Cold cuts, cheese, canned cocktails, fine wines, stiff drinks. This list could only describe one beloved Sydney venue: Newtown’s Continental Deli, Bar and Bistro on Australia Street.

The deli space on street level is bright, simple and small, with about 20 stools arranged either at the bar, next to the deli stacks or in the façade’s sunlit window. Everyone is sipping cocktails poured from cans (Mar-tinny, Americano, et al), and is snacking on a gilda or from plates of imported European conservas.

The blackboard menu, although small in scope, is intimidating and thrilling in equal measure. The list spans tinned seafood, cheese and cured meats; some of which end up in the deli’s lunch sandwiches. Otherwise, everything can be ordered simply by the can or sliced to order, accompanied by rustic bread, crackers and olives.

Upstairs is the bistro proper. Imagine if your nanna’s kitchen was taken over by a gang of hot-shot chefs turned nostalgic homebodies. With faded pink walls, dark antiques and a giant picture of a fish, that’s what the suburb’s favourite European diner feels like. It offers the same as what you'll find downstairs, alongside pastas, slow-cooked proteins and more.

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Updated: June 14th, 2024

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