Since it's major facelift for the new millenium, Barrack Square has become a major hub for ferries and tourism yet for some reason it seems to have been forgotten by the locals. Featuring smart-casual dining, green gardens, a well renowned pub and the iconic Bell Tower Barrack Square offers a peaceful change to the hustle and bustle of the CBD.
The focal point of Barrack Square is of course the Bell Tower
. Surrounding the tower is the millenium gardens "sign in 2000" project. For school kids in the year 1999 (such as myself), this is a favourite as the names of every kid from every participating school were inscribed in our own handwriting into the footpath.
The Sign in 2000 project
The path runs through peaceful green gardens on either side of the tower, split down the middle by the indigenous artwork water feature. Palm trees and Black Swan sculptures sit over the grassy areas, perfect for picnics and popular for exercise classes.
If your feeling peckish Barrack Square offers a much more relaxed dining atmosphere than the rushed and busy CBD cafes. At the most casual end of the scale is the La Paz cafe. If all you are after is a quick bite before hopping on a ferry, then go no further.
Across the jetty on Pier 3 is the Riverside Cafe
. Riverside features a much more substantial and sophisticated menu in a smart casual indoors environment. They serve all the regular cafe food but the quality is near unbeatable, prices are not too bad either at $8.50 for a footlong roll packed full of fresh fillings.
The Old Perth Port side of Barrack Square
For the thirsty souls Barrack Square is right down your alley. Hidden on the outside of the Eastern Jetty is Cafe Saccaria; if you want a smoothie, look no further. For $7.50 you can get a smoothie with pretty much any mix-in from Toblerone to Bounty bars. I'm yet to find a better shake shack in town.
When beer o'clock comes around the Lucky Shag
is waiting. This busy, smart casual pub features a large range of very good quality beers as well as the pub regulars. It is a haven for sports fanatics with TV screens pretty much everywhere you look! Despite its sports pub style, it is far from the dingy stereotype we've come to expect.
For dinner you just can't beat the riverside views offered by Barrack Squares restaurants. The Annalakshmi
Indian restaurant is famous for it's "only pay what you think is fair" prices, and in all fairness the food is worth a million dollars.
The centrepiece of the Millenium gardens
After living in China I have only found four Chinese restaurants in Perth that are up to standards, Shun Fung
on the eastern pier is one of them. Fresh and authentic Chinese meals with magical views over Perth water. It is clean and well presented too, which is hard to come by in Chinese restaurants both here and in China!
And then of course there is Halo restaurant
, offering fine Australian cuisine in that typical smart casual atmosphere that Barrack Square is renowned for. I have not dined here yet but every time I walk past I get quite jealous seeing the food served up to the people dining inside.
If your looking for a quiet change from the Perth CBD, all you have to do is take a five minute walk down to the riverside. Casual dining, tranquil views and a peaceful atmosphere all await you at Barrack Square.
The iconic Bell Tower