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Woodfired pizza oven at Bella Brutta
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

Ten Newtown businesses you can support from home

Keep Newtown weird (and wonderful) by shopping online and ordering delivery from these fabulous small operations

By Time Out in association with City of Sydney
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King Street might look a bit emptier and the familiar strains of buskers at Newtown Station may be quietened, but the Inner West hub is still kicking on. Honour the neighbourhood's main drag – packed full of vintage clothing stores, independent bookshops and many of the city’s best restaurants and hidden cocktail bars – by continuing to support them from home. Don't know where to start? We've got you. We've compiled ten classic Newtown haunts you can give some much-needed cash to by shopping online or picking up a quick takeaway from the bricks-and-mortar store.

Get shopping and make a difference

Bella Brutta

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Newtown

Clam pizza might not be where your mind organically bends when thinking of comfort food, but trust us, this bright and briney carb disc is exactly what your trackpant-clad bod is craving. Bella Brutta's clams are accompanied by fermented chilli, a chowder-esque base sauce, and fresh lashings of parsley, lemon and garlic on an artfully blistered pizza base. And it could be all yours with the restaurant currently offering takeaway and delivery. They're also shouting fellow hospo friends to the goods with an initiative called "The Slice of Life" that donates one free pizza to those currently out of work for every ten they sell to regular customers. So get to ordering ten clam pizzas stat – your support of Bella Brutta will have an excellent pay-it-forward effect.

Better Read than Dead

Shopping Newtown

There are few greater pleasures than arriving far too early for a screening at Dendy Newtown and killing time by perusing the aesthetically stimulating shelves of Better Read than Dead. Satisfy your book-browsing cravings and buy from them online. You'll not only be avoiding the long-wait delivery times of the big international book chains but you'll also be giving some much-needed coin to a local seller. If, like us, you are a nerd who misses reading those little staff recommendation cards on the shelves, you'll be delighted to know the personable reviews exist in a column on the website. So tee up a classic film on Netflix and spend the preceding hour or so before you watch it looking through all that Better Read has to offer.

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A plate of slow cooked pork
Photograph: Helen Yee

Sydney Cebu Lechon

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Filipino Newtown

Talk about a pivot. Not only is Newtown's purveyor of delicious suckling pig offering takeaway but they're also giving away free meals to those in need. Firing up the coals and a GoFundMe page is not easy feat, but the Filipino eatery is doing the most it can to keep the Inner West fed. Order online or in-store and be rewarded with soothing packs of adobo or tapsilog, or get your coupled mitts on a Lock Down Comfort Meal pack for two with your choice of dishes to share. They're still rotating their namesake lechon on the weekends, and be sure to order ahead to secure a plate of reverendly succulent and crisp pork to go.

Newtown Garden market
Photograph: Supplied

Newtown Garden Market

Shopping Newtown

This tiny pocket of a nursery shows that size doesn't matter when it comes to quality. Newtown Garden Market embrace their truncated size and even proudly display the tagline "little oasis in a big city" on their website to prove it. Turn your home into an oasis too by buying up the well cared for leafy stock of this neighbourhood fave. The shopfront has been transformed into a plant tuckshop with small orders available to pick up during the day. The knowledgeable staff are also on hand for larger orders or your pressing green questions. If converting your loungeroom into a jungle seems impossible, now is as good a time as any to try – just make sure you invest in the longevity of this longstanding Newtown nursery while you're at it.

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Flying Tong

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Korean Newtown

Flying Tong is a tiny establishment on Enmore Road that has dedicated itself almost entirely to the art of the thinking person's KFC – Korean Fried Chicken. Nab yourself a takeaway box of the sticky glazed and crispy chook and you'll be helping the small eatery keep its tongs clicking in the long run. There's a myriad other Korean classics to choose from too, think contemporary takes on bibimbap or a nourishing bowl of BBQ ssam. Flying Tong is also offering $40 weeknight dinner packs with all the trimmings (have a peek at the menu on Instagram) and if you pick-up from the store you can takeaway a cheeky bottle of soju or a frosty tin of Cass beer too. 

