Black Star Pastry is a dessert fan’s dream | Courtesy of Black Star Pastry
Newtown is Sydney’s hipster capital, which means it has an abundance of three things: street art, ironic facial hair and brilliant brunch spots. Here’s our pick of the top cafés in the neighbourhood.
Sitting in Sydney’s eclectic inner west, Newtown is one of the city’s coolest suburbs. And it owes a big chunk of its reputation to dozens of delicious places to eat and drink, including a crop of first-class cafés. From Sydney’s most Instagrammed dessert to something called mermaid googs, prepare your appetite for a visit to one of these terrific brunch spots around Newtown.
Brewtown bakes fragrant bread and pastries in its in-house bakery | Courtesy of Brewtown
Brewtown is a local institution. Occupying a converted warehouse just off King Street, Newtown’s favourite café roasts its own coffee on-site, bakes fragrant bread and pastries in its in-house bakery, and offers a classic brunch menu. Make sure to get a cronut – the half doughnut, half croissant that Brewtown is famous for.
Rising Sun Workshop, a motorcycle workshop, social enterprise and café in one
Restaurant, Cafe, Continental, $$$
Rising Sun Workshop ethically sources its ingredients from regional coffee roasters, brewers and farmers | Courtesy of Rising Sun Workshop
Combining a doughnut and a croissant makes perfect, flaky sense. But blending a café and a motorcycle workshop? That’s seriously inventive. Adding bikes and brunch to the old hardware store behind the huge discount chemist on King Street, Rising Sun is a social enterprise that ethically sources its ingredients from regional coffee roasters, brewers and farmers, then pumps the profits back into the community. Try the veggie or bacon and egg Hokkaido milk bun off the Asian-inspired menu.
Introducing Sydney’s most Instagrammed dessert: the legendary strawberry watermelon cake, the brainchild of Black Star Pastry founder Christopher Thé. Black Star now boasts locations in Rosebery, Moore Park and the CBD, but the Newtown original next to the neighbourhood centre across the road from the train station is where it all began. You can’t skip the dacquoise, watermelon and rose-scented cream creation, but there are other sweets and savouries on offer, too.
Sitting a few doors down from beloved Newtown watering hole the Courthouse Hotel, 212 Blu is one of the suburb’s most sophisticated brunch spots. Serving beans by Loggerhead Coffee Co. in a pared-back space drenched in natural light, 212 Blu’s house speciality is the boss one hander – a brekkie sandwich loaded with shaved leg ham, pickled carrot, slaw, relish and a soft-boiled egg.
Flour Drum’s banoffee buttermilk pancake stack always goes down well | Courtesy of Flour Drum
Surrounded by the quirky boutiques and vintage stores at the southern end of King Street, Flour Drum dishes up a delectable all-day breakfast alongside a dessert cabinet brimming with house-baked treats. Peruse the handwritten menu on the huge green chalkboard to find brunch classics such as house-cured salmon on a hash brown, mushroom medley on sourdough toast and banoffee buttermilk pancake stack.
Try Either Or’s seasonal granola | Courtesy of Either Or
Not far from Flour Drum lies a café-slash-concept store that showcases the wares of local designers alongside its health-conscious brunch fare. Either Or’s menu is as diverse as it is delicious – we’re talking burrata with mixed heirloom beets, poached barramundi with wombok chips, avo or beef smørrebrød sandwiches, and an adobo bowl loaded with slow-cooked pork belly. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for.
The Haikin brothers and their parents, Arie and Bosmat, deliver family recipes to the Newtown masses, opening this homely espresso bar not long after emigrating from Israel in 2007. Just a block from Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, Shenkin is especially popular with dog walkers, who come here for the shakshuka as well as house-made Middle Eastern pastries such as bureka and sabich.
This bohemian brunch spot provides a perfect snapshot of the neighbourhood it calls home, from the graffiti on the awning to the vintage furniture decorating the dining room. Satellite is a backstreet corner café sheltered from the craziness of King Street, whose long and colourful menu takes a degree in Australian slang to decipher – take your pick from magic mushies, mermaid googs and smashed fuckin’ avo. Seriously.
This Enmore Road café brings the flavours of the Mediterranean to Sydney’s inner west. You don’t have to search too hard to find traces of Iberian cuisine on a menu stacked with mouthwatering Spanish and Portuguese plates such as chorizo, potato and olive omelette and piri-piri chicken burger.