Famous for its quirky, bohemian spirit, Newtown is where you’ll find eclectic vintage shopping, iconic arts and theatre spaces, and a renowned dining and drinking scene. Adorned with beautifully-restored 19th-century terrace houses and street art, this vibrant inner Sydney neighbourhood attracts artists and foodies alike.
Things to do
King Street is the pulsating heart of Newtown. As well as being a delicious eat street, it’s also a cool shopping strip, with an enviable range of designer boutiques, vintage stores and specialty shops, selling everything from records to plants. For books, visit the cavernous Gould’s Book Arcade, Elizabeth's Bookshop and Better Read Than Dead.
The southern end of the King Street strip is nicknamed SoKi, short for south King Street. SoKi institutions include Leo Monk Handbags, Vintage.at.313 and All Buttons Great and Small. Nearby Enmore Road is another popular shopping strip, home to vintage store Route 66 and The Stinking Bishops cheese shop.
Enmore Theatre is Sydney’s oldest, longest-running theatre, and where some of the best musicians and comedians perform. Visit The Vanguard for chilled-out jazz and performance art, and the New Theatre for community theatre performances. Check out the exciting events calendar to see what else is on.
Eat & drink
The edgy vibe of Newtown extends into its small bars, cafes and craft breweries. You’ll find an assortment of restaurants and cafes along King Street, Enmore Road and Australia Street. Book a table at Continental Deli Bar Bistro, Hartsyard, Golden Lotus Vegan, Bella Brutta and Cafe Paci in Newtown.
In neighbouring Enmore, head to Stanbuli for Turkish share plates, Colombo Social for Sri Lankan roti tacos and lassi cocktails, Cairo Takeaway for Egyptian street food, Little Lagos for Nigerian plates and Queen Chow for Chinese pub food. In Stanmore, the tiny, seven-table Sixpenny is one of the best finds in the city.
When it comes to traditional pubs, it’s hard to beat the Courthouse Hotel and its sunny beer garden. While Union Hotel features 22 rotating taps, The Newtown Hotel has a fantastic upstairs balcony for people watching and The Bank Hotel’s dog-friendly beer garden makes for a great afternoon.
For cocktails, Earl’s Juke Joint, Fortunate Son, Jacoby’s Tiki Bar, 1989 Arcade Bar and The Midnight Special are popular go-tos. American-style dive bar Mary’s is a local institution that serves decadent burgers, as is microbrewery Young Henrys, where you can enjoy a beer tasting and brewery tour.
Getting to Newtown is easy with many public transport options. It’s a roughly 10-minute train ride from the city centre to Newtown, Erskineville or Macdonaldtown stations. There’s plenty of bus options too.