If you’re a true Victoria Park-er, you’ll likely remember the OG Blockbuster perched high and mighty on the corner of Albany Highway’s main drag and Mint Street in all its blue and yellow glory. But if not, no matter – we’ve put together a guide for best things to do in Victoria Park while you’re visiting the south-east neighbourhood which lies a mere five-minute drive from Perth city.
And although the hive is lengthy, having grown to mega popularity over the past few years; you can take a stroll and discover a new cafe or restaurant, hone in on a niche gift shop, try your hand inside an artist hub, or roam around a market – amongst the plentiful things to do in Victoria Park. But if you want to blend in with the locals, it’s best to refer to the suburb as ‘Vic Park’, FYI.
1. Cafes & Dining
Food, food, and more food – one of Victoria Park’s star qualities. The massive dining scene offers dishes from across the globe, with a focus on fare from many an Asian culture. Although it’s near impossible to name them all, these are our top picks for the best food in the Victoria Park cluster:
For dinnertime cravings, head to Good One BBQ Restaurant, Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant, the brand new David’s Master Pot, The Prophet Lebanese Cafe, Healthy Thai Vegan & Vegetarian Cuisine, Pachi Pachi Modern Asian, Frank’s Barbecue Texas Smokehouse, Makan2, Good Fortune Roast Duck House, Boston Brewing Co, and Hakata Gensuke. There are oodles and oodles of Japanese joints too, where scrumptious ramen and sushi galore are most definitely on the devouring cards.
As for breakfast and early arvo eats, check out Social Manna, Tammy’s Bakery, Papa Sweet Tooth, The Imp, Vic Park Larder, Inuha Cafe, Venn, Sixteen Ounces, Duncan Street Store, Harvest Espresso, Bespoke by Barista HQ, Modus Cafe, The Sparrow’s Nest, and hidden garden cafe, Green Bunch.
2. Vic Park Markets
Every Sunday at John MacMillan Park between 8am and 12pm, the Vic Park Markets enlivens the grassy grounds with a maze of stalls slinging fresh produce, handmade goods, as well as tasty food and drink. Run by the Rotary Club of Victoria Park and the Rotary Club of South Perth-Burswood, the markets provide free live music, entertainment and activities for kids, as well as a big old bouncy castle on the nicer days on the year.
Where: John MacMillan Park, Sussex St
3. Specialty Grocers
There’s just something about browsing the shelves of a specialty grocer and discovering new foods and snacks which were once unknown. Specialty grocers are scattered around Vic Park where many an international good can be found.
Kongs Oriental Supermarket is a must, it’s another OG store which has been doing God’s work since day dot, with humble beginnings in 1977. Kai Supermarket is a more-so recent addition, as is Little Star Asian Grocery, XCY Asian Supermarket, and Seoul Market. Head to The Source, and Loose Produce for bulk foods and organics; Swansea Street Market for fresh produce and Italian imports; and Spicy Hub House Of Indian Groceries for, well, Indian groceries.
4. Centre For The Arts & Pinot Picasso
The Victoria Park Centre For The Arts is a one-stop-shop for art and craft classes, gallery viewing, live music listening, and gift hunting, all within a quaint cottage off of the main drag. Suitable for all ages, and all skill levels, the Centre hosts everything from school holiday programs to weekend workshops, and often runs cultural dinners and vintage flea markets too.
Where: 12 Kent St
If you’re looking for fun night out, but still want to use your noggin for the better, Pinot & Picasso has got your back. Located conveniently next to Boston Brewing Co, the art house offers guided and themed, arvo and evening ‘lessons’, where you can sip on some fine wine and have a light nibble all whilst playing around with colours and canvas. Ideal for dates, mates, and anyone who’s willing to get creative.
Where: 1/660 Albany Hwy
5. Pubs & Breweries
With a seat in the sunshine and a beer in hand, life ain’t all that bad. Park up at the crowd favourite Balmoral Hotel for some olde-worlde-cross-laid-back vibes; head to Dutch Trading Co Brewery for a go at arcade games and quiz nights; suss Victoria Park Hotel for a footy-fuelled arvo on the big screens with a decent pub feed; the 1898-built Broken Hill Hotel for live music, local DJs, and more football; and new-age Boston Brewing Co for their seasonal menu and craft beers.
6. Victoria Park Community Garden
Ain’t nothin’ like a bit of greenery, and as any good West Aussie knows, you’ve got to go for ‘two and five a day’. That’s been made a little easier at the Victoria Park Community Garden where members are encouraged to grow fresh produce and learn sustainable gardening in an urban environment. You can lease an allotment if you’re lacking space backyard-wise, or just get around the communal garden spaces where you’ll find fruit orchards, berry patches, and even a frog pond. The Community Garden also offers free workshops where you can learn about worm farming, pruning, sowing seed, and plenty more.
Where: Read Park, 5 Salford St
7. Dessert Bars & Bubble Tea
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to bubble tea in Vic Park. If you’re unfamiliar with such things; bubble tea is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s, accompanied by chewy tapioca balls, usually referred to as ‘boba’ or ‘pearls’.
The sweet beverage has evolved vastly over the years and there’s a number of spots in the neighbourhood to satisfy your sweet tooth and quench your thirst alike. Hotspots include Chaffic, T4, Chatime, Torochi, Teamorrow, Machi Machi, Taro Taro, Presotea, Tien Tien, and of course, the flagship Utopia. It’s clearly uber popular amongst the locals.
If you’re after something solid however, don’t stroll past Donut Worry for Greek-style donuts (loukoumades), Hokkaido Baker Cheese Tart for Japanese treats, Get Chunky for New York-style cookies, Brown Spoon for waffles and bingsu, Master Chang’s Bakery for South-East Asian pastries, Baking Corner delicate cakes, Marco’s Bakery for Aussie classics, Mimochi for mochi donuts, Yo-Chi for decadent frozen yoghurts, and Sinamon for loaded cinnamon scrolls – not to mention the heap of gelato stores too. Take your pick!
8. Artisan Stores & Op Shops
If you’re on the hunt for something a little different, wander into one of Vic Park’s many artisan gift stores. At Artmart you’ll find an abundance of old-school posters; seek out delightful pot plants at Green Bunch whilst sipping a coffee and sniffing bouquets; step into Nosh Gourmet Gifts for unique kitchenware with a focus on WA-sourced products and foodstuffs; and pop into Rhubarb Records for cassettes, video tapes, records (obviously), and even a rack of super cool fashion.
Victoria Park’s op shops never fail to deliver the goods too with Salvos always churning out something fab, Save The Children with plenty of bits and bobs, Vinnies with a never-ending line-up of dope fits, and Hope Op Shop displaying many an interesting shoe and the occasional floor lamp.
9. Palace Arcade & VR-Arrival
Palace Arcade is a bar-cross-gaming arcade with plenty of booze and New York-style pizza to go around. The neon-lit space boasts more than 50 retro arcade games with the likes of Ghostbusters, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter, and Asteroids, to name a few. Super fun cocktails also up for grabs, and vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free gamers are welcome to splurge on the gargantuan 16-inch and 22-inch pizzas too.
Where: 774 Albany Hwy
A day at a virtual reality centre is always a hoot, and VR-Arrival is bound to transport you to another dimension. Pop on the goggles, grab a gaming console, and step into amusing worlds where anything is possible. Whether you’d like to explore the depths of the ocean and shipwrecks alike, drift off into space, paint a picture in 3D, or fight zombies for that sweet adrenaline rush – VR-Arrival is the go-to for escapism at its finest with over 120 experiences and games. Oh, and try not to fall over!
Where: 3/786 Albany Hwy
You can stay up to date with all the seasonal happenings within the buzzing neighbourhood by following the Town of Victoria Park on Instagram.