Located in Western Australia, the city of Perth has lots to recommend it. There are tons of outdoor activities to enjoy in this coastal city, along with great cultural attractions like the Perth Cultural Center and the magnificent views from Victoria Park. South Perth offers amazing Swan River views across from Elizabeth Quay, and the Central Business District (CBD) is full of great things to do at night. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage, and the city is yours to explore.
But if you're looking to get to grips with the culture of the city, one excellent way to do that is through the food. No matter where you go in Perth, there's no shortage of great food, from the seafood restaurants and fine dining along Elizabeth Quay to some absolutely amazing fast food and the best street food in the city.
Australia may be a relatively young country, but it has a food culture that is unlike anywhere else. And thanks to generations of immigration from around the world, Perth and Western Australia as a whole are places where cultures combine, and you can get just about anything you like. Whether you're looking for classic Australian barbecue or the best vegetarian restaurants in Perth, you won't go hungry in this beautiful city.
Here are some of the delicious dishes you absolutely have to taste while you're here.
Perth food: Rock Lobster
As a coastal city, you would expect seafood to be a big part of the culinary traditions of Perth. You'd be right. And if, after your first sight of the ocean, you find yourself craving some seafood, you're in luck. Rock Lobster is one of the most popular seafood items on restaurant menus in Perth.
Whether it's served simply grilled with some lemon and garlic or as part of a more complex dish, this lobster will not disappoint. The best way to enjoy it is definitely fresh, so be sure to ask your waiter how long it took for the lobster to come from the sea to your plate.
The Fremantle fishing harbor is a great place to get the freshest rock lobster available. Alternatively, if you want to buy it straight off the boat, head two hours north to Cervantes where the lobsters are caught. But that's a long way to go for something you can easily get in the city.
Of course, as with lobster anywhere, this tasty food doesn't come cheap. But it does come beautifully presented and makes for one of the most delicious dishes to try in the city.
Perth food: Pavlova
This classic Australian dessert is a must-try while you're Down Under. A pavlova is a meringue-based cake that is usually topped with whipped cream and fruit. It's light, airy, and absolutely delicious. If you need something sweet to get you started in the morning, this will definitely do it! Pair it with your morning tea, and you'll be ready to take on the town!
There are many different ways to make a pavlova, so you'll find variations all over Perth. The one thing they all have in common is the meringue base, which is made with egg whites and sugar.
The pavlova was originally created to honor the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. It's said that the dessert was inspired by her tutu, which is fitting given how light and airy it is.
If you're a fan of sweet treats, then you absolutely cannot leave Perth without trying a pavlova. Trust us, it's worth every calorie.
Perth food: Vietnamese Rolls
Perth is home to a large Vietnamese community, and as a result, there are many excellent Vietnamese restaurants in the city.
One of the most popular Vietnamese dishes is Vietnamese rolls, or spring rolls. These are thin sheets of rice paper filled with a variety of ingredients like pork, shrimp, vegetables, and herbs. They're then fried or wrapped in lettuce and served with dipping sauce.
Vietnamese rolls make for a great starter or light snack, and they're perfect for sharing. So if you're dining with friends, be sure to order a few plates to share. You won't regret it.
Perth food: Chocolate thickshake
A thick milkshake made with ice cream and chocolate syrup, the chocolate thickshake is a classic Australian treat. It's rich, decadent, and absolutely necessary.
You'll find chocolate thickshakes on the menu of just about every diner and café in Perth. But if you really want to indulge, head to Mary Street Bakery. This popular bakery is known for its over-the-top desserts, and the chocolate thickshake is no exception. It's made with three different types of chocolate and topped with a mound of whipped cream. Delicious.
Perth food: Meat Pie
A staple of Australian cuisine, the meat pie is a must-try while you're in Perth. This savory pastry is usually filled with beef and gravy and served with tomato sauce on the side. However, these days you can get lots of variations on the classic meat pie, including ones made with chicken, lamb, and even some vegetarian recipes.
You'll find meat pies all over Perth, but they're especially popular at sports stadiums. So if you're catching a game, be sure to grab a pie from one of the many vendors inside. You won't regret it. Nothing pairs better with a classic Australian meat pie than a pint of crisp, refreshing lager, and this unpretentious meal will give you a true taste of Australia wherever you get it. It may not be the most healthy thing you'll eat in your whole life, but it might be one of the most delicious.
Perth food: Barramundi
If you're a fan of seafood, then you'll love barramundi. This popular Australian fish is native to the northern parts of the country, but it's now farmed all over Australia. As a result, it's readily available in Perth.
Barramundi has a mild flavor and firm flesh that makes it perfect for a variety of recipes. It can be baked, grilled, or even pan-fried. But no matter how you cook it, barramundi is sure to please.
