Newtown is arguably the hub of alternative culture in Sydney, and it's only getting better with the rise of new restaurants, bars, and shops continually opening their doors. We took a wander down King Street and its graffiti-splashed laneways to bring you our guide to the bustling Sydney epicentre that is Newtown.
Here are our picks for the best restaurants, bars, and shops in Newtown.
One of Sydney's best American diners, Hartsyard's menu lives in the Deep South, with offerings such as crispy pigtails, pulled pork, and pretzel ice cream, for starters. The wine list is an ever-changing stage for artisan growers, so it's worth indulging in a glass or two.
Occupying the former Berkelouw Books site just off King Street, Brewtown Newtown has been packed with patrons since opening its doors earlier this year. Expert baristas take control of the espresso machine, while the food menu features deli-style sandwiches, Belgium waffles, and its famed sugar-coated cronuts.
BLOODWOOD RESTAURANT & BAR
With a focus on modern share plates, Bloodwood is fantastic for group dining, with plenty of vegetarian options and an entirely organic and biodynamic wine list to keep everyone happy. Food wise, go the tuna carpaccio, BBQ pork ribs and polenta chips, and, for dessert, the Bloodwood trifle with quince and port wine jelly. Yum!
What would our list of things to do in Newtown be without a trip to Mary's? Priding itself on booze and burgers, chef Luke Powell (ex-Tetsuya's) takes the reins in the kitchen, and has created a very simple but incredibly tasty menu. It includes three burgers—the Mary's, the Cheez, and the Shroom, as well as fried chicken and classic sides like mash, fries, and gravy.
BLACK STAR PASTRY
Black Star Pastry need no introduction . . . so, let us just say, snare a seat out front and devour your strawberry watermelon cake, before buying another slice to take home. Trust us, you want that extra slice.
MISS PEACHES SOUL FOOD KITCHEN
Hopping aboard Sydney's every-growing Creole craze, Miss Peaches serves up soul food specialties like fried okra, gumbo, and jambalaya. To wash it down, there's homemade soda, all your Sierra Nevada favourites, or, if you're really game, the PBJ Sour (Bulleit bourbon, peanut butter, cherry, and lime juice) is a knockout!
Undeniably one of the best bars in Newtown, The Bank offers a glorious beer garden, '60s-style cocktail bar upstairs, and plenty of live music. On the food front, there's all the pub staples, mastered to perfection. Pizza is served 'til 2am Fridays and Saturdays (for when those carb cravings hit) and the burgers are utterly delicious and served with perfect shoestring fries. Cocktail jugs and a selection of craft beers on tap make The Bank a winner with locals and visitors alike.
Newtown's very own craft brewery, Young Henrys, has garnered a cult following both locally and abroad. The cellar door is open Monday to Saturday, 10am 'til 7pm, and brewery tours are available on request. We suggest kicking back at the bar with one of its award winning brews, and staying put until last drinks.
O'CONNELL STREET MERCHANTS
O'Connell Street Merchants showcases a mix of fashion, art, and homewares from a number of designers. The retail collective is a haven for unique and creative products, be it terrariums, macramé pot planters, or handmade soy candles, so you're sure to pick up a real gem! Make sure to look out for The Affogato Shack for your espresso/gelato hit.
Located in the heart of King Street, Pentimento is a treasure-trove of quirky gifts, including beautiful coffee table books, stationery, bath products, novelty items, journals, and homewares. We could easily spend hours exploring its overflowing shelves.
Still searching for things to do in Newtown? How about a little retail fashion therapy? Stocking an extensive collection for style-focused men and women, Maple houses cult labels such as Neuw, Vanishing Elephant, Dr Denim, Lonely Hearts, and Karen Walker. Winter wardrobe = sorted.
A curated showcase of independent Australian and international labels, Pretty Dog has become a go-to among Sydney's fashion set. Expect a handpicked selection from the likes of Jerome Dreyfuss, Lonely Lingerie, House of Holland, Antipodium, P.A.M, and more.
Got a suggestion for the best restaurants, bars, or shopping in Newtown? Let us know in the comments below.
Image credit: The Bank