If you’re after a quick and easy meal that doesn’t involve the deep fryer, then head on over to Lulu's Cafe on Crown Street. Known for their delectable poke bowls, they keep it simple and serve them with sashimi, rice and fresh fruit and raw vegetables. If you have the time, take a seat and admire the perfectly pink interiors and insta-worthy lighting.
The Landing Bar & Kitchen
Located along the Honeysuckle foreshore, The Landing Bar and Kitchen is known for its idyllic views and chic interiors. This harbourside oasis offers a summer-inspired cocktail list, making it a perfect place to relax and watch the harbour activity unfold come sunset. The modern-Italian menu includes plenty of sharing-type meals and heartier mains for the supremely hungry.
Mary Ellen Hotel
One of Merewether's favourites, the Mary Ellen Hotel is a lively venue known for its love of local brews and talent. Boasting the largest number of beer taps in the Hunter, you can even check out their website for a real-time tap list before your next visit. Drawing in the crowds, most weeks there is live music from Friday to Sunday night. Regulars of The Mary Ellen consider the schnitzel to be one of the best, but all the dishes ...
Table 1 Espresso
A local favourite, Table 1 Espresso's modern Australian cafe does things 'outside the box'. Known for its inventive, signature dishes, meals are oversized and come with all the trimmings. For a weekend brunch, get comfy on the terrace and take your time perusing the menu. If you're after a caffeine fix, the Campos coffee ticks every box.
The Blind Monk
Taking pride of place on Hamilton's bustling Beaumont Street, The Blind Monk is all things craft beer. Keeping it local, the 12 rotating taps showcase the best of the Australian beer scene. The food menu has been carefully curated to complement the hops and wheat, and is designed to be shared. The dark and moody interiors add to the nostalgic vibe, and the outdoor courtyard is the perfect spot for alfresco summer hangouts.
The Beaumont Hamilton
Inspired by the old-school American diner, yet deeply rooted in the local cafe scene, The Beaumont is Newcastle's foremost cafe and piano bar. Taking menu cues from southern American cuisine (hello southern-fried chicken and jalapeno poppers), they have a breakfast, lunch and bar menu that satisfies hunger cravings any time of the day. Come nighttime the cocktail list takes centre stage, and each night throughout the week there'ss local entertainment, from live music to drag queen trivia.
At Sushi Revolution, the train reigns supreme, delivering fresh and flavoursome dishes to famished diners. Offering friendly, accommodating service, this quaint eatery provides an intimate setting for tables up to four people. Although the sushi, sashimi and nigiri that rotate on the train are the most popular dishes, go to the menu for moreish udon and karaage.
Parry St Garage
Parry St Garage shines a light on two of their great loves; good Italian food and fine wine. Woodfired pizzas and delicious pastas pair beautifully with their delectable wine selection and perfectly crafted cocktails. Parry St Garage make it their business to help ease you into the work week every Sunday with live jazz music, sangria and pizza.
This award-wining, hatted restaurant is the crème de la crème of Newcastle fine dining. Set in a beautiful, sophisticated setting along Newcastle’s Hunter Street, Restaurant Mason is passionate about food and wine, and it shows – modern Australian cuisine served as part of a two- or three-course dining experience paired with unrivalled matching wines.
Rosina's Pizza Restaurant Newcastle
A charming pizzeria dominating the Newcastle foodie scene, Rosina’s Pizza Restaurant is a bustling little spot that has garnered a loyal following over the years. The menu is teeming with pizza and pasta dishes, plus they’re BYO wine only – all the ingredients for a casual evening out.
Papa's Bagel Bar
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and baked bagels is reason alone to lure you into Papa’s Bagel Bar – a rustic little hangout in Newcastle City with exposed brick interiors, communal wooden tables and bar stools. Their impressive selection of bagels come filled with fresh produce straight from the local Farmer’s Market.
