.
2/39 Reynolds Road, Mount Pleasant
Killer coffee? Holy Bagel Co bagels? Best Wishes keeps things simple, but boy does it pay off. Since opening their doors in 2017, this crew has built up a reputation as the best place in Freo to pick up your daily coffee – and in spite of their super-cool branding and merch, you’ll find no pretension here. Genuine smiles, and genuinely good coffee. What’s not to love?
Shop 9, 2 Cantonment Street, Fremantle
Bigger isn’t always better – and it’s as true at Cafe Leadman as anywhere else. This itty-bitty, timber-clad cafe is anything but cute. Rather, it’s dark interior and curated menu speak to a more refined palate. That’s not to say you won’t find any crowd pleasers on the menu: gourmet mi goreng, Cuban toasties and the ubiquitous smashed avo all make an appearance, as well as a rotating roster of tempting Saturday specials.
159 Claisebrook Road, Perth
The almost-constant line out the door will attest to the fact that Chu has been killing it since opening their William Street bakery in 2015. You need to be an early bird to be sure to get one of their amazing loaves of bread, but luckily, their picture-perfect pastries, loaded toasts and donuts are equally delish – not to mention their coffee. Our favourite is the chilli passionfruit donut – filled with tangy passionfruit custard and then rolled in a chilli-sugar mix, this donut caused me to exclaim to my friend, unironically and without shame, “This is a flavour sensation!” The things you do for love.
498 William Street, Highgate
Duck Duck Bruce
You might have to wait to get a table at beloved Freo cafe Duck Duck Bruce, but trust us, it’ll be worth it. Started by a trio of mates, the warm spirit of friendship is imbued throughout Duck Duck Bruce. This is a place that doesn’t take itself too seriously… even if the food is seriously good.
18 Collie Street, Fremantle
Engine Room Espresso
North Perth’s amazing coffee per capita quota is almost getting out of hand – and Engine Room Espresso plays a big part. First open in 2014 by a group of coffee-loving firefighters, Engine Room has maintained its commitment to quality coffee and friendly service through a change in ownership in 2018. Drop by for a brew and a Holy Bagel Co. bagel and schmear and soak up the NoPo vibes in their back laneway.
450c Fitzgerald Street, North Perth
Ethos Deli + Dining Room
The team from Young George has ventured down the road to open up Ethos – a zero-waste, Eastern European-leaning neighbourhood deli and dining room. House made charcuterie and small goods and killer sarnies are just the tip of the iceberg, with the bar’s offerings just as exciting a prospect if you’re there later in the day (or earlier, who are we to judge?).
88 George Street, East Fremantle
Mosman Park cafe Good Things really manages to live up to its name. The menu truly is full of, well, good things. This light-filled, minimalist cafe is home to some of our favourite smashed avo, as well as plenty of other tantalising options – like their good vibes bowl, chilli scrambled eggs or fried chicken and waffles, to name just a few. Rest assured, local Micrology beans make for an excellent coffee, too.
128 Wellington Street, Mosman Park
Grouch & Co.
As coffee roasters, Grouch & Co. are committed to a high standard of quality, inclusivity and ethical supply chains, roasting in small batches and curating seasonal blends that are sure to delight. It’s no wonder that the cafe side of things reflects the same approach. Tip top customer service takes the experience from great, all the way to stellar.
Unit 1/45 McCoy Street, Myaree
All of the expertise, experience, and passion for coffee-making accrued through years of running six other cafe ventures is distilled into Hemingway. A love letter to coffee, from the father and son duo behind Mo Espresso Group, the cafe is defined both by its excess, and its refinement. Extravagantly whizz-bang gear – like the hypnotic Poursteady, swirling and darting between pourovers, or the super-sleek Modbar espresso machine, keep the coffee centre-stage, while both the menu and fit-out are pared-back perfection.
Central Park, 2/152-158 St Georges Terrace
Hush Specialty Coffee
Hush has been a stalwart for Freo caffeine fiends for years, and it’s no wonder why. An unending flow of Five Senses coffee keep the morning coffee crowd happy, while those who are after a more leisurely experience can enjoy the crowd-pleasing yet considered menu. Jaffa French toast, WA mushrooms with truffle oil and sourdough, 48 hour beef brisket benny… we’re feeling pretty peckish, how about you?
