As 2023 comes to a close, we thought we’d talk about some of the restaurants and bars that we loved the most this year. Some of these are new venues that opened; others are ones that we reacquainted ourselves with and became somewhat regulars in the process.
If you haven’t tried these, add them to your list for 2024. Many of these are CBD-based as it’s where we’ve spent most of our time, so if you want to suggest a new venue for us to try, then drop us a suggestion below.
MODU Bar & Kitchen
The venue where we spent the most time in 2023, trying almost everything on the menu, is MODU Bar & Kitchen. This place is a must-dine — we even wrote an in-depth piece about it mid-year. And while the menu has seen some changes since then, the signature dishes are still there — hello Vegemite Pork and Coffee Wagyu — and it’s still our go-to spot for pretty much every occasion.
This is one of the most talked about venues of late, having won many accolades and awards for both the venue itself and its bartenders. It’s one of the best cocktail bars in WA with one of the most impressive drinks menus and back bars of, well, anywhere. Head down and ask Xander to recommend a cocktail based on your mood for the day and you won’t be disappointed.
Post has been around for a long time now, and it’s still consistently one of the top three Italian restaurants in Perth. Combine top-quality food, the finest Italian wines, and the beautiful setting that is the State Buildings and you have a recipe for greatness.
A visit to the State Buildings is almost incomplete without sitting down for a vino at Wine Merchant. Our most frequented wine bar of 2023 and for good reason — the perfectly curated wine list (thanks Emma Farrelly), the setting, and the casual yet sophisticated vibe.
We were regulars of Folly years before it became the venue it is today. This year, it got a big renovation, updated its menu, and became the best rooftop bar in Perth.
Located at the top of Quest Hotel in East Perth, Folly boasts almost 360° views which makes it the ideal spot for watching the sunset on a warm evening.
On our first visit here early this year, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. However, after the first round of lunch bites came out, we were completely sold and happy to make the trek from the city on a regular basis. We’d even consider moving to Fremantle to go to Emily Taylor more often.
Whether you’re in the mood for a casual wine with friends or a fancy long-table dinner, this is the place for you. Technically, it’s two locations in one with Bar Loiter serving us the wine and Dilly Dally forcing us to eat way too much, this place has hit all the right notes for us this year. Our recommendation is to try the pasta with rabbit ragu — it’s a standout favourite.
One thing is a certainty, the team at Nokturnl know how to start a restaurant that exceeds all expectations. Lotus — part of The Beaufort complex — is one of those venues where you just want to eat everything over and over again.
Over the last few months, you may have heard a lot about Subi Continental, with social media feeds full of people raving about it. When you go there to try it for yourself, you find out very quickly why everyone’s talking about it. Great menu with a chilled vibe; it gets a big tick from us.
If there was one unexpected standout this year, it was Bertie — we really weren’t expecting this venue to be as good as it is. I think we’ve now tried most of what’s on the menu and yes, we enjoyed it all. As simple as it sounds, the go-to’s are the bread with whipped butter and capsicum dip, and the mussels.
Head here for a late afternoon, casual get-together with friends where you can just sit back and chill for several hours.
We’re suckers for Italian and we’re spoilt for choice in Perth with so many great Italian restaurants. However, Garum is one of the standouts that hasn’t disappointed us this year. Add it to your list of fancy date night spots to woo that special someone.
Isola Bar e Cibo
When heading to Rottnest, we’ve become accustomed to always making sure we can get a booking here first. Not only is it the best restaurant on Rottnest, it’s one of the best in WA. For an in-depth look at why, have a read of this review we did earlier this year.
If we had to choose just three restaurants to dine at in 2024, we’d more than likely have Shui on that list. And that was before they added one of the best mixologists in the business to the team. The food here is just divine and it’s one of those places where you can confidently tell them to ‘surprise you,’ knowing that whatever food they bring out is going to be on-point.
Add this one to your list to go, well, every week.
Santini Bar and Grill
Whenever we want to go somewhere a little different with an upmarket vibe, we almost always point to Santini Bar and Grill. Whether it be for after-work drinks with a group of people or that extra-long lunch, this is the place to be. Menu-wise, there’s so much to rave about; however, make sure you add the Abrolhos Island Scallops and Abolhos Island Octopus to your entree list.