If you’re new to Sydney or you’re just up for exploring more suburbs, our ultimate guide for things to do in Newtown is here. Expect to find some fantastic vintage shops, cool bars, friendly locals and fantastic food.
We used to go to Newtown every single Friday night. We had our favourite places we would alternate between and we loved the vibe of finishing work and rushing over to this suburb to wind down for the weekend.
Whilst many people think Newtown is full of hipsters or the more quirky characters of Sydney, it’s the one suburb in Sydney which reminds me more of London than any other. Maybe it’s because of the locals, or maybe because it feels like there’s more life than a sterile city feel here. But whatever it is, Newtown is one of my favourite surburbs in Sydney.
On our recent visit, we ended up going on an impromptu pub crawl which was brilliant. We met loads of really nice people and had a ball which we’ll talk more about in this post. We’ll share the best bars in Newtown, amazing Newtown restaurants, shops and of course things to do as well. And we filmed it all, so you can watch what we got up to in this post.
Table of Contents
Be Open Minded & Explore New Places
If there’s one thing we learnt recently whilst checking out more places in Newtown to share with you, it’s that people are much more friendlier than you think in Sydney in general. Start up a conversation and people will generally chat back. We met loads of super friendly people we probably never would have talked to if we weren’t as open and friendly towards them. It made our time in Newtown and we loved it!
Here’s our guide for the best things to do in Newtown in Sydney, including our new feature Local Legend – highlighting an awesome local we’ve met whilst creating this guide.
Jason Crawley Co-Owner, Fortunate Son
Our Newtown Local Legend
Meet British bar owner, Jason Crawley who runs the newly opened Fortunate Son with Dylan Howarth.
Known as one of Sydney’s best bartenders, Jason has worked behind the bar all over the globe before he opened this awesome Newtown bar.
Please support Fortunate Son and follow their social pages below! It’s the best bar we’ve been to in ages!
Best Newtown Restaurants & Cafes
We’re going to start our Newtown guide with some of the best Newtown restaurants & cafes. This suburb packs a punch for delivering some of the best food in Sydney. If you’re looking for vegan food, I doubt you’ll find anywhere else in Sydney which compares. From vegan pizza, vegan ramen and even vegan ice cream, we reckon Newtown is the best suburb in Sydney for vegan food! We’re sharing some of the best places to eat in Newtown, featuring all cuisines and dietary requirements.
When we visited Newtown recently, we decided to check out Lonely Mouth, a vegan ramen cafe. Although vegan ramen might sound unappealing if you’re not vegan, we secretly had a feeling it was going to be awesome. And it is.
As someone who isn’t a fan of salty foods, the vegan ramen tastes so fresh and healthy, it didn’t give me any sluggish feeling whatsoever or the need to down as much water as possible! We’d definitely go back. Plus, it’s next door to the famous Black Star Pastry too!
Blackstar Pastry is one of the more famous Newtown cafes, which has been around for a while now. Known for serving up excellent coffee and of course the famous watermelon cake, come here for dessert after you’ve been to Lonely Mouth next door!
Lentil As Anything has been around for years and it’s no wonder why. This non-for-profit restaurant is run by volunteers who are serving up vegan food for the homeless and anyone and everyone. It’s run on a donation basis so you can either pop what you feel like in the box by the door on your way out, or pay by card at the counter. We always pay restaurant prices to help support what a fantastic cause it truely is. You’ll receive three courses plus cups of delicious chai!
This is one of the main restaurants in Sydney where we’ve met some really interesting people as you’ll more than likely be sat next to others on your table.
As another vegan restaurant in Sydney, Golden Lotus has tested the time and is still going strong. Serving up vegan Vietnamese food, you can’t go wrong with this choice and it’s somewhere we go all the time.
Thai Pothong is one of the most famous restaurants in Sydney! This huge Thai restaurant regularly wins awards for the best Thai food in Sydney and you’ll often see big lines out the door.
