There have been very few things as difficult as narrowing down a list of the best bars in Perth, but we’re giving it a go. We’ve spent many a night trailing around our city, sampling one too many drinks and bar hopping around all in the name of narrowing down this list.
From artisanal cocktail bars that never go out of style, secret underground locations that you have to work for or just seriously good wine bars that provide glass upon glass of mouthwatering vino, we’ve scouted a huge range to choose from.
Here are some of the best bars in Perth to check out.
Terrarium Bar has quickly become our new favourite cocktail joint. No surprise considering an award-winning bartender is behind the leafy new multi-level opening. Cosy up in a window-side booth inside or grab a table beneath the festoon lights on the plant-filled rooftop, order a few tasty nibbles and work your way through the drinks menu. It's pretty much impossible to pick a favourite.
Originally an old gaming hall, this character-filled space Highgate is looking better than ever as the newly opened Tom's Providore. Loaded with an endless selection of gourmet goodies to go, you may be tempted to fill your basket and head home, but we urge you to stay a little longer. Take a seat by the window, order a bottle of wine and nibble through one of their lavish grazing boards as the sun goes down. You'll see just how special this place is.
Swanbourne has fallen head over heels for this tiny new Mediterranean bar. It's wine focused, so you'll find loads of top drops curated by manager slash somm Caitlin Johnston (formerly at The Humble Onion) alongside cocktails and digestifs that really suit the relaxed Euro mood they're going for. The food menu has been designed around what you're drinking and will change regularly to reflect that, with chef Justin Wong (ex Tiny's) serving up some mind-blowing bar snacks out of a kitchen that is so small, it's literally just the corner of the bar.
Arguably one of the coolest spots to eat and drink in Perth right now, Casa is another Euro-leaning wine bar with an unmatched vibe, great drinks, delish eats and super friendly service. Just be prepared to fight all the lucky Mount Hawthorn locals for a table.
Bar Rogue comes to us from the same legendary husband and wife team behind French restaurant Le Rebelle, and it's every bit as fantastic. The wine list changes often, but it's all seriously good and the staff are great at pointing you to something new. Pair it with a few tasty snacks from the menu like the chicken skin sanga (trust us) and super crunchy lobster taco and you'll be running back same time next week.
Naber + ||||
This Leedy joint is tucked down a laneway, so we'd forgive you for missing it, but boy would that be a shame. Its cool little dog-friendly courtyard is always a good time, most likely because everyone has smashed too many of their 'watermelon cruisers'... or maybe it's all the cute dogs looking for pats. Either way, the disco fries and fried chicken will be there to help soak up the booze, as well as DJs and disco balls if you'd prefer to dance it off.
Wild In The Street
The newest addition to the vibrant South Freo strip, Wild In The Street is somewhat of a hidden gem. The unassuming front facade and long entry gives way to a colourful Latin-inspired bar with beach club vibes and some of the best cocktails in Perth. Throw on some of mamasita's chicken empanadas and you'll be ordering another round in no time.
Inspired by Parisian wine bars, Vincent Wine is your go-to for classic European vinos and yummy French eats. Snag a seat outside and watch the world go by over a glass of French wine and some duck rillettes.
You'd think by now everyone would have figured out where this hidden bar is, but alas you'll still find the odd drunken fellow wandering the laneways each Saturday looking for their mates. To be fair, it is pretty inconspicuous from the outside. But once you've blurted the password and made your way inside you'll find a speakeasy-inspired bar overflowing with delicious rum cocktails. If you're clued in, you might just stumble into another secret bar hidden within.
Follow the trail of Doc Martens into Astral Weeks. The new bar is the first of its kind in Perth, offering an unparalleled vinyl listening experience in an unfussy, intimate setting. It's pretty popular amongst the indie kids and local music fiends, with a rotating lineup of visiting DJs and tastemakers on the decks each night. The equally impressive list of natural wines and the fact you can order Chinese from the restaurant next door and enjoy it outside, make this an awesome pick for your next night out.
Republic Of Fremantle
Republic of Fremantle is the new distillery sitting pretty alongside the heritage buildings on Pakenham street. While the moody interiors and high-end nibbles are hard to ignore, it’s the drinks that steal the show—no surprise considering the effort that has gone into distilling the brand’s award-winning signature gin and vodka from grape to glass. Start with a tasting flight then head on to the cocktail list—it’s overflowing with modern creations, spiced up classics, and beautiful bottled concoctions.
St Brigid Bar
Hamish Flemming and Siobhan Blumann—the legends behind Mechanics Institute, Flipside, Mrs Brown Bar, Propeller and Guildhall—are the brains behind this new neighbourhood bar and together with their talented team, they've truly smashed it out of the park. Grab a "long mac topped up", their refined take on the classic espresso martini, or one of the signature bubble cocktails and throw on a serve of crispy roast potatoes—you'll see why the locals are lining up for it.
Foxtrot Unicorn is home to some of the best bartenders in Australia, so they absolutely deserve a spot on the list. These guys are shaking the very best cocktails with moody vibes and the cheesiest jaffles to boot. What's not to love?
Brought to us by the same talented team behind Foxtrot Unicorn, Nieuw Ruin is fast becoming Freo’s fave wine bar thanks to its mammoth list of 250+ bottles on offer and ground-breaking food menu from Head Chef Blaze Young. The venue is set within an old heritage cottage with beautiful high ceilings and oodles of character, so you can choose to cosy up indoors or set up in the generous outdoor area for a boozy sundowner with a side of people watching.
