Discover the best restaurants in Newcastle
Newcastle's restaurant scene has taken a massive leap forward in recent years. With a diverse offering of cuisines, spectacular locations, sleek fit-outs and an ever-growing pool of kitchen talent, dining out in Newcastle has never been more exciting. To help you discover the best restaurants in Newcastle, from casual eats through to fine dining, check out our guide.
Tucked into suburban New Lambton, alfie's is a go-to for moreish antipasti, handmade pasta, and an extensive wine list. The Pizza Bread is divine for scooping up an array of antipasti like whipped ricotta topped with chilli oil, or for mopping up the last of your pasta sauce.
Where: 2/52 Regent St, New Lambton
If it’s Mexican flavours you’re craving, Antojitos is the place to go. Born and raised in northern California, Owner and Head Chef Eric Flores grew up surrounded by Mexican culture. Expect a casual approach to Californian-style Mexican food in a stripped-back converted fruit shop.
Where: 11 Steel St, Newcastle West
Newcastle's first yakitori bar is brought to you by the experienced team behind Nagisa and Susuru. Owner Taiyo Namba wanted to create a restaurant that showcased only the best Hunter produce, cooked over fire – and that's exactly what you get when you dine at Âpé.
Where: 16 The Boardwalk, 1 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle
Sitting at the corner of King and Watt Street is one of Newcastle’s original and most loved restaurants, Bocados. Owner Raul and the team have delivered authentic Spanish flavours for more than a decade in their homely, intimate space. Order the Pan con Tomate to start, then do as the Spanish do and share tapas dishes like Tortilla Española, Gambas Al Ajillo, and Chorizo A La Romesco.
Where: 25 King St, Newcastle
Refined dining in a relaxed space is at the heart of Elementa. Perched just back from the water in Maryville, it's a dreamy spot for an evening drink, or better yet, to linger over a delicious dinner. The options on the sophisticated menu are plentiful, but if you can't decide, order the Chef's Choice and let Head Chef Jess Brooks take away the tyranny of choice as you sit back and enjoy.
Where: 76 The Lane, Maryville
Slightly hidden away in Wickham, Flotilla is a foodie's dream. Flotilla updates its seasonal menu monthly and focuses on using Australian produce whenever possible. There's even a full vegetarian menu for both lunch and dinner, so everyone in the group can enjoy Flotilla's exquisite food.
Where: 9 Albert St, Wickham
Concealed down an unexpected alley on King Street, wandering into Ginger Meg’s feels like you’ve stumbled into a Melbourne laneway bar but with a distinctly Novocastrian identity. Dining at Ginger Meg's is an adventure for the senses, from the decor to the tasty Pan-Asian menu.
Where: 212 King St, Newcastle
There's no knives and forks at Habesha Ethopian Restaurant – your hands are your cutlery, but it's all part of the dining experience as you mop up your richly-spiced curry with injera, a bread that's a staple of Ethiopian cuisine. Don't worry, each and every dining experience is kicked off with a traditional hand-washing ceremony that is customary in Ethiopia.
Where: 50 Glebe Rd, The Junction
Named after its friendly owner Tony Harrison, Harrison's Food and Wine is an unsuspecting gem on Hamilton's Tudor Street. The space and ambience is relaxed, but the food is sophisticated – think Cuttlefish & Chorizo Over Coals, Beef Tartare with dijon mayo & croutes, and Confit Duck with red wine lentils and blood orange marmalade.
Where: 108 Tudor St, Hamilton
Brought to you by local couple Michael Portley and Stephanie Wells, Humbug is your neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar, serving up an evolving selection of pasta, snacks and an all-sustainable wine list. Offering a cosy atmosphere for both couples and larger groups alike, we recommend ordering the Feed Me option to get a full appreciation of Michael's talents in the kitchen.
Where: 87-89 Hunter St, Newcastle
Sourced from the earth and ocean of the region, premium produce and sustainable fare are the centrepiece of Jana's modern Australian menu. Expect dishes like Smoked Heritage Carrot Tartare, Snapper Crudo and Rocky Point Cobia Fish with Head Chef Shane Mansfield at the helm.
Where: 200 Wharf Rd, Newcastle
A newcomer on the Newcastle dining scene, Las Salsa Picante serves up Mexican food with a modern Australian twist. The menu changes up every few weeks, but you can always expect fresh small plates paired with margaritas, Palomas and mezcal sours from the bar.