After years of Steve banging on to me about going there, we finally made it a reality to see what the fuss was about. It’s a fun restaurant which seemed to be home to so many birthday parties when we visited, we too would probably book there if it was our birthday! Don’t worry about the parties over taking the restaurant, it’s a busy place so you shouldn’t get annoyed at hearing everyone constantly singing Happy Birthday. The food is good too. but, it’s definitely worth going purely for the fun atmosphere.
Italian Bowl is another Newtown restaurant which always has lines going out the door because it’s so busy. When we went to check it out, firstly it’s BYO and the food comes out fast. You won’t be waiting long when you order cheap and delicious Italian food like we did!
Rising Sun Workshop is one of Newtown’s best restaurants. But it comes with a twist. As Sydney’s first communal motorcycle workshop and restaurant, their philosophy is to welcome everyone to their workshop. Expect to find some of the best ramen in Sydney!
Everyone opts for a good sourdough bread, but have you tried sourdough donuts? These vegan and gluten free Japanese donuts in Newtown at Comeco Foods have become a bit of an institution in Sydney. Expect unusual flavours like Japanese curry or stewed apple.
9. Authentic Pakistani Food At Faheems Fast Food Corner
Our reader @globetrottingheels told us if there’s one place you must go to in Newtown, its to Faheems Fast Food Corner for the most authentic Pakistani food in Sydney. Not only are they open until 12am, but the food comes out super fast. We would have definitely tried the food here if we had more time.
Looking for the best breakfast in Newtown? Look no further! Brewtown Newtown is renowned for being home to the best coffee and breakfast in Newtown. Their famous cronut’s is what put them on the map and still draws in large numbers every day.
Back in 2013, Marys became the first American style diner bar of its kind in Sydney. Hidden away down Marys Lane in Newtown, it would be hard to find if you didn’t know where it is. Famed for their incredible burgers, they’ve since branched out to more locations and you can find them in Circular Quay and Castlereagh Street in Sydney CBD.
I remember going to Gigi’s in Newtown when they decided to change to a vegan menu. It was a big move back then to do so, but it paid off. When we spoke to one of the family members running Gigi Pizzeria, they told us they were even more busier than before.
I have to say Gigi’s is home to the best pizza I have ever had. The pumpkin pizza is exceptional. Honestly regardless of whether or not you’re a vegan, make sure you make the effort to see what the fuss is all about.
All lovers of cheese rejoice! Sydney’s best loved cheese boutique restaurant and shop, The Stinking Bishop’s is one of the best restaurants in Sydney! Think of the best cheese boards, meat board, hampers, and a small mains menu, making it the perfect date night in Sydney for couples or a great after work catch up with friends.
Newtown seems to love the hidden bars & restaurants and Stanbuli is also home to one of them. With a salon front, when you enter inside, it has more of a beautiful Mediterranean feel to it. We were told to come here via the bouncer at Earls Juke Joint who said it’s one of the best restaurants in Newtown. Although we ran out of time to dine here, the Newtown restaurant receives rave reviews.
Gelato Blue is an amazing vegan ice creamery in Newtown. You actually probably wouldn’t even know it’s vegan because it looks like every other ice cream shop in Australia! But, they serve up coconut based ice cream which doesn’t have that heavy feeling like other ice cream places might have.
Meanwhile, if you’re not vegan, then Gelato Messina is a given. Home to some of the best ice cream in Sydney, it’s perfectly located opposite The Dendy for when you have time to pop over to grab your favourit combos before the movie starts.
Our go to is ALWAYS pistachio and hazelnut. Try it, it’s the best!
We’re sharing some of the best Newtown bars to consider for your next night out. We did an impromptu night out in Newtown and had so much fun! What started off as just an afternoon drink in the pub, we ended up staying out for most of the night because we basically went bar hopping. If you’re wondering how to plan a night out in Newtown, let us help you! You’ll find a lot of bars on Enmore Road but also some little gems dotted around Newtown as well.
