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A DAY AND NIGHT GUIDE
NEWTOWN
Flip the switch below
and discover Sydney by day or night.
By Quinn Connors and Tash Gillezeau
February 13, 2018
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By Quinn Connors and Tash Gillezeau
February 13, 2018
  shares

A suburb known for its diverse mix of food, drink, art and people, Newtown has always been one of Sydney’s busiest suburbs — there's always plenty to do and see.

A stroll down King Street will easily give you a day’s worth of things to do in Newtown with the many cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops along the suburb’s main drag. Start at the top near Sydney Uni and gradually make your way down via our favourite neighbourhood spots below. Don’t forget to wander off King to see the suburb’s famed street art.

Flick the switch above, and we’ll dim the lights to show you the best things to do once the sun goes down. You can also explore more inner-city suburbs here.

A suburb known for its diverse mix of food, drink, art and people, Newtown has always been one of Sydney’s busiest suburbs — there's always plenty to do and see.

When Sydney’s contentious lockout laws were introduced, Newtown was spared from the mandatory curfew. This has seen more people than ever flock to the area once the sun goes down and, in turn, an influx of bars and restaurants opening up. Start the night off at happy hour, go for a Thai, Japanese, Nepalese, Chinese, Italian, Turkish or a pub grub feed and head out for a night featuring award-winning cocktails, live music and maybe some late night eats to top it off.

Flick the switch above, and we’ll turn on the lights to show you the best things to do pre-6pm. You can also explore more inner-city suburbs here.

DID YOU KNOW

Rumour has it that Eliza Donnithorne, a Sydney socialite and Newtown resident from the mid-1800s, was the inspiration for Charles Dickens’ Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. She was allegedly abandoned by her husband-to-be just before their wedding and spent the rest of her life hidden away in her King Street home, still wearing her wedding dress, awaiting his return.

GETTING AROUND

With so many public transport options to get you to Newtown, there’s no need to drive here (especially if you want to avoid the inevitable traffic along King Street). Newtown Station will set you right in the thumping heart of the suburb, while St Peters Station puts you at the south end of King Street. Several buses will ferry you in and out of the suburb towards the city, down south King or Enmore Road towards the rest of the inner west.

DON’T MISS

Start the day full of energy thanks to the famed breakfast ramen from Rising Sun Workshop and one of their fizzy bubblers (iced espresso with sparkling water and lime). Next up, shop your way down the street towards Sydney Park for dog spotting and lazing in the afternoon sun. Or stop off at one of the many beer gardens in the area like The Bank or The Courthouse.

LOCALS LOVE

Thrift and vintage shops reign supreme in Newtown, where locals and visitors flock to score sartorial treasures from curated second-hand spots like SWOP and U-Turn, vintage havens including Cream on King and Faster Pussycat and donation shops like the massive Vinnie’s and the Red Cross Op Shop.

DID YOU KNOW

Enmore Theatre is Sydney’s oldest, longest-running theatre. Originally opened in 1912 as a photo-play theatre (screening silent movies with a live orchestra), the building was renovated in 1920, when it was given its iconic art deco style. The theatre has seen several iterations over the years, including a cinema screening Greek language films and was luckily spared from demolition in the 80s.

GETTING AROUND

With so many public transport options to get you to Newtown, there’s no need to drive here (especially if you want to avoid the inevitable traffic along King Street). Newtown Station will set you right in the thumping heart of the suburb, while St Peters Station puts you at the south end of King Street. Several buses will ferry you in and out of the suburb towards the city, down south King or Enmore Road towards the rest of the inner west.

DON’T MISS

Once the sun goes down, Sydneysiders from all over fill the suburb on their way to dinner, drinks or a gig. Kick off your night with happy hour cocktails at Corridor on their sunny, petit balcony and a pre-gig feed at one of the 15-plus Thai restaurants dotting King. Then hit Enmore Theatre for a show and round out the night with canned cocktails (and maybe a sneaky plate of cheese) at Continental Deli.