With lush, neon-clad interiors that scream Miami-vice, Neon Palms is the perfect vacay-worthy escape right here in Perth. Grab one of their neon margaritas and an empanada or two then cosy up in a booth or chill in the courtyard—either way, you’re in for a good night.
Jetty Bar And Eats
Aptly named Jetty Bar And Eats, this unassuming "shack on the water" from Miles Hull (Little Creatures, Alex Hotel, Quarter Acre) is easy to miss but step inside and you’ll be rewarded with stunning waterfront vibes, cool decor, approachable wines and some very attractive cocktails. In the kitchen, Chef Marcello Segalin is whipping up the most delicious range of Mediterranean-inspired share plates. Trust us, this is the place to be come aperitivo hour.
The Royal Hotel
The Royal Hotel’s big old school hotel vibes along with its stellar drinks list and upmarket pub fare make this a must-visit whenever you're in the city. If you feel like getting fancy after a drink at the pub, make your way to the tiny dining room fleur for a meal that will knock your socks off.
There are so many different wines on offer at Strange Company, we still haven’t managed to finish the list. This small bar is always packed, and with good reason. The staff are cool, the food is excellent and the drinks are always flowing, making it the perfect bar if you ask us.
Mechanics Institute is just a hop, skip and jump away from James Street, and it is very, very cool. Pop up the stairs and take a seat in their multi-level outdoor rooftop area, before grabbing yourself a cheeky cocktail (trust us, these bartenders know their stuff) or something from their extensive range of wine and craft frothies.
Pep’s Wine Bar
Complete with exposed brick and timber furnishings, Pep’s Wine Bar provides a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere for exploring the 230 odd contemporary wine list, which features a mix of minimal intervention wines that are all too tough to choose between. We suggest you just head to the bar and ask the staff for some help.
Opening in 2019 and quickly becoming a crowd favourite, there's a lot to love about West Leedy bar slash bottle shop, Besk. The urban fit-out, the delicious eats and of course, the ridiculous number of craft beers on offer. While you can just order from the bar, we quite like choosing a bottle of wine from the bottle shop inside for a bit of extra choice.
Clarence’s Company Store
Iconic Mount Lawley small bar, Clarences, reopened its doors as Clarences Company Store this year and we’re pleased to say the revamp might just be better than the original. The new bar and talented team brings with it a fresh spin, adopting moody elements of New Orleans’ French Quarter in the food, drink and fitout—think jazz, dark corners, boujee bites and a good splash of whiskey. After stopping at the bar for one of their killer cocktails, head straight through to the courtyard area and chill under the canopy of fairy lights.
Setting up shop in the back courtyard of Drift Cafe, SKØL means “cheers” in Norse, so it should come as no surprise that it is Scandi inspired all the way. From the simple, yet elegant menu—which favours natural wines and house-crafted brews along with charcuterie boards and share plates, all perfect for long afternoons grazing and drinking—to the clean-cut minimalist decor and welcoming laid back vibes.
Wines Of While
Located on the northern end of William St, Wines of While is our top pick for really, really good natural wines. Food-wise, choose something from the delicious rustic French-Italian menu, and pair it with a perfect pet nat. We’re all about our minimal intervention wines, and this is the perfect spot to get into them. Soak in the fantastic, chilled-to-the-max atmosphere, and set up shop to drink the day away.
Picabar is the most chilled hangout we can think of. Head over and grab a good old pint in the breezy outdoor beer garden—it opens out onto the bustling Northbridge Cultural Centre so you can take in the lively atmosphere while you drink.
Boasting a dining area, outdoor courtyard AND a rooftop deck (hint hint, perfect for functions), there’s nothing you can’t have at The Standard. We're big fans of their Lazy Sunday special (a delicious and affordable lazy susan platter deal ranging from Balinese to American to pretty much any cuisine you can think of) which you can wash down with something from their massive drinks menu.
Europe called and Si Paradiso replied with its seriously aesthetic Italian vibes. Think mosaic tiling and stained glass windows inside with vibrant beach umbrellas and abundant greenery that flows through the large amphitheatre outside. Home to many a DJ sesh and the odd disco ball, this joint oozes retro-cool and backs it up with a cracking drinks list which you can pair with a cheesy slice from their woodfired pizza menu.
Sunsets, seafood and sauvignon, just down the road from the beach—what more could you want? Madalena’s Wine and Seafood Bar in South Freo is just the spot to satisfy all your Sunday arvo needs. And if that's not enough, we reckon they deserve bonus points for sustainability—Madalena’s works directly with local fishers to share the love. Go on, breathe in that sea air and grab some fresh oysters while you sip on organic wine.
Joe’s Juice Joint and Alabama Song
Sitting just off William Street is this dynamic duo: Joe’s Juice Joint and Alabama Song. Start downstairs at Joe’s and vibe in the dim lights to some loud rock music while downing a Pickle Back (a whiskey shot followed by a pickle juice shot—it sounds nuts but trust us, it works). To round the night off, pop upstairs to Alabama Song where you can have an Americana-style boogie on the floor with some good ol’ bourbon.
For a range of excellent craft beer and killer cocktails, Percy Flint should be your go-to. It’s no surprise that South Freo locals are obsessed; the venue is beautiful, the staff are welcoming and the drinks are damn good. The outdoor bar is draped in fairy lights and perfect in summer, and the indoor bar has a huge fireplace to keep everyone toasty in winter.
Feeling hungry? Head on over to the best restaurants in Perth.
Image credit: Elle Borgward, Emma Bryant