68 High Street, Fremantle
Brunch favourite Hylin has gotta be your next Sunday morning destination. Pull up a chair under the trees out the front and take in their lush menu – whether you’re after a quick bagel or their impressive smashed avo. If you’re there later in the day, the bar out the back (appropriately called…Back Bar) is a leafy oasis with great bar eats, and a nifty $10 burger deal on Thursdays.
178 Railway Parade, West Leederville
Helmed by owners previously from Hylin and Mano e Mano, Laika pairs their next level brunch game with equally next level coffee from in-house, recently expanded roasters Timely Coffees. Coffee buffs can dissect the ins and outs of micro lots and post harvest processes, while the more food motivated among us (guilty) can enjoy a perfect thick cut eggs benny and our standard flat white. Winners all round, I say.
11 Lathlain Place, Lathlain
Miller + Baker
We were pretty jazzed about Miller + Baker’s opening that snuck in at the end of 2019, and our excitement hasn’t really abated since then. An understated yet refined fit out complements their artisanal approach. If you’re milling your own flour, you’ve got to be pretty committed to quality, right? Grab a sourdough loaf for later, plus a coffee and pastry for right now.
6B/236 Lake Street, Northbridge
Since opening the doors to their Mount Lawley store at the tail end of 2016, Modus have really set the standard to what exciting things a teeny tiny coffee shop can do. From their steadfast commitment to quality coffee, their ethical roasting operation, their sustainable practices, to their refined food offerings, to their collaborations with other top local producers… it was only a matter of time before they had to take it to another level. Enter, their Vic Park outpost. All the things you love about Modus, in a bigger space, with even more delicious stuff on offer.
660 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
35/602–610 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley
Mount Street Breakfast Bar
You arrive, panting, at the top of Jacob’s Ladder… you probably deserve a pretty good breakfast now, right? Luckily, Mount Street Breakfast Bar is just around the corner. A limited yet considered menu awaits – think crispy falafel with barley tabbouleh and poached eggs, or crushed avocado and roasted tomatoes with labneh and za’atar. You could almost forget that this is, technically, a hotel breakfast. We don’t know about you guys, but we’re ready for a staycation…
42 Mount Street, Perth
North Street Store
We can’t shut up about North Street Store – not that anyone really needs telling at this point. In spite of a few particularly vocal locals, these legends are still going strong, baking some of the best loaves in town. With the addition of sister store Little Loaf Bakery in South Freo, these guys will be pumping out even more of the good stuff. Not just the famous cinnamon buns, but the conti rolls, the vanilla slices, the quiches, the sausage rolls… With summer approaching, we’re dreaming about sharing a fougasse at the beach with our mates and a bottle of something we picked up at Wise Child.
16 North Street, Cottesloe
There’s something about North Freo… the sun always seems to be shining, everyone’s just a bit more beautiful and carefree… and there, in the middle of it all, is Ooh Coffee. This petite espresso bar, adjoining boutique Ooh La La, is pairing great coffee with easy breezy service that is perfectly suited to its chilled out surrounds.
255 Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle
Open Plan Coffee Roasters
To open a coffee shop on Fitzgerald Street in 2016 seems like folly, but Open Plan has proven that if your offerings are high enough quality, there’s room for everyone. A small-batch roaster, the focus on coffee is obviously key – but that doesn’t mean their food doesn’t rise to the occasion, too. The name is reflected in the layout of the cafe as well, which allows the warmth and friendliness of the staff to shine.
408 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth
If you could see just how many Satchmo bagels I’ve tallied on my UberEats, you might feel a degree of concern. You know, when you’re laying in bed on Sunday morning, not quite ready to face the day… a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do. But a freshly made bagel, a mug of batch brew Twin Peaks coffee, a slice of babka and a side of live jazz? That’s enough to get anyone out of bed.