LOCALS LOVE

Newtown is one of the most vegan-friendly suburbs in Sydney. Vegan options can be found at a majority of the restaurants in the area, but just south of the train station along King Street is where vegan cuisine dominates. Here you’ll find vegan Asian-fusion at Golden Lotus, vegan pizza at Gigi’s, the vegan, donation-based Lentil as Anything and vegan Vietnamese at Vina, all in a row.

How to do Newtown

Do as the locals do.

Cafes

From house-roasted coffee and fresh baked goods to a long black with steaming shakshuka, you'll want for nothing when it comes to brekkie in Newtown.

1. Satellite

Dining at this comfy Newtown mainstay is like seeing an old friend.

2. Saga

Andy Bowdy serves up four-meat sambos, adult thickshakes and his legendary cakes at his first standalone cafe.

3. Shenkin Kitchen

The original Shenkin outpost and home of Sydney's best Israeli shakshuka.

4. Brewtown Newtown

The top brunch fare, baked in-house pastries and outstanding coffee make this one of Sydney's best cafes.

5. Solo Newtown

Brunch staples with clever Indonesian hacks.

Restaurants and Pubs

With great eats every ten paces, deciding where to eat in the area can be difficult. We recommend planning for second lunch. Here's where to start.

1. Cairo Takeaway

An Enmore eatery doing full Egyptian breakfasts and full-on falafel.

2. Belly Bao

The baos are back and they have new permanent digs.

3. The Pie Tin

Satisfy your sweet and savoury tooth in one visit.

4. The Courthouse Hotel

The Courthouse is the unpretentious, grungy gem of Newtown, beloved of both students and old-timers, with one of the finest outdoor courtyards in Sydney.

5. Rising Sun Workshop

A ramen cafe and bike shop run by ramen-loving bikers.

Shops

Vintage may dominate, but there are also plenty other treasures to shop for in the area — including a shop dedicated entirely to buttons.

1. All Buttons Great & Small

With over 13,000 buttons, this Newtown store has pinned down a niche.

2. Newtown Garden Market

Whether you have a green thumb or not, these gardening specialists have got you covered.

3. The Social Outfit

Where else can you get recycled vintage Ken Done fabrics and help out Australia's new migrants?

4. Her Banana

A small studio specialising in minimal jewellery design.

5. SWOP Clothing Exchange Sydney

Uncover some buried fashion treasures at this expertly curated, second-hand shop on Enmore Road.

Arts and Culture

As an arts and culture hub, Newtown is known for its street art, but it also features theatres, galleries, arthouse cinema and excellent antiques.

1. Better Read Than Dead

Thriving since 1996; keeping the independent bookshop spirit alive.

2. Defiance Gallery

One of the city's best-known sculpture galleries.

3. Culture Scouts Inner West Tour

Get to know the neighbourhood.

4. Swing Patrol

Lindy-hop your way into a new skill.

5. South King Street Antique Shops

Past Newtown Station, you'll find a slew of antique shops onto the footpath, showing off furniture, fashions, homewares and other knick-knacks.

Leisure

Parks for dog spotting, halls for dancing and kidult playgrounds for putt-putt — grab some mates and head to one (or all) of these spots.

1. The Cipher Room

Put your thinking cap on and see how quickly you can break out of this expertly designed escape room.

2. Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

People (and pooch) watching away from the King Street chaos.

3. No Lights No Lycra Sydney

De-stress with a weekly spot of dancing in the dark, no judgements.

4. Holey Moley Golf Club

Newtown's mini-golf bar with 18 holes, a bao station and a room dedicated to The Simpsons.

5. 1989 Kitchen & Arcade

Mash buttons over a burger or hot brew on King Street.

Locals Love

We asked, you answered. These are the spots you love to frequent during the daylight hours from the top of King Street down.

1. Lentil as Anything

Make friends with salad (and legumes) — and pay what you feel.

2. Cuckoo Callay

The one train station cafe that is very worth your time.

3. The Sultan's Table

Traditional Turkish food with BYO and a massive $38 set menu.

4. Loaded by BL

The burger masters from Bar Luca let you create almost-endless combinations from 70+ ingredients at their new build-your-own bowl and burger bar.