Where: 14 Railway St, Wickham
Created from a desire to bring a fun, modern Asian dining experience to the east coast of Australia, Light Years Asian Diner boasts a menu full of bold, colourful and punchy flavours. We recommend ordering the share option so you can experience as much of the menu, and cocktails, as possible – then sit back and soak up the tropical party vibes.
Where: 5-7 Darby St, Newcastle
Initially moving to Australia to study at the University of Newcastle, Sadaf and Shervin of Limoo Café are two of Newcastle’s quiet achievers. The menu at Limoo Café is loaded with authentic Iranian dishes that highlight their cultural hero – rice. Treating their restaurant as if it's their home and diners as their guests, Café Limoo is a delight to experience.
Where: 74 Beaumont St, Hamilton
The menu at Lock's Paddock is all about food that's meant to be shared. There's a definite Spanish and Italian influence when it comes to flavours, but don't expect typical tapas at this cosy restaurant on Watt Street. Think quality charcuterie, fresh seafood and cacio e pepe served in a cheese wheel.
Where: 16 Watt St, Newcastle
Basement on Market Street has long been an inner city favourite for Italian fare. It's an atmospheric spot perfect for a date night or a meal out with friends. The Rigatoni Alla Vodka is a stand-out on the pasta menu, as is the Picante pizza. Don't miss out on the restaurants fantastic cocktails to go with your Italian feast.
Where: 2/2 Market St, Newcastle
Located in the heart of the CBD, MEET offers a New York-style bar on one side and warehouse-style restaurant space on the other. When it comes to the menu, Brazilian and South American flavours are the primary influence – choose between either the seasonal list of share plates or order the signature Churrasco experience.
Where: 9 Darby St, Newcastle
Since opening in 2004, Nagisa has been earned a reputation for consistently delivering the freshest and most innovative Japanese cuisine in Newcastle. Located in the Honeysuckle precinct overlooking Newcastle Harbour, Nagisa effortlessly fuses the elegance and tradition of Japanese cuisine with modern flavours.
Where: 1 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle
A favourite on the Newcastle dining scene since its inception, Parry St Garage is the place for relaxed Italian food and fun cocktails. Whether you sit up at the bar or kick back with a big group in the huge dining area, Parry St Garage will beckon you to stay just a little big longer.
Where: 106 Parry St, Newcastle West
Situated on the rooftop of the Crystalbrook Kingsley, floor to ceiling glass walls provide views all the way to Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley for diners at Roundhouse Restaurant. The menu focuses on modern Australian flavours with emphasis placed on working with native ingredients. It's a must-visit for foodies and those who want to experience luxury dining in Newcastle.
Where: Level 9/282 King St, Newcastle
One of Newcastle's most-loved Mediterranean restaurants, Rustica not only boasts a quality menu but also happens to offer up some of the best views and interiors in Newcastle. Sitting directly opposite Newcastle Beach, Rustica is an ideal spot for a long lunch or romantic dinner for two. Choose between the grazing tapas-style menu or go for the larger plates to enjoy all to yourself.
Where: 2/1 King St, Newcastle
An icon of the Newcastle dining scene, Scotties is a cute and cosy seafood trattoria in the city’s East End. Scotties is an all-occasion kind of venue – eat inside for a romantic dinner, or step outside with your takeaway and lounge about on the grass under the fairy lights.
Where: 36 Scott St, Newcastle East
Located in one of Newcastle’s most iconic buildings, Signal Box is an upmarket bistro-style dining experience by the harbour. With a focus on seafood, Signal Box offers up innovative, modern Australian cuisine. Everything is made in-house and from scratch too – from pickles and stocks through to sodas and juices.
Where: 155 Wharf Rd, Newcastle
The Edwards is a Newcastle institution – part restaurant, part bar, the venue is a relaxed space perfect for sinking some craft beers or cocktails and sharing food with friends. Make sure you try Eddie's Fried Chicken with chicken fat chilli oil and mayo, and the Smoked Eggplant Dip with whipped buffalo Persian feta and flatbread.
Where: 148 Parry St, Newcastle West
Brought to you by the very-experienced Josh and Jess Gregory, Thermidor is an oyster bar and brasserie in waterfront Honeysuckle – an apt location, considering the menu is what Josh and Jess describe as "coastal" cuisine. Expect live oyster shucking, three types of sashimi at all times, and quality local ingredients cooked over fire.
Where: Shop 1/7 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle
Only serving a set four-course Italian menu that changes up frequently, Una Volta is one of the most innovative Italian restaurants in Newcastle. Expect dishes that use traditional Italian flavours and ingredients that speak for themselves. Keep coming back to experience a wealth of quality Italian dishes as the menu evolves.
Where: 23 Watt St, Newcastle