1/400 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth
When you need a reliable brunch option – Sixteen Ounces has got you more than covered. From the nutritious to the decadent, sweet or savoury, this greenery-filled cafe’s menu has something for everyone – whether you’re looking to soak up the previous night’s excess, or fuel up post workout. Paired with a cup of coffee this good? What a dream!
257 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
How could you resist those seductive eyes? Staring at you from Smooth Operator’s signature cups, you’ll be ordering another round before you know it. Although 2019 saw their relocation to a new shop a few doors down the road, they’ve still got the same high-quality coffee game, with a super stylish fit-out to match.
Shop 4/938 Hay Street (Enter on Milligan Street)
Neighbourhood oasis Stomp Coffee is the perfect balm to a rocky morning. Pull up a chair in the picturesque courtyard, order a coffee made with beans from an impressive roster of featured roasters, and check out their menu, which has grown from hangover-curing breakfast bagels to include more elaborate offerings – think pan fried mushrooms and feta, sumac scrambled eggs or quinoa porridge topped with fresh fruit.
39 Angove Street, North Perth
Long time brunch favourite of ours, tbsp. is worth going out of your way for. While their classics, like eggs on toast, muesli or French toast are all perfectly executed, we think the real stars are the Asian-inspired offerings. Chilli scrambled eggs are topped with crispy shallots, corander and chilli oil. A slow cooked egg is nestled in a bowl of chicken congee. Bonito flakes gently flutter atop zucchini and corn okonomiyaki. For a moment, all is right in the world, and we haven’t even mentioned the kimcheese and fried chicken burgers, or the decadent beef brisket benedict.
10 King William Street
We’ve said it before, but we’re a sucker for the opulent surrounds of the State Buildings. We’d take any excuse to head there, but for Telegram? We’d head to the ends of the earth. This chic, timber-clad box is cranked open every morning to serve up some of Perth’s best coffee. Helmed by veteran barista Luke Arnold, the itty-bitty Telegram packs a punch, with a reputation for consistency and attention to detail – which now extends all the way to roasting their own beans out of East Vic Park’s shared roasting operation Modern Coffee.
State Buildings, 1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth
The Little Banksia
Tucked away down a suburban street in Kensington, the Little Banksia is a delightful hidden gem. This cosy cafe is plating up some truly impressive fare, whether it’s some of our favourite pancakes in Perth, or a truly breathtaking fried chicken burger. It feels like the sun’s always shining at the Little Banksia – due in no small part to their always smiling, attentive staff.
78 Banksia Terrace, Kensington
The Little Bay
The Little Bay really is pretty-as-a-picture. Whether you’re an aspiring influencer or simply want a good view with your brunch, The Little Bay’s layout + location is almost impossible to beat. While you can still get your classics like big breakfast and eggs benny, the menu ups the ante with breakfast gnocchi and Turkish eggs… which would go really well with a Bloody Mary, just saying.
33 West Coast Drive, Watermans Bay
The Tenth State
UWA students will need no introduction to The Tenth State – this buzzing cafe’s morning crowds will attest to its popularity. These guys are experts at the pivot: whether its moving a few doors down from their original concept store to focus on their food and coffee offerings, or starting an online farmers market back in April, Em and Sam are always striving for perfection.
2/6 Broadway, Crawley
Fine dining meets brunch? We reckon that’s the best of both worlds. Add in a dash of Middle Eastern influences and a partnership with burger hotshots Juicy Buns, and you’re onto a winner. Even better than all these great elements though, is the community-building and philanthropic approach they’ve fostered since day one.
19 Tribute Street West, Shelley
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
An espresso bar started by a property developer? It hardly fills you with inspiration… unless that developer is Tim Willing. Joining forces with expert baristas, Willing is inspired by 1950s, family-run Italian coffee shops, with coffee firmly the focus – although there’s still room for some cycling paraphernalia, of course. After their success in Guildford, Willing has expanded to their sister store, the Deli on Central. Positioned on the corner of Central Avenue and Clifton Crescent, the Deli brings all of Willing’s winning elements and adds an Australian neighbourhood corner shop nostalgia. Who’s buying this round of icey poles?
110 Terrace Road, Guildford