Only a 30-minute drive from Perth airport, the port town of Fremantle (a.k.a Freo) offers visitors a dose of history, sea breeze, seafood and salt air. What’s more, the small town boasts several hip cafes, a few champion baristas and a brilliant weekends-only farmers market. Freo’s main street is nicknamed the ‘Cappuccino Strip’ and is packed with alfresco spots to sip on a cup of the java. Follow the aroma of freshly brewed coffee up cobbled streets and down quaint alleyways to discover many more cafes.
It may be hidden within a heritage building, but this indoor-outdoor cafe and art gallery (main photo) is Fremantle’s most popular coffee and brunch spot – constantly buzzing with townspeople, tourists and university students. They serve their own locally roasted coffee blend, which baristas begin pouring at 7am. A courtyard seat gives you access to two kiddie play areas and rustic share tables. Food is made with locally grown organic produce and features deliciously hearty plates like the gouda and parmesan potato cake with sumac-flavoured broccoli, poached egg and a smoky sun-dried tomato pesto.
2. The Attic
On winter mornings, The Attic’s snug space –off the main strip and hidden within a brick building – is where you want to be starting your day. There are comfy seats on the upper level, tons of magazines and even warm blankets to cosy up with. Coffee is dependably good (they use WA beans from Twin Peaks Roasters) and you can have it with almond, coconut, soy or regular milk. A flavour-packed way to begin the day would be an order of the green chilli eggs with sliced bacon, spring onion, coriander and toast (below).
This rustic-chic space on the main High Street is a welcoming space to step into. Cosy, aromatic with the smell of freshly brewed coffee from WA’s small-batch roasters, with service by baristas who have mastered the art of preparing the perfect morning cup of coffee. The food is pretty special too, think Turkish chilli baked eggs and charcoal waffles with honeycomb, marshmallows, berries, white chocolate and whipped Nutella (below).
Run by Ex-MasterChef contestant, Wade Drummond, the ‘cafeteria’s’ food is unfussy but delicious. Expect excellent croissants, soups and a changing array of sandwiches made with ingredients that have been cooked, cured, pickled and prepared on-site in a tiny kitchen. The coffee is consistently good too, but what makes this place truly exciting is how difficult it is to find. Tucked inside a hidden courtyard, it’s only accessible through a laneway off Leake Street (before 9am) or through the gourmet grocer, Kakulas Sister (after 9am).
Literally a hole-in-the-wall, Ghetto Blaster serves only coffee and a handful of muffins. The coffee is served in takeaway cups only, out of a window. If you must sit down, there are a few milk crates out front to park yourself on. It’s a one-man-show and they sell their own blend of Mother Vanna beans – that does make an excellent cup. This spot has no website, official Facebook page or phone number, but people keep coming back for more. Find them on 47 Packenham Street. They’re open every morning.
True to its name, if you blink while walking down Fremantle’s High Street you will miss this tiny spot. Italian-owned, Blink’s milk-based coffees contain two shots of locally roasted espresso (Crema Espresso) and the service is friendly, warm and personable. They serve croissants, muffins and banana bread to nibble on and provide a tiny sidewalk table to sit at that makes a great spot for great people watching.
It wouldn’t be a visit to Freo without visiting the vibrant, weekends-only farmers market. What makes a market tour sweeter is walking around with a cup of coffee from Black Cherries Espresso. They use 100 per cent single origin, Arabica beans that have been locally roasted in Perth, and occupy a large spot in the market’s main yard area.
– TEXT BY PRIYANKA C. AGARWAL
PHOTOS: PRIYANKA C. AGARWAL (BLACK CHERRIES ESPRESSO), INSTAGRAM, HUSH SPECIALTY COFFEE FACEBOOK, LEAKE STREET CAFETERIA FACEBOOK, MOORE & MOORE CAFE FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.