Black, milky, sweet, or decaffeinated; however you take your hot drinks, Subiaco’s best cafes and diners have got you covered. By Monique Ceccato.
Cafe by day, small bar by night, Bark dabble in all manner of drinks, be they caffeinated, boozy, or a combination of the two. Stop by in the morning and take a seat under their ‘shrine to Australiana’ photo wall (think 80s and 90s family photos) for a hot, galah-covered mug of coffee and decadent chocolate brownie. Push your visit out to post 5pm, and one of their signature salted caramel espresso martinis is fair game, best paired with a crispy-edged jaffle or cold cut stuffed conti roll.
1982 Food + Coffee
If alternative lattes are your thing, 1982 Food + Coffee is your cafe. Their menu lists the usual suspects – chai and matcha lattes – and a few lesser-seen lattes like turmeric, taro, and roasted matcha (houjicha). There’s even a long list of alternative kinds of milk for non-dairy latte drinkers, including coconut, oat, almond, soy, and lactose-free. Coffee lovers can get excited about the menu too. All your favourites make an appearance, as well as a 16-hour cold brew that’s truly a labour of love.
The Little Pantry
At The Little Pantry, today’s brewed coffees make tomorrow’s all-natural fertiliser. In an effort to minimise waste, the cafe carefully bags up their spent coffee grounds and leaves them by the front door for you to pick up (for free) as you leave. Sit down in the cosy garden out back for a do-good cup of coffee, accompanied by a colourful avocado smash – topped with yellow corn, red onion, and feta – or a healthy nourishing bowl.
They’re only new on the Subiaco scene, but Yours Truly are off to a flying start. The coffee here is good, but it’s what is in the food cabinet that will have you coming back time and time again. Toasties and bagels are truly Yours Truly’s jam, combining everything you know and love about New York-en fare into the one tasty parcel. Think bagels à la Rueben sandwich and smoked pastrami bagels oozing tangy pickle, mustard relish, and melty double cheese. There are even gooey Nutella s'more cookies to round off the international culinary experience.
Architects and Heroes
Espresso, milky coffee, or filtered coffee? Architects and Heroes have made the decision easier for you with their range of coffee flights. Each flight (there are three to choose from) comes with a selection of three coffees, served side by side for critical comparison. Not that big of a fan of coffee? Their menu is heavy on specialty teas too. Think baked Yunnan green tea with lemon verbena, southern ginseng, and red clover flowers, or a sun-dried white Fijian peony and rose petal blend.
His Lid x Lid Espresso Bar
If there’s anything the ‘Lid’ team knows, it’s fresh fades and fresh coffee. The lads from His Lid Barber have expanded their horizons past hair and are now on a mission to keep you caffeinated too. Get your piping hot cup of Locale Espresso coffee from their Subiaco Square cafe (formerly known as Lion and Jaguar) or from the coffee window at the salon on Sheen Street. Don’t forget to give Obi, the loveable shop dog, a pat on your way out.
Great coffee is just a bonus at Layers Bakery. The real hero at this authentic French pâtisserie is their flaky, buttery pain au chocolat; it’s the perfect accompaniment to your morning long black. Save yourself the morning sugar rush with a flat white and something savoury, like their creamy spinach and bechamel danish or indulgent cheese and bacon stick. And, don’t forget to grab one of their cinnamon bun x croissant hybrids as afternoon tea fodder. It would be très rude not to.
Mediterranean-inspired Boucla is a Subiaco institution. Locals rave about their Greek and Turkish menu, even going so far as to call their selection of cakes and slices ‘the best in Perth’. In the cabinet, you’ll find the likes of galaktoboureko – a dessert slice of semolina custard and filo pastry – ginger and honey melomakarona biscuits, and sticky baklava. They’re all made fresh daily. Savour a slice over a spicy turmeric latte, or fill up on a more substantial loaded breakfast souvlaki or a piping hot bowl of spicy, yoghurt-y Turkish eggs.
Part coffee-and-cake selling cafe and part Vietnamese diner, the unassuming Red Chair cafe in Crossways Shopping Centre gets rave reviews. The menu is extensive, covering off everything from milkshakes and cakes to pasta salads and more. Stop by in the AM for a big mug of coffee and an American-style cookie, or wait until noon hits and get your curry laksa fix. It’s arguably the best in Perth.
Brew-Ha The Ritual
Taking the concept of takeaway coffee one step further is the coffee roastery-come-cafe, Brew-Ha The Ritual (a recent re-name incarnation). Alongside their bags of beans, they’ve started selling their signature roasts in handy, Nespresso-compatible pods. Now you can flex your coffee-making skills at home and enjoy your favourite brew whenever and however you please. Or, you can just call it a day and let one of their expert baristas steam and brew you a large cappuccino in store, best enjoyed at a table in the large alfresco area out front.
Little Rokeby Café
Heaven is where they serve cold brew on tap; just look out for the bright yellow signage, umbrellas, and chairs on Rokeby Road. Unmissable from the street, the cheerful Little Rokeby Cafe is a weekend favourite, only in part for the easily accessible cold brew. It’s a friendly neighbourhood spot, always bustling with locals and their dogs and cyclists on a post-ride pit stop. Even if the cold brew isn’t your thing, their long list of hot drinks and sticky cinnamon buns will surely win you over.
Community Coffee Co
They’ve got a handful of outposts around Perth, but Community Coffee Co’s Subiaco space is the OG. This hidden little cafe is worth seeking out as it's not just a cafe but home to their roastery and retail coffee space, selling machines, presses, and filters. Come for their exceptional brews and perfectly presented avocado on toast; leave with a new press and a bag of freshly roasted Rwandan filter coffee. Time your visit for lunch on a Friday, and their famed souvlaki slinging caravan will be in full swing. Get there bang on 11.30am so you don’t miss out.
Blacklist Coffee Roasters
Blacklist Coffee Roasters’ Subiaco concept store is the coffee world’s equivalent of a cellar door. It’s a space for true connoisseurs to sample and purchase unique roasts from all corners of the globe and a place of exploration and education for those not-so-in-the-know. Let the coffee experts guide you through a degustation-esque coffee tasting to help decipher your bean preference before buying a batch of your favourite for home. There is also an option to sign up for a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly coffee delivery.
The Corner Store
Starting its life as St Lucy’s Cafe, the revamped and renamed The Corner Store is now much more than just your local coffee and bagel stop. Of course, they’re still selling the good stuff by the cup load, but they’ve expanded to stock local artisanal giftware and seasonal market produce too. Enjoy perusing handmade earthenware and different expressions of local honey while waiting for your morning cappuccino to steam.