il Cibo an urban oasis


In every city we seek an oasis. And il Cibo is one of Fremantle’s finest.

It’s a place to eat drink relax while collecting your busy thoughts, meeting friends or whiling away the day.  It’s a place for all seasons: outside in the sun or under the shady tree. Or inside, snug, cool or cosy, when the sun is at its height or the wind a little fresh.

Located in one of Freo’s most splendid heritage buildings, just across from the train-station, Cafe Il Cibo is the first taste of Fremantle for many. With its ethos of keeping things fresh and evolving, it is a fine welcome to town.


Set up by Tuscan-born cafe creator Donatella and daughter Jessica six years ago, this cafe was an instant success due to its great coffee and incredibly fresh food ‘made with love’. Several Gold Plates and awards later, it’s clear their culinary creativity has been recognised by more than just their adoring ‘regulars’.

Il Cibo – ‘Food’ in Italian – is full of comfort and surprises with a new dish, an unusual soup mixing it with simple tasty toasties on Italian bread ready-to-go. Above all it is authentic which is its drawcard appeal.

Inside the Cafe is literally a feast for the eyes: the two large glass cabinets with their vivid displays of alluring food are like works of art. Recreated daily.


One has large platters of healthy, colourful, imaginative salads with lovely tangy or luscious, creamy dressings to satisfy every food lover. Enjoy a mix of salads or pair them up with flaky home-made savoury pastries: chicken and mushroom parcels, salmon patties or beautiful Italian sausage rolls full of delectable fillings.

The second (call it “the Temptress”) really tests the most determined will. Il Cibo is one of the few places – possibly the only one in Fremantle – where every delicious cake and dessert is genuinely home-made on the premises.

“So many cafés these days order in factory-made products that people can really savour the difference of homemade,” says Jess. “Everything we make has a little love in it.”


But this is just the beginning. There is also an exciting and extensive menu – for breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake, for bambini, for wine lovers and for those with a taste for healthy or exotic drinks.

“Breakfast is really popular in Fremantle and we wanted to try something different so we open from 6am for earlybirds and offer a big breakfast served in a huge paella pan. It’ll keep you going the whole day,” Donna laughs. ‘”But for those who prefer a lighter touch, the fluffy buttermilk pancakes are delicious.”

And then there’s the staff. As one regular wrote: “There’s never a disappointing surprise with your consistently top service. There’s never a “we can’t do that” response to a request. Somehow you make it happen. Your staff greet us (and others) with a smile, a personal remark. It feels completely genuine and puts a smile on our face.  Every day we try to be adventurous and choose another lunch spot but most times we end up back at il Cibo, like bees to the honey!”


As if Jess and Donna didn’t have enough to do with the cafe, these whirlwind women went one step further and set up the highly successful Il Cibo Home. Here their colourful Italian style and Australian irreverence shines through. A feast for the senses, Il Cibo takes its customers from a place of taste and smell to a treasure trove of touch and sights. Patrons can meander seamlessly through the Cafe and Home spaces.

“It came about organically” says Donatella. “We aim our products at the senses and we want customers to feel relaxed and free to roam while they wait for their coffees or their other half reads the paper, or the kids play in the play area”.


With a focus on sustainable and genuine, Il Cibo’s homeware collection is unique and eclectic with many items being one-offs. The shelves are stocked with handmade soaps, natural fibres, wood products and collectables from around the world, all with a chic or rustic charm. No shelf is quite like the next.  The wide-range and affordable pricing of homewares, accessories and clothes makes Il Cibo Home the go-to for every birthday present, house warming and celebration, to spoil yourself or a special person. And with Christmas around the corner, it’s on Santa’s list!

2 Market Street, Fremantle (opposite Fremantle Post Office) | 9433 4900 | Open 7 days 6am – 4pm


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