Guide to Newtown
Anything goes in Sydney's alternative hub of Newtown.
By Ellie Schneider
The inner west suburb of Newtown is arguably Sydney's most eclectic neighbourhood. By day, the free-spirited nature of its thrift shops, cafés and galleries prevail, while after hours hordes of students revel in its diverse nightlife – from indie music to avant-garde cinema and bars. In Newtown, things are a little left of centre and the locals love it.
- Pick up vintage threads in the boutiques along King Street
- Enjoy a night out at Newtown’s rooftop bars
- See a live gig at a venerable music venue
How to get there
Newtown is located four kilometres (2.5 miles) southwest of the city centre. The quickest way to get here is by train from Town Hall station, which takes around 10 minutes. Buses also run from Hyde Park on Elizabeth Street to Newtown and take approximately 30 minutes.
Things to do and top attractions in Newtown
Eat at Newtown's best restaurants
You could spend a whole day eating around Newtown. If you are in the mood for “dude food” head to Mary’s, a buzzing bar famed for its burgers and fried chicken. Or try the American-driven menu at Hartsyard, with dishes such as fried oysters, poutine and smoked lamb ribs. For a meal to remember, make reservations for chef Karl Firla’s eight-course dègustation at Oscillate Wildly. For delicious dim sum, head to The Drunk Dumpling, where a two-Michelin star chef serves up exceptional dumplings and share plates. Don’t miss a scoop of gelato from Cow and the Moon on Enmore Road which, in 2014, won the top spot in the Gelato World Tour in Rimini, Italy, or opt for the signature strawberry watermelon cake at Black Star Pastry.
Shop the eclectic boutiques along King Street
Newtown is home to a great range of vintage stores, specialty shops and fashion boutiques, which are concentrated along King Street. Retrospec'd specialises in reproducing clothing from the 1940s and '50s, offering an incredible collection of printed dresses, skirts and shirts. Find vintage band T-shirts, leather jackets and statement accessories at Cream on King, then browse floor-to-ceiling bookshelves at Better Read Than Dead. With a single stroll, you'll come across men's and women's boutiques offering a huge variety of styles. You can also shop collectable music and books at the Newtown Market, held Saturdays between 10am and 4pm at Newtown Square.
Enjoy the live music scene
Enmore Theatre is one of Sydney’s oldest running live music venues. Built in 1908, it has evolved over a century to blend elements of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. The Enmore, as it's known to locals, offers a diverse line up of live music, theatre and comedy and has played host to some of the world’s biggest bands including The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Coldplay. The Vanguard also features regular shows by up and coming artists alongside a full menu of food and drinks.
Drink at some of Sydney's best bars
There’s no shortage of places to enjoy a tipple in Newtown. Start with a visit to Young Henrys, a microbrewery known for its flavoursome brews. The Courthouse Hotel, or the Courty to locals, is a casual beer garden serving classic pub favourites such as burgers and chicken parmigiana. Check out Louisiana-style Earl’s Juke Joint, which is hidden behind a butcher facade on King Street. Sip bespoke cocktails; such as the Naked Ape (rum, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, banana liqueur, Angostura bitters) while listening to a soundtrack of ’90s hip hop. Balmy summer nights are best spent at Corridor's laid back rooftop, with a selection of tasty bar snacks like grilled haloumi and steamed buns.