Keepin’ it Toasty: Where to Dine in Subi this Autumn

Some may like it hot – but we like it toasty here in Subi, says Monique Ceccato, as she settles in for some heart-warming tipples and treats.

When the temperature drops, Subiaco’s cafes, restaurants and bars are the hottest place to be. Whether it be for their cosy atmosphere, hearty menu, or a combination of the two, these establishments are more than worthy of a visit any time of year.

Little Rokeby Café

269 Rokeby Road, Subiaco

A winter without soup is like a purple ocean; it just isn’t right. It’s the unofficial dish of the season, and it makes its way onto the menu at Little Rokeby Café daily. Some days it’ll be a classic – like pea and ham or potato and leek – served with a side of toasted sourdough for dipping and mopping up. On other days, the soup of the day is influenced by south east Asia, packed with tofu, chilli, and noodles.

Mistelle Bistro

205 Nicholson Road, Shenton Park

Blue-sky winter days are undeniably beautiful, but they’re bitingly cold. Beat the frost and thaw out in the warmth of the sun-bathed dining room at French bistro, Mistelle. While the winter sun gets to work from the outside, a hearty plate of beef bourguignon with silky Paris mash or confit duck leg will get to work from the inside. Pair it with a glass of Malbec from Cahors, and you’ll be toasty warm in no time.

Layers Bakery

Shop 10/29 Station Street, Subiaco

Winter smells like mulled wine and burning log fires, cinnamon and freshly baked pastries. At Layers Bakery, you’ll find the latter by the tray-load. Sink your teeth into the crispy, cinnamon-sugar-covered exterior of a pillowy cruffin, or opt for something a little more traditional, like a warm pain aux raisin or pain aux chocolat. Even the savoury pastries get a winter glow-up here, with freshly shaved Manjimup truffle known to appear atop limited edition danishes, tarts, and sandwiches.

Architects and Heroes

25 Rokeby Road, Subiaco

A good morning coffee hits differently in the dark and cold of winter. It’s the all-important pick-me-up on days when the weather is less than ideal. Architects and Heroes take their coffee seriously, so you’ll always start your day in the best way possible. Pop in for the usual, or indulge yourself with one of their espresso-tasting flights. Absolutely no judgement if you start your day with a ‘choc starter’ — a double espresso over melted chocolate — either.

Pobbles Café

121A Hay Street, Subiaco

Pobbles isn’t your conventional cafe; it’s bright blue, named after the owners’ two dogs (Popcorn and Bubbles), and serves a fun fusion of brunch foods and Malaysian cuisine. Come winter, their piping-hot toasties are the perfect cold-weather antidote, filled with anything from chickpeas and tomato to a meat-lovers combination of salami, pepperoni, chicken ham, and pizza sauce. But it’s their seafood and chicken laksas that really steal the show. Wrap your hands and tastebuds around a bowl of the fragrant, coconut-based broth, and you’ll forget all about the rain and cold outside.

Refuge Small Bar

5/50 Subiaco Square Road, Subiaco

Pasta is a meal that transcends seasons, served with seafood and lemon in summer and rich, slow-cooked ragus in winter. At Refuge Small Bar, they have the art of pasta-making down to a tee. It’s a regular on the menu, but every Thursday, they showcase their thick homemade pasta ribbons with a limited-run sauce. Escape the winter rain and cosy up at a table in the corner with a big bowl of slow-braised beef cheek pasta. Lean into the hearty winter flavours and add a bottle of Mount Barker Cabernet Sauvignon to the table, too.

1982 Food + Coffee

Shop 3/1 Rokeby Road, Subiaco

Coffee drinkers are well-covered when it comes to finding a spot in Subiaco for a winter pick-me-up. And at 1982 Food and Coffee, the caffeine-free contingent is, too. Their menu is chock-full of alternative hot drinks, from a straight green tea to a milky matcha latte. However, the most interesting picks of the lot are the turmeric, taro or hojicha (roasted matcha) lattes. There’s a similar breadth in the milk range as well, so the lactose-adverse aren’t limited in choice.

Cherubino City Cellar

169-171 Rokeby Road, Subiaco

On the most blustery of winter days, hiding out in a white-washed venue full of rattan and banana palms doesn’t seem quite right. Instead, find solace in the moody dark timber, velvet armchairs and wine bottle-lined walls at Cherubino City Cellar. Enter through the laneway behind Simon Johnson and climb the stairs to your little slice of wintery paradise. Bring a binge-worthy book, order a glass of Frankland River Shiraz, and sink into one of the armchairs as the rain beats down outside.

Community Coffee Co.

292a Barker Road, Subiaco

Early risers and those on the go can get their toasty treats from the espresso bar and roastery, Community Coffee Co. Opening at 6:30 am each morning, they’re doling out hot drinks before the sun has even made an appearance above the horizon. Hungry? Their thick-breaded takeaway sandwiches receive just as much praise as their creamy coffee. Come winter, they even beef their humble ‘egg sando’ up with some shavings of fresh Manjimup truffle.

The Red Chair Café

Crossways Shopping Centre, 184 Rokeby Road, Subiaco

The menu behind the counter at The Red Chair has a long list of sandwiches and breakfasts to order from, but it’s their exciting Vietnamese-Malay fusion menu that you want to turn your attention to. On it is their famed curry laksa — known around Perth as one of the best for its rich, aromatic and spicy broth. Loaded with your choice of chicken, seafood, or vegetables, it’s one of the best value lunches around and will surely add some heat to a cold winter day.

BARK Subiaco

502 Hay Street, Subiaco

If ever there were a bar made for winter, it’s BARK. On any day of the week, you can pop down and order a hot, cheesy jaffle (as is or with Vegemite, ham or jalapeños) or steak sandwich to munch on while you lose hours to a game of Scrabble. It’s not the only boardgame they’ve got stashed away, with Uno and Connect 4 also firm favourites. Staying a while? Add some Beerfarm Milk Stouts or espresso martinis to the table, too. And if you really want that added extra touch of warmth, there’s even a fake fireplace playing on the TV on extra chilly days.

Lums Wine Bar

433 Hay Street, Subiaco

Lums was one of those rare things – an instant hit from the moment it opened its doors. This isn’t a surprise when you think about the team behind it (the same bunch of hospo legends who run BARK) but it’s pleasing to see that this particular incarnation of the neighbourhood wine bar hasn’t rested on its renovated laurels. Several menu styles have come and gone, but the present version is particularly suited to an autumnal Pinot and platter. Veering towards the Mediterranean with its vibe, with tapas and larger bowls to share being a popular choice, it’s hard to go past the slow cooked pork belly with Jerusalem artichokes and roasted quince cauli puree. Or umami-packed jamon and pea croquetas and patatas bravas. And if it’s something sweet you crave, let us pray to all that is holy and thank our good fortune that the Lums Chocolate Share Board exists. Amen.

You may also like…

The Sky’s the Limit: Looking Back on Subi Blooms 2024

Extended Trading Hours for Subi Blooms

Keepin’ it Toasty: Where to Dine in Subi this Autumn