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Interior at Cafe Paci Newtown
Photograph: Leigh Griffiths

The 15 best restaurants in Newtown

Looking for places to eat in Newtown? Check out our dining guide for this rainbow patch of the Inner West

Avril Treasure
Written by
Elizabeth McDonald
&
Avril Treasure
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For decades Newtown has been an evolving creature, where creativity abounds and self-expression is paramount. And yes, while we still want to #keepnewtownweird and vegans are still well catered for, there's plenty on the dining scene to keep even the most straight-laced pearl clutchers happy, too. 

There's high-end dining to be had, but also a bunch of hyper-focussed regional diners dishing up everything from Egyptian street food to killer pizza and fiery Chinese hot pots. If you're hungry in this rainbow neck of the woods, we've got you covered. And, here are some on-point watering holes for after.

RECOMMENDED: The best Sydney restaurants for your dining hit list

Newtown food

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Newtown

Yes, we know technically Ante is a sake bar first and foremost. But it’s also one of our favourite places to eat in Sydney. And don’t just take our word for it – top chefs Danielle Alvarez (ex Fred’s) and Kiln chef Mitch Orr both said the cool Newtown spot was one of their favourite places to eat. There are no reservations, so come early. As one of Time Out’s critics said: “Ante is all about the details. And Sydney is damn lucky to have it.”

https://media.timeout.com/images/106082023/image.jpg
Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • European
  • Newtown
  • price 2 of 4

After a three-plus-year wait, Finnish chef Pasi Petänen has swung open the doors to his permanent reboot on King Street in Newtown. With him, he’s brought plenty of imagination and technique, along with stellar booze and an unstoppable team. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

At this new age pizzeria (they put clams on a pie) there are five pizzas in total, including one proudly wearing a soft pink coat of LP’s mortadella, and another featuring the house-made pepperoni – it’s a clever closed loop system since Luke Powell of LP’s fame is behind this venture, along with his partner Tania Haughton, plus hosp legends Joe Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz of the Porteño group. 

Continental Deli Bar Bistro
  • Restaurants
  • Newtown
  • price 2 of 4

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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  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

Newtown loves a specialist, be it a vegan ramen joint or a café selling six kinds of lamingtons and not much else. So a skinny slip of a pizza parlour selling seven wood-fired pies, two sides and some chilli XO to dip your crusts in fits right in. Getting your hands on a Westwood pizza might require more forethought and planning than your average takeaway dinner, but the rewards more than outweighs the costs, so set your alarm for 4.30pm, because you’ve got to be in it to win it – and there are only prizes for the first 174 to make it over the line.

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Newtown

What's in a name? Well, if that name is Odd Culture Newtown, there's not much left to the imagination. King Street's newest natty joint is going hard on the ferments, wild yeasts and all things bubbly. Taking over the coveted Happy Chef space (vale), Odd Culture is a two-level craft beer, natural wine and ferment-happy diner from the group that brought us the Oxford Tav, the Old Fitz and the Duke of Enmore. With friends like that, you know it's going to be all killer, no filler. 

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  • Bars
  • Newtown

It’s entirely likely that Mary’s is more famous as a burger place than as a bar. People queue for up to an hour just to get in the front door of this slightly scuzzy boozer with a penchant for Slaytanic font. Of course only the uninitiated don’t know that there’s often a secondary queue up the stairs for a table on the mezzanine. People really love Mary’s burgers.

  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

While this half motorcycle workshop and half eatery lured us in for breakfast ramen (a beautiful big bowl of rich, fatty broth made from an infusion of buttered toast, topped with a just-set onsen egg, shards of crisp bacon and a charred tomato), dinner time here is worth a look in too..

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  • Restaurants
  • Middle Eastern
  • Newtown
  • price 1 of 4

In spite of the name you can eat in at Cairo Takeaway, and it’s a good time. They put a lot of care into assembling their mixed plate, featuring a mean, dark green felafel and a vegetable slice, but we can’t resist the smell of the grilled chicken doused in garlic and the lamb kofte packed with diced onion that comes on the meat edition. 

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Newtown

La Favola is a choose your own adventure of the carb kind. At this Newtown joint, it's all about marrying your preferred pasta shape with one of six sauces. A fusilli carbonara, perhaps? Or a fettucine dal mare (with seafood, garlic, chilli and white wine)? At this modest-sized eatery, space is a prized commodity. So too is a table at peak meal times, when locals flock for bowls of pasta, made fresh in-house on the daily. Keep an eye out for the specials board, where you'll find a limited-time only entree, main and dessert on offer.

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  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

Maíz is the brainchild of co-owner Juan Carlos Negrete Lopez, a former Three Blue Ducks sous-chef and permaculture designer who hails from Baja California. And unless you have shelled out more than a few pesos at Oaxacan market stalls or on the side of the road in Puebla, quesadillas are the only item you might recognise on his expansive and exciting menu – a menu which is essentially a celebration of corn in its various incarnations.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Newtown

You'll find devotedly authentic Hunanese restaurant with blazing exotic peppers and unfamiliar preparations on Newtown's main strip these days. Pappa’s Stew, aware of the steep learning curve faced by many diners, took a leaf out of Japan’s lavish replica-food displays, setting up a full spread of their best dishes by the counter for maximum visual assistance. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

Turns out pizza without cheese is still bloody excellent. Sure, there were a lot of naysayers on the internet when Gigi on South King Street changed to a plant-based menu, but they were wrong, because a chewy, wood-fired pizza base covered in a layer of sweet golden tomato puree and tender ribbons of capsicum gets all the umami depth it needs from a liberal dose of olive tapenade, capers, chilli, oregano and olive oil. 

  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

Don't expect a fine diner here – it's not that kind of place. Instead, you'll find a neighbourhood restaurant bashing out share plates like salty, savoury Provencal-style pancakes covered thickly in Persian fetta and toasted pumpkin seeds. There's plenty of veggo gear here, including lightly pickled mushrooms with broad beans and golden, super crunchy polenta chips with a gutsy gorgonzola dipping sauce – a mainstay on the menu since they swung open in 2010.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Newtown

This Italian eatery may be sleek and shiny, what with the polished concrete floors, big glass windows onto Enmore Road and open kitchen, but the menu is old school. There's usually two pastas on the menu – a gnocchi and a fettuccini with meatballs – but their main love is piping hot pizze that they fling into the wood-fired oven on big, decorative peels (like a shovel, or a giant spatula). 

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