Arguably the Bohemian capital of Sydney, Newtown’s King Street and its surrounds offer up a cultural tour for the tastebuds.
Fact: it’s not only Thai food that hits the spot here.
But there is still plenty of Thai food, that’s for sure. Newtown’s constant turnover of restaurants and cafes means that there’ll always be something new to try on its predominant eat street, King Street.
Though this famous strip houses a wealth of commendable eating holes, we’ve stretched the boundaries of 'best restaurants in Newtown' to include Enmore and its hidden delights. Don’t worry, it’s only a short walk away from the heart of Newtown. And it’s definitely worth the walk.
The best restaurants in Newtown
Here on King Street, we’re quite fond of our American fodder and so another winner on the list must be awarded to Hartsyard. Not that it needs anymore, because, in 2013, it became the proud owner of a Good Food Guide hat. Hartsyard is the brainchild of American chef Gregory Llewellyn and his Australian wife Naomi Hart. After running rampant through New York (Hart was living in NYC at the time), the pair took their prowess for cooking and hospitality to this little nook that straddles the Newtown/Enmore border.
Their philosophy is to make everything—from breads to syrups—inhouse and provide a comfortable, homey atmosphere. Achieved.
Address: 33 Enmore Road, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Wednesday - Sunday (5.30pm-12am)
Undeniably the most renowned Thai restaurant this side of the Inner West - and not least because it has its very own gift shop - Thai Pothong is Asian fine dining at its opulent best. The premises are decked lavishly with chandeliers and golden buddhas, and the waiters greet you in perfect Thai. The dishes are as authentic as if they were cooked in the motherland (hint, a good gauge of authenticity lies in how well they make their tod mun/fish cakes) and they offer gluten free and vegan menus.
Oh, and did we mention they’ve been named “Sydney’s Best Thai Restaurant” four times?
Address: 294 King Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Monday-Thursday(12-3pm /6-10.30pm), Friday and Saturday(12-3pm/6-11pm), Sunday(12-3pm/5.30-10pm).
Website: Thai Pothong
Continental Deli & Bistro
Housed inside a former dentistry, Continental Deli took everyone by surprise when it opened up on the emerging eat side-street of Australia Street in Newtown. It neighbours cafe favourites like 212 Blu and Black Star Pastry and is brought to us by the guys at Porteno, Bodega and Gardel's Bar - so you know it's bound to be good. It's cuisine of choice? Fine cheeses, cold cuts and wine which they serve and sell at the counter.
Pop in for a meal or purchase a cut of the store's finest for your plate at home.
Address: 210 Australia Street, Newtown
Opening hours: Daily, 6pm-late (for dinner)
Website: Continental Deli & Bistro
Osteria di Russo & Russo
The Neapolitans behind Rosso & Russo take their food seriously. They refuse to import ingredients unless it’s out of pure necessity and they do not play Andrea Bocelli. What they do do is modern Italian cuisine to the backdrop of a classic 1970s Italian trattoria.
A family business to the very last, Russo & Russo is owned by father and son Pino and Marc and pays homage to their heritage while re-interpreting their traditional dishes for the modern day, as befits the season. All dishes are designed to share.
Not that you’d want to.
Address: 158 Enmore Road, Enmore
Opening Times: Wednesday-Sunday (6pm-late)
Website: Osteria di Russo & Russo
We don’t blame you for bumping this up your bucket list purely because of the kooky name. Well, what would you expect from the Bohemian capital of Sydney? Novelties aside, Oscillate Wildly should be on your bucket list. Despite being off the main street, it’s still in very good company with Black Star Pastry to its right and 212 Blu across the road.
By nightfall, you’ll be in Oscillate Wildly though, delighting in its splendour of decadent degustation dishes, courtesy of the innovative mind of ex- Est., Marque and Bridgewater Mill chef, Karl Firla.
Address: 275 Australia Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Tuesday - Saturday (6.30pm-11.30pm)
Website: Oscillate Wildly
There are few pizzerias in Sydney that can compare to a genuine, Neapolitan pizza from Naples or New York. But if we had to put our money and stomachs on one, Gigi would be it. The soft, thin, slightly chewy base and the fresh, simple toppings make waiting for these magnificent creations to cook in Gigi’s special domed wood-fired pizza oven worth every minute.
Now serving Vegan pizzas only.
Address: 379 King Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Tuesday - Sunday (6-10.30pm)
Website: gigi Pizzeria
The former Newtown Observatory threw open its doors in 2010 in a period when this end of King Street (leading towards Alexandria) wasn’t yet bursting with dining potential. Its interiors were edgy; a mish-mash of rough wooden doors and industrial lighting and the cuisine was enthralling.
Not one to take bookings, bloodwood is divided into four parts, a bar area a.k.a. the waiting area, a mezzanine dining area, back deck dining area and a communal table in the basement gallery. Wherever you sit, be sure to order one of their artfully plated desserts. And a cocktail. Heck, order it all..
Address: 416 King Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Monday - Thursday (5pm-late), Friday - Sunday (12pm-late)
Three words: Southern. American. Diner. What was once the open and airy upper level of The Marlborough Hotel (or Marly Bar to locals) has been converted into a stomping ground of rootin’ tootin’ Southern American proportions.
You’ll often find a band of jazz/soul/blues proportions blasting tunes to a well-worn wooden floor and menus oozing of Southern fried chicken, gumbo, jambalaya, pie and for the initiated, po’ boys. Beware however as they are slider sized, so we suggest you order more than one.
Address: 201 Missenden Road, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Wednesday - Sunday (5-12am)
Website: Miss Peaches
The Animal at Newtown Hotel
You know you’ve arrived when you spy a translucent yellow sign filled with yellow rubber duckies that reads: “The Animal Is Here”. This being outside of the newly renovated Newtown Hotel. Skip the pub grub on the ground floor and high-tail it up the stairs for the hotel’s far more upscale culinary venture The Animal.
True to its namesake, the speciality on the wooden boards is animal. Scour the BBQ pit specials board for all manner of beast cooked on the coal-roasted spit. Vegetarians, heed this warning.
Address: 174 King Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Daily (midday to midnight)
Website: The Animal at Newtown Hotel
Delhi 'O' Delhi
With accolades that includes the winner of the 2015 Australian Good Food & Travel Guide’s Chef Hat and the 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Delhi ‘O’ Delhi is one of Newtown’s hidden gems - literally. You can find it tucked behind Newtown Station on the Erskineville side of the suburb.
Its cuisine draws inspiration from North, Central and South India and fuses tradition with innovation to deliver flavoursome dishes that will send your tastebuds to nirvana and back.
Address: 3 Erskineville Road, Newtown 2042
Opening hours: Daily, 5:30-10:30pm
Website: Delhi ‘O’ Delhi
Indian 3-course dinner with wine for 2 from RedBalloon
Need an excuse to sump at Delhi 'O' Delhi? RedBalloon has one. On offer is a three course dinner at this acclaimed restaurant for two people - including a tipple to win you over. Invite another and let your tastebuds explore the flavours that this Indian delight has to offer.View details
Lentil As Anything
This pay-what-you-feel vegetarian restaurant, which began in Melbourne made its way to Sydney in 2015 where it started at the back of Cookies & Milk in Newtown, has quickly evolved to become a stand-alone venture, with an upstairs area dedicated to mocktails.
Lentil As Anything is staffed by volunteers and paid refugees who gain skills and experience in the kitchen to gain further employment in Australia. Always packed and a favourite in the area, it’s a must try and a great way to give back to the community.
Address: 391 King Street
Opening hours: Open daily for lunch (12pm-3pm) and dinner (6pm-9pm). Weekend brunch (10am-12pm)
Website: Lentil As Anything
Discover more of Newtown with these Inner West Tours
Newtown and Enmore Street Art Tour from finder.com.au
- Learn about the ever changing art scene of the Inner West from Enmore to Newtown
- 2-hour walking tour with the Culture Scouts team
- Tour ends at local microbrewery, Young Henrys, where you'll enjoy a complimentary craft beer
Sydney Street Photography Adventure, Newtown from finder.com.au
The Aperture ClubHighlights:
- Learn how to take street photography with a professional photographer
- 5-hour walking workshop in a small class
- Amateurs to intermediate level photographers are welcome to join the class. Please bring your own camera
Hipsters & Hops - Sydney Inner West Brewery Tour from finder.com.au
Dave's Brewery ToursHighlights:
- Tour three craft breweries and two craft pubs in the Inner West
- Learn about beer and taste beers and ciders over this 7-hour tour
- Transport to and from Central included as well as snacks and lunch
Love Newtown? You'll love these inspired reads
Newtown Shopkeepers by Nic Bezzina
Angus & Robertson
Fried Chicken and Friends
The Age Good Food Guide 2015