Life & Style

A guide on where to eat, drink, and play for Newcastle newcomers

Whether you’ve recently moved to Newcastle or are just visiting, the abundance of restaurants, bars, cafes, and things to do can be overwhelming. 

If you don’t have someone to guide you in the area, that’s what this list is for – consider us your guide to Newcastle. Keep reading for a list of essential foodie spots, coffee joints, nightlife and things to do in Newcastle to get you started.


Newcastle has a thriving coffee scene, with plenty of local roasters bringing something unique to the city. No matter what suburb you’re in, chances are there'll be a quality coffee spot nearby. Here’s our picks for when you’re exploring the city centre and need caffeinating.


With two convenient locations in Hamilton and Wickham, Biggs focuses on quality coffee, whilst also offering some tasty grab-and-go style food. This spot is definitely one to check out for your morning coffee before work.

New Slang Coffee Brewers

New Slang is a sleek space that offers a simple brunch menu and quality coffee by Unison Coffee Roasters, a local coffee roaster.
Where: 480 Hunter St, Newcastle

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If you like delicious coffee and fresh food, Sherwood Coffee is a cafe you must check out. It’s a Newcastle favourite, with heaps of locations around the city for your convenience.

The Press Coffee and Book House

Located directly across the road from NuSpace, The Press Coffee and Book House is a unique location that combines great coffee and cafe treats with second-hand books. This is a favourite coffee spot among uni students, providing a cosy vibe as well as an escape from the busyness of Hunter Street.
Where: 462 Hunter St, Newcastle 

Xtraction Espresso

Specialising in street food and excellent coffee, Xtraction Espresso is the cafe for you if you want to enjoy your coffee closer to the beach, being just a short stroll from Newcastle Beach.
Where: Cnr Bolton & King St, Newcastle


There’s so many cafes all over Newcastle, but they all have one thing in common: delicious food. Here’s our top picks of cafes you need to brunch at if you’re new to the area. 

Autumn Rooms

If you’re after a relaxed atmosphere and somewhere that utilises local produce, Autumn Rooms is the place to go. The crowd favourite features an all-day menu with food that not only looks incredible, but tastes incredible as well.
Where: 127 Darby St, Cooks Hill

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How nice would it be to have brekky overlooking Newcastle beach? Well, you can at Estabar, a local favourite that aims to produce simple food done well and minimise its environmental impact. 
Where: 61 Shortland Esp, Newcastle East

Equium Social

Equium Social focuses on being fresh, simple, and delicious. Enjoy the ethically-sourced and seasonally-influenced menu at this dog-friendly and cosy cafe in Mayfield.
Where: 1-5 Maitland Rd, Mayfield East

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Momo Wholefood

If you’re after a few more vegan options, then Momo Wholefood on Hunter Street is the cafe for you. Enjoy a nourishing plant-based meal and soak up the sun in this light-filled heritage building. 
Where: 227 Hunter St, Newcastle


Expect breakfast classics and fusion flavours when you visit Talulah, a community-minded cafe that provides a cosy indoor and outdoor dining space.
Where: 52 Glebe Rd, The Junction

Three Monkeys Cafe

Locals love the amazing all-day breakfast menu and extensive smoothie list at Three Monkeys Cafe. Enjoy a feed in this charming space that’s an iconic brunch spot on Darby Street.
Where: 131 Darby St, Cooks Hill


Deciding where to head for a bevvy and a feed is serious business! There’s an abundance of pubs with cold drinks and tasty food in Newcastle for you to discover – here’s our suggestions of the ones you need to check out. 

Customs House Hotel

Looking for somewhere simple with good food and drinks? Head to Customs, a pub in a heritage-listed building that provides a relaxed lounge atmosphere and a modern Australian menu. 
Where: 1 Bond St, Newcastle

Hotel Jesmond

Hotel Jesmond, or the Jeso, gives us the best of both worlds, with different affordable pub specials available during the week, as well as a designated uni night every Thursday with $6 drinks on offer! It's super close to University of Newcastle's Callaghan campus, so definitely one to check out if you're a student.
Where: 182 Newcastle Rd, Jesmond

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Stag and Hunter

The Stag and Hunter hotel in Mayfield is another iconic Newcastle pub that supports the live music scene, has a chill atmosphere, and simple but delicious food. 
Where: 187 Maitland Rd, Mayfield

The Beach Hotel

The Beach Hotel is a historic pub right in front of Merewether Beach, and it's recently undergone a massive revamp. With retro interiors and a menu full of twists on pub favourites, it's a lovely spot to enjoy a few drinks and a feed.
Where: 99 Frederick St, Merewether

The Bennett Hotel

Locally owned and operated, the Bennett is Hamilton’s go-to pub that features upscale pub food, great specials, and stand-out beer garden.
Where: 146 Denison St, Hamilton

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The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel is one of the Newcastle CBD’s most iconic and historical venues, with various delicious pub classics on offer. But the excitement really begins when you go downstairs to The Underground, a New York-style speakeasy with excellent cocktails.
Where: 32 Church St, Newcastle

The Greenroof Hotel

Head to The Greenroof Hotel to enjoy some good quality food and drinks that won’t break the bank in a relaxed pub environment. 
Where: 71 Tudor St, Hamilton

The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel

A local favourite, the Lass is known for its live music and friendly, community-driven atmosphere. Plus, there’s a huge beer garden that’s dog-friendly!
Where: 14 Railway St, Wickham

The Lucky Hotel

The Lucky Hotel is a Palms Springs oasis on Hunter Street. Head out to the courtyard for a beautiful spot made for enjoying delicious pub food and a few cocktