An array of upscale choices plus terrific cheap ethnic spots make Perth's restaurant scene as sophisticated as Sydney's and Melbourne's -- which is to say, excellent -- though often more expensive. You'll find a great range in "restaurant city," Northbridge. In addition to the eateries listed here, many hotels have excellent restaurants, including the Globe at the Parmelia Hilton and Opus at the Richardson. The Burswood casino complex has numerous restaurants, including the newly opened Rockpool Bar & Grill (tel. 08/6252 1900; www.rockpool.com.au/rockpool-bar-and-grill-perth).
For an excellent introduction to WA's restaurant scene grab yourself a copy of The West Australian Good Food Guide from any bookshop.
There's been major growth in both the cafe culture, and the availability of small bars (often with tapas-style menus), such as the sophisticated Andaluz Bar & Tapas (tel. 08/9481 0093), 29 Howard St., just off St. Georges Terrace. For excellent coffee and cake, inexpensive pasta, or a Turkish bread sandwich, you can't beat Perth's homegrown DOME chain of cafes. Look for the dark green logo, with its CBD outlet at Trinity Arcade overlooking St. Georges Terrace (tel. 08/9226 0210.
Western Australian law bans smoking in enclosed public spaces, such as bars and restaurants. Some licensed premises have smoking zones in outdoor areas.
In Northbridge -- The area is jam-packed with cafes and restaurants, many reflecting the Italian, Greek, Chinese, and Vietnamese migration that has made this part of Perth a staging point in their assimilation.
Looking for a Late-Night Bite
Eating after midnight in Perth can be a problem. Fast Eddy's is an option; otherwise, try Chung Wah Lane in Northbridge. It's more "China Alley" than Chinatown, with several Chinese restaurants, including Uncle Billy's (tel. 08/9228 9388; http://unclebillys.blogspot.com), tucked behind a red-gilt Chinese gateway at 60 Roe St. (behind the Bus Station, btw. William and Lake sts.). The restaurants on this strip mostly open daily between 5 and 6pm and close at 4am.
The Cappuccino Strip
Don't leave Freo without a "short black" (that's an espresso) or a "flat white" (coffee with milk) at one of the many alfresco cafes along South Terrace. On weekends, the street bursts at the seams with locals flocking to Italian-style eateries that serve good coffee and excellent focaccia, pasta, and pizza. DOME, The Merchant, and Gino's are three to look for.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.