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A bartender pouring a cocktail
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The 13 best bars in Newtown

Small bars, wine bars, breweries and slick watering holes. Newtown has got 'em all

Elizabeth McDonald
Edited by
Elizabeth McDonald
Written by
Time Out editors
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A bar crawl in Newtown is the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure for the intrepid thirsty Sydneysider. It's also great if you simply don't care to take more than a hop, skip and jump between venues. This eclectic Inner West 'burb has more bars than you can poke a cocktail stick at, from lazy beer gardens to rock and roll vinyl joints and everything in between. Newtown is a boozing destination unto itself so we've rounded up some of our fave locals to check out on your next visit. 

Need the inside scoop? Check out our local's guide to Newtown here.

Want to show your favourite venues even more love? Make sure you vote in our Time Out Bar and Restaurant Revive Awards.

The best bars in Newtown

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: Quiet time with excellent wine

With the right little bar in your neighbourhood, ‘me time’ can also be ‘wine time’, which is certainly the case at She Loves You, a tiny hole-in-the-wall wine bar in Newtown. A swing jazz soundtrack pairs excellently with a very serious wine list and that wine list that makes a lot more sense when you find out that one of the owners is also the sommelier at Billy Kwong. 

  • Bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: Live music and friendly bartenders

In a city where live music can be, shall we say, a little hard to come by, it's always nice to walk into a bar where a piano and stage are front and centre. Friendly staff, local tap brews and an uncomplicated cocktail list make this pokey little Newtown mainstay a fan favourite. 

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  • Bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: Cocktails that are expertly made

Once you've graduated from smashing jugs of beer at your local it's time to crank up the drinks quality substantially and order the best cocktails in Newtown at this low lit bar with a New Orleans voodoo vibe. Earl's Juke Joint is all class. It's built to outlast all the Saturday nights Newtown can throw at it, the drinks list is spectacular and the vibe stays at a potent simmer.

  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

Go here for: Cold cuts and a tinned Martini

Opened by two of the greatest restaurateurs Sydney has seen in recent times, Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joe Valore of Porteño, Gardel’s Bar and Bodega (which they co-own with Ben Milgate), and LP’s Quality Meats (which they co-own with Luke Powell), this is more than just a restaurant. At Continental in Newtown a downstairs deli opens at 11am and becomes a casual bar/restaurant as the later hours creep in, while upstairs there's a bistro for those fancier nights out. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Enmore
  • price 2 of 4

Go here for: kitchy and killer cocktails

There used to be a time when everyone was happy drinking sugary shots with suggestive names and average beers. Then small bars hit and profoundly changed Sydney’s tastes. Now we scan wine lists for skin-contact whites and funky pet nats and confidently go three rounds with a barrel-aged cocktail. But, somewhere in among all the positive growth and taste development, we lost some of the fun. Enter, Jacoby's, a Twin Peaks inspired tiki bar that is determined to make you party, whether or not you meant to. 

 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: Confident, old school hospitality

After 30 years behind the stick around the globe, Jason Crawley has finally opened a place of his very own with industry heavy-weight Dylan Howarth. You’re in good hands at Fortunate Son. The bar itsself is an unpretentious haunt for good times, great music and exceptional drinking. It feels effortlessly cool, with a custom made Jack Daniels sign, 300 bottle strong back bar, and, of course, more than a few Creedence tracks filling the air. Old school service and a clear obsession with quality make this drinkery as good for a mid-week date as a weekend knees up, and with only a dozen or so vinyl stools lining the dark wood bar you get a sense of intimacy without feeling crowded.

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  • Bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: A howlin' ride through middle America

By the look of this dive you’d expect peanut shells crunching under foot. Regulars – like birds on a wire – perch at the bar and a American accent comes from behind it. The worn-in, down-home atmosphere, though, belies expert cocktail, beer and wine chops and sophisticated bar bites. 

Young Henrys
  • Bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: Daytime drinking with dogs

Kick things off in the early afternoon with the freshest beers in town, and a hangover-busting cloudy cider if you need a little gentling back into the saddle. In fact, given this brewery bar shuts at seven, the earlier you get here the better your chance of securing a table with prime sausage dog patting potential.

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Mary's
  • Bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: Ace burgers and natural wine

If you don't want to queue outside this burger bar that's more popular than a pop-up puppy party catered by Messina, timing is everything. Get in early for any chance at a table, or wait until the dinner rush has worn off – well after 9pm, but there are still no guarantees. Territory is hard won here so barricade yourself in with baskets of fried chicken and bottles of natural wine (ask for the list from behind the bar) once you get a seat.

  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Newtown

Go here for: One of Sydney's best beer gardens

The beautiful thing about this old boozer is that it’s a pub designed to facilitate a good time on your terms. Want to sit up at the bar with a huge plate of fish and chips and watch back-to-back AFL games? This is the best place for it. Prefer to sink your tip money in pinball machines while you annihilate jugs of Stone and Wood Pacific Ale and Young Henrys Newtowner? Right this way. 

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Bloodwood
  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

Go here for: Swanky bar snacks 

Bridging the gap between cheap Thai and a bazillion-course molecular journey at Oscillate Wildly, Bloodwood is the place where you lay down the foundations for a top-notch evening with their famous polenta chips - these guys know how to do booze-friendly snack plates. And if you score a table up on the back terrace you may never want to leave.

  • Bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: Rooftop drinks with Newtown locals

What we like about the folks at Corridor is that they're friendly and down to earth. They're just doing what they do and they're doing it well: long necks of Coopers pale, simple mixers (get ‘em to do you a ginger beer with rum and limes), local wines by the glass (in red and white!)... you get the picture.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Newtown

Go here for: Arcade games with your drinks

No, 1989 is not the name of a Taylor Swift concept café (although, someone please make that happen), but a Newtown eatery dedicated to the coin-operated joys of old-school games. Unsurprisingly, the café’s soundtrack fires off plenty of plinks and beeps as players face various rounds of combat in Streetfighter II, The Simpsons, Double Dragon or Turtles. 

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