Restaurants

  • Top-quality steaks and burgers to eat in or take home.

  • 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.

  • Not quite Neapolitan, not quite New Yorker – the pizza at Bella Brutta is a style all of its own. Expect a puffy, blistered crust, a sag-proof base and a raft of creative toppings (a slice of the white clam pie with fermented chilli is a must). From the teams behind LP’s Quality Meats and Porteno.

  • 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.

  • A gourmet cheese shop and bar that goes above and beyond.

  • Restorative pho and vegan Vietnamese classics in a zen setting.

  • The finest pizza on Emore Road is by a veteran of Sydney’s Italian food scene. Neapolitan tradition is well and truly on show here, along with a tight edit of pastas and a longer list of antipasti. Find it all in an exposed brick space beneath the Urban Hotel in Newtown.

  • 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.

  • Calaveras pays homage to Mexico’s vibrant cantina culture with down-home tacos and fajitas served in a rowdy little space above Newtown Station. In pride of place is the fairy-lit bar, stocked with hundreds of imported agave spirits.

  • A tiny inner-west outpost for the lauded Surry Hills bakery.

  • The first pizzeria in Sydney to go completely vegan. And if anything, the lines to get in are bigger than ever. Umami-rich, plant-based toppings here go above and beyond mere substitute status. You won’t miss the meat and cheese, that’s for sure.

  • Build your own burger, hot dog, mac‘n’cheese or loaded fries.

  • Woodfired pide and Turkish breakfast spreads in Newtown

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  • The Newtown takeaway-focused outpost of Western Sydney’s favourite chicken shop offers all of the favourites, plus Southern-style fried chicken

  • Sydney's crunchiest fried chicken. Plus katsu burgers, waffle fries and tater tots.

  • This casual eatery highlights the cuisine of southern Italy. There's slow-cooked octopus, chickpea pasta and house-made shortcrust pastries.

  • Six pastas with your choice of sauce and a couple of starters – simple pleasures await.

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  • Old-school burgers and rotisserie chicken like you used to get after school.

  • Some of the best Korean fried chicken in town.

  • Serving bao noodles, salted-egg fried chicken and lots of vegan dishes.

  • It’s not on the beach, but the famous burrito house has its fourth taco canteen on the other side of town.

  • The bistro half of Newtown’s Continental Deli is doing a classic European menu.

  • A trio of chefs is behind this dapper bar with a penchant for low-intervention wines.

  • Pizza like you’ve never tried before.

  • Cheese takoyaki balls, steamed pork buns and Japanese-inspired hot dogs at the top floor of the Newtown Hotel.

Cafes

  • 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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  • The brunches at this heaving inner west cafe are as photogenic as the locals who line up for them. Go for those, plus Single O coffee on tap (whipped cream optional) and plenty of natural light.

  • 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.

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

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  • A former Black Star Pastry chef is behind this tiny bakery in an inner west backstreet. Playful spins on the classic Aussie cake are speciality (think yuzu-meringue or pandan and coconut), but you can also expect onigiri filled with traditional Japanese flavours and a few inspired creations such as bacon-and-egg.

  • Baklava, ice cream and strong, sweet coffee made with love on Enmore Road.

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

  • Brings the farm to the city.

  • A spacious cafe with a Nepalese twist.

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

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

  • Fudgy brownies and great coffee on the go.

Bars

  • 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.

  • The Martini reigns supreme at this psychedelic cocktail bar. The gun bartenders pour them any way you like, and the bottomless popcorn will keep you thirsty. Don’t forget to take a selfie in the curvaceous bathroom mirror – it’s a right of passage.

  • No two nights will be the same at this subterranean live-music lounge and cocktail bar by Odd Culture group. Descend for a world-class cocktail program and late-night live entertainment courtesy of Newtown’s first 4am licence.

  • 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.

  • Sommelier Amelia Birch’s spot on Enmore Road offers rotating wine flights, with bottles you can taste before taking home. Snacks include black-truffle-and-squid-ink salami, and a caviar-topped egg dip made from a secret family recipe.

