There’s something in the water – or perhaps that salty breeze? There’s gotta be something to explain just how many of Fremantle’s bars are this good. Here are just a few of Freo’s best bars for you to check out on your next visit to the port city:
Taking over the well-loved site once home to X-Wray, Patio has been quietly become one of Freo’s best drinking holes since opening at the end of 2022. The straddle the line between easy breezy casualness and serious drops, with a drinks list that boasts both Swannie longnecks and a section labelled “Italian Boujie”. On the eats front, their “all the time” menu is reliably delicious featuring house made focaccia with dollops of ricotta, giardiniera, meatballs, chips – but the real excitement comes from their pop ups with local chefs and cooks.
4/3-13 Essex Street, Fremantle
Tucked away on a quiet street, just moments from the main cafe strip – it’s a tiny pirate bar! If you’re looking for an entertaining location to enjoy your cocktails, then Darling Darling is the place. As soon as you push aside the curtains at the door, it feels like you’ve stepped into the belly of a pirate ship – there’s ropes hanging on the walls, a ship’s wheel at the entrance, and candles dripping pools of wax onto tables. The cocktails are simple and delicious, with offerings like a classic dark and stormy, or a Dutch East Indies Tea (gin infused with Earl Grey Tea).
36 Henry Street, Fremantle
When it comes to pint-sized, you can’t get much itty-bittier than the Warders Hotel’s resident bar, Gimlet. Tucked away between the hotel and Emily Taylor, venture in for classic gin cocktails and a couple of cheeky amaro (or a coffee if you’re there earlier in the day).
Corner Henderson Street and Market Lane, Fremantle
This Fremantle fave’s leafy alfresco area and interior makes for a pretty irresistible home base to pull up and indulge in some delightful wines, something Strange Company takes a lot of pride in. If you want to make a real night of it, may we suggest some afternoon wines here, before sipping a couple of cocktails at their slightly rowdier sibling venue, Ronnie Nights.
5 Nairn Street, Fremantle
Not content to just dominate the CBD bar game, the team behind Foxtrot Unicorn expanded in 2021 into Fremantle with the highly-anticipated opening of Nieuw Ruin. A 300-bottle list of “weird wines”, high-brow pub fare on the menu, all within a charming, classically Freo cottage? We reckon it’s a recipe for success.
12 Norfolk Street, Fremantle
There are certain openings that fly under the radar, and others that become the talk of not just the Perth Is OK! office, but the whole darn town. From the same team as the also excellent No Mafia and Balthazar, Vin Populi has been one of 2023’s early standouts – and the pumping dining room is a testament to the good word travelling like wildfire. Nestled into Freo’s historic West End, pop by for afternoon antipasti or a late night negroni or luscious bowl of pasta.
11 High Street, Fremantle
Whisper Wine Bar
A bit of a hidden secret in the middle of Freo, Whisper does France right, with big baguettes and a bigger wine list set amongst a stunning restored limestone mill. Relax on the balcony in the sun with a cold pint or white wine in hand, or curl up on the retro lounge chairs in the evening with some red wine and a cheese platter.
1/15 Essex Street, Fremantle
The Flaming Galah
Just across the road from Whisper, you’ll find Freo’s first queer bar: The Flaming Galah! Dedicated to celebrating queer joy, the venue is all about good times, good drinks and good eats – all in a charmingly retro setting.
19B Essex Street, Fremantle
Republic Of Fremantle
Republic Of Fremantle is the perfect spot to flex your spirits game to your next Hinge date, or at the very least just enjoy some incredibly refreshing cocktails. And if you really want to take your visit to the next level they run informative, fun guided tours of their world-class distillery that end with you taking a bottle of your own spirits home, plus gin-making workshops and cocktail classes!
3 Pakenham Street, Fremantle
While we’d be guilty of thinking of Freo.Social as more of a music venue, that’s only half the equation. It’s also one of Freo’s best beer gardens, with both the beer garden and side bar to keep you fed and watered. Sister venue to local guys Otherside Brewing, you know the brews will be in fine form.
Parry Street, Fremantle
Pint-sized Calamity’s Rod certainly makes up for its size in what it manages to do. The tiny courtyard bar, nestled within Freo’s Hougoumont Hotel (sister to Warders Hotel), is also home to a micro-brewery. Both the brewery and bar are housed within shipping containers, leaving more space to actually sit and enjoy those hard-worked-for drinks.
Hougoumont Hotel, 15 Bannister Street, Fremantle
Gage Roads Freo
The long-awaited Gage Roads brewpub is breathing life into Freo’s A Shed. As well as the brewery’s signature frothies, you can feast on vibrant coastal flavours, perfectly matched to the refreshing sea breeze. Bring the whole family – there’s plenty of grommet-sized snacks for little ones, plus a playground that features a retired crayboat and a ’60s Land Cruiser for kids to scramble over.
A Shed, Walyalup Waterfront
Who’s Your Mumma
With an ever changing cocktail list and a laid back atmosphere, Freo’s first small bar deserves a spot on this list. Who’s Your Mumma is home to friendly, knowledgeable staff and a lavish cocktail menu – and there’s something happening just about every afternoon to tempt you in for a tipple.
142 South Terrace, Fremantle
Freo’s Norfolk Hotel is packed with history – and a variety of spots to indulge in a drink or two. Head to the leafy courtyard for classic pub vibes, or settle in for a classic cocktail in the Odd Fellow, home to one of Freo’s most impressive back bars!
The Norfolk Hotel (basement), 47 South Terrace, Fremantle
While slinky cocktails and succulent snacks are always on the menu at Ronnie Nights, this fun little Freo joint is not averse to a dancefloor or two on the reg. Designed to evoke the vibes of a Freo houseparty, their upstairs band room gets pretty wild most weekends, with groovy Sunday sessions, live music and more.
75-77 Market Street, Fremantle
Inspired by Caribbean beach bars, Jungle Bird is cosy and inviting in the winter, and breezy and upbeat in summer – it’s the perfect place to let your hair down and sip some of their party-ready cocktails. Perhaps you’re in the mood for a Jamaican Rum Julep – a blend of dark rums, vanilla, juice, and a dash of honey – or maybe you feel like their classic Espresso Rumtini to power you through an unbridled evening?
59 High Street, Fremantle
The Old Synagogue
Multi-level behemoth The Old Synagogue has practically become synonymous with a night out in Freo, with a bevy of spaces to enjoy a bevvy – whether you’re perched in the leafy Arbor, watching the world go by from Mr Chapple or deep underground in the Synagogue’s cocktail den, L’Chaim.
92 South Terrace, Fremantle
Header image: L’Chaim