Sydney Suburbs Worth Knowing: Newtown
Talk to any Sydneysider and they’ll tell you it’s the ‘burbs that make this town. I’m talking about the various suburbs dotted along the city – Darling Harbour, Potts Point, Redfern, Surry Hills and Woolloomooloo (try saying that 5 times fast!) just to name a few. A lot of the ‘burbs are pretty much in walking distance from another, but when two locals are talking about where they’re from, it’s their ‘burb and the unique personality/hotspots within that speaks louder than just plain-old Sydney. In this brand new series, we’re gonna introduce you to all the ‘burbs worth knowing; and first up is quirky, hipster-centric Newtown!
Originally a working-class ghetto, Newtown’s become what’s basically the Brooklyn of Sydney (Think: Trendy Cafés with a side of earth-loving, tree-hugging, vintage-shop obsessed, cashed-up yuppies). Check out all the best things to see, eat and shop in this cultural Inner West nook below!
Despite its recent gentrification, Newtown is still a little rough around the edges but that’s one of the things we love about it! It’s not uncommon to spot rusty chandeliers and thread-worn couches on front porches and colourful characters parading down the street with boomboxes (insert 90s throwback klaxon!).
The side streets around the railway line are great to wander due to the huge amount of vibrant street art plastered along the sides of buildings. Alton Lane and Lennon Street are two great hotspots for works by the likes of Sydney street artist Lister, plus they are quiet enough for you to pose for photos for your Insta without being spotted!
On Saturday you’ll find the Newtown Community Market opposite the Railway Station. Expect an eclectic mix of second hand books, vintage clothing, homemade crafts and live music from random buskers.
If you’re a fan of vintage fashion then you’ll want to spend an afternoon rummaging around Newtown. Heading North on King Street you’ll find a number of vintage clothes stores selling all sorts of retro bomber jackets, flowery tea-dresses and the ubiquitous second-hand Levis, whilst heading South on King will net you a number of antique stores with ethnic homewares and vintage furniture.
Newtown’s also home to some of Sydney’s best bookstores. Head to Better Read Than Dead or Modern Times for new releases, art supplies and stationary or browse the choc-a-bloc shelves of Gould’s Book Arcade for second hand titles.
The main reason Sydneysiders come to Newtown is because their belly told them to. King Street and nearby Enmore Road boast possibly the widest range of international restaurants in all of Sydney. You can feast on pretty much every type of cuisine – from Thai to vegan – and then finish the meal with some of the city’s best gelato.
Just some of the places worth feasting at are Thai Pothong – a giant joint regularly voted the best Thai Restaurant in Sydney – and Mary’s – a ghoulish-looking restaurant that serves mouth-watering burgers. At Gigi’s Pizzeria you can enjoy a rustic atmosphere and creative vegan pizzas whilst nearby Lentil As Anything is a vegetarian restaurant offering pay-as-you-feel prices.
Jayne Gorman is a freelance travel writer and award-winning travel blogger who blogged her way around 40 countries before her 30th birthday. Now Sydney-based you’ll often find her sniffing out the latest street art and sweet treats around the city.