I was recently invited by Webjet to share my experience looking for the best coffee shops that Fremantle has to offer. Since Freo is my home town, this was my great honour and so I took this search quite seriously.
Let me start off by giving you a little rundown of our port city. Fremantle is an incredibly vibrant city full of culture, passion, music and of course delicious food. Wandering through the streets on a weekend is such a vibe. If you’re planning on visiting the city of Fremantle, you’ll be spoilt for choice in what to do and where to go.
People travel to Fremantle — or ‘Freo’ as we locals call it — from far and wide. The port city is well known in Western Australia and across the country for its excitement, street performances, and markets full of handmade wares. In recent years, the food and coffee culture has really exploded and the city has become filled with an abundance of secret cafes, quirky bars and gorgeous shops.
I am dead proud of the little slice of heaven I call home and I really want to do it justice. The mission I was given was to showcase five of the best cafes in Fremantle. At first, I thought it was going to be impossible since it’s so hard to buy a bad coffee here, but I dug my heels in and narrowed it down to these five top cafes.
5 of the Best Cafes in Fremantle, Western Australia
- Moore & Moore, Fremantle
- The Cool Room, Fremantle
- Ooh Coffee, North Fremantle
- Duck Duck Bruce, Fremantle
- Kerfuffle Co, South Fremantle
1. Moore & Moore, Fremantle
Address: 46 Henry Street, Fremantle WA 6160
Summary: Food and coffee with a focus on supporting locals and the environment.
Moore & Moore deliver on their promise of providing amazing food made with fresh, sustainably grown, local produce. These guys have the well-being of the community at the centre of their values and source all their produce as respectfully and ethically as possible. They offer dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and paleo options, plus they only use free-range eggs and responsibly sourced meats.
And they make their own almond milk — what more do you need to know?
Walking into Moore & Moore off the street, you enter a long corridor that instantly transports you to another place and time. There are old cameras and video recording equipment on the tables, quirky artwork hangs from the old limestone walls, and an eclectic array of furniture lines the hall. Plus, the staff’s good vibes encourage you to settle in and take your time.
The journey begins with an order of pancakes tall enough to make grandma proud, and a coffee unique to Western Australia — a ‘Long Mac Topped Up’ (LMTU). This coffee order is foreign to even some of the most distinguished coffee snobs in the eastern Australian states, so I’ve popped a brief explanation below for the uninitiated.
When I visited, my LMTU arrived along with a stack of pancakes arranged into an artistic masterpiece. I did a lot of eating and fairly minimal talking for a good 20 minutes. The coffee was smooth, creamy, and gave me the caffeine shakeup I needed for the rest of the day. Good food and even better coffee.
What is a ‘Long Mac Topped Up’?
A Long Mac Topped Up, or ‘LMTU’, is a double espresso topped up with textured milk. While a flat white is usually 1 shot of espresso to 2 parts milk, and a normal double macchiato is 2 shots of espresso with a ‘stain’ of milk on top, the Long Mac Topped Up is 2 shots of espresso with about equal amounts of milk. It’s a uniquely West Aussie drink.
The Italians in Fremantle’s sister city of Molfetta might turn their nose up at this order, but seriously, try one — there’s a whole movement trying to spread it around the world.
2. The Cool Room, Fremantle
Address: 2/114 Holland Street, Fremantle WA 6160
Summary: An eclectic mix of old-school cool, with amazing coffee and cafe treats.
Next on the list of best cafes in Fremantle is The Cool Room — a personal favourite since I live just up the road on Holland Street. Nestled among other small businesses in the leafy suburbs, The Cool Room sits right next door to two retro furniture shops that are great fun to explore after breaky or lunch. A local favourite and go-to for all the gang on the weekend, this setting creates an atmosphere that sets you up for a good day.
The decor can be described as purposefully eclectic, with a mix of items that look straight from Nan’s garage sale. Food and drinks are served up on a selection of mismatched antique china, with fancy silverware set out on juxtaposing not-fancy-but-very-cool furniture. The tables are old school laminate with pressed metal banding, with a mix-match of brightly coloured vinyl dining chairs.
Inside at the counter, you’ll find a huge leafy Monstera Deliciosa and paintings on the floor. Outside, you’ll find a collection of striped beach umbrellas and handmade planters covered in overgrown succulents. Everything is fun and super off-the-wall.
These guys dish up some of my favourite cafe treats in all of Freo. When I visited, I got an oat milk cappuccino in a large mug, their famous housemade spiced chai latte, a delicate Portuguese tart, and a sweet chocolate & peanut slice. I’m never disappointed with anything they serve up. To prove it on the day (and just to prove I’m strong) I finished my visit with another flat white, nursing my sides from overeating.
3. Ooh Coffee, North Fremantle
Address: 255 Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle WA 6159
Highlight: Cool interiors and a rotation of incredible Australian roasters.
Another one of Fremantle’s best cafes is the super cool, Ooh Coffee. This cafe has a focus on providing some of Fremantle’s best specialty coffee, with a diverse range of rotating single origins and blends, and a paired back menu. When I visited, they were serving Reuben Hills, but they have also featured Seven Seeds, Proud Mary, Mecca, Sample Coffee and loads of other outstanding roasters from across Australia.
