Move over tacos. Enchiladas, too. This humming courtyard diner explores the spectrum of Mexican cuisine in a way few Sydney restaurants do, with lesser seen street food dishes and innovative fillings. It’s also showcasing a range of Mexican booze, and shakes its Margaritas five different ways.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.