Aesthetically-pleasing restaurants, bars, and cafes in Newcastle
While most of us will decide where to eat based on the menu, here at HUNTERhunter we can’t deny that a restaurant’s interiors (and subsequent vibe) can play a part in where we choose to dine out. Sitting in a beautiful space while you eat beautiful food certainly enhances the experience!
If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to know where these spots can be found in Newcastle. Without further ado, here are the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie restaurants, bars and cafes with the best interiors.
8 at Trinity has become known for being a premium dining experience, which is a credit to both its menu and its lavish fitout. The main seating area is covered by a soaring custom-made marquee, and brass and marble accents add to the luxury. Tropical plans dot the space, while views over the marina really cement the holiday vibes.
Where: 81 Trinity Point Dr, Morisset Park
Entering Bartholomew’s feels like you’ve stepped back into the 1920s – chandeliers dangle from the high ceilings, bottles of spirits line the back wall, and tiered theatre-style balconies frame the space in a nod to the venue’s history. Whether you head to Bartholomew’s for one of their many events or just for a few cocktails, the grand architecture and hints of old-world glamour set the scene for a memorable experience.
Where: 145 King St, Newcastle
Coal and Cedar is Newcastle’s New York-style speakeasy bar, and the interiors certainly do a good job of transporting you to prohibition-era New York. Think moody lighting, subway tiles, deer heads mounted on the walls, and shelves stacked with the many spirits that go into making Coal and Cedar’s excellent cocktails.
Where: 380/382 Hunter St, Newcastle
Tucked into suburban Hamilton, Common Circus is part homewares store, part cafe, so naturally the interiors are a joy. Lots of work went into renovating the space, and the result is a cafe and boutique that oozes warmth, making it the perfect spot to linger over a coffee (or two) and a toastie. Expect tones of burnt orange and peach, plenty of gorgeous timber, and heaps of homewares to add to your wishlist.
Where: 1 Dixon St, Hamilton
Convoy Commune is perfectly at home in beachy Merewether. The bright, light cafe with natural timber finishes and rattan light shades exudes coastal vibes. Grab a coffee (made with Convoy Commune’s own signature blend of specialty coffee), order a dish from the menu full of colourful, healthy cafe favourites, and while away the morning soaking up the relaxed atmosphere.
Where: Shop 1/88 Mitchell St, Merewether
Equium Social is one of Newcastle’s most-loved cafes, and for good reason. Not only is its food and drink offering one of the best on Newcastle’s dining scene, but the space itself is a delight. After a huge renovation a few years ago, the cafe now boasts a fresh interior to match its excellent menu. It’s mismatched yet cohesive – think shades of green, loopy pendant lights, curved wood panelling, and open shelving to show off Equium’s house-made pickles.
Where: 1-5 Maitland Rd, Mayfield East
Ginger Meg’s golden staircase is a much-Instagrammed Newcastle location for a reason. It’s visually arresting, and just a taste of what follows interior-wise in the Asian-inspired restaurant and bar. Think giant murals, intricate lattice screening in between tables, and velvet green booth seating. Admire the details while you devour the restaurant’s moreish share plates with friends.
Where: 212 King St, Newcastle
It may not be huge, but Las Salsa Picante’s secret spot inside The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel is a treat. It’s a world away from inner city Newcastle – it could be in Mexico City for all intents and purposes. Tiny bottles of hot sauce line the shelves, and horseshoes frame the door to the outside dining space where cacti are scattered throughout. Sit up at the bar and enjoy a margarita while you take in all the details.
Where: 14 Railway St, Wickham
At Light Years, lanterns cluster high above, palm trees fan over the centre of the restaurant, and curved pastel pink seats provide a comfy setting for all the eating that’s about to happen. Seriously, there’s so much to enjoy visually at Light Years, including the colourful food and cocktails. Even the pink bathrooms are a stunning addition in this bright, playful restaurant.
Where: 5-7 Darby St, Newcastle
Dining at Market St Basement is a delight, and not least because of the rustic interiors. This Italian restaurant has been a Newcastle favourite since opening in 2015 because it consistently delivers delicious food and a warm atmosphere. The backdrop to your meal? Exposed brick, melting candle wax, timber accents, and vines creeping across the walls.
Where: 2/2 Market St, Newcastle
Located in the heart of Newcastle is a world-class culinary offering rivalled only by its industrial-meets-cool fitout that belongs on every interior lover's Pinterest board. MEET is the spot for Brazilian churrasco and bespoke cocktails in a funky space. Watch the chefs prepare your food in the open kitchen and take in all the interior details before you tuck in to a mouth-watering feed.
Where: 9 Darby St, Newcastle
Momo Wholefood has taken full advantage of its location inside a heritage building on Hunter Street, and it makes an ideal space for dining on Momo Wholefood’s delicious plant-based food. Expect high ceilings, cute window seats, plenty of plants, and woven light pendants in this light-filled cafe. You won’t want to leave, trust us!
Where: 227 Hunter St, Newcastle
Parry St Garage was the restaurant that helped kickstart the wave industrial-chic interiors on the Newcastle dining scene, and more than 10 years later, the fitout has endured beyond the trend to become one of the city’s favourite casual hang-out spots. Parry St Garage has retained many of the elements from its past as a car mechanic, and the result is a space that feels vast enough for family get-togethers yet intimate enough for date night.
Where: 106 Parry St, Newcastle West
Poppy’s Verandah Cafe is a charming companion to Poppy’s Home and Garden at Gateshead. Think colourful wallpaper, curved archways above booth seating, an oversized chandelier, red tiling, and of course, plenty of plants. It’s a lovely spot to unwind with a coffee and brunch before going on a plant shopping spree.
Where: 83 Oakdale Rd, Gateshead
Considering Rooftop at QT is the jewel in the crown of QT Newcastle, it makes sense that the bar is a visual feast. The 172 3D-printed moon lights that cover the ceiling are a highlight, with designer Nic Graham of Nic Graham & Associates explaining that the moon cycle inspired their regeneration of the heritage building. Take in views over Newcastle Harbour while you sip on Japanese whiskey and eat gyoza.
Where: 185 Hunter St, Newcastle
Given Roundhouse is the restaurant atop a 5-star hotel, it tracks that the interiors are an important part of the dining experience. Featuring a pared-back colour scheme of olive and black with olive trees dotted throughout the restaurant, it’s a relaxed yet sophisticated interior that allows the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows to shine.
Where: Level 9/282 King St, Newcastle
We’re going to call it – Rustica has the most unique interior of any Newcastle restaurant. Designed by Dion Ackland, there’s artwork from a Catholic citadel that wraps around a huge column, a replica of an antique map adorning the wall, and tens of geometric pendant lights. That’s not to mention the 180 degree views of Newcastle Beach and the Mediterranean menu that keeps locals coming back time and time again.
Where: 2/1 King St, Newcastle
The Edwards is a perennial favourite in Newcastle – its quality food, craft beer, and stylish space is a recipe for a good time. The restaurant and bar is super spacious which lends it a minimalistic feel, but it never feels sterile. There’s plants in abundance (I need to know what they did to get a fiddle leaf fig that big), huge paintings on the walls, and two fireplaces for winter cosiness.
Where: 148 Parry St, Newcastle West
If you’re after cocktails that are a bit out of the ordinary, The Koutetsu is the place to be. While you sip on cocktails like Trigger and Hot Buttered Rum, appreciate the comic-style artwork on the walls, the mismatched vintage light fittings, and exposed brick that all make up the gritty aesthetic of this stand-out small bar.
Where: 555 Hunter St, Newcastle