Ooh Cafe might be small in size, but it packs a stylish punch. There are reeded glass panels covering the back of the shop, a patchwork of rendering outside, worn timber flooring inside, mature indoor plants, and very cool photography on the walls. There’s a really cool standing bar right at the window where you walk in, so this place is a great place for a quick solo coffee, a chat with a stranger, or to meet up with friends in the middle of the day. The furniture inside is also really cool, with a long leather cushioned bench next to the counter.
I came here on day 3 of my Fremantle coffee bender. As soon as I stepped in, it was like taking a big breathe in. The staff are always super friendly and the whole ambience is totally relaxing. It’s honestly just a nice place to be and happens to have some of the best coffee in Fremantle. Within minutes of walking in, I was drinking a deliciously balanced brew with a great body and a clean finish. Riding my caffeine buzz, I couldn’t help but think about the quality of those coffee beans from farm, to roasting, to coffee machine, to my cup.
Most people were reading newspapers, not scrolling their phones — such a rare sight these days. It’s a different kind of crowd here, very laid back even if serious about their coffee. While waiting in line, I overheard a fellow patron proudly exclaim that he drove 1.5 hours to grab his morning coffee from here. Now that is dedication and a clear sign of just how good it is! If you’re visiting Fremantle, this is a must-visit.
Don’t even start me on the pastries in the counter cabinet. One word: danishes.
4. Duck Duck Bruce, Fremantle
Address: 18 Collie St, Fremantle WA 6160
Highlight: Some of the best Southern-Asian inspired food in all of Fremantle.
Duck Duck Bruce hands down have the best food on the planet in my humble opinion. This is officially my favourite local meeting place in all of Freo.
Where do I even begin?
First of all, this is an influencer paradise. Everything about it is beautiful: the building, the courtyard, the furniture, the plates, the food, and the coffee. So naturally, this is where all the beautiful people congregate in their fancy clothes and pretty smelling hair. I know this last part, specifically, because I had my head down — completely distracted by my phone — when I walked straight into the back of a woman waiting in line.
Lucky for me, it was my friend. As it turns out, she gets her coffee here every morning and enthusiastically recommended I try one of their almond lattes. I did, it was fantastic.
After that awkward encounter, I was seated by a lovely waitress and greeted by one of the co-owners of the restaurant. Then the moment I had been waiting for: the menu. This menu can is a small but sprawling exploration of all things breakfast, lunch and everything in between. It is ridiculous in the very best way possible. Every item has a cute name: Rhubarbra Streisand; Beauty and the Beet; Orange is the New Stack; Hot Mess. You get the idea.
Shortly after ordering, out came one of the creamiest, velvetiest lattes of my life. Duck Duck Bruce serve coffee by Five Senses, a Western Australian-born coffee roaster. Also on the menu is a variety of cold coffees, teas, authentic chai lattes, and fresh-squeezed juices. If you aren’t a big coffee drinker and it’s a hot day, definitely order one of those juices, even if it’s just for the beautiful toppings.
Moments later, out came a little plate of paradise known as Auber Jean Is Not My Lover — a party of potato, eggplant, roti, sambal and eggs. I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to the people near me for the noises I made eating this food. Most items on the menu feature some South-Asian influence and I am here for it.
5. Kerfuffle Co, South Fremantle
Address: 244 South Terrace, South Fremantle WA 6162
Highlight: A space as much of an outstanding local art gallery as it is a cafe.
Last, but certainly not least, is Kerfuffle Co — part cafe, part art exhibition venue, all cool as can be. Situated on the trendy South Terrace strip, this little secret coffee emporium takes all of your senses on a journey from the moment you step inside.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the cute little claw bathtub filled with koi fish. Then your gaze might be caught by the works on display from an array of extremely talented local artists. I meant what I said about this being part exhibition space — Kerfuffle Co has a rotating collection of art on display and is literally a gallery space. And if ever there was a cool place to grab a coffee, this is it.
The menu is pared back, with a focus on serving fresh seasonal ingredients, outstanding pastries and good coffee. This is the kind of place you come to relax and enjoy the sights around you; the food and drink almost take a back seat in comparison. The coffee is served in gorgeous handmade rustic mugs. There is a certain kind of joy in just enjoying the quiet company of others in a beautiful space.
To say the furniture and design is eclectic is to sell it short. You’ll often find fellow patrons comfortably stretched out on a neatly made double bed covered in a checkered doona, plumped up with four mismatched pillows. There’s also a baby cot with its side dropped and more local customers lounging snugly together enjoying their morning brew. It’s fun, it’s eccentric and it’s oh so Freo.
At the end of this coffee-finding journey, I just want to say again that there are so many incredible cafes in Fremantle. You really can’t go wrong. If you’ve been on the lookout for somewhere to travel to in Australia, venture along the Western Australian coast. If it’s caffeine you seek, Fremantle really has some of the best out there: even against the likes of Sydney’s cool cafes, Melbourne’s laneway coffee bars, and the Gold Coast’s suburban cafes.
As a Freo local, I am extremely proud of the openness of my hometown neighbours. People from Fremantle are an energetic bunch, and we really feel the freedom to express ourselves without judgement. If you’re travelling to Western Australia, make the trip to Fremantle — we’ve got some of the best coffee in Australia, and some of the coolest of cats roaming the streets.