The city of Fremantle in Western Australia is a pretty place full of Victorian architecture and with the feel of a frontier outpost turned hippy. Although it’s technically called a ‘city’, Freo (as it’s known by the locals) is really just a town with around 35,000 inhabitants. If you compare this to Bristol (430,000) or Leicester (330,000) it’s tiny!
From a tourist perspective, the main highlights are the markets (more of which soon), the gaol and the beaches. There is also loads of interesting art and graffiti around which kind of reminded me of Bristol. From a foodie perspective, however, it felt that despite the plentiful cafes and chip shops, there wasn’t quite as much going on as I’d hoped. Luckily though, we did find some gems.
Bread in Common – an amazing space with great value lunch options
Find them here: 43 Pakenham St, Fremantle, WA 6160
I actually found this place on Instagram when we were out looking for somewhere to have lunch. At home in a huge old warehouse, it’s full of character. Their menu revolves around ‘bread’ as the main part of the dish and as with Little Creatures, they offer a sharing menu designed to be enjoyed in groups.
We were there for lunch and enjoyed two delicious sandwiches including mine (below) which was aubergine, spinach and chilli. Served with tapenade and pickles, it was delicious! There’s something special about eating right next to an open kitchen and bakery, knowing your bread was made just a few steps away earlier that morning. My tip—to keep money low, opt for the deli takeaway menu—they’ll let you eat it in the main restaurant!
Little Creatures Brewery – great spot for drinks and dinner with friends
Find them here: 40 Mews Rd, Fremantle, WA 6160
I’ve already written about the Little Creatures Brewery and you can read my full blog post here. Their huge warehouse-style space is great fun and perfect for groups of friends. We went at night and I was really impressed with both the food and the beer. The place was buzzing and had a real party vibe although they also open for breakfast and lunch.
There are two more spaces – the Brewhouse and Little Creatures Next Door if you want a different feel. All three venues serve a sharing menu and you can also grab pizza in the Great Hall and Brewhouse too.
99 Palletz Cafe – best for sunny afternoon smoothies
Find them here: 177 High Street, Fremantle, WA 6160
Despite there being many more ‘trendy’ cafes in central Freo, we really liked the 99 Palletz Cafe (despite the bad name and terrible use of early 90’s fonts). The space was airy and bright with some interesting art on the walls and a nice outside space. The staff were super friendly and the smoothies were awesome. A nice place to while away an hour on a sunny afternoon.
The smoothie menu is great, lots of delicious fruity combos to choose from as well as yoghurt, ice cream or milk for your liquid.
Raw Kitchen – the one that got away!
Find them here: 181A High Street, Fremantle, WA 6160
We stumbled on this place just after lunch on our last day and really wished we’d managed to eat here. Their menu is very on – featuring raw and vegan dishes in some really interesting combinations. I’d love to have tried their food as it’s very different to what I would usually go for. Their nachos, for example, are topped with garlic aioli, greens and a beetroot and cherry kimchi and their pasta dishes are served with zucchini noodles (zoodles) in place of traditional pasta.
They also have a little shop attached to the restaurant which sells amazing hand creams and smellies as well as gift items. You could spend a small fortune in there!
Monk Craft Brewery – best for afternoon beers
Find them here: 33 South Terrace, Fremantle, WA 6160
Although beer is relatively expensive in Australia compared to the UK (despite the high tax we pay on it), we enjoyed an afternoon beer tasting at Monk Craft Brewery, right in the centre of Freo. They brew their own small batch beers and ciders on site and you can see the tanks behind the bar.
We went for a tasting paddle which is $20 (£12.60 at the time) and features 6 beers as well as tasting notes. Each taster was just shy of half a pint so this actually worked out at quite good value. Our joint favourite was the Monk Extra – a hoppy IPA which was perfect for a sunny afternoon!
Kalli’s Fish Market – the one best avoided!
Find them here: 46 Mews Rd, Fremantle, WA 6160
This one is all frilly skirts and no knickers, unfortunately. Kalli’s was such a let down because everything we’d read sounded great. An award winning, fresh fish market and restaurant right on the harbour and with a heritage behind them too. I think the family history is little more than a tourist ploy these days. Kalli’s is 100% geared up to get high turnover tourists through the door and I’m sorry to say the food we ate was pretty average and not that cheap at around £40 in total.
It’s essentially a nice fish counter and then a large canteen area with plastic tables and chairs. After ordering, you’re given one of those handheld buzzers to tell you when your food is ready which you then collect yourself. We ordered the fish chowder and BBQ snapper with chips. A lot of the fish wasn’t actually locally caught either – with Tasmanian salmon and Mediterranean prawns on the menu.
So that’s it – the good, the bad and the ugly. Have you been to Fremantle? Do you have any amazing food and drink recommendations? Share them below!