Perth food: Pasta
Perth was a major center of Italian immigration to Western Australia during the 20th century. So maybe it's not so surprising that Italian food has become a popular menu item in this part of Australia. It certainly isn't difficult to find an Italian restaurant anywhere in Perth, and it's interesting to try the Western Australia version of familiar pasta dishes.
One of the most popular Italian dishes in Perth is spaghetti carbonara. This rich pasta dish is made with pancetta, eggs, and Parmesan cheese. It's hearty and filling, and it's sure to please any pasta lover.
Of course, there are plenty of other excellent Italian dishes to try in Perth. So whether you're in the mood for spaghetti, lasagna, or something else entirely, you're sure to find it here. Just be sure to leave room for dessert.
Perth food: Kangaroo
Even among carnivores, there's often a little bit of a taboo around eating anything cute. But that's not the case in Western Australia. You'll find kangaroo on the menu of plenty of restaurants around town, from high-end places to street food vendors.
If you've never tried kangaroo before, Western Australia is the perfect place to introduce yourself to this tasty food. The meat is lean and healthy, and it has a slightly gamey flavor that's similar to venison. Kangaroo is usually grilled or roasted, but you'll find it prepared in all sorts of ways.
Notably, kangaroos are considered agricultural pests in Australia. As a result, they are not farmed, and every Kangaroo that ends up on a restaurant plate in Perth is harvested from the wild. If you're bothered by the ethics of factory farming, this is a meat you can enjoy in a more sustainable way.
So if you're feeling adventurous, don't hesitate to give kangaroo a try. It might just be the best thing you eat during your time in Perth.
Perth food: Lamb Shank
Lamb shank is another Australian favorite that's sure to please meat lovers. This hearty dish is made by slow-cooking a lamb shank until the meat is falling off the bone. It's usually served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a gravy or sauce.
Lamb shanks are readily available around the city, but they're especially popular during the winter months. So if you're visiting during colder weather, be sure to give this classic Australian dish a try. You're sure to love it.
Perth food: Blue Swimmer Crab
If you're looking for something a little different, then try blue swimmer crab. This popular seafood dish is made with crabs that are caught off the coast of Western Australia.
The crabs are usually cooked in a curry or chili sauce, which gives them a delicious and slightly spicy flavor. They're also often served with rice or noodles, making them a hearty and filling meal.
If you love seafood, then you'll definitely want to give blue swimmer crab a try. It's unlike anything you've ever tasted before, and it's sure to become one of your new favorite dishes.
Perth food: Nasi Lemak
It's a slightly surprising fact that Perth is closer to Kuala Lumpur than it is to Sydney. And thanks to regular immigration from Malaysia, Perth is a fantastic place to eat Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine.
One of the most popular Malaysian dishes in Perth is nasi lemak. This rice dish is made with coconut milk and pandan leaves, and it's usually served with chicken, shrimp, or beef. It's a delicious and fragrant dish that's perfect for any time of day.
Perth food: Bush tucker
We already talked about kangaroo. But Australia has a grand tradition of bush tucker, meaning food harvested in the wild, and as a city in Western Australia, Perth is a great place to try some.
Take a look around some of the more forward-thinking restaurants in Perth, and you might find a few surprises on the menu. Meats like crocodile and emu are as Australian as it gets and can also be surprisingly tasty. But there's more to bush tucker than just meat; you can also try a range of native plants and fruits that will give you a new perspective on the natural produce of Australia.
To really get into the traditional foods of the area, take a bush tucker tour. These are led by knowledgeable guides who will take you foraging in the wild for edible plants and fruits. You'll learn about the history of bush tucker and get to try some of the more unusual dishes that are made from it. It's a great way to get a taste of the real Australia.
Perth food: Vegemite
This isn't a Perth thing as much as it is an Australia thing, but Vegemite is about as classically Australian as food gets. This dark brown paste is made from leftover brewer's yeast, and it's a common breakfast spread in Australia.
If you're not used to the taste, it can be quite strong and salty. But many Australians grow up eating Vegemite on toast or white bread, and it's something that's definitely worth trying at least once. Just don't put too much on your toast, or you might not be able to finish it!
The variety of food on offer in Perth is impressive. In this city, you'll find restaurants serving cuisine from around the world, alongside traditional Australian foods that will give you a deeper insight into the culture of the country. Whether you're in the mood for savory snacks or sweet treats, you'll find something on a menu in Perth to please you.
And if you're planning your way through the city, it might be a good idea to check out some of the best hikes in Perth. Whether it's a stroll along the beach or a trek through the forest, these hikes are a great way to stay healthy and burn off the calories you've racked up trying the best foods Perth has to offer.