19. Our Favourite At Fortunate Son
Fortunate Son is hands down one of the best bars we’ve been to in ages. Actually, it’s gotta be the best bar we’ve been to in Sydney! Want to know why? This Newtown bar is so laid back, it makes you remember what normal bars are like in other parts of the world.
We walked straight in without any bouncer asking us the standard questions in Sydney, like where had we been etc. As the bar is pretty small, everyone sits up at the bar making it really sociable. This means you can actually chat to others and make a night of it.
We ordered cocktails which were actually really good! We even saw a dude drink a shoey (aka poured his drink into his shoe and drank from it which you’ll find at the end of our Newtown video). It totally reminded me what bars are like back in England where you can actually have fun in them. It’s no wonder a Brit runs this little gem!
Midnight Special has a similar vibe to Fortunate Sun where everyone sits up at the bar, although it’s slightly bigger. We couldn’t stay long because it was full (due to Covid restrictions) but we preferred the vibe in Fortunate Sun to be honest.
When we asked loads of locals which bars to go to, everyone mentioned Jacoby’s Tiki Bar. After a fun time at Fortunate Sun, we decided to make a beeline up the road to Jacobi’s Tiki Bar. When we found it, it almost looks like a Thai restaurant, named Anna Thai with closed curtains, so you can’t see in.
When we got into the bar, we had to wait to be seated. It’s a cool bar and we would definitely head back there again.
Earls Juke Joint aka Betta Meats has been a long standing bar in Newtown. I remember when it opened and it was the talk of Sydney because it had a mysterious vibe with the vasade as a butchers at the front of the whiskey bar. When we were waiting to get in, we had a chat with the doorman who is amazing. Actually, he has to be the nicest bouncer/doorman I have come across in Sydney. He gave us a list of bars to discover and was so friendly, the time flew by when we were waiting to get in.
Earls Juke Joint is much larger than the small bars in Newtown and it’s actually pretty good. Known for doing fantastic cocktails, I would definitely come back here again. We sat up at the bar but it felt a bit disconnected to be able to chat to people, but maybe it was just the time of the day being around 5pm on a Saturday.
The Courty as it’s known is a long standing pub in Newtown which is also one of our favourites. With a beer garden out the back of the pub, it’s somewhere you could squint and feel like you’re back in a London pub complete with a few pin ball machines! It’s the kinda pub you’d come for afternoon drinks and just stay until closing time.
The Newtown Hotel is one of the oldest pubs in Sydney, serving the locals since 1887. Located in the heart of King Street, the beautiful building is the perfect place to sit up on the balcony and people watch the day away.
Young Henrys Brewery in Newtown is a bit of a Sydney institution. This Sydney brewery is has won loads of awards for their beers and is a fun place to spend the afternoon in Newtown.
Tucked away down a residential street off the Enmore Road, you’ll wonder if you’re going the right way. At the end of the lane, you’ll come to the brewery which serves up ciders and other drinks (if beer isn’t your thing). It’s open 7 days a week from 12-7pm. It’s a shame they close so early but we’re guessing that’s due to being in a residential area.
26. The Other Historical Pub At The Malborough Hotel
The Malborough Hotel in Newtown – also known as The Marley, is one of Sydney’s oldest pubs dating back to 1860. This huge pub has something for everyone and is often packed on weekend nights. If visiting on Friday or Saturday nights, expect to line up.
In our final section of our ultimate Newtown guide, you’ll find various things to do in Newtown which also spills over to nearby suburbs as well.
27. Check Out The Famous Street Art In Newtown
Might sound obvious but there’s loads of cool street art in Newtown to discover. One of the most famous pieces is the ‘I have a dream’ street art on King Street. This was actually used as a backdrop for a Coldplay song in the video below. I remember when they filmed it and basically closed off the whole of King Street to film a continuous one take music video.
