Sheree Dornan, fashion designer/owner of Love in  Tokyo boutique. Photography by Carys Garland.

Locals Love Freo

Last Updated: 06 Dec 2013
Carys Garland

With its hidden-away coffee shops, innovative art displays, unique boutiques and some of Perth’s trendiest bars, Fremantle is a cultural hotspot.


"I start the day early at home, doing a variety of computer tasks such as emails, designing and social media for the store. Then it's into Fremantle for coffee or a late breakfast with my husband and business partner, John. Our favourite places have good food, coffee and service, and an ambience that captures Fremantle's creative vibe. We like The Attic on Bannister Street. The seating area upstairs has a hanging-suitcase light installation, and silent movies play on a screen high above the coffee machine below – love this place!

I also like The Grumpy Sailor for a bagel, coffee or chai. It is situated within New Edition Bookstore where I like to browse after breakfast. My shelves are bursting with beautiful books from New Edition. I prefer to support our local bookstores rather than buy online. I love visiting the historic Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery. It's a wonderful space with ongoing exhibitions every two weeks, and the terrific Moore and Moore cafe. Of course just to walk through the beautiful streets of the west end of Fremantle and take in the historic architecture is a treat everyday."

Paige Atwood, employee at Kulcha Multicultural Centre and Fly by Night.


"I'm lucky enough to live in the heart of Freo, so everything is a stone's throw away. Around noon, I am generally pottering around town window-shopping or thinking about where to eat. Juicy Beetroot and The Raw Kitchen tie as the best vegetarian food around town. And although these are great, I spend most of my time at Xwray – they can make a good coffee and the chefs are great! They have live music most nights, and other than the obsession with Justin Timberlake, the house music does alright. If it's too hot to be wandering around Freo, South Beach is the way to go – you don't have to leave it to get lunch (I am lazy, so I like things to be close and easy). The Pickled Fig is right there, and as summer progresses I have noticed a few food trucks and a green smoothie van parking up in the shade. After my mid-afternoon coffee I am generally off to work at the Fly By Night Musicians Club to watch some great international and national acts on the big stage, and the local up-and-coming acts in The Fly Trap. Lucky me!"

Duncan McGrath and Lachlan Brett, furniture designers at Dunk 'n' Wagnell.


"Living in the same house means we can cook up some of our lunches on the weekend, usually a big batch of pasta or dhal, then sit on the roof at MYRE in our break and soak up the sun. After lunch, a trip to Fremantle Timber Traders – on Wood Street, funnily enough – is usually in order to pick up some recovered native hardwood to start our next job. Depending on whether it's going to be another late night or early knock-off (the reality of running your own business), we usually get our mid-afternoon surge of energy from Kate and Abel's coffee and rich caramel slice or brownies. For our mid-week lunches (when the fridge at home is looking empty), we ride over to the Old Shanghai Food Court (Upmarkets, to the locals) for a variety of authentic Asian dishes and, more often than not, a cheeky pint. Come knock-off time it's straight to South Beach for a dip and then Clancy's for a few more pints or Mrs Brown Bar in North Freo, or a burger from Flipside and, you guessed it, another pint."

Ross Scotland, art and managing director at the Freeform Foundry.


"Riding my bike through the winding backstreets of the west end to the main strip, Fremantle comes alive at night. I just can't get enough of that unique Fremantle flavour and vibrant arts and culture scene. A great night in Freo usually starts at the Freeform office where we take to the streets, checking out new exhibitions at PSAS, Feast Your Eyes or any of the other great art galleries. With live music and entertainment available most nights of the week, I love getting a group of mates together to check out a gig at the Fremantle Arts Centre which is a regular for outdoor concerts. I've been lucky enough to see legends like Tame Impala, Fat Freddy's Drop, The Polyphonic Spree, The Black Keys and Xavier Rudd on the grassy amphitheatre at FAC.
If you're hungry or parched, you're spoilt for choice in Freo! One of my favourites would have to be Who's Your Mumma on South Terrace. Great staff, great selection of drinks and if you haven't been before, you have to try the pork buns. No, not your yum cha variety, but soft, sweet little mini rolls crammed with crispy, juicy pork belly... Yum!"

Community Restaurants & Bars Shopping Things To Do

Latest stories