5. Young Henrys

The Newtonian craft brewery that started it all.

How to do Newtown

Do as the locals do.

Restaurants and Pubs

Pizza, laksa, barbecue, green curry — the only difficult thing about going to dinner in Newtown is deciding where to go. Let us help you out. Start here.

1. The Bank Hotel Beer Garden

A local favourite serving brews, pub grub and eats from the outdoor barbecue.

2. Rosso Antico Pizza Bar

Perfect pizzas have arrived on Enmore Road.

3. Stanbuli

The Porteño team pulls off a menu modelled on the meyhanes of Turkey.

4. Golden Lotus Vegan

A family-run Vietnamese eatery that will please both vegans and their carnivorous companions alike.

5. Osteria di Russo & Russo

The Bridge Room's John Saxby dishes up Italian food that's not like your mama used to make.

Bars

Home to many a pub and several beloved small bars, the suburb offers up plenty of tipples no matter your drink of choice.

1. Corridor

This aptly-named small bar is brimming with more than its fair share of goodness.

2. Jacoby's Tiki Bar

Enmore's 'Twin Peaks'-themed tiki bar will take you to another dimension of bowl-sized cocktails and free banana chips.

3. Young Henrys

The Newtonian craft brewery that started it all.

4. Continental Deli Bar Bistro

Where drinking cocktails gets that much better because they're served in cans.

5. Earl's Juke Joint

Bourbon Street meets Newtown at this New Orleans-infused, broody bar.

Live Music

Live music lives in Newtown. Of course there’s the Enmore Theatre, but there are also many smaller venues keeping the music alive.

1. The Midnight Special

This is the small bar Newtown never knew it needed.

2. Blacksheep

Owners Peter Sulis and Aaron Fitton have united with the idea of creating a local's bar that never fails to surprise.

3. Leadbelly

A new live music venue has opened in the old Vanguard space.

4. Tokyo Sing Song

The vibe at the late-night bar is part Mai Tai jelly square, part Asahi schooner.

5. Botany View Hotel

This iconic South King Street watering hole has been revamped by The Lord Gladstone team.

Shops

Chances are, after sundown, you’re on your way to eat, drink and be merry. If there’s time though, pop into these shops keeping their doors open late.

1. Red Cross Op Shop

You never know what treasure (or trash) you'll find here.

2. Repressed Records

Let the team at Repressed Records push their latest LP find into your hands.

3. Elizabeth's Secondhand Bookshops

Find the book you've been searching for or maybe one you haven't.

4. P&V Wine and Liquor

P&V Merchants stocks organic wine, beer and spirits, as well as its own pre-batch cocktails.

5. Pentimento

Present shopping that is easy-peasy.

Arts and Culture

There’s a cinema, some theatres and even a place where you can sip wine as you paint a masterpiece. Get your art fix after dark at these five spots.

1. Enmore Theatre

Undeniably Sydney's most beautiful theatre, the Enmore maintains an antique, old-world feel inside a contemporary venue.

2. Dendy Newtown

Culture with a side of popcorn.

3. Brush and Sip

Painting and pinot go hand-in-hand at this studio.

4. Diana Reyes Flamenco

Improve your rhythm and steely gaze with traditional flamenco dance classes.

5. New Theatre

A long-running community theatre that runs on passion.

Locals Love

We asked, you answered. Here are your favourite haunts for when the sun goes down and the streets of Newtown come alive.

1. Mary's

A rock 'n' roll Newtown stalwart, with standout Maccas-style burgers and natural wines.

2. Bloodwood

A small eatery serving natural wine and polenta chips with a cult following.

3. The Bank Hotel Beer Garden

A local favourite serving brews, pub grub and eats from the outdoor barbecue.

4. Newtown Hotel

A King Street stalwart with a wrap-around balcony.

5. Hartsyard

Hartsyard sits at the intersection of bustling farmhouse kitchen and buzzing late-night diner.

Find Your Way Through Newtown

Track down the must-visit local haunts.

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CP's Picks

Some of our favourites from around the suburb.

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