The Best Restaurants in Newtown

Updated 3 months ago


Newtown is one of Sydney’s most important cultural hotspots and late-night districts. But when it comes to eating out, Newtown and adjoining Enmore are unbeatable in terms of quality and variety. From a cheap and cheerful pastizzi cafe to an ambitious Mexican diner, these are our favourite spots for a great meal on (and off) King Street.

  • Pasi Petanen’s boundary-pushing diner is tough to pin down. There’s a lot of Finnish, a little bit of Italian and some inspiration taken from right here in Australia. The wine list emphasises drops that are fun, interesting and go exceptionally well with the food.

  • Pizzas and vinos from the same team that’s behind Continental, with the addition of new teammate Luke Powell from LP’s Quality Meats. Expect pizzas topped with Powell’s mortadella, premium canned seafood (there’s an anchovy menu) and high quality versions of all the usuals. It’s loud inside, from both the tight table arrangements and the beats, but the restaurant design is beautiful.

  • Around 60 styles of sake are pouring at this intimate drinking den, inspired by the vinyl-spinning jazz bars of Japan. Expect rare Japanese gins and whiskies too, plus a Euro-Japanese snack menu by a former Pinbone and Billy Kwong chef.

  • A deli, bar and bistro – literally. One half of the venue, the downstairs section, has a bar that doubles as a deli counter serving both premium deli goods (jammed into Brickfields ciabatta or plated up next to luxury imports of tinned fish) and the best cocktails in the suburb, including the venue’s own range of tinned classics (the Mar-tinny is the classic). Upstairs it’s more French Bistro, with saucy meats, chip-flanked tartares and cheese-peppered salads.

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  • The first restaurant in Newtown to push the boundaries of what mid-range dining can be, and an early purveyor of the modern-Australian share-plate format. It also has an exceptional list of organic and biodynamic wines, and an industrial fit-out. It’s become a Sydney institution and remains one of Newtown’s best and most creative restaurants.

  • A theme of fermentation guides this cavernous King Street bar. Find a dizzying list of funky farmhouse ales, ciders and natural wines, plus a Euro-inspired all-day menu by a formidable kitchen team.

  • The reason you can find a classic American-style cheeseburger in every second cafe and bar in Sydney is Mary’s. Its innovation was to take the comfort-trash vibes from the big chains but package it with good-quality grass-fed beef in a grungy venue that blasted metal and served cheap beers next to progressive local wines. Nothing’s changed.

  • When traditional Neapolitan pizzeria Gigi’s went completely plant-based in 2015 Newtown freaked out. Vegans celebrated and meat-eaters worried the best pizza in the inner west was ruined. Only one of those reactions lasted. Due to the creativity of chef and owner Marco Matino, no amount of savouriness or soul has been lost. The pizzeria is more popular than ever, so expect lines.

  • The unlikely pairing of ramen and motorcycle repairs produces some pretty spectacular results at this casual all-day diner. Come for one of four signature ramens (including an outstanding breakfast number), izakaya snacks and lo-fi wines.

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  • Woodfired pide and Turkish breakfast spreads in Newtown

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  • Visit this slamming Maltese eatery for big bowls of pasta and flaky, addictive pastizzi (savoury pastries). After moving from its original South King Street digs, it’s now three times the size – but remains an essential Newtown venue.

  • Korean fried kitchen, but modern. Still as a saucy and spicy as you want but with optional side serves of bulgogi fries, gochujang-chicken tacos and cheesy corn, the latter of which is exactly what it sounds like. Beers, the most classic Korean fried chicken companion, come in cans from Korea or local Sydney breweries.

  • This tiny pizzeria by two ex-Bella Brutta chefs makes around 150 pizzas a day, so order your fermented-garlic honey number early – this one tends to sell out fast. There are a few seats inside, but we say grab your pizza to go and head to Camperdown park for an al fresco feast.

  • If Mary’s invented Sydney’s good-trash-food movement, Belly Bao took it to another level. The bao-bun burgers are completely unique in Sydney and maybe the world, as are the spicy bao-noodles and the deep-fried Golden Gaytime-inspired dessert bao. It sounds gimmicky, and maybe it is, but labelling it that betrays how good it is. It’s also vegetarian and vegan friendly (there are eggplant bao burgers, tofu bao and noodle options), and it sports a fun pan Asian-inspired bar menu.

  • Expect to wait for a seat on weekends at La Favola. But when you get in there are $22 to $26 choose-your-own house-made pastas and fresh focaccia by a chef who used to work in Fico and fine-dining kitchens in Europe.

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  • This laid-back Provençal wine bar is all about small producers and easy decisions. There are just three drinks on the regularly changing cocktail list, a short food menu and a streamlined selection of wines. Plus, a choose-your-own-adventure weekend brunch plate.

  • Move over tacos and enchiladas. This humming diner explores Mexican cuisine in a way few Sydney spots do, with lesser-seen street food dishes and innovative fillings. Plus, find Margaritas shaken five different ways.