If you’ve explored places to eat in Perth, you’ll understand the scale of the challenge we set ourselves in choosing just 5 favourites.
Even when we limited ourselves to outdoor restaurants, Perth simply has too many to allow for a fair selection. So we’ve cheated by mentioning others within each category - at least you’ll have plenty of choice!
Like any good Perth restaurant guide, this one looks not just at the location, food and ambience, but the way each venue makes the most of its surroundings. For outdoor dining, Perth sits in the ideal environment, enjoying some of the balmiest evenings and most relaxing scenery you can hope to find in a capital city.
In this guide, we take you from the beach to the river, and right out into the winery region of the Swan Valley. Blessed with ocean, river and vineyard views, Perth has all the al fresco dining options you could wish for.
No Perth restaurant guide would be complete without a beachside venue where you can watch the summer sun set over the bluest of oceans.
We’ve chosen a relative newcomer that has rapidly become a favourite in Perth:
Odyssea, 187 Challenger Parade, City Beach
Cuisine: Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Open every day and serving delicious food from a wide-ranging menu to suit all tastes, including local and seasonal produce. Treat yourself to a hearty breakfast, a light lunch or an indulgent dinner after sundowners.
Ambience: Fresh, light and relaxing with a large al fresco dining area along the oceanfront deck, popular for friends to get together before or after a beach walk
Surroundings: Almost on the sand, Odyssea was designed to capitalise on the vast ocean views along City Beach. There are walkways that go for miles along this gorgeous stretch of coast, and plenty of grassy areas to play and picnic too. This is a wonderful stopover on a playful summer’s day!
We also like:
The Shorehouse, Marine Parade, Swanbourne
A more casual dining experience, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day on a wide al fresco deck that seems to hang over the ocean
Bathers Beach House, Mews Road, Fremantle
This popular venue is ideal for share plates and seafood (lunch and dinner), and has recently extended its licence onto the beach.
Barchetta, Marine Parade, Cottesloe
Serving Mediterranean breakfast, lunch and dinner overlooking famous Cottesloe Beach
Boat harbours provide pretty backdrops, and Perth knows how to make the most of them. There are several places to eat along Fishing Boat Harbour (Success Boat Harbour) in Fremantle and Sorrento Quay at Hillarys Boat Harbour to the north of the city.
Our pick sits on the edge of Fremantle's Fishing Boat Harbour:
Little Creatures, 40 Mews Road, Fremantle
Cuisine: Lunch and dinner. Best known for its world famous beers, Little Creatures serves up tasty light food such as pizza, nachos and salads.
Ambience: The vast brewery creates a warehouse cafe style, young and funky, perhaps a little noisy and chaotic, but there’s pub-like outdoor seating front and back that has the buzz without the clamour.
Surroundings: Teetering on the edge of the ocean at Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour (aka Success Boat Harbour), along with several seafood eateries along the boardwalks, Little Creatures adds a piece of modern industrial character to the neighbourhood. The waterfront al fresco area is the place to be for views of the moored boats, cooled by fresh breezes in summer.
We also like:
Cicerello’s, 44 Mews Road, Fremantle
Open from 10.00am til late, this licensed fish ’n’ chip cafe is ideal for families wanting a wide choice of freshly caught seafood on the oceanfront.
The Breakwater, 58 Southside Drive, Hillarys Boat Harbour
This popular tavern sits iconically on the end of the boardwalk at Sorrento Quay, overlooking the boat harbour, and has a full and delicious menu for lunch or dinner.
When searching for the best lunch spots in Perth, do include the Swan Valley. It’s a little further to travel from Perth, but the rewards make it worth the effort. And if you can get there early for brekkie or stay on for dinner, so much the better!
We looked at all our favourite wineries and breweries before selecting a top spot that’s open all day:
Mandoon Estate, Harris Road, Caversham
Cuisine: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Choose from modern Australian fine dining (lunch and dinner), hearty brewery food (all day) or gourmet picnic on the lawn (weekends) - all beautifully complementing the wines and craft beers. Arguably the best lunch in Perth.
