A local’s guide to Perth: ‘It feels like the city is settling in a little bit’

By embracing Indigenous culture, walkability and an outdoor lifestyle, Perth is becoming more itself, says Cass Lynch, a researcher, writer and south coast Nyoongar woman


You’ll find a lot to eat on William Street north of the CBD. With everything happening with rent in the city, a lot of young operators have set up shop here. The street is lined by trees and there’s this sense of being able to walk on country and get a sense of where you are. Wines of While is a natural wine bar that attracts a crowd; and I really like No Mafia, a pasta bar overlooking the street.

Marinara with Shark Bay prawns, vongole, local fish and squid at Little Way restaurant in Nedlands.
Marinara with Shark Bay prawns, vongole, local fish and squid at Little Way restaurant in Nedlands. Photograph: Little Way

I love Peoples Cafeteria: the whole place is halfway between a community kitchen and an à la carte restaurant. It’s so friendly and unpretentious. You go in there and sit on these ballroom chairs and eat this homemade style of cooking served as a buffet. It calls into question, how do we feed people? I don’t think there’s anything else like that in Perth. I think that’s why I like it so much, it’s just so unexpected.

We got married at Little Way in Nedlands, and love the food. It’s the most beautiful venue because it’s green and overgrown – we didn’t even have to decorate it. It has different zones including two courtyards. It’s very brunch, but the food is modern. They do mushroom gnocchi and seafood pasta plus delicious cocktails and desserts. We go for breakfast and get the shakshuka. They’ve got the time and skill to produce that kind of brunch food, not just the regular stuff.


The new museum Boola Bardip is fantastic and has great awareness of West Australian Aboriginal culture. It’s got great presence, but it also references fantastic star knowledge from Yamatji country. There’s also a great display about rising sea levels, including a story from my mob down on the south coast.

The recently redeveloped Boola Bardip museum.
The recently redeveloped Boola Bardip museum. Photograph: Chameleons Eye/REX/Shutterstock

Because Boola Bardip is a new museum, it has the sentiments of where we’re going and how we started. It’s a great place to check in because it’s so recent and much more relevant, I think, to where Perth people are now.


Inglewood has gone way up recently. Hoodburger (a popular burger restaurant with an attached wine bar) is down there, there’s a sensational nail salon called Kustom Klaws which has a big neon sign in the window and an all-pink leopard print interior.

We’re also big fans of the Civic. It’s an unpretentious, fun pub. Not trendy at all and dog-friendly, plus you can get a great bowl of chips. My partner Dave usually gets a steak sandwich while we’re there.

Green space

John Oldham Park is just outside the CBD and is stunning. Although there’s a bus stop out the front, it’s quite hidden. Inside it’s beautiful – there’s even a waterfall.

Perth City views over John Oldham Park lake, Perth, Western Australia
John Oldham Park lake, a beautiful city oasis. Photograph: Jason Knott/Alamy

People in Perth want to walk places. We have fantastic weather and this beautiful river. It feels like the city is settling in a little bit and wants to be more accessible to walkers.


Si Paradiso on Beaufort Street is wonderful because it’s open air. I think it appeals to our beer garden culture, where we can sit outside and be in the shade. I don’t like being inside places any more, which is why I like festival season because everything is outside.

At night, Si Paradiso is great. The pizza is consistently delicious and it sometimes stages ticketed dance music events.


We had a staycation at Alex hotel (from $243 p/n) after our wedding, it’s all small rooms and there’s a rooftop as well, which is nice. I really loved the breakfast with Bread in Common bread. It was a very relaxed way to start the day. And because you’re staying in the city, you’ve got great food and stuff to do all around.


As told to Max Veenhuyzen

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
A local’s guide to Melbourne: ‘The best part is the element of surprise’
Victoria’s capital is rich in hidden galleries, bars and clubs, idiosyncratic buildings and exciting food, says architectural designer Nancy Beka

As told to Cristian Bonetto

11, Jan, 2023 @2:00 PM

Article image
A local’s guide to the Gold Coast: ‘There’s a great grassroots art scene’
Forever an Australian go-to for simple, sunny holidays, this sandy stretch of beach suburbs has matured into a thrumming metropolis. Still, nature is never far away, says local artist Dion Parker

As told to Matt Shea

30, Dec, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
A local’s guide to Brisbane: ‘what do you want? Because it’s all here’
Brisbane may be a medium-sized city but thanks to a multicultural food, arts and nightlife scene, it’s also a world tour, says star chef Louis Tikaram

As told to Matt Shea

17, Dec, 2022 @7:00 PM

Article image
A local’s guide to Sydney: ‘Nightlife is the best it’s ever been right now’
New (and revamped) venues are opening at a dizzying pace in Sydney. For the best food, clubs and beaches, you have to put in the work, says DJ Deepa Alam

As told to Michael Sun

24, Jan, 2023 @2:00 PM

Article image
A local’s guide to Adelaide: ‘It can be a bit conservative, but also really exciting’
From botanic gardens to a pumping small-bar scene, there’s more to Adelaide than meets the eye, says artist Billie Justice Thomson

As told to Alexis Buxton-Collins

05, Jan, 2023 @2:00 PM

Article image
A local’s guide to Darwin: soul-stirring sunsets, enlivening art and multicultural markets
Proud Larrakia woman Nicole Brown – Darwin’s 2022 Citizen of the Year – shares her favourite places to eat, unwind and connect with her ancestors in the saltwater city

As told to Nannette Holliday

08, Dec, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
A local’s guide to Hobart: platypus spotting, spontaneous nights out and grassroots energy
Surrounded by green, arts and nightlife thrive in Hobart and there’s (finally) good coffee for the morning after, says film and theatre-maker Briony Kidd

As told to Ruth Dawkins

01, Dec, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
A local’s guide to Perth, Western Australia
As Qantas launches London-Perth, the first non-stop flights between the UK and Australia, Anna Reece of the Perth Festival picks her favourite cultural venues, restaurants, bars and beaches in the city

Anna Reece

23, Mar, 2018 @6:30 AM

Article image
A local’s guide to Edinburgh: 10 top tips
The Scottish capital’s big draw is its festivals but the quieter corners are alive year round – with stylish cafes and bistros, moody bars and thriving art spaces

Caroline Eden

09, Jul, 2018 @5:30 AM

Article image
A local’s guide to Istanbul's new cool neighbourhood
In once sleepy Kadıköy-Moda, new nightlife and culture hotspots happily coexist with the district’s established restaurants and cafes

Eda Erman, interview by Kit Macdonald

19, Feb, 2018 @6:30 AM