Kings Cross isn’t the only part of Sydney affected by the lockouts. Newtown is busier than it’s ever been, as frustrated drinkers flock elsewhere for a good time. Things are much calmer during the day, but the area still feels like it’s in flux. New apartment blocks are going up everywhere and many of the long-standing Greek, Cypriot and Maltese residents have moved away.

Despite this, Newtown’s grungy, inclusive spirit remains. Graf (good and bad) is everywhere and there are more tattoos (again, good and bad) walking the streets than anywhere else in Sydney. This attitude is subtly reflected in the cafes – fit-outs are rarely flashy and the vibes are always laid-back. Here are our favourite spots for coffee and food.

Related pages:
A Guide to Newtown
Best Cafes in Camperdown
Best Cafes in Enmore
Best Cafes in Erskineville

A Loft Story

Shop

A dog-friendly cafe, hairdresser, beauty salon and retail concept rolled into one plant-filled creative space.

36 Lennox Street, Newtown

Rolling Penny

Cafe

A neighbourhood cafe inspired by healthy eating and comforting old faithfuls.

583A King Street, Newtown

Greek Vegan Bakery Newtown

Cafe

Vegan spanakopita, moussaka with baked eggplants and cinnamon cookies.

Shop 2 397 King Street, Newtown

Brewtown Sydney

Cafe

A huge warehouse cafe, where coffee is roasted on site.

6-8 O'Connell Street, Newtown
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Either Or

Cafe

Smoked-salmon poke with a long black? Or a lamb, chip and tzatziki smørrebrød with a beer?

512 King Street, Newtown

Rising Sun Workshop

Cafe

An unlikely pairing of ramen and motorbike repairs. The lunchtime ramens here tread familiar territory, but the breakfast ramen may be the one to rule them all: bacon, an egg, umami-packed roast tomato and noodles bathing in buttered toast bone broth. Genius.

1c Whateley Street, Newtown

212 Blu

Cafe

A spot focused on doing a few things well, rather than trying to be everything to everyone.

212 Australia Street, Newtown

Satellite Cafe

Cafe

Since 1996 this backstreet hangout has been a community hub for Newtown locals.

80 Wilson Street, Newtown

Handcraft Specialty Coffee

Cafe

Reps Melbourne's best coffee roasters alongside a compact menu.

67 King Street, Newtown

Flour Drum

Cafe

Brings the farm to the city.

533 King Street, Newtown

Shenkin Espresso Bar

Cafe

Fudgy brownies and great coffee on the go.

239a King Street, Newtown

T Totaler Newtown

Cafe

Tea-themed cocktails, workshops and matched tea and cake degustations are all brewing here.

555a King Street, Newtown

Pastizzi Cafe

Cafe

Visit this slamming Maltese eatery for whopping pastas and flaky, addictive pastizzi (savoury pastries). This giant of South king left its original digs after 14 years and moved to the north end of the strip in 2020. It’s now three times the size – that means three times the pastizzi flying out of the ovens. Essential Newtown eating.

109 King Street, Newtown

The End of King

Cafe

A spacious cafe with a Nepalese twist.

609-611 King Street, Newtown

Campos Coffee

Cafe

Campos is seemingly everywhere now, but this is where it all began.

193 Missenden Road, Newtown

Belljar Coffee

Cafe

Like visiting a hip nanna's place – the furniture's vintage and there are collectable plates on the walls.

Shop 2/104 Alice Street, Newtown

Soulmate

Cafe

An unpretentious, laidback and delightful cafe serving crowd-pleasing all day breakfasts and Single O Coffee. Batch brew topped with whipped cream is about as fancy as it gets at this airy corner spot. For food, you might try a black-sausage sanga, a comfort bacon and egg roll, or a vegan tofu scramble.

39 Phillip Street, Newtown