Ambience: A totally relaxing yet lively, family friendly venue. This is a fabulous place to get together with friends and relatives, or just have some quality time with the kids picnicking on the lawn.
Surroundings: The beautifully kept vineyards and grounds at Mandoon will wash away the city stress - the ideal spot for all styles of outdoor dining and simply to while away time soaking up the views and breathing in the fresh air of the valley. You can take a river cruise or scenic helicopter flight from the estate too, giving you an even wider experience of the estate and its surroundings.
Feral Brewing, Haddrill Road, Baskerville
Modern, youthful, beer garden style, open for lunch every day (dinner on Fridays and Saturdays)
We also like these two wineries located in the Perth Hills:
Millbrook Winery, Old Chestnut Lane, Jarrahdale
Very pretty surroundings within jarrah forest on the banks of the Serpentine, open for lunch Thursday to Monday, including seasonal local produce from Chestnut Farm
Core Cider House, Merrivale Road, Pickering Brook
Lovely views from the deck overlooking the apple orchards, a cider heaven with a small but tasty lunch menu plus afternoon Sunday session (closed Monday, Tuesday)
On the foreshore
The broad and sweeping Swan River invites venues to capitalise on views and fresh air with al fresco dining.
After looking all along the banks, we finally selected another newbie, this time in East Perth - an up-and-coming neighbourhood designed around the river:
The Point Bar & Grill, Riverside Drive, East Perth
Cuisine: Lunch and dinner. Tasty modern Australian, best suited to meat lovers.
Ambience: Understated chic, ideal for couples and groups of friends.
Surroundings: This venue is out on Point Fraser overlooking Heirisson Island, yet only a stone’s throw from the city. The outdoor terrace area is partially undercover, and protected by glass partitioning, with comfortable couch seating, so keep this one in mind as a place to settle in on a rainy day too.
We also like:
Freshwaters, 3 Lilla Street, Peppermint Grove
One to watch, this is a new cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, in an enviable location next to Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.
Captain Cook Cruises - If it’s river-view dining you’re after, a Captain Cook lunch or dinner cruise on the Swan serves it up! Cruises leave from Barrack Square in Perth, or Victoria Quay in Fremantle (lunch cruises only).
And finally, we had to mention a few courtyard cafes. The beauty of a dry summer climate is the confidence we can have when creating outdoor cafe spaces. For the best lunch spots Perth has to offer, along with a wide range of breakfast fare, all served up in sunny courtyards, you can’t go far wrong by exploring Fremantle. We’ve also listed a new find in North Perth and a cute cafe in a suburb less often lauded for eateries, Mosman Park.
We had to give this spot a big thumbs-up, despite being more than a cafe:
Fremantle Arts Centre, Finnerty Street, Fremantle -
Cuisine: Lunch. This courtyard cafe within the heritage-listed arts centre oozes easy-going style and serves delicious lunches.
Ambience: Busy yet easy and family friendly with lots of character - ideal for a lazy lunch. Throughout summer, there’s live music every Sunday afternoon on the lawns.
Surroundings: This venue is blessed with a vast amount of space that includes not only a courtyard cafe, but huge areas for outdoor concerts - right in the City of Fremantle. The heritage building is flanked by lawns, creating a feeling of space outside the courtyard area. Located within a few minutes’ walk of Fremantle centre, this is like an oasis for relaxing during a sightseeing or shopping trip.
Moore & Moore, 46 Henry Street, Fremantle
Known for its pretty courtyard and neighbouring art gallery, this cafe is tucked away in a heritage building within the maze of historic Fremantle, and serves an all-day breakfast and lunch.
The Old Laundry, 22 Angove Street, North Perth
A modern quirky cafe / bar with a stunning little courtyard, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
And finally …
An honourable mention goes to Itsara, 25 Stirling Highway, Nedlands
A licensed Thai restaurant with modest frontage near the University of WA, it’s easy to miss. While this little secret doesn’t have impressive views or heritage architecture, it serves fabulous food in a lovely lush courtyard garden, complete with koi pond. Itsara is open for lunch (groups only) and dinner every day. Don’t miss it!