As a Seattleite, I was born drinking coffee and find it completely normal for a city to have at least a dozen coffee shops/stands/drive-throughs on any given block. Every supermarket, bookstore and office building has its own café and every citizen a coffee in hand. In Seattle, Starbucks is laaame (because no self-respecting coffee-lover drinks the stuff despite Seattle being the coffee behemoth’s birthplace). Instead, the best coffee can be found in off-the-beaten-path places, often nestled behind unimpressive facades.
So there’s really no wonder why I fit in so well in Melbourne!
Everyone says coffee in Perth is atrocious, so I’ve been on a mission to find a good cuppa. After three months of research I’ve discovered – sigh – only two good sources: Cimbalino in Cottesloe (also Dalkeith and the CBD apparently) and my new love, Hubbles Yard in East Fremantle.
You can find Hubbles Yard on heritage-listed George Street in Plympton Ward. You can’t miss it: it’s the place crammed full of very happy and caffeinated customers. The owners, Eleanor and Fabio Hupfer, opened their café in 2007 to immediate success. A mere year later they were awarded the Gold Plate Award for Best Coffee Shop by the Catering Institute of Australia (WA). It could be because they serve Fiori Coffee (although they were serving Five Senses Coffee then), which many believe is the very best.
But there’s much more than just coffee on offer. The food, made by the owners themselves and reflective of their Swiss and Greek heritage, is to die for: cakes, muffins, salads, sandwiches and a huge selection of brekky options. The Food Lover’s Guide to Perth calls the café a “rare gem” and spoke with the owners:
“Our customers are our friends… I always feel it’s like people coming to my house,” says Eleanor. Fabio hopes “the food and the coffee are lovely: simple, quality, fresh, seasonal food, made from pure ingredients, the best we can find.”
We decided to share the carrot cake (it was our third breakfast, after all!) and I barely had time to snap this picture amidst our frenzied gobbling.
The atmosphere buzzes with caffeinated energy of the cafe’s regulars and lucky passers-by. Bright paintings and chalkboards filled with tempting treats hang from the walls. Perth’s Six Thousand prefers sitting outside:
The jewel in the George Street crown is undoubtedly Hubbles Yard…Sitting inside watching the whirlwind of customers is great, but outside under the bougainvillea is even better, the sunshine and the view of the street has the power to shake off any lingering angst.
It’s entirely possible that Hubbles Yard is responsible for our choice of buying a house in East Freo (ours in April!). A sunnier slice of Seattle? We’ll take it!