GT guide to Subiaco for the AFL finals

Author: Max Veenhuyzen
Photography: The Subiaco Hotel

Calling all Hawks and Swans fans. Heading to Perth for the big AFL finals this weekend - Hawthorn versus Eagles on Friday and Sydney versus Freo on Saturday afternoon - and wondering where to eat, drink and be merry? No strangers to the joys of the national game, Gourmet Traveller has assembled this Subiaco primer for supporters making their way out west.

Our pick for the suburb's best coffee is Architects and Heroes (25 Rokeby Rd, Subiaco), a cosy cafĂ© where the drinks are precision-brewed via a computer-controlled steampunk-style machine and the toasties are spot on.

The Subiaco Hotel (465 Hay St, Subiaco, 08 9381 3069) remains a benchmark for high-end pub lunching, while fans of French food should hit Bistro des Artistes (424 Hay St, Subiaco, 08 9382 2546), the relaxed diner from Alain Fabrègues of The Loose Box fame. Both restaurants also serve dinner, although bookings are pretty much mandatory day or night (as a plan B, the public bar in the former serves a broad snack menu that ranges from fish and chips to pulled veal burgers).

In the casual eats department, Tenkadori (502 Hay St, Subiaco, 08 9382 2291) slings ramen and rice bowls for lunch and charcoal-grilled yakitori after dark.

While the aforementioned Subiaco Hotel and The Vic (226 Hay St, Subiaco, 08 6380 8222) are popular with the pre- and post-game footy crowd, the brilliant JB O'Reilly's (99 Cambridge St, West Leederville, 08 9382 4555) is the area's sports pub to beat. As you'd expect from a Gaelic-themed "eatin' and drinkin' emporium", the service is warm, the drinks menu extensive and the atmosphere lively. Enrich your visit with rib-sticking pub grub (liver and bacon with champ potato, say) and really profit.

Otherwise, the CBD is just a short train ride from Domain Stadium. The Lalla Rookh wine store for plates of pasta (77 St Georges Tce, enter via Sherwood Ct, Perth, 08 9325 7077) remains one of the city's best no-booking all-day dining options, ditto the bold Asian flavours of Print Hall's Asian eating house, The Apple Daily (Brookfield Place, 125 St Georges Tce, Perth, 08 6282 0000).

Staying at Crown Perth? Keep the bar options at Rockpool Bar & Grill (08 6252 1900), Bistro Guillaume and Nobu (both 08 9362 7551) in mind for drop-in eats and drinks.

Watching the games at home? Here are some recipes for our favourite footy snacks.

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