Long gone are the days of St George’s Terrace looking more like a scene out of The Walking Dead at 4 pm on a Wednesday and thank goodness for that. There are so many amazing restaurants in Perth’s CBD these days and that it's hard to keep up. Sometimes life calls for cheap, cheerful and BYO, and sometimes it calls for a little lavishness. These are the latter.
Lovingly handpicked by us, here are 15 of the best restaurants in Perth’s CBD.
Sitting pretty inside The Royal Hotel, fleur is as beautiful and as fancy as she sounds. With local produce front and centre, there’s plenty to get excited about when it comes to the menu. Think Mandurah blue swimmer crab with dashi coral custard, duck breast served with ume, spiced crumpet and duck jam and smoked pork butter egg noodles. Paired with a curated wine list, some stunning cocktails and equally lovely interiors, stop by on your next night out in Perth.
The team at Petition Kitchen are big believers in supporting local so you can expect only the freshest of ingredients, prepared simply but bursting with flavour. The menu changes regularly—though the famous chopped broccoli salad always makes an appearance—but it doesn't mater what you order, you're guaranteed to love it. Whether it's a long lunch or a luxurious dinner, try to nab a seat on the long leather couch for ultimate comfort. Wine Merchant and Petition Beer Corner are also just around the corner if you need somewhere for a pre or post-dinner drink.
Wildflower is shifting our preconceived idea of ‘food for thought’. The menu is dictated by the environment and draws on the seasonal indigenous Noongar calendar. You’ll make a booking with the expectation to be blown away by the view, but in reality, it’s much more than that. The creativity of each dish will make you appreciate our Western Australian soil just a little bit more than the last.
All hail the King of Thai food, David Thompson for bringing Long Chim into our Perth lives. Word to the wise: believe the wait staff. When they say the Chiang Mai larp of chicken is hot, they don’t mean Australian hot. They mean serious Thailand hot. So prepare yourself with all the napkins and all the beer. We’re also obsessed with the sour orange curry of fish and the green papaya salad, but everything here is insanely good and not too expensive. Make a booking, go hungry and fall in love with the State Buildings all over again.
The Heritage. Maybe we love it because you immediately feel like you’re in a Parisian bistro along the Seine. Or maybe we love it because you feel like you’re part of the Boardwalk Empire set. Or maybe we just love it because it’s done really remarkable things for Perth’s fine dining scene and has brought a piece of historic architecture along the terrace back to life. So let’s just go with D) all of the above. We’re all about the beef wellington but be sure to save room for dessert.
Hearth is the jaw-dropping restaurant attached to The Ritz-Carlton Perth at Elizabeth Quay. The fit-out is light, bright and uber-relaxing thanks to the cool blues and views of our beautiful Swan River. When it comes to the food, expect only the best WA produce with a good smattering of native ingredients thanks to Executive Chef Jed Gerrard of Wildflower fame. It’s the perfect spot to take your out-of-town guests, but we say don’t wait for them; get there and treat yourself now.
Varnish On King
Yes ok, it’s a bar, we know that. But if you’ve eaten at Varnish On King you know as well as we do that it deserves a spot on any list of the best restaurants in Perth’s CBD. Known for their whisky and bacon flights, can we recommend you just take a second to sit down and order the beef tendon crisps with ash mayo, the maple bourbon chicken wings and the lamb belly ribs with a side of the best cornbread you’ll ever eat. Finish it all off with the Chicho Gelato peanut butter brownie.
Sitting pretty down at Elizabeth Quay, it’s not just the views that will have your heart racing at The Reveley. Start your visit off with one of their delicious cocktails to get your taste buds flowing. Then, it’s a tough decision between all the drool-worthy dishes os go with the Chef's Table menu and try a bit of everything.
The Flour Factory
If you’ve been treating The Flour Factory like a bar instead of a restaurant you’ve been doing it wrong. Yes, the gin bar is the best thing to happen to Friday after-work drinks in a long while, but once you try the food, you’ll be so swept up in how the chef can make potatoes taste and look so good, you’ll wish they were listed on the ASX so you could buy-in .
If you’re into homemade pasta, insanely good seafood and a banging salumi board then surely you’ve been to Lalla Rookh. Head Chef Alexandra Haynes has crafted a fresh modern Italian menu featuring the finest West Australian produce. And honestly, the hardest part is deciding which dish to pick. We reckon you'll never regret a hearty bowl of gnocchi, especially when it's topped with a rich pork and fennel ragu, so just run with this if you get stuck.
Is our obsession with the State Buildings obvious yet? This is fancy opulence in its most justifiable form. Normally our hearts would melt at the words gnocchi, but at Post, we struggle to go past the orecchiette. Pretty much everything on the modern Italian menu showcases local purveyors and the wonderfulness that is WA. The newly refurbed dining space only adds to the fine-dining experience.
Hadiqa is your answer to innovative, refined Middle-Eastern dining. Head here for a Friday night drink sesh after work and you’ll surely score brownie points with your colleagues. From the decor to the food and drinks, everything has been carefully curated to give you a taste of Moroccan luxury. Round up your mates and order one of their spritz trees—nine spritzes with all the best mixers you could ever dream of.
The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House
While the Print Hall combo is old news, the food coming out of it certainly isn’t. Apple Daily is still going very strong. If it’s been a while, here’s a refresher—it’s a little less south-east fusion and a little more collaborative Asian affair with additions from Korea, Japan and India popping up on the menu. But don’t worry, the old classics are still there. We’re talking pulled pork pancakes with Asian slaw, snapper dumplings with a tom kha broth and drunken noodles with prawn, chicken and Thai basil.
The shift in partnership has resulted in a welcome change to Balthazar. It’s out with the white linen tablecloths and in with the wood and leather from team No Mafia and the menu is seriously next level. Rest assured, you can still get Bread In Common treats with house butter.
Garum is Chef Guy Grossi’s best gift to Perth. Think Roman classics with a touch of Grossi’s magic and the years of experience he brings to the table, and you have the makings of one of the best restaurants in the city. While pretty much everything on the menu shows off WA’s amazing produce, it is head chef Mario Di Natale’s aesthetic for modern Italian cooking that really puts this place on the map.
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Image credit: Elle Borgward, Emma Bryant, Hearth (Supplied), Nancy Hanna