Cafe Nation (vol. 1) : Perth's best hidden gem cafes
Sometimes, as brilliant and all-encompassing as they are, Dome - the caffeine juggernaut of Western Australia - can get a little boring. Sometimes, there is only so much of that fancy McCafe cappuccino you can take. Sure, we don’t have Starbucks - but we’ve got better: little gems, spread across the suburbs of WA, bustling coffee sanctuaries tucked away in unassuming corners and alleyways (in a totally non-creepy way); a second home within walking distance from your actual one. In this article, the IN staff got together to celebrate the “hidden gem” cafes in Perth/WA:
Tucked away on Hay St, Moana Coffee is a go-to if you’re seeking hermitage from the bustle of the city - or, just some damn good coffee (notably, their cold brews). The cafe sits on the second floor of a revamped heritage building, unbeknownst to many, and is accessible via stairs. With a mural-clad balcony area and eclectic adornments, you’re sure to feel at ease. Their menu offers rad bagels, quesadillas, wondrous ice teas, to-die-for muesli bowls and everything else in between. And did I mention they do a mean hot chocolate?
Workshop Cycles Workshop Espresso
You wouldn’t usually walk into a bike shop expecting a good cup of coffee, but Wembley Cycles Workshop Espresso in Wembley is here to prove you wrong. Attached to Wembley Cycles on Cambridge Street, Workshop Espresso delivers a fine coffee and diverse spread of food for such a small space. Perfect for the lycra-clad cycling enthusiast (or anyone, really).
Jack and Jill
Head for the hills! Jack and Jill in Kalamunda is perfect for the classy local, delivering organic food, coffee and vibes. They pride themselves on their locally sourced ingredients, to the benefit of all. The food is to die for, and they serve a mean coffee, which can all be enjoyed in the relaxing environment. Worth walking up the (slight) hill for.
The Hardware Store
The Hardware Store in Scarborough stands out from the crowd for its rustic design- you kind of get the feeling of being in someone’s backyard shed. They fix up (geddit) a fantastic breakfast, with a diverse array of options. The great coffee and service is the cherry on top. It’s definitely worth hunting down.
Tucked in amongst Perth’s western suburbs, fortysevenkirwanstreet in Floreat offers a warm environment while you indulge in your breakfast of choice. Speaking of breakfast, it’s really good here, and the service is super friendly (to say nothing of the coffee). And with a name like that, you’ll never have to drive around in circles trying to find the damn place. Definitely not your average suburban cafe.
Lot Six Zero
Occupying a space that was once a Blockbuster (R.I.P.), Lot Six Zero in Innaloo offers a diverse menu of fantastic food (I highly recommend their buckets of chips) and superb coffee in a warm environment. If you’re heading to see a movie at the nearby cinemas, why not pop by for lunch?
Wedged between many already finely established Whatley crescent businesses, Steam Haus in Maylands is the newest kid on the block and unlike the new snotty nose kid from your childhood who would borrow all of your stuff and never return it, I'm so damn happy that they've moved in. The cafe is actually a house as the name suggests, so there's plenty of room and each room has its own intimate vibe. The cafe is also pet-friendly. If you're a dog tragic like myself, there's a whole deck section dedicated for your pups (or other people's dogs) Steam Haus frequently guest stars delicious treats from Mary Street Bakery, the infamous donuts, especially the salted caramel, are sure to please even the fussiest of dessert goers.
Nestled in a less-travelled arcade on Hay Street is a small unassuming cafe called PULP. Warm and intimate, its charming decor makes you feel like you’re walking into someone’s (very fancy) kitchen. One that belongs to a cool artistic/foodie friend who runs a successful youtube channel about coffee in their spare time. Good coffee? Check. Matcha-flavoured pastries? Check. Free WiFi? Check. Avocado Smash on Toast for under $22? Go ahead with that down payment on your sweet new crib, baby! If you are lucky enough to claim one of their limited tables, PULP Cafe is the perfect spot for finishing up that damn proposal/assignment/screenplay(?) you’ve been putting off for weeks.
Hobart Street Deli
Hobart Street Deli is my go-to North Perth cafe. Nestled on the corner of Auckland and Hobart streets, it offers an amazing selection of sweet and savoury treats. The coffee is TDF (to die for) & there is a playground across the road for those that way inclined. Come for scrambled eggs, stay for the #realhousewivesofnorthperth.
Honourable Mention: Bang Bang Specialty Coffee
Not quite an full-on "cafe", per se, this humble coffee cart is one of the true hidden gems for anyone studying or working at Murdoch University. Bringing in foot-traffic to what would have otherwise been a god-forsaken corner of the economics building, cool dudes Charlie & Adam & Co. have built themselves a majestic wooden perma-temporary purveyor of delicious baked goods (usually by Murdoch Uni coffee cart predecessor Top Dup Donuts - did you know they used to be Top Dup Coffee?), ace banter, and of course, bang-on coffee.