Perth's food culture has exploded alongside its population over the past decade. The city's isolation from Australia's east coast, along with its relative proximity to southeast Asia, encourages experimentation while access to super-fresh seafood sets its restaurants apart.
For Perth's 2 million residents and a rising number of international visitors, eating out has never been more exciting. Whether you're looking for a wholesome brunch spot or the hottest restaurant in town, Perth (and the adjoining port city of Fremantle) has something for every kind of traveler.
Best for Local Ingredients: Wildflower
Wildflower is perched on top of COMO The Treasury, one of Perth's chicest hotels, but the views aren't the only thing that will leave an impression. The menu is designed around the six seasons of the Indigenous Noongar calendar, utilizing locally sourced ingredients.
The Noongar people don't traditionally use a start or end date for each season, instead letting their environment dictate the passing of time, and this philosophy is carried through into the restaurant.
A five-course tasting menu is available every day, including a completely vegetarian option.
Best Views: Bib & Tucker
Bib & Tucker occupies prime beachfront real estate in Fremantle, looking out over Leighton Beach and the Indian Ocean. The restaurant, which is named after two outlaws that roamed Western Australia in the late 1800s, brings a playful attitude to dining, with a menu that draws on Mexican and Italian influences. Co-owner Eamon Sullivan (an Olympic medallist and winner of "Celebrity MasterChef Australia") adds to the venue's cool factor.
Best for a Business Lunch: Balthazar
On the ground floor of an Art Deco apartment block near Elizabeth Quay, Balthazar's relaxed atmosphere belies a disciplined Mediterranean menu that highlights Western Australian seafood, kangaroo, and duck. In an airy space, the dishes are pretty and perfectly sized. The wine list is similarly thoughtful, stocked with bottles you won't find anywhere else. Set menus are only available for groups of eight or more.
Best Modern Australian: Friends Restaurant
In the city center, Friends offers a classic fine dining experience. The service and atmosphere are old-school and the food incorporates the best of European techniques and Australian ingredients. The restaurant is known for its selection of premium Australian wines and monthly live music and dinner events.
Friends offers an eight-course tasting menu and a seasonal menu, as well as a full a la carte selection on weekdays including local barramundi, kangaroo, beef and rock lobster. On Saturdays, the a la carte option is replaced by a five-course set menu.
Best Thai: Long Chim
The historic State Buildings precinct is one of Perth's must-visit foodie destinations. At Long Chim, you'll find traditional Thai street food in a sophisticated setting. The menu covers curries, stir-fries, noodles, desserts, snacks, and salads, all with the signature punch of freshness and spice that has made Thai cuisine famous around the world.
An eight-dish tasting menu is available for tables of two or more.
Best Middle Eastern: Propeller
Over in North Fremantle, you'll find one of the city's top restaurants inside a shipping container. With an open-air courtyard and a sharing-style menu that brings together the best of the eastern Mediterranean, Propeller is a genuine crowd-pleaser.
The light yet tasty manoushe—a Lebanese street food made up of dough and toppings like yogurt, eggplant, tomato, and almonds—is perfect after a day at the beach.
Best Italian: Lalla Rookh
Despite its impressive gastronomic credentials, Lalla Rookh Bar and Eating House feels warm and friendly. This gem in central Perth serves a modern selection of pizza, small plates, pasta, and mains, with a focus on seasonal vegetables and less-common meats like crab, rabbit, and quail.
The Il Capo six-course tasting menu is great value, clearly demonstrating the passion of head chef Alexandra Haynes. (She earned her stripes at another of Perth's favorite Italian spots, Il Lido in Cottesloe.)
Best Gastropub: Mayfair Lane
In the tradition of the great British pub, Mayfair Lane is a step above many of its Aussie counterparts when it comes to food. You won't find any sad chicken schnitzels or frozen hamburger patties here; instead pork belly, lamb rump, and locally sourced beef dominated the menu, alongside lighter salads and seafood. Mayfair Lane's location in leafy West Perth makes it a popular choice for after-work drinks or a lazy lunch on the balcony.
Best Japanese: Nao Japanese Restuarant
For over 15 years, Nao has been Perth's go-to for ramen and gyoza. The four different types of noodles are made fresh daily and served with hearty broth and toppings, but the cold ramen with sesame sauce is the standout dish. The space is simple and service is efficient.
Nao does not take bookings, so you may have to wait for a table with the rest of Perth's ramen devotees.
Best Seafood: The Cray
Western Australia is known for its unique shellfish, especially the rock lobsters, blue swimmer crabs, prawns and clams that can be found in its waters. The Cray (as rock lobsters are often known in Perth) is a one-stop-shop in Belmont for the region's best seafood. The atmosphere is casual and service is attentive, but the food is the real drawcard.
Best for Brunch: Bread in Common
Bread in Common is a neighborhood institution in Fremantle’s historic West End, serving up an organic farm-to-table menu of shareable plates, gourmet cheeses, and sandwiches all day long. Seafood, kangaroo, and lamb accompany the signature loaves, but vegetarians are also well catered for with dips and roast vegetables.
If you can't make it to the restaurant, you can find their bread at stockists throughout Perth.
Best Indian: Sauma
Sauma is a relaxed oasis in inner-city Northbridge, with an irreverent and creative approach to Indian food. Owner and chef Gurps Bagga grew up in northern India and moved to Perth with his family at age 15, giving him a fresh take on dishes like duck korma and spicy Shark Bay Clams. Vegetarian and vegan curries are available, alongside a solid wine list and craft beer on tap.
Best Atmosphere: The Shorehouse
In the affluent coastal suburb of Swanbourne, the Shorehouse is the place to see and be seen. Try to nab a table under the yellow and white striped umbrellas on the deck for the best views of the beach (and the best people-watching).
The food consists of pretty, small and large plates designed to share, with many cooked on the Josper charcoal grill. The grilled tiger prawns are particularly good.
Best Mexican: El Público
This modern Mexican kitchen and bar in Highgate strikes a skillful balance between authentic flavors and innovative additions. Mexican restaurants are relatively rare in Australia, which makes El Público all the more special.
You'll find excellent renditions of the usual suspects, including tacos, tostadas, tlayudas, and esquites, and a well-stocked bar, plus regional specialties like the best-selling beef mogo mogo balls.
Best Wine Bar: Madalena's
This laid-back wine bar and restaurant burst on the South Fremantle scene in 2019 and hasn't looked back. Featuring natural, low-intervention wines, craft beers, vermouths, and Western Australian sustainable seafood, Madalena's is the kind of place you can spend hours immersed in conversation over an unpretentious, delicious meal.
The fish of the day is almost always a winner, making use of whatever chef Adam Rees can get his hands on. Madalena's doesn't take bookings, so you may find yourself queueing for a table on weekend evenings.