Ah, Newtown. Not so much a suburb as a lifestyle, where even the shoe stores feature live music. Here’s our essential guide to the best bars, shops, and restaurants to cram into 24 hours, plus a hip Newtown hotel to recover in at the end of the day.
11am: Check in at Urban Newtown
Step off the train and into the nexus of Newtown and Enmore, and get ready to settle in, because you’re probably not going to want to leave. Positioned right where peak coolness is happening, this boutique Sydney hotel captures all the character of Newtown and lets you sleep in its all its green-vined, graffitied glory. Past the raw concrete, deliberately mismatched chairs, and table tops that double up as reading material, you can sink into comfy bed after a very long and delicious night out. Oh, and bonus—The Urban Newtown offer very flexible 24-hour check in and check out, which makes life just that little bit easier.
12pm: Grab lunch at Mary’s
Many have tried to replicate Mary’s bodacious burger success, but to no avail. Local loyalty to Mary’s runs so deep that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a loved girlfriend. Some cite the juicy, unashamedly fatty patty as the reason for their lust for Mary’s. Others cite the buns. Whatever it is, Mary’s very rarely needs any introduction (or even a sign on the door apparently. But who needs one when you’ve one of Sydney’s best burgers?).
1pm: Blend in with Maple
If you’re looking to blend in with the locals who look like they’ve just thrown their outfit together but somehow still look way cooler than you, start out at Maple. Beyond the simple, classic styling of the clothes, Maple also incorporates work from local artists. Local potter Rita Mu, for example, will make your succulents look like they came from one of the swoon-worthy design magazines in store.
3pm: Complete the look at Spring Court
Of course, no get-up would be complete without sneakers, and Spring Court represent some of the best. Pulling off effortless cool has never been so comfortable. Visit the Newtown flagship to see why all the celebs sport these babies, and once you’ve picked a pair, hop along to some of the live music in store.
5pm: Get your beer on at Young Henrys Brewery
Young Henrys started off as a quiet indie beer, and exploded into a Sydney classic. Not content with just making cult-worthy beer infused with mussels or hibiscus (who knows what’s next?!), the crew now make a brewer’s gin, too. Head to the tasting bar to sample the freshest beer possible that’s straight from the tank or, to learn more about the art of beer making, book yourself in for a tour. Then grab a quick bite from the food truck outside for dinner, which changes every week to keep things interesting.
8pm – late: Cocktail o’clock at Earl’s Juke Joint
Earl’s has become one of Newtown’s most quintessential bars, with all the feel of a pub, the hipster factor of a confusing entrance, and casually kick arse cocktails. Like many of Newtown’s bars that pay homage to the American South, there are plenty of foot-tapping tunes, drinks with nostalgic fizz, and the craftiest of beers.
Early or late at Urban Newtown
We’ll leave it up to you to decide what time you roll into this Newtown hotel!
If your head’s feeling a bit heavy, we’ve heard the best cure for a hangover is more booze. Which is fortunate, because The Urban Newtown has a free mini bar awaiting you. If a wake up call is what you need, their espresso machines in selected rooms are ready to go.
Of course, we wouldn’t leave you without a solid brekkie! Check out our guide to ten of the best cafes in Sydney’s Inner West. That’ll sort you out good and proper.
Image credit: Alessandro Squadrito at The Urban Newtown, Tanya Lee at Mary's, Anita Wilhelm at Earl's Juke Joint.
Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by The Urban Newtown and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.