The past few years has seen Perth’s bar scene undergo a Miley Cyrus-esque transformation. Seemingly overnight, our city’s nightlife suddenly got all grown up, and is now unrecognisable compared to the quiet, sweet, innocent version that it once was.
But with the emergence of all these new small bars and specialty drinking venues, it’s important we don’t forget the watering holes that have been with us since the beginning. The spots that have always been by our side, through thick and thin. The places that have been pouring us beers and serving us parmi, long before these newcomers arrived on the scene with their elaborate cocktails and fancy cheese boards.
That’s right folks, we’re talking about the good old-fashioned pubs of Perth. Let’s not forget them. Let’s not cast them aside. They’ve been there for us for so long, like a solid and reliable friend you can always drop in on.
So here are some of Perth’s best old school pubs. We salute you.
The Queens Tavern
Originally built in 1889, this is hands-down one of Perth’s most iconic and beautiful pubs. I’m even going to go right out there and describe it as ‘majestic’. The drinks list is a solid 10 out of 10, and The Queens also prides itself on its sustainable kitchen. The team behind the tasty food have made a commitment to only serve 100% fresh, local Australian produce from sustainable suppliers.
The Norfolk Hotel
Even if you identify as a ‘Northie’, you’d have to be living under a rock the size of Woodvale to not know what The Norfolk is. Always busy, ambient and dishing up delicious feeds, this Freo pub is an institution. Order one of their amazing stone-fired pizzas, pick one of the 22 beers they have on tap, and settle in to their alfresco courtyard for the afternoon. Bob’s your uncle.
Any venue that describes itself as an ‘eatin’ and drinkin’ emporium’ is sure to get our attention. JB’s is a family-run pub that has been serving delicious food and quality Irish tipple for more than 20 years. Not only do they dish up great eats like deep fried camembert (fried cheese = hell yes) and offer a huge selection of bevvies, the thing that will make you fall in love with JB’s is the friendly staff. You could probably rock up on your own and still have a stellar time.
This place has so much going on you’ll struggle to decide what night of the week to go. Tuesday for $15 steak and chips? Wednesday for their soul food evening? Thursday for nacho night? Friday for live acoustic music? Or Sunday for $5 ‘tacos and tinnies’? Looks like you’ve got a busy week in Vic Park, team.
If you can’t quite get to Subi Oval to watch the footy, The Vic is probably the next best thing. Their main bar area has plenty of plasmas, 15 different local and imported beers on tap, as well as an extensive wine list specialising in local WA wines. Once you’re done watching the footy, head over to their lounge bar, kick back on a cozy couch and order something delicious from their food menu.
The Rosemount Hotel
Nestled within Perth’s inner city suburbs, The Rosemount unites all types with the universal allure of music. One of the first venues in Perth to support original artists, The Rosemount is renowned for its cultural presence within the community. A vibrant locale with a beer garden plus good eats makes for awesome pub times.
The Flying Scotsman
Despite the plethora of new bars popping up all over Mount Lawley, The Scotto has stood the test of time. Great bands and truly good meal deals that are exceptional value for money—like $12 pizza and pints. Yes, you read that correctly. Run, don’t walk.
The Albion has been kicking around since 1890, and back then, was originally a stopover point on the long horse ride from Fremantle Port to Perth CBD. These days however, you don’t need to be venturing from Freo to the CBD to stop by, and you also don’t need to be on horseback. With 10 fireplaces and an impressive drinks list, the Albion is a top-notch spot for a cosy winter beverage.
The Inglewood Hotel
Serving the good people of Perth since 1936, The Inglewood ticks all the boxes for a great pub, and also happens to have a lengthy list of drinks for you to choose from. Sprits from Tasmania to Guatemala, wines from Willyabrup to Burgundy, and beers from all over the world, you’re guaranteed to find something to whet your whistle.
The South Beach Hotel
This place has had a bit of a facelift in recent times, but it’s been around long enough to still classify as a good old fashioned pub. It’s walking distance from Freo’s South Beach, making it the ideal spot to drop in for a beer after a dip in the ocean on a hot summer’s day. Sounds like a pretty perfect afternoon, yes?
Fibber McGee’s isn’t just a great Irish pub—the team here are also serious about good food. They have their own organic farm which they fully own and operate, so they can supply quality fresh produce to their kitchen to whip up their delicious meals. How’s that for a point of difference? Our tip—order their famous steak and stout pie.
The Paddo, what a golden oldie. Live music, a sports bar, daily food deals, drink specials and a rotating wine of the month. What more could you want from a friendly neighbourhood pub?
Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub
This is the most authentic Irish pub you’ll find in Perth—reason being that it was designed and constructed in Ireland by Irish architects, then disassembled, transported to Perth’s Shafto Lane, and reassembled. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is.
The Rose And Crown
This year is The Rose and Crown’s 175th anniversary. That makes it WA’s oldest operating hotel and an absolute landmark in our eyes. This Georgian pub is a country classic, with three different bar areas, cosy fireplaces, sprawling gardens, big comfy couches and a peaceful cellar that oozes history and charm.
The Bailey Bar And Bistro
Joondalup hasn’t earned its nickname of ‘Little Britain’ for nothing. The huge British and Irish population up there means that Perth’s northern suburbs are swarming with good old-fashioned British and Irish pubs—but you can’t go past The Bailey. It’s been there for decades, and has remained a popular spot for UK expats wanting to feel like they’re right back at home.
The Elizabethan Village Pub
Nestled in the hills of Perth, The Elizabethan is probably the most picturesque pub you’ll ever lay eyes on. The original concept for the pub was to bring Shakespeare’s birthplace to WA—and boy have they done a good job. This is an old-school British pub at its absolute finest.
The Quindanning Hotel
The Quindanning is one of the most easily recognizable, historic buildings in the district, and possesses all the features of a good old-fashioned country pub—heaps of jarrah, open-wood fires, seriously good food and long veranda for enjoying your bevvies on sunny afternoons.
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The Rosemount | Image credit: Louise Coghill