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With its street art, laneway small bars, indie boutiques and cheerful restaurants, Northbridge is one of Perth’s hippest suburbs. Locals tell us why.

EAT

Lake Bovell, co-founder of OnWilliam.com.au and owner of Red Stripe Clothing

The Old Crow | This is a new favourite of mine. They have Southern/Cajun-style food. My favourite dish is the buttermilk fried chicken, which is amazing.

Little Willys | I love coming here for breakfast. The coffee is excellent. Kit is a breakfast short-order cooking whiz, and cracks me up every time I go in.

Kostas Cafe | This is great bargain for lunch. They have the cheapest sandwiches but also the biggest and the best. You can get one for around $7 and it’s packed full.

Arigataya Ramen | I love to come here for dinner. They make their own noodles with this ramen noodle machine.

Tra Vinh | I’m one of those people that has three dishes and cannot go past them. I always get crispy fried chicken noodle soup or the banh xeo, which is like a Vietnamese pancake.

Bivouac | This one’s a little more upmarket. The owners source everything locally and actually have a farm where they grow all the meat they use, so it’s pretty special.

The Tuck Shop | It’s kind of like Australian food. They have pies that they make on site – they’re amazing. I go there on my lunch break.

Bonsai | This is a great place for dinner. The food is like Mediterranean-Japanese fusion. Once I had minestrone miso soup, and it was actually really good!

DRINK

Thomas Sweetman, graphic designer for Rusty Surfboards, director at Thomas Design

Pica Bar | If the weather’s right, I love Pica for a lunchtime pint. They have a really great outdoor area at the front and the back. It’s right in the Cultural Centre and really chilled out.

Ezra Pound | Those dudes are the best! My favourite bartender is probably Mon. They definitely cater to the baller on a budget – you can pick up a schooner there for $6.

The Bird | It’s a nice place to have some wine on a Sunday evening to prepare for the work week ahead.

399 | It’s right down the road from me. I love it because you can go in having no idea what you want, except maybe a liquor preference, and they’ll say, “Yep, no worries. Leave it to me.”

La Cholita | This is the perfect place to end up after a night of bar hopping. It’s great for a late-night Mexican dinner and some tequila shots.

Mechanics Institute Bar | They have this drink called a pickleback. Apparently there are lots of variations of it, but pretty much it’s a shot of rye whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice. It tastes like a cheeseburger!

SHOP

Carly Barrett, creative director of Open House Perth, director at Project857

William Topp | This place is a bit like a treasure trove. You can discover things from necklaces to homewares to really old-school children’s toys. I bought a present for my mate’s daughter that is like this paddle with ducks on it that quack when you wave it around. It’s really cute, and her daughter loves it – but I’m pretty sure my friend hates it now!

The Butcher Shop | I used to go here when it was still called Keith and Lottie, which served as a bit of a gallery, zine, clothing shop. They’ve sort of carried this through to the Butcher Shop, but now it also has a lot more art supplies, specifically for people who do street art.

Tu | Has really good-quality clothing and it’s pretty well-priced. They have this tea cafe called Tea for Tu,
which is a cute little oasis to relax after shopping.

New Edition | I’m really obsessed with design and art books, and they have a really good selection. My prized one is on display, it’s a Del Kathryn Barton book that she’s illustrated from an Oscar Wilde poem.

Periscope | A little more upmarket. They have their own label, but also stock national and international brands – I love Monster Alphabets and the New Zealand brand Zambesi. I think it’s really good for supporting young, local labels.

DO

Mike O’Hanlon, owner of The Bird and Gramercy Studios, co-owner of Toastface Grillah, mechanical engineer

Street Art | I love the fact that something you see today might not be there tomorrow. There’s this bloke Xander Rood, who goes by the name Amok Island, and it’s cool to see his work painted on something it shouldn’t be painted on, and then going down the street to, like, Uncle Joe’s and recognising his style on the menus.

Music | I’m spoiled a little bit. Because of the pub, music and artwork kind of comes to us! Whenever The Floors or Leure play, you’ll catch me in the crowd – they’re pretty bad-ass.

Galleries | The Perth Centre for Photography always has really top-quality shows on. The Kurb Gallery up the road also exhibits great local artists – recently there was a photo exhibit by Pippa Tandy, which captured Northbridge candidly.

History | A lot of the parks around are traditional meeting places for Aboriginal people, which really represents the culture of Northbridge. However, there’s a situation where they’re being asked to move on, which is a sad irony.

Architecture | I love the streets of Northbridge. The bungalows and little brick cottages on wide and leafy streets – like Brisbane Street, Lacey Street, Money Street, and all the streets back from William – are beautiful.

 

Some of the world’s best urban artists were recently invited to Perth to give the city’s laneways, buildings and car parks a spruce up. Lucky Northbridge scored the lion’s share – here are our five faves.

2501(Italy)

Washing Lane | Italian street artist Japoco Ceccarelli, who goes by the alias 2501, brings his eclectic flair to Australia with a piece typical of his style – one that’s almost an optical illusion. The
black-and-white mural can be found on Washing Lane in the heart of Northbridge and is illuminated by blue lights at night.

Ever (Argentina)

Central TAFE | The formerly dull, rounded wall of Central TAFE has finally gotten the boost it so direly needed. Argentinian graffiti artist Ever paints a traditional-looking South American woman on a huge scale. The abstract piece, which shows the woman dressed in a brightly coloured wrap with flowers in her hair, cupping a young boy’s face upside down, lends spirit and vibrancy to this area of Northbridge.

Pixel Pancho (Italy)

Central TAFE | To get your mind racing, head to Central TAFE on Aberdeen Street to see poster-artist and muralist Pixel Pancho’s enormous artwork, spanning a wall high enough that he needed a crane to paint it! The depiction of the colourful boy-robot is archetypal of the Italian artist, who encourages his viewers to contemplate human nature as a form of machinery.

Jaz (Argentina)

Turner Galleries Car Park | The Turner Galleries car park on William Street is now home to two larger-than-life murals: along with Perth and Singaporean artists The Yok and Sheryo, Argentinian muralist Jaz brings a safari-esque vibe to Northbridge using an unconventional technique of combining petrol and asphaltic paint to create an intricate scene on a huge scale.

The Yok and Sheryo (Perth and Singapore)

Turner Galleries Car Park | The Yok collaborates with Sheryo to create one of two urban artworks at the Turner Galleries car park, complementing their Nasty Goreng exhibition inside. The artists have spread their talent all over the world, and now bring their red-and-yellow-hued, ‘imperfect gnarly characters’ to Northbridge.

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