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Cottesloe Guide: Things to do in Cottesloe (Perth, Australia)

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Perth is Australia’s secret gem that tourists don’t typically frequent. Most tourists (especially Americans) who visit Australia, stay on the east coast and visit the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Perth is another 4-5 hour flight across the vast Outback of Australia and is actually the most isolated capital city on the planet. We heard a joke that the space station is our closest neighbor when it flies over – we still haven’t verified that, but it’s funny nonetheless. Perth is similar to Los Angeles or San Diego in that the majority of the population resides in the suburbs. In researching the best locations to live, we discovered the beautiful beach town of Cottesloe and that is where we now call home. You might have read our notice that we decided to move to Perth, Australia, so we thought it was finally time to share some tips and photos of our new home. Perth, and Cottesloe more specifically, are great destinations for those of you wanting to find a nice combination of relaxation and outdoor adventures. Our Cottesloe guide should equip you with everything you need for a nice holiday here in Cottesloe.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cottesloe (or Perth in general), there is a bit of a La Jolla (San Diego) vibe. Imagine that La Jolla and Carmel (northern California) had a baby and that is about what you have here in Cottesloe.

If you’re planning a trip to Perth, it’s best to come between October – March when we are enjoying spring and summer. We moved here at the end of the northern hemisphere’s winter and right at the start of the southern hemisphere’s fall, so we have had a pretty cold, rainy, last 6 months. We did, however, get a couple nice weeks of sun and 80-90 F degree days.

Perth is a sleepy city and Cottesloe is an even sleepier beach town. There are a number of restaurants and bars here in Cottesloe, but similar to other areas of the city, most are only frequented during the day. If you’re looking for nightlife, it’s best to check out Northbridge in the city or perhaps some areas in Fremantle. For those of you looking for a relaxing beach vacation, Cottesloe is the perfect spot.

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Cottesloe beach is breathtaking. Beautiful blue water meets miles and miles of pristine white sand. Most of the beaches are dog-friendly and still manage to remain perfectly clean. So, you get to enjoy the majestic beauty of a group of golden retrievers without worrying about stepping in dog poop or finding trash lining the shore. There seems to be a really good sense of personal responsibility here in Cottesloe, as residents truly seem to care about furthering the future and aesthetic beauty of our beautiful beach.

The town of Cottesloe is filled with delicious restaurants, quaint cafes that serve delicious espresso and a variety of food, and all the shops necessary to a modern life. If there’s something you can’t find in Cottesloe, the surrounding town of Claremont has a shopping mall and outdoor mall called the Claremont Quarter. There you can find the necessities.

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Things to do in Cottesloe

For a small, quiet, town, there is a good amount to do during the day. Cottesloe is home to a number of parks, a small golf course, and miles of gorgeous, sparsely populated beach. For the outdoor enthusiast, there is plenty of aquatic fun to be had and for those who just want to relax, well, you found the right place.

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Best Restaurants and Cafes in Cottesloe

If we are being completely honest, Perth is not a foodie’s type of town. The food here is fine, but there is nothing that has blown us away. Our best meals have been at Il Lido, Vans, and a restaurant in Fremantle called Bread in Common. The price to quality ratio at the majority of restaurants in Perth is skewed so you typically end up with expensive, mediocre, food. There are a few things that they do really well here and a handful of restaurants that we have thrown into our weekly rotation.

  • Il Lido Italian Canteen – The best Italian restaurant in Cottesloe and conveniently 1 block from our apartment. Inconveniently $30-40 for a plate of pasta.
  • Vans – Our go-to brunch, lunch, or even dinner spot. Vans isn’t cheap (our typical breakfast bill is $50-60), but the food is quite good. They offer a unique menu and a walk-up take-away coffee window.
  • John Street Cafe – Quaint breakfast cafe here in Cottesloe with delicious breakfast. Again, not cheap.
  • Wrap ‘n’ Rice Thai – Our “cheap” and delicious dinner option. They make pretty decent curries, noodles, and fried rice.
  • Two Fat Indians – Shoutout to our main man Sandeep! This great Indian spot does free local delivery and have some delicious curries.
  • Canteen Pizza – They try really hard to do a good pizza Napoletana. It’s ok in a pinch. Conveniently 100 feet from our apartment. Inconveniently $30 for a pizza.
  • Barchetta – We haven’t actually tried this spot yet, but we hear it is one of the better restaurants in Cott. They serve a Mediterranean menu and are right on the beach. Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Cafes, Bakeries, Gelaterie, etc.

One thing that Australians do extremely well is coffee. There is not 1 single Starbucks here in Perth. Not one. Rather, there are myriad espresso bars and caffes that all serve delicious espresso.

  • Cimbalino (There are a few – we like the one on Napoleon) – Cafe
  • Daisies – Cafe
  • Up Town – Cafe
  • Mel & Co – Cafe
  • Nature’s Harvest – Probably the only place we have in Cott that makes good smoothie bowls and Acai bowls. It’s also a health food store where you can purchase food, supplements, etc.
  • North Street Store – Delicious bakery here in Cottesloe where we buy freshly baked bread, sweet cinnamon rolls, and other pastries. This spot is the bomb.
  • Cottesloe Gelato RedSpoon
  • Gelato 101 Vegan Artisan

Grocery Stores, Gyms, and More

For a small town, there are a few options for grocery stores and markets. In LA we lived about 1.5 miles from Erewhon, so we have been SPOILED in the world of markets/grocery stores. Cott does however have a few good options:

  • Boatshed – The closest thing to Erewhon. Produce is exorbitantly expensive here in Australia and finding organic produce is like finding a needle in a haystack but Boatshed has some pretty good options, a nice hot bar, great fish selection, etc.
  • Woolworths – Think Vons/Safeway/Ralphs/Albertsons
  • IGA – Small chain of grocery stores that are more like corner markets in the US
  • Coles – Also think Vons/Safeway/Ralphs/Albertsons – this one is over in our neighboring town, Claremont
  • Goodlife – Unfortunately, good gyms are not as ubiquitous as they are in the States. Cottesloe is an affluent community, yet the only proper gym we have here is Goodlife. It’s OK at best. It gets the job done, but is a LONG way from an Equinox.
  • Vidler’s surf shop – Local surf shop here in Cott that has anything you need for the beach

Sal’s Pasta Deli

Probably our favorite discovery here in Cottesloe is Sal’s Pasta Deli. We stumbled into Sal’s and quickly became friends with the owner, Sal. Similar to us, Sal used to live in Florence, Italy. After spending 7 years in the home of the Renaissance, Sal came back to Cottesloe and opened a pasta deli where he sells hand-made pasta, soups, and other Italian specialties. It’s a great place for purchasing Italian imports and is our go-to for all our Italian ingredients. Kids love this place as well because Sal and his colleagues will show them how the pasta machine works and give out delicious samples.

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