Hotel Delaney, also known as ‘The Del’, has been an iconic Newcastle pub for decades. The venue's main draw is the newly-opened Cravings Restaurant, which offers contemporary and refined gastro-pub fare in sleek and stylish surroundings. Don’t worry, you can still get your normal pub grub in other areas of the pub (aka Tuesday Schnitzel night).
The Hop Factory
A family-owned, craft beer and burger restaurant with exposed brick and greenery galore. The drinks list proudly boasts a selection of local Hunter region wine, with an additional beer collection thatg's equally as impressive. Local breweries and craft beer reign supreme and match surprisingly well with their delicious burger menu. The bright, light-filled space is ideal for a casual weekend hangout, and it’s super pet friendly – so don't forget to bring the pups!
Doppelganger Kitchen By Bernhard
Bringing something different to Darby Street, Doppelganger Kitchen brings traditional Austrian food to carnivorous Newcastle locals. Specialties include pork knuckle, schnitzels and Schupfnudel, which despite it’s impossible pronunciation, is just gnocchi – and ridiculously good gnocchi at that. Come down on Fridays to see the kitsch accordion player decked out in traditional lederhosen.
The Autumn Rooms
One of Darby Street’s most popular eateries, The Autumn Room oozes café cool – from their plant-filled interiors to their flower-adorned menu. It's an Instagramer's dream. Even though the menu is full of wholesome goodness, the Champagne Breakfast is too hard to pass on – and so are the irresistibly fluffy crumpets with lavender honey and lashings of mascarpone.
Not your standard restaurant, a visit to Talulah is a must for any foodie. Cultivating a warm and cosy vibe, the team feel like family and the food is made with the same level of care as a home-cooked meal. The Mediterranean styled menu is split into two, day and night, but both are focused on serving up the best seasonal produce available. In the warmer months, the verandah is the place to be for both sunrise and sunset.
Blue Door Kiosk
Blue Door Kiosk on Merewether Beach serves up consistently good coffee and health-conscious dishes from their beachside shop front. Snack on Coco Whip, smoothies, bowls and salads while taking in the beautiful ocean views. The alfresco set-up, great service, and quality fare keep the locals coming every day of the week.
Set across three levels overlooking the stunning beachfront, Merewether Surfhouse stylishly blends Australian beach culture with sleek, modern design. Boasting a restaurant, cocktail bar, pizza kiosk and cafe, the Surfhouse takes patrons from the sand to the bar with effortless flair. Come summer the venue is a lively hub of activity, with swarms of locals keen to try the restaurant's famed modern Australian cuisine.
Merewether Fresh Bake
A family-run bakery and patisserie, Merewether Fresh Bake keeps the locals satisfied with their delicious buttery delicacies. Just what you expect from your local bakery; all your favourite pies, cakes, slices and tarts are well represented. Make sure to go in hungry and take your time perusing the moreish options on display.
The Depot on Beaumont
The second Depot outpost on Beaumont Street, is the place where Newcastle locals go to party. The Depot on Beaumont is the Hunter's premier event and live music space that has five separate areas, from a restaurant to sky-high lounge, spread over three levels. There is always something on at The Depot, so be sure to check out their website for the full event schedule.
In a prime position on Beaumont Street, Uber Thai serves up incredibly moreish, traditional street-style food. The modern yet laid-back restaurant dishes up a range of starters, hearty mains and delicious desserts. If you want an alfresco experience, take a seat in the courtyard.
Basement on Market St
A sophisticated bar and tapas restaurant, Basement on Market St in Newcastle’s East End is a chic late-night hangout that serves up a quirky, creative cocktail menu. The food is equally delicious and pairs beautifully with the decadent drinks. Thursdays and Sundays are when things really heat up with specials on cocktails.
Customs House Hotel
Once home to Australian Customs, this historical building has a new life as one of Newcastle’s finest dining and drinking destinations. The chic restaurant and bar on the ground floor exudes an old-school elegance, and serves Mediterranean-style food, while the beer garden is a hotspot for alfresco fun, especially during the warmer months.