Crystals on shelves at the Rock Crystal Shop in Newtown.
Photograph: Olivia Gee

The Rock Crystal Shop

Shopping Jewellery Newtown

A stroll down Enmore Road wouldn't be complete without dipping into an incense-drenched New Age store of some description. Light up a couple of sticks of Nag Champa and have a dreamy look through Newtown's best crystal peddler's online shop. The Rock Crystal Shop's hot pink-accented website is loaded with healing gems, rare fossils, bulk bags of stones and meaningful jewellery to buy. There are dedicated sections of the site for learning more about the power of crystals (with some caring examples catered to the particularities of pandemic mental health) and of course delivery options, where at the very least you'll aquire some sparkly and soothing additions to your home décor straight to your door. 

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Young Henrys

Bars Newtown

Nothing says "support Newtown" like ordering a slab of the suburb's namesake. The roller doors might be bolted on Young Henrys' cellar door but you can treat yourself to "quarantinnies" of Newtowner anytime by ordering online. Arguably the most supportive brand in all of Sydney (name an event that hasn't been sponsored by Young Henrys), these purveyors of fine ales deserve a little reciprocity in our opinion. And why stop at beer? The online store also boasts wearable merch, custom hand sanitiser and even jars of beer pickles made in collaboration with Westmont. Add free delivery for orders over $100 and you've got yourself the chance to watch a nifty little Newtown showbag show up on your doorstep.

All Buttons

Shopping Newtown

Only in Newtown would a store entirely devoted to the sale of the humble button exist. You've most likely found yourself in awe of All Buttons' colour-coded shelves wondering how you got there, but leaving with at least four of their tiny, beautiful wares in a paper bag. The IRL doors are closed for the time being but you can keep this super-particular shop in business by buying from them online. Perhaps there's a few mending projects you've had on the backburner for a while, or you want to get into a large-scale craft project – here's an essential source for all your button needs. A bonus is the soothing effect looking through the virtual shelves organised by colour, type and material have on the weary soul.

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Earl's Juke Joint

Bars Newtown

How do you bottle the unbeatable atmosphere of this King Street cocktail bar? You can't. But you can order cute at-home packs from their 'Run the Booze' online store and have a good go at it. There's some top-shelf beer, cider and wine slections to peruse or you can go the full monty with one of Earl's nifty bottled or canned cocktails. Separated into fresh and stirred, the cocktails come in adorable '70s apothecary packaging. Get out your finest chipped coffee mug (as Earl's say on the site: "You're the bartender now") and enjoy a two-serve bottle of something creative like a Derwin's Revenge – coconut-washed bourbon, wattleseed-infused Averna and bitters. If you're within the right radius your order will even be hand-delivered by one of the Earl's team. Stretch your support even further and buy a T-shirt to show your allegiance to this multi-award winning bar.

Blue Dog Posters & Prints

Shopping Newtown

This print and poster store has been supplying the walls of the Inner West and beyond for over 18 years. Their motto, “keeping students weird”, was born from the days of selling their fine collection of movie, music, art, nature and political posters from the back of a van in Sydney's universities. The Newtown physical store is an institution – with teenagers flicking through the racks looking for giant Van Gogh prints to grown-up Tarantino obsessives stocking up on the latest theatrical poster. You'll find a wall-ready print of just about anything you're looking for online alongside puzzles, tea towels, stationery and even doormats bearing the slogan of your choice. Keep Newtown weird and wonderful – keep Blue Dog's doors open for years to come.

Keep on keeping Sydney open

Owner of Repressed Records stands smiling behind the cashier desk
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

Ten Sydney businesses you can help from home

Shopping

We don't need to tell you how much the lockdown is impacting our city's small businesses – maybe you've taken a walk around your own block and seen the shuttered doors and ghostly streets for yourself. Right now, Sydney's restaurants, bars, shops and services need us as much as we need them. Placing an order for a ceramic dish online or (safely) picking up a pizza is going to make a huge difference in securing the future of our local businesses. So why not chuck some coin at these ten Sydney outlets and eateries who are chugging along online and continuing to bring edible and covetable joy to our increasingly indoor lives?

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