The Best James Street Restaurants to Eat At in Northbridge
Let’s head to the best of the west! Perth is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful cities in Australia. Perched right on the coastline of the Indian Ocean, this sunny city is wedged between the endless big blue and the never-ending desert. Filled with an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, FIFO workers and tourists, Perth is home to some of the most exciting restaurants in the country. With access to a wide range of locally-sourced Western Australian produce from the Margaret River and surrounding areas, as well as its close proximity to Asia, it’s little wonder Perth restaurants are some of the best we’ve eaten in. One foodie area we can’t get enough of, referred to as the Surrey Hills and Fitzroy of Perth, is Northbridge. Specifically, James Street restaurants.
Where to Eat on James Street in Perth
One of the most common streets in Northbridge’s hipster suburb is, of course, James Street. Tucked away just to the north of the CBD, this upbeat avenue runs off Fitzgerald Street and past Russell Square, forming an idyllic centre in the heart of the suburb. Lined with restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, the choice is wide and the standards are oh so high here. You’ll mostly find Asian, Italian, tapas and modern Australian dining spots. Boy, are the choices on offer delicious.
1. James Parker Sushi & Sake
With Perth and Asia are pretty close by in the grand scheme of things, it’s no surprise some of the best Asian restaurants have made their way here. James Parker Sushi & Sake is one such Japanese restaurant, creating one of the best dining experiences on James Street in Northbridge Perth. Inspired by a traditional Japanese izakaya, James Parker showcases an array of high quality dishes, designed to be shared, that are served steadily throughout your meal. Seafood features heavily here, as does quality wagyu beef. The space itself is designed with curved wooden panels that create a modern, futuristic entrance – think 2001: A Space Odyssey. Creative and carefully curated, we’ve fallen head over heels.
Must-try: Pair a sake or two with the wagyu roll and the sea urchin ontama with dashi jelly.
2/182 James Street, Northbridge
2. Sorrento Restaurant
Tradition is at the very core of Sorrento Restaurant. This iconic restaurant is as much a part of Perth as the Swan River and it’s been serving exceptional Italian food since 1949. Yes, you read the right – that’s nearly 70 years! In that time, it’s had only one change in ownership and has been run by Alfonso and Tina Di Lanzo since 1982. The passion for quality and traditional Italian cuisine is evident here. Real food, honest cooking and local connections are at the heart of this restaurant on James Street in Northbridge Perth. Don’t expect to find the latest trends here but rather classic decor, vintage ceramics and a spacious terrace that is reminiscent of trattorias throughout Italy. A favourite with very good reason, we can’t recommend Sorrento more.
Must-try: Gnocchi Al Pomodoro o Gorgonzola (house-made potato gnocchi with tomato sugo or gorgonzola).
158 James Street, Northbridge
3. Bangkok Brothers
There’s a lot of excellent Thai restaurants in Perth – and you can go ahead and add Bangkok Brothers to that list. One of the coolest restaurant on James Street in Northbridge Perth, you’ll find exposed brick walls complemented by plenty of plants, wooden furniture, mood lighting and art painted on a wrought iron feature wall. The team here are so into Thai cuisine they offer it for breakfast, lunch and dinner so you can get your fix all day, everyday. Buzzing with infectious Bangkok-style energy, the vibe is laid-back and the menu offers bar bites, noodles, signature cocktails and so much more as well. This James Street spot has a lot going for it – including live music – and will have you wanting to book a trip to Bangkok straight after.
Must-try: Seafood curry pot cooked with fresh king prawns, black mussels, squid and fish fillets.
91 James Street, Northbridge
4. Perth Thailicious
Okay, so we’re going from one Thai restaurant to the next – but Perth Thailicious is so damn good that we shan’t apologise for it. Be introduced to authentic Thai flavours, with punchy aromas and exotic spices that’ll send you straight to Thailand’s bustling street food markets. The interior is spacious enough to accommodate hungry crowds flooding in off James Street, with a rather stripped back design that allows the food to do all the talking. Get down on traditional pad thai and panang curry, tom yum and tom kha, larb and papaya salad… You get the picture. The service is incredible, the food is fresh and flavoursome and the vibe is relaxed and lively. What more could you ask for?
Must-try: Crispy and golden soft-shell crab served with Thailicious homemade coleslaw and seafood sauce.
160 James Street, Northbridge
5. James St Bar & Kitchen
Whatever time of the day you find yourself wandering around Northbridge, there’s one James Street restaurant and bar that is always there for you. Named after the street itself, James St Bar & Kitchen is very well integrated into this neighbourhood’s food scene. Not only do they serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between, but their dishes are also a colourful combination of international cuisines. Stick to Aussie classics or take your taste-buds to the Middle East, Asia or the Mediterranean. If you’re in for just a nibble, there’s a great tapas menu and the drinks list is something to behold – with a whole separate menu dedicated to gin and tonics. No wonder this spot is up there with the other top bars in Perth.
Must-try: Start your evening with a Malfy Gin Rosa & Capi dry tonic with grapefruit followed by juicy kangaroo skewers for dins.
100 James Street, Northbridge
Wondering what all the kerfuffle is about on the corner of Nicks Lane and James Street? It probably has to do with locals wanting a bite of every single thing on PappaRich’s menu. If you’re a fan of Malaysian food, this restaurant group probably hasn’t slipped off your radar – after all, there’s two other locations in Perth and a whopping 26 in the rest of Australia. That’s a lot of quality control to manage, but we can confirm the PappaRich on James Street ticks all the boxes. There’s no doubt the food is traditional, using the freshest herbs, boldest spices and produce available. On the other hand, PappaRich’s Northbridge location is modern, open-planned and the perfect spot for you and your mates to hang out over lunch or dinner.
Must-try: The classic nasi lemak with beef rendang.
101 James Street, Northbridge
7. Hong Kong Dim Sum
One simply cannot go to Perth’s best foodie neighbourhoods without getting dumplings. Our pick of the bunch is HONG KONG Dim Sum, a cheap and cheerful Chinese food court restaurant that steams and fries dumplings from morning ’til late. This is the place you come with your flatmates when you’re all a little strapped for cash – but to be honest, we could win the lottery tomorrow and still crave the delicious treasures waiting inside Hong Kong Dim Sum’s bamboo steamers. Come for the fun electric vibe, fast and friendly service and endless dumpling varieties – without a drop of MSG either.
Must-try: Everything and anything in our opinion. We’re particularly fond of finishing the feast with the steamed custard buns.
Shop 7/123 James Street, Northbridge
If you couldn’t tell, we’re obsessed with yum cha. Here’s where to find the best dumplings in Melbourne.
8. Yes Please Perth
With a loud and vivid mural splashed across their entrance, it’s rather impossible to miss Yes Please Perth – and trust us, you want to pay very close attention to this local haven. The well-loved James Street eatery was founded by four mates with a shared passion for excellent food, incredible bevvies and good times. The crew keep the menu honest, championing local suppliers and sourcing quality produce from their organic and biodynamic farm in Morangup. Not ones to do things by halves, the drinks list is also impressive with craft beers on tap, natural wines from the region and exciting cocktails. Fancy some park views with your dining experience? Yup, they’ve got that too.
Must-try: Hush puppies with sriracha mayonnaise and crispy lamb ribs with the Sly Fox session ale from Feral Brewing to wash it all down.
1/182 James Street, Northbridge