  • Hidden behind the facade of old butcher shop on King Street, you’ll find a lively cocktail bar that’s serious about stiff drinks, but promises a rollicking good time all at once. Come for classic cocktails, shots of Fernet-Branca and Reschs on tap.

  • Consider yourself fortunate – lucky even – to get a seat at the bar here. This neon-lit inner-west boozer gets rammed most nights, and it’s easy to see why. It’s laid-back in all the right ways, but is dead serious when it comes to classic cocktails.

  • The cocktail guns behind Old Mate’s Place and Ginny’s Canoe Club have landed on King Street – with a swish wine bar and retail space up front, and an ’80s-tinged bar and courtyard out the back.

  • The golden age of retro arcade games under one roof.

  • Sydney’s most influential burger joint.

  • Cocktails and minigolf.

  • The Union ranks among Sydney's best craft beer venues, with 22 taps and even more bottles of both Australia’s finest and oddest (plus some innovations from overseas). Grab a tasting paddle and sample the wares in the lively front bar or the homey bistro out back.

  • The weirdest bar in Sydney is also one of the most fun.

  • A low-key spot with a share-house feel, only with much better food.

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  • This time-honoured pub looks sharper than ever. Head to the Greek bistro upstairs for a more sophisticated dining experience.

  • A classic old boozer blessed with one of the best beer gardens in Sydney.

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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.

  • A brewery and bar in a former Newtown furniture store from one of Australia's pioneering craft brewers. Sit in the sunny beer garden and sip on cult brews such as the Organic Steam Ale and Pale Ale, plus a selection of exclusive beers you can only find here.

  • The rowdy HQ for one of Sydney's most treasured breweries.

  • A historic Newtown pub that's retained its old-school charm.

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  • A bar serving wines and cocktails with a focus on native ingredients.

  • A Solotel-owned pub with its own cocktail bar and band room.

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  • A dedicated craft beer bar inside The Bank Hotel.

Shops

  • Trade your clothes and accessories for cash or in-store credit at this chic, second-hand retailer. You won’t find fast fashion on the racks – just pre-loved, sustainably sourced vintage threads.

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

  • Home to the famous strawberry-watermelon cake.

  • A side hustle selling succulents and indoor varieties at weekend markets has since become a thriving full time gig for Plant Daddy's Chris and Charlie Wu. Their Newtown corner shop is a destination for hard-to-find greenery and handcrafted plant accessories.

  • Simple, good quality ingredients, prepared traditionally.

  • This is one of King Street's most charming and enduring booksellers. But the biggest draw here is the "blind date with a book" special: you get a cheap, brand new book wrapped in brown paper – so you'll only find out what you got once you've made your purchase.

  • This is one of Newtown's best – and best known – book shops. The main draw, on top of the impressive, genre-spanning range, is the frequent author events. They regularly attract some of Australia's best writers.

  • A King street legend. This Newtown favourite is ramshackle in the best way, with all the second-hand books and records you truly won’t find elsewhere. And if you don’t know what you’re looking for, owner Natalie Gould probably does. Her family has been in the book trade for more than 50 years.

  • Newtown’s friendly spirit is on full display at this compact nursery, where the knowledgeable staff can talk you through everything from planning your first garden to why your favourite monstera is no longer thriving. Stop by for flowers, dwarf fruit trees, bonsai, seeds and a substantial range of indoor plants, all crammed into a lush, jungle-like space.

  • Away from the bustle of King Street, The Pie Tin is pretty clear on its specialty.

  • A Japanese bakery serving black-sesame tiramisu and wasabi-spiked sausage rolls.

  • Natural wines, local beers and paper bags of Wapengo oysters make a perfect picnic at dog-watching hour at nearby Camperdown Memorial Rest Park.

  • This NZ-based label provides cheap, high-quality basics that don’t weigh on your conscience.

  • South King's Collective Ensemble curates an impressive selection of vintage wears.

  • Minimalist womenswear with sublime prints.

  • A community of likeminded individuals dedicated to sustainable-living practices.

  • A veteran of Sydney’s independent fashion scene.

  • Built on a passion for classic, high-quality denim.

  • Locally made womenswear since 1992.