As an entertainment precinct, the North Fremantle section of Queen Victoria St and surrounds have really come into their own in the last decade.
It has always been an interesting area. Mojos has been there as long as I can remember. In the 70s it was called the Stoned Crow and to this day it continues to be a vibrant part of the Perth music scene. Live music can also be found at the Railway Hotel, the Swan Hotel and the North Fremantle Bowling club. The Railway has also started showing films in their outdoor area, recently refurbished and renamed the Port Beach Garden Bar. In December they showed Bluefin which was part of the Fremantle Underwater Film Festival. Look out for the official launch of the Garden Bar with a weekend of music in February.
The main strip of Queen Victoria Street has plenty of food and coffee on offer. Bruce Town Cafe (formerly Short Black Sheep and many other guises) has been a great option for a while now. Bruce Town is the historic name for parts of North Fremantle. It was named after Captain John Bruce who was the commanding officer of the Pensioner Guards, and in 1851 he was granted 150 acres in North Fremantle. Hence John Street, Bruce Street and Pensioner Guard Road. There was even the Bruce Town Hotel which was located at 20 John Street.
Bruce Town Cafe serves great food such as French toast, vegan pumpkin smash, benny burgers and lunch boxes to take away. Recently, Flitch & Leaven ran a pop up restaurant in the cafe at night time and I am hoping there will be another one soon.
Continuing south along the street, ooh coffee is a small coffee shop attached to a clothes shop named ooh la la. There is some tasty food to be found here, including prosciutto and double cheese toasties, hummus toast and Mary St Bakery pastries, The coffee is indeed ooooh and one of my favourites.
Moving on, we come to the popular Mrs Brown of 241 Queen Victoria Street, a wine bar with comfortable retro sofas and chairs. Mrs Brown has a few food options such as a delicious cheese platter; however, my favourite choice is ordering burgers from Flipside, which is conveniently located next door. Not that you have to collect it, they deliver. Flipside has been around for a while now so most people will be aware that they produce fabulous burgers and you can enjoy them at Mojos as well.
Moving south you come to Piggy Food Co, which was previously a pop up at Bruce Town when it was the Short Black Sheep. This place is the business if you are after Southern Californian cuisine such as quesadillas, tacos, burgers and hog fries. Their ice cream sandwiches are the best. They also have an extensive menu of craft beer and wine.
Crossing over to the other side of Queen Victoria Street, we find Propeller located in the former bus garage. They recently expanded with a wonderfully designed extension by Michael Patroni and Tobias Busch from Spaceagency. The menu is mainly Middle Eastern, with such delights as freo sardine manoushe, broccolini, pinenuts, currants or Egyptian chicken bread, pistachio and rosewater.
Directly across the road, in a cute old cottage at 1 Harvest Road, is Habitué with a Mediterranean style menu. There has been a restaurant on this site for many years, previously it was called Harvest. Habitué has beautiful fresh food with an emphasis on chargrilled. It is a fabulous place to relax and eat, especially in winter when you can laze around the fireplace drinking cocktails accompanied by cool jazz.
The Guildhall at 222 Queen Victoria Street is a beautiful venue available for weddings and parties. They also host public events with music and alcohol on the last Sunday of the month.
After you have spent time perusing the four antique and secondhand furniture shops in the area, you can dress yourself in the lovely kaftans and floaty clothes at Ivy and Isabel, pick up gifts or soft furnishings at Busatti, have your face beautified at the Queen Victoria Beauty Salon, get your hair done at Gorjas, enjoy a massage at Iyara or Mint Wellbeing and get your surfing groove on at Ocean Style.
Just outside the main strip, The Black Truffle at 84 Stirling Highway is a great little deli with lots of takeaway food options, and The Rabbit in The Moon at 2 Doepel Street definitely deserves a mention for good coffee, cakes, pimped up milkshakes, breakfasts and views of the river.
Oh. And did I mention that North Fremantle has the friendliest little post office in Perth?