Whether you’re hungry for five-star French fare or a burger in a converted warehouse, sink your teeth into the top 10 restaurants in Sydney’s Newtown and Enmore neighbourhoods.
Nothing about the bohemian suburbs of Newtown and Enmore is boring, so it’s no surprise that this corner of Sydney’s Inner-West is home to some of the Harbour City’s most exciting eateries. From traditional trattoria treats to vegan Vietnamese, discover the best restaurants that Newtown and Enmore have to offer.
This pint-sized French bistro brings a taste of fine dining to Sydney’s suburbs, dishing up five-star Parisian fare just down the road from Newtown’s legendary Courthouse Hotel. Named after the classic Smiths tune, Oscillate Wildly curates an adventurous, creative, ever-evolving menu under chef and owner Karl Firla — make sure you have a reservation because tables are at a premium.
The queue snaking up Mary Street gives you some idea of how popular this legendary Newtown establishment is. Once you get inside the grungy converted warehouse with neon lights and rock ’n’ roll music bouncing off the walls, feast on the American-style Mary’s burger — definitely one of the best burgers in Sydney — and wash it down with a bottle of natural wine or locally brewed beer.
This Italian restaurant looks like a typical trattoria, but the dishes are anything but old-fashioned. Run by father and son duo Pino and Marc Russo, Osteria di Russo & Russo produces classic Italian flavours using uniquely Australian ingredients and cutting-edge cooking techniques. Those exciting dishes are paired with wines sourced from vineyards as far as Tuscany and as near as the Hunter Valley.
With a huge communal table and hearty home-style cooking, this much-loved Lebanese restaurant makes you feel like you’ve been invited into a family’s living room for dinner. Emma’s Snack Bar is a casual restaurant that serves some of Sydney’s best mezze — look forward to authentic Lebanese fare like smoky baba ganoush, crunchy fattoush salad and flavour-packed kibbeh meatballs.
The team behind Porteño — the Surry Hills steakhouse that introduced Sydney to Argentine barbecue — turned their hand to traditional Turkish food in 2015 when they opened this upscale eatery on Enmore Road. Taking its name from the moniker for an Istanbul local, Stanbuli is something of a culinary speakeasy. The kitsch pink-and-purple hair salon façade conceals a chic interior and a kitchen churning out mezze platters and charcoal-grilled mains.
Newtown is the epicentre of Sydney’s vegan scene, and this King St institution leads the charge. Opened by a Saigon-born family in 2015, Golden Lotus plates up traditional Vietnamese cuisine without any animal products — the menu is 100% vegan, with soy-based products replacing chicken, beef and pork in the bowls of phở and vermicelli noodle salads.
Named after what New Zealanders’ call their holiday homes (not the Baroque composer), the Bach Eatery brings the best produce from either side of the Tasman to a chilled-out, beach shack-style dining room. Kiwi chef Darrien Potaka brings a little taste of his childhood to King St with small, rustic share plates loaded with fresh seafood — there are prawns, octopus, clams, oysters and John Dory galore.
Greasy American food is a staple of Sydney’s food scene, but Hartsyard serves a more refined menu than the typical fried chicken and French fries. Husband-and-wife team Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart met in the States in 2007 before opening this upscale eatery in Newtown five years later, applying a nose-to-tail and leaf-to-root philosophy to the old-school favourites of the Deep South — try the chef’s menu, which begins with “cheddar puffs” before culminating in Rangers Valley rump cap and an orange meringue dessert.
Diners will be dazzled by the creative design of this industrial-chic King St eatery — think recycled doors on the ceiling, light bulbs hanging inside bird cages and tractor seats in the front bar — but don’t let the trendy fit-out distract from the food. Bloodwood’s very modern menu is made up of mouthwatering seasonal share plates that utilise locally sourced ingredients, including loads of great vegetarian options.
There’s no shortage of Thai restaurants on King St or across the whole of Sydney for that matter, although not many have enjoyed the longevity of this Newtown institution. Thai Pothong opened its doors way back in 1995 and has been plating up the top Thai food in the Inner-West ever since. Commuters can even grab a takeaway feed at the Thaiways stall at Newtown railway station, open till late.