Watch the Coldplay video filmed in King Street in Newtown below!
28. Chill Out At Camperdown Memorial Park
Camperdown Memorial Park is a bit of an institution in Newtown as the go to park to hang out in. You’ll find festivals here in the Summer and it’s a good place to bring a picnic and chill out in.
Address: Camperdown Memorial Park, Federation Road, Lennox and, Church St, Newtown
29. Shop At The Vintage & Antique Shops
Newtown is home to some of the best vintage shops in Sydney. Walk down King Street and you’ll find loads of shops to pop into. U-Turn is a fab vintage shop (they are also located on Crown Street in Surry Hills as well).
30. Get Creative At The Cipher Room
The Cipher Room is a boutique and vintage style escape room in Newtown. It’s also the most immersive escape room in Sydney with really creative puzzles to fix. It actually looks really fun and would make a fantastic date idea in Sydney for couples too.
If you love putt putt and a drink in hand, then you can’t go wrong with Holey Moley! in Newtown. With an 18 hole round of putt putt, this must be Sydney’s best loved fun pub! Order cocktails and pizza whilst you’re making your way around the course. This makes one of the best birthday party ideas in Sydney or simply a fun night out with friends after work.
The Enmore Theatre is one of the best live gig venues in Sydney. We’ve been to quite a few gigs here, and luckily you’ll be able to do a bit of a pub crawl up the road to there with all of the small bars around now!
Tip – check out the gigs in January as most of the musicians playing at the festivals will do side gigs at the Enmore.
We love The Dendy in Newtown! This cinema is one of the coolest cinemas in Sydney! We used to go there most Friday evenings after dinner at Lentil As Anything (mentioned in this post). Pop over the road and pick up your favourite Gelato Messina ice cream before taking a seat.
It would be difficult to pop into Newtown Garden Market and not walk away with at least one plant for you home. This beautiful plant shop will help you discover so many plants to spruce up your home in no time.
The Newtown Festival held at Camperdown Memorial Park is one of Sydney’s best loved free festivals. Pre Covid, the festival was seeing around 40,000 people attend which supports many charities including homelessness and mental illnesses.
Check the official website for more details of this event going ahead in the future.
36. Explore The Best Antiques At Lunatiques
Although technically in Mascot, Lunatiques is just an 8 minute drive from Newtown and is definitely worth a mention in this article. The huge warehouse selling some of the best antiques in Sydney is a fantastic shop you could spend hours at.
If you’re looking for things to do indoors in Sydney or even things to do when it’s too hot, you can’t go wrong with the Ice Zoo. We went to check it out and on a hot day, this felt like heaven. The temps are so cold, you’d be forgiven to think it’s Winter inside there!
38. Shop At The Beautiful Water Tiger Antique Store
Just a few blocks away from Lunatiques is another amazing antique shop in Sydney called Water Tiger. Selling mostly antique Indian, Chinese and Indonesian furniture, this is an Instagrammers dream. We literally want to buy absolutely everything in this shop!
Address: Water Tiger, Suite 1.07, Precinct, 75 75 Mary St, St Peters
39. Check Out The Amazing Hunter Candles
We stumbled upon the beautiful Hunter Candles shop and it’s got to be the nicest candle shop I’ve ever come across. We bought the candle names ‘Jessica’ and it’s divine. We love how the owner had her mum making the candles out the back, highlighting it’s a family run business.
Whether you have a dog or not, Sydney Park is an amazing dog park in Sydney all dog lovers will love! Simply bring a blanket, pop over to the cafe and order a juice and sit back and get ready to see loads of dogs come up to you to say hi!
If you’re coming from St Peter’s Station, you’ll walk past some of the best street art in Sydney!
Address: Sydney Park, 416 Sydney Park Rd, Alexandria
Don’t Forget To Watch Our Newtown Video!
Best Things To Do In Newtown Sydney
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