Restaurants

Calaveras

Restaurant

Traditional Mexican food and not-so-traditional Margaritas. (Ingredients in the one-litre Margarita jugs, for example, include Blue Curaçao, apple sour and melon).

Bella Brutta

Restaurant

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 Porteño.

Gigi's Pizzeria

Restaurant

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.

Westwood Pizza

Restaurant

This tiny pizzeria, run by two ex-Bella Brutta chefs, makes just 150 pizzas a day. So order your fermented-garlic honey, 'nduja or pepperoni pizza early – they sell out fast.

Cafe Paci

Restaurant

The menu is à la carte, the wines are by Giorgio De Maria, and – as at the original – the food is still groundbreaking.

Sydney Cebu Lechon

Restaurant

A weekend-only Newtown diner specialising in one thing: Filipino-style suckling pig.

Cafes

Maiz Mexican Street Food

Cafe

A Mexican street food cafe in Newtown serving not-so-traditional sopes: thick round tortillas loaded with toppings such as vegan hibiscus al pastor and spanner crab tinga. The homely little courtyard feels like a slice of Mexico on King Street.

Soulmate

Cafe

Batch brew topped with whipped cream is about as fancy as it gets at this airy, unpretentious cafe. For food, you might try a black-sausage sanga, a comforting bacon and egg roll or a vegan tofu scramble.

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.

Tokyo Lamington

Cafe

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.

1989 Kitchen and Arcade

Cafe

The golden age of retro arcade games under one roof.

Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream & Baklava

Cafe

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

Bars

Bar Planet

Bar

At this moody inner-west den, the team behind the city's best Margarita (and one of the world’s best bars) turns its attention to that cocktail-lounge staple, the Martini. Needless to say, the results are out of this world.

Ante

Bar

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 ex-Pinbone chef, Jemma Whiteman.

Odd Culture

Bar

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.

Corridor

Bar

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

Fortunate Son

Bar

This tiny bar serves old-school cocktails, classic drinks with a twist and fresh-juice highballs.

The Newtown Hotel

Bar

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

Shops

Black Star Pastry Newtown

Shop

Home to the famous strawberry-watermelon cake.

Swop Clothing Exchange Sydney

Shop

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.

Plant Daddy

Shop

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.

Mapo

Shop

Simple, good quality ingredients, prepared traditionally.

Elizabeth's

Shop

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.

Better Read Than Dead

Shop

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.