Looking to hit all the best new bars in the state? Start right here.

The line between bar and restaurant may be becoming increasingly blurry, but one thing’s for sure: there’s never been a better time to drink in WA. These venues are straight from our Best Bars list, which focuses on places that puts drinks at the forefront, even if the food is worth your attention. For those bars where we think the food is a non-negotiable part of a visit, you’ll find them in our Top 100 list. As for these? Revel in the variety in drinks and styles, and stick around for another round.

Bar Vino
The concept of a coffee shop by day and wine bar by night could be distracting, the risk being that the eye is never quite on one purpose. Immediate impressions are, however, that this is a team that knows what they’re doing. The cohesiveness of the offering and the service belies the age of the freshly opened venue and there’s certainly nothing lacking in focus. A serious Italian, French and Australian wine list is true to the name, with Sicilian frappato, say, from new-wave maker COS, local chenin blanc and stacks of Sangiovese, with plenty on by the glass, and a killer reserve list playing support. It’s a match with homely Italian dishes ranging from ciabatta to go with La Delizia stracciatella to crisp Exmouth tiger prawn fritti, hearty lamb ragù with casarecce, and golden-crumbed pork cotoletta. The crowd, meanwhile, takes in first dates, families, locals and wine buffs, meaning even midweek sees the place pumping. And with polish like this, Bar Vino’s reputation is surely only going to grow. Especially when the tiramisù is this good. 181 Central Avenue, Mount Lawley; barvino.com.au

Among the mélange of recently opened eurocentric bars, Bertie, a winebar-cum-bistro with a modern British menu, is a breath of fresh air. Taking cues from contemporary London restaurants, the bar serves up polished takes on British classics, imbuing unprepossessing pub food like Welsh rarebit and Scotch eggs with nuance and elegance. Where the food menu is short, the drinks offering is considerable. Wine by the glass is scrawled on the chalkboard, while the list of bottles – unsurprisingly since the venue shares owners with Vincent Wine – is well considered. If there’s a theme, it’s to put local drops alongside Old World alternatives, with scope and a willingness to go off piste. Think South African chenin blanc or Picpoul from the Languedoc among familiar Australian labels, with affordability and drinkability front of mind. Staff know their stuff and are happy to offer recommendations, local beers are on tap, and bartender James Connelly continues to prove his prowess with a cocktail shaker (Burnt Butter Old Fashioned, anyone?). Pair it with share plates, like beef striploin with bone-marrow gravy or a spin on coronation chicken. But don’t skip the Scotch egg, which is cloaked in pork and sage mince and a double coating of panko for a crisp crust, before being plated up alongside a fruity housemade HP sauce. A must, especially with a drink. 77 Old Perth Road, Bassendean; bertiewinebar.com.au 

Edward & Ida’s
For those who can spot the nondescript entrance, Edward and Ida’s offers an experience reminiscent of a Melbourne corner pub imbued with a few British sensibilities. Deco glass lanterns throw dim light over an eclectic assemblage of bottles and breweriana, while the extensive collection of vintage beer ads adds to the sense that this place has been here forever, even if it’s only been a few months. Like the décor, the menu is approachable, with local tap beers (plus pints of Guinness), and a short wine list with a few easy-drinking gems in the mix – Battles chardonnay, perhaps, or amber from Vino Volta. But it’s all about Shirley Yeung’s cocktails, which reinvigorate retro classics once considered passé – think a Banana Daiquiri that’s all poise and balance, or a Midori Splice that recalls disco-era cocktails and summer icy poles all at once. For food, Nieuw Ruin chef Blaze Young oversees a short menu of timeworn classics elevated just a little – a meaty sausage roll with homemade HP sauce, say, or a flaky, buttery beef and Guinness pie complete with bone-marrow chimney. Late night, the jaffle menu clocks on, with the baked bean and confit duck version the headliner. A stellar new opening, with room to grow. 269 William Street, Northbridge; edwardnidas.com

Patio Bar
Freo’s Patio Bar is familiar but refreshing, a setting fit for low-key afternoons that fade effortlessly into evenings with a drink in hand. It’s the uncomplicated that Patio does well, think local lo-fi wines, small plates of simple dishes like meatballs in sugo or crumbed whiting, music on the decks, good times in the courtyard (or is that patio?). The drinks follow suit, with an uncomplicated cocktail spread leaving space for a range of vermouths – neat or with soda – leading into a formidable, trend-driven wine list and beers that steer from the standard craft offering and instead look to straight-up refreshment to suit the setting (Swan Draught and Melbourne Bitter all day). Simple yes, but very effective. 4/3-13 Essex Street, Fremantle; instagram.com/patio_freo 

Pearl’s Bar
Pearl’s is that rare all-purpose bar that achieves more by doing less, lavishing attention on exactly what matters: bang-up classic cocktails, comfortable surroundings and genuine service that’s warm and inclusive. Simple? Sure, but refreshing, too, especially when so many similar regional haunts take the maximalist approach. Perch up at the front window with a perfectly tart Paloma or a steadying dirty gin Martini, and you’re bound to feel at home in no time. If the level-headed wine prices don’t make you want to stick around, it’ll be the list of well-chosen independent beers or the lone pinball machine out the back. Come for one, stay for several and witness a Margaret River staple in the making. 1/151 Bussell Highway, Margaret River; pearlsbarmargaretriver.com.au 

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