In Food + Drink

Perth Curated: Andy Freeman, Varnish, The Flour Factory and Caballitos

Andy Freeman is a well-known and respected figure around the Perth bar scene. Here are his recommendations for the best food and drink in Perth.

Andy Freeman is a well-known and respected figure around the Perth bar scene. After being nominated by Australian Bartender Magazine as one of ‘Australia’s most influential personalities in the bar industry’, you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the industry nationally who didn’t know his name.

“It’s always nice to get an acknowledgement from your peers, it was a very nice accolade to get,” Freeman says.

With an impressive venue portfolio, it isn’t hard to see why Freeman has gained national recognition for his work.

Andy Freeman. Photo: Supplied

After building his experience at Titanic Bar in London post-hospitality studies, he has managed, purchased and evolved some of Perth’s most well-known venues, before turning his attention to opening venues of his own. In just four years, Freeman has pumped out three high class Perth bars, and only seems to be going from strength to strength.

A bacon and whisky flight from Varnish on King. Photo: Facebook

In 2013, Varnish – the underground American Whiskey den known for its bacon and whiskey flights – opened its doors. It was quickly followed by The Flour Factory in 2015; an ambitious, three-storey tavern, function space and rooftop bar on Queen St. The latest notch on his belt is the city’s first dedicated tequila bar, Caballitos.

Caballitos only opened for trade at the beginning of August, yet Freeman is already starting work on his fourth venue, wedged right between Caballitos and The Flour Factory.

“Twenty-six Queen Street is my current new project, a function space in the heart of the CBD” says Freeman.

A Lagerita from Caballitos. Photo: Facebook


It may not seem like he has much free time, but what he does have he spends well. In between the demands of his soon-to-be four businesses, Freeman takes on fatherly duties of his two girls.

“My girls are still very young so every moment away from work is spent with them, either at the beach or taking them for a bike ride.”

Here are some of Andy Freeman’s recommendations for the best food and drink in Perth.

The best place for a drink

Cocktails at Long Chim. Photo: Facebook

Choo Choo’s for a cocktail and a laugh, The Reveley for a beer and great view of the swan, or Long Chim for something a bit more intimate and secluded.”

The best cheap eats

Cobia Poke with Korean sweet chilli sauce, carrot, daikon and kimchi from Canteen Trigg. Photo: Facebook

“Cheap and cheerful eats are always a favourite of mine. I can’t go past Viet Hoa in Northbridge – a bustling Vietnamese joint that has been around for years,” he says.

“Or grab a bite at May Street Larder or head up the coast to Canteen Trigg and dig into one of the pokè bowls. They are delicious and my Saturday ritual.”

The best spots for a special night out

Nobu’s black miso cod. Photo: Nobu

“The best in the west includes Bib and Tucker for costal views, Nobu for simply the best Japanese in the world and Wildflower for their incredible cuisine; and a perennial favourite is Must Wine bar in Highgate.”

The best morning coffee stops

Coffee and pastries from Mary Street Bakery. Photo: Facebook

“In the western suburbs, Someday Coffee Co. is great. It has cool vibes and awesome operators. If you are on Beaufort Street, see the lads at Mary Street Bakery for coffee with a side of red velvet cake.

“Uncle Joe’s in the CBD is my morning stop every day and on weekends I drop into Yelo after a dip in the big blue.”

(Lead image – portrait: Andy Freeman Photo: Shot by Thom. Lead image – horizontal: Varnish on King. Photo: Varnish on King) . 

Published 21 August, 2017