After my work duties were done, Michael met up with me in Perth so that we could enjoy a week off together. We spent the first half in Fremantle - here are six places we ate while there.
After setting down our gear, we walked down to the Little Creatures Brewery by the water for dinner. They've been bought out by Lion Nathan since I last visited nine years ago, and the food had a 'gastropub for the masses' feel that echoes that history. To their credit, food service was startlingly efficient - each dish was presented to our table less than 10 minutes after we'd ordered it.
We shared a large slice of grilled haloumi ($9.50), a so-so beetroot salad with spiced yoghurt, walnuts & freekeh ($12) and a wood-fired pizza topped with mushrooms, garlic & tallegio ($19). If we'd stopped there, we probably would have been satisfied. Instead we requested a couple of regrettably large desserts: for me, an enormous triplet of icecream sandwiches ($14) studded with chocolate cookies and top'n'fill-style caramel; for Michael, a too-sugary apple strudel ($14) with vanilla curd.
The brewery remains enormously popular, we suspect with tourists more than with locals.
Saturday morning was our best chance to wander the Fremantle Markets, sipping juices and picking up whatever we fancied for breakfast. We loved the vegetarian arepa ($11) from Kachapas, which was golden-fried and stacked with black beans, melting cheese, shredded veges, a fried plantain and several sauces (psst - they do a vegan version too). Again we were over-ambitious and subsequently struggled to finish a golden-layered feta borek for second-breakfast.
Sunday breakfast at Moore & Moore was, in spite of the name, more measured. This charming, artsy cafe adjoins a gallery and cobbles together comfy pre-loved furniture in little nooks, sneaks through a moody warehouse passageway and spills out into a ramshackle sunny back garden. It was here, out the back, that Michael feasted on The Avocado ($18), which in addition to its namesake featured grainy toast, grilled haloumi, poached eggs and a lovely broad bean and olive salsa.
Meanwhile I had eyes only for the Grilled Potato Cake ($19), which was crowned with asparagus spears and a citrus dressing. The staff were kind enough to exchange the standard eggs for mushrooms on my request. If we lived in the neighbourhood, we could see this cheery, relaxed venue becoming our local.
After a day dining with quokkas, we stuck our head in Run Amuk Hotdogs for a quick, early dinner. They make their own vegan, gluten-free sausages analogous to their meat-based bratwursts and they'll stick one in any of their hot dogs for an extra $1. The sausages taste great and have a firm crust, but their inside mushiness gives away that there's no meat here.
I went traditional and ordered my hotdog with just onions, tomato sauce & mustard ($10.50), while Michael tried their formula for Mischief ($14): tomato relish, guacamole, cheddar, baby spinach, tortilla chips, jalapenos & sour cream. The fries ($4) and coriander-lime aioli ($1.50) were on point, and the house-made lemonade ($5 each) was a good choice - I had no hope of tackling their Reese's Peanut Butter Choc Shake after all this!
Michael's google skills happened upon a Monday night food truck gathering Under The Bridge. Although the evening was chilly, a live band and 3 trucks drew plenty of families, students, holiday-makers, and - to Michael's delight - their dogs.
We carefully selected one sample from each stall. Flying Falafels fry their flagship food well and pair it with a nice tahini dip ($10). Comida do Sul had a hearty Prato Feito Vegetarian plate (~$14) of bean sausage and roasted yam, black beans, rice, pan-fried kale and fresh tomato salsa. The street-food star was Eat No Evil's crunchy-skinned crushed potatoes ($8) with chipotle mayo and some herby-sprouty sprinklin's.
On our last morning we hulked our luggage to The Attic and gamely left it out front while we ate breakfast upstairs. Though they have folks order and pay up front at the counter, the ambiance fits with Melbourne's exposed-brick coffee roastery scene.
Michael took on their smashed avocado with feta, cherry tomatoes and mint ($17.50) with a poached egg ($2). I slowly chewed my way through a lovely bowl of grain-free cacao & nut granola, coyo, strawberries and kiwi fruit with the help of a little almond milk ($14)... best served without a side of nutritional nonsense.
As you can see, we ate handsomely in Fremantle! Though specifically vegetarian restaurants are limited (and completely absent from this post), we noticed many places with thoughtful options and even welcoming notes to vegans. It had us feeling right at home.