It has long been decided by our fellow countrymen that if our most renowned cities were music bands, Sydney would be the mainstream pop band to Melbourne’s indie rock group.
This is only generally true. A lesser known fact is that Australia’s largest concentration of artists actually dwell in the Newtown Precinct nestled in a corner of Sydney’s inner city area.
For the uninitiated urban explorer who loses sight of the city’s crisp pavements and stumble their way into this unconventional neighbourhood, brace yourselves for the reigning heart of Sydney’s bohemian scene.
Explore the Food Scene
Sydney might not have started out with the reputation as Australia’s food capital, but it’s a badly kept secret that the food scene has boomed astronomically in alternative neighbourhoods like Newtown.
Just a ten to fifteen minute drive from the Sydney CBD, the busiest part of Newtown consists of one long strip, made up of Enmore Road stretching down one end and King Street down the other.
Here, you’ll find a bizarre mix of different food stops, from award-winning multicultural flavours from Thai to Lebanese to Japanese, and some of the world’s most critically acclaimed desserts.
For all first-timers, one of Newtown’s standouts that every local has an opinion on is Mary’s. Many have hailed this as Australia’s answer to America’s In-N-Out, and it certainly gives the world’s most famous burger joint a run for its money.
Looks-wise, these burgers may seem uninspiring, but just wait till you sink your teeth into one of them.
For anyone entertaining a love affair with Asian cuisine, make a stop at Thai Pothong. Filled with glittering Thai objects and the faint smell of incense, this restaurant has actually been voted Sydney’s best Thai restaurant for multiple years.
Further along the Newtown strip is Black Star Pastry, a small and unassuming bakery with a signature dish that is commonly regarded as Sydney’s most famous dessert. Made with a layer of fresh watermelon in its centre and dressed in a bed of strawberry and rose petals, it takes one bite to learn why the strawberry watermelon cake sold here is Sydney’s most requested cake.
As the perfect finale to a night out in Newtown, grab a scoop of gelato at Cow & The Moon. The makers of this small family-run gelato bar love to experiment and mix their flavours right behind the counter. During peak hours, dessert-lovers flock here for their almond affogato gelato flavour – this winning flavour famously crowned them the world’s best gelato-makers a few years back!
Catch a show at the Enmore Theatre
If you’re not the theatre-going type, don’t write this off as another pretentious venue for highbrow performances. Enmore Theatre is the state’s longest running live music venue and the birthing place of some of Australia’s biggest acts. From the outside, the heritage-listed building reclines in a beautifully preserved art deco style; once inside, audiences are treated to a homely performances in an intimate space.
Throughout the week, Enmore theatre resides as a comedy hub, with the Enmore Comedy Club hosting stand-up gigs every Tuesday night from a line up of talent big and small in the theatre’s small cafe space. On the days when it’s not hosting a comedy gig, the theatre becomes the setting for live rock gigs.
Keep an eye out for the Sydney Comedy Festival that makes its home here every year – the festival regularly attracts a host of famous acts including the likes of Dave Hughes, Jim Jefferies and Neel Kolhatkar.
Part 2 coming soon