Italy’s best-loved dessert, Tiramisu (literally meaning ‘pick me up’) was named for its energising layers of marsala-soaked sponge, creamy mascarpone and coffee—interesting, considering we’d argue that most of us know it today as the last nail in the food-coma coffin brought on by an Italian feast.
Still, this is a dessert so prolific that when the north-eastern region of Italy long considered to be the origin of tiramisu—Veneto—was challenged for the title, the region’s governor vehemently defended it, saying: ‘No one can swindle us out of tiramisu.’
That’s why we love the Italians. To defend a dessert with such tenacity, well, it must be a damn good dessert. And luckily, we’ve no shortage of spots to sink our teeth into its mushy layers here in Perth, either—from the most traditional of recipes to the most contemporary, plates of tiramisu dot our city north to south.
Comfort eating at its finest, here are 13 places to indulge in Perth’s best tiramisu.
This place is little Italy to a tee—complete with red and white checked tablecloths, Italian waiters shouting across the room, melodious tarantella music and of course, the all-important tiramisu lauded by many as ‘the best ever’. We don’t know about that, but Ciao Italia's tiramisu definitely has the thickest layers of mascarpone ever, plus a generous drizzling of chocolate sauce and cream on top… too much? Never.
Canteen Pizza & Il Lido
So big it can comfortably feed a table of six (no mean feat when we’re talking dessert), the tiramisu over at sister venues Il Lido and Canteen Pizza is a force of richness to be reckoned with. If a brick is what sits at one end of the spectrum when it comes to the consistency of rectangular shaped objects, this tiramisu sits at the other—perfectly spongey, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth. The coffee powder dusted over the top alone will have you dotting up the remnants with a wet fingertip.
Lulu La Delizia
Widely considered to be among the best restaurants in Australia, it’s no surprise that Lulu La Delizia is serving up one of Perth’s most delicious tiramisus—corretto, of course. Perfectly constructed (and very generous) portions of tiramisu are dusted with cocoa powder to order for the kind of superb freshness you get used to when dining at this homely little Osteria. It’s a table thumper!
Santini Bar & Grill
New on the scene but quickly making a name for itself as having food worth eating, Santini Bar & Grill at the brand new QT Perth isn’t all pizzas and seafood. In fact, the tiramisu della Santini is essential eating—even if you’re full after downing that 45-day-aged steak everyone’s talking about. If you’re smart, you’ll have a room booked upstairs to roll back to once your plate’s licked clean.
Francoforte Spaghetti Bar
Not one to shy away from injecting a bit of mischief into their Italian fare (just check out their kale pesto and kangaroo bolognese), Francoforte's one-time matcha tiramisu with raspberries was about as trendy as this classic dessert came in our city. They’ve since switched to dishing out classic tiramisu, but with a dollop of cream and a few mini-marshmallows on the side for good, mischievous measure.
With a penchant for good, share-style fine Italian food comes an obvious spot for tiramisu corretto on the menu, as is so at the family-owned and operated Cecchi's of Inglewood. If you like your tiramisu with a side of serious neighbourhood-joint charm, here you’ll find both in copious amounts, both equally satisfying.
Galileo Buona Cucina
One of the O.G’s of Perth’s Italian dining scene, Galileo has been serving up a seasonally-driven and constantly adapting menu since 2004 with no signs of decay. While the old school grandeur of this place doesn’t dictate much of the menu (it’s a modern classic), they’re definitely exercising the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mentality with their downright delicious tiramisu, which comes with the Italian government’s stamp of approval.
Another stalwart in the world of Italian dining in Perth (it’s been around since 1986), Perugino's desserts come just how we like them: seemingly bottomless and from a trolley. Choose your tiramisu from among the other equally mouth-watering options, and the black-vested waiters will serve it right up—along with, perhaps, a suggestion for the perfect digestivo pairing which you should definitely indulge.
Standing strong on South Terrace since 1978, Ruocc's might not be pushing any culinary boundaries but when it comes to tiramisu, that’s kind of a compliment. No deconstructed tiramisu in sight, no maraschino cherries, no shaved white chocolate—just good old tiramisu proper, served stacked in a glass kind of like you’d expect at one of those so-tacky-they’re-cool dessert bars in little Italy’s the world-over. Except delicious.
With a history dating back to the 1950’s, Capri Restaurant has been in the Pizzale family for its entire existence and cut its teeth dutifully serving our Port City’s thriving migrant enclave in its earliest days. Not much has changed since then. Genuine, homely Italian food is the name of the game here and many of the original offerings are still on the menu today—including a homemade tiramisu that’ll knock your socks off.
At the other end of the tiramisu spectrum falls La Sosta, who are proudly serving up a deconstructed tiramisu that might turn up Nonna’s nose but still tastes pretty damn good. The flavour is traditional—coffee and Kahlua reign supreme—but the mascarpone is whipped into a mousse and the chocolate element is a crisp, wafer-thin tuile.
Housed in a California-style bungalow that makes for the perfect long and lingering dinners, the menu at Kappy’s doesn’t stray too far from the timeless favourites. Their tiramisu is no exception—layers of mascarpone cream, sponge, coffee and chocolate for the win.
Threecoins Italian Trattoria
If Frangelico and a whooooole lotta’ cream is what you want up in your tiramisu, Threecoins should be hot on your hit-list. It comes out in a jar—the layers completely masked by cream—on a wooden board, with pour-your-own chocolate sauce on the side that will inevitably be eaten-by-finger if not poured all over your dessert.
Want more Italian goodness? Check out our favourite Italian restaurants in Perth.
La Sosta | Image credit: Elle Borgward