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The best bars in Newtown

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

Caitlyn Todoroski
Edited by
Elizabeth McDonald
Written by
Caitlyn Todoroski
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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 like having 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 'n' 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. 

Looking for food? Check out the best restaurants Newtown has to offer, over here.

The best bars in Newtown

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: A crash course in the art of sake

If you walked straight past Ante on the first attempt, you probably wouldn't be the only one. Double back and look for an understated, chic façade. The words SAKE & SOUNDS adorn the glass in gold lettering and while that’s the general premise, there’s plenty more to discover behind the door.

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  • 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. 

  • 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 which makes a lot of sense when you find out that one of the owners was once the sommelier at Billy Kwong

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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 some of 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 noon 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
  • 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. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Newtown

Go here for: A rowdy glass of wine with everyone in town

The recent take over of the Happy Chef space on King Street had many Sydneysiders holding their breath. Thankfully, this two story bar and restaurant by the folks behind the Duke of Enmore and the Old Fitzroy Hotel have not left us wanting, with a high end but very approachable space of share tables, bar stools and a luxe restaurant upstairs. 

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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
  • Craft beer
  • Newtown

Go here for: Total beer hall vibes

The expansive venue (a former second hand furniture warehouse) can seat 155 patrons and on a Friday night they're busting at the seams. Nordic chic with a serious Newtown flavour, Mountain Goat is laid back and has one of the friendliest bar teams in town. There are 12 taps lining the bar and a kitchen for when you need a foil for all that foamy refreshment.

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  • 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 itself 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.

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.

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 moreish crispy baby potatoes - 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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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