In the past, Perth has been labelled as a ‘boring’ city when compared to those on Australia’s east coast. However, I see it this way: if Melbourne and Sydney are a pair of uber cool hipsters, well then Perth is one of those genuinely awesome people you discover are frickin’ amazing as soon as you get to know them. Throughout the last few years, Perth has grown into a bustling hub for entertainment and nightlife. With a rapidly expanding small bar scene (“hey… was that alleyway bar there last week?”) and a plethora of great watering holes to quench your thirst, you’ll be sure to find somewhere here that takes your fancy. Pop on over and give these Perth bars a chance to impress you. You know what they say: west coast best coast!
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Follow the chandelier-lined alleyway just off the busy streets of Perth’s business district and you’ll find this haven for whiskey lovers. Need more than a glass but can’t finish the whole bottle in one night? No stress, they’ll keep your bottle stored in the cabinet ready for your return. With every whiskey (or whisky) you could dream of, you’re sure to find a dram of something you’ll love. Head over during the week to catch the complimentary nibbles they provide (did someone say cheese platter?).
Perched high up on the rooftops, Mechanics Institute is the perfect place for a cheeky afternoon tipple. Feeling peckish? No stress, there’s a burger joint just underneath the bar that’ll bring chips up to your table. Or if you’ve got a hankering for something a bit out of the ordinary, why not order a Bloody Mary – complete with an entire burger on top? If you don’t think you can handle that though, just have a chat with the bartenders who are friendly and ready to make something special just for you.
The Court Hotel
If you haven’t been to The Court, have you even been to Perth? Arguably the city’s most famous gay and lesbian venue, The Court is always open for a dance and a drink every night of the week. Head over on Wednesday nights for a bit of midweek fun with Drag Factory, a night showcasing some of Australia’s best drag acts. Free entertainment of this calibre is hard to come by! The Court has recently had a facelift and now has various lounge areas, multiple dance floors and plenty of bars to satisfy your thirst. Combine this with cheap pizza plus an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere and you’ve got the winning combo right there.
Bathers Beach House
Perth is known for its epic beaches, but Bathers Beach House is one of the few places that can actually serve you your beer while on the sand! Looking over the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Fremantle, Bathers Beach House offers a laid-back vibe perfect for catching the sunset. Since Perth has some of the best weather in the entire country, this outdoor bar is the ideal venue to while away an afternoon. Perhaps ask them for their Jenga set and challenge the table next to you.
The Odd Fellow
Hidden below the popular Norfolk Hotel, it’s easy to miss the Odd Fellow and walk right by. Don’t let its modest exterior fool you though. With an extraordinarily well-stocked bar and some of the friendliest staff in town, the Odd Fellow will make it you feel at home. Open Thursday through to Sunday nights, you’ll always find something happening here. I once popped in to find John Butler himself performing an acoustic set on their teeny stage!
As soon as you enter through the saloon doors, you’re transported to another world at Alabama Song. Bands playing behind a chicken wired stage, candles lighting the tables, the horns of a bull crowning the bar… this place really is something special. Grab a pint plus a bottomless bowl of peanuts and head to one of the booths to watch the crowd dance. I just wish I was wearing cowboy spurs whenever I walk in.
It’s safe to say that the weather is usually sunny all year round in Perth. Regardless of the weather though, it’ll always be summer at this latest addition to Perth’s bar scene. Henry Summer oozes style, from the pastel pink bar stools to the lavish greenery that lines the walls. Think tropical, lush and radiant. There are five bars that you can wet your whistle at, as well as a stunning fresh menu featuring options like halloumi and watermelon salad, sashimi platters and DIY rice paper rolls. Go on, treat yo self.
The Moon Late Night Café
With over 25 years of service under its belt, The Moon has not budged from its throne as one of the best places to get a late-night drink (and feed!) in Perth. Perhaps this is due to its quirky charm and unpretentious demeanour, which attracts people from all walks of life. Often housing local musicians in its eclectic back courtyard, The Moon is the perfect place to stop by during a night on the town. Order a dessert pizza to go with your wine and crash on one of the velvet couches as you admire the diverse crowd.
Want the address for this little prohibition-style rum bar? It’s…. somewhere in Perth’s China Town. Ok, so this place might not be the easiest to find, but that’s what makes it fun! Sneaky Tony’s is my favourite place to bring first dates (if they agree to meet me down a graffiti-lined alleyway and trust me not to steal their organs when I knock on an unmarked steel door, then they must be a keeper, right?) because it’s very dimly lit inside so you have to worry about not looking like your Tinder profile picture. This place is open 7 days a week but be warned: you do need a password to get in on weekends. Trust me; the effort is worth it for one of their delicious rum daiquiris. The password last Saturday? ‘In Rum We Trust’. How fitting!
Joe’s Juice Joint
Imagine it’s 1am: unfortunately, this isn’t Europe, so most bars will be closing soon but nobody wants to call it a night or go to a club with plastic cups and top hits music. Instead, head over to Joe’s for a big ol’ pint while you headbang to some sweet old school tunes (Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Bowie, you’ll hear all the greats here). Put on your black sneakers, wear your hair down and head for their grungy basement. You can play pinball, admire the band posters and ask yourself, “Are they really serving jelly shots here?” (Yes. Yes, they are). With 50c wings and all the booze you could ever want, you’re sure to have a good time. Reckon you can finish one of their fishbowl cocktails?
Bonus: The Jazz Cellar
Ok, this may not be a bar per say, but it’s one of Perth’s best-kept secrets for a night of entertainment. The Jazz Cellar beckons to take you back in time every Friday evening to the 1920’s. Entry into this iconic vintage speakeasy is through a red phone box hidden in the suburb of Mt Hawthorn. Once in, this place is will transport you back to those prohibition nights with trumpet solos and dancing, but don’t worry, no need to hide your alcohol in here. In fact, The Jazz Cellar encourages you to bring your own. Pack a bottle of wine and a few homemade snacks and find a seat. The capacity is only 100 people, so you better be quick as it sells out every week. Brush up on your Charleston and marvel at the antics of their resident band – The Jazz Cellar really is an experience.
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About the Author
Alex Nissen is just a girl from the most isolated city in the world, gallivanting her way across the globe. Check out her adventures at www.likealocaltravelblog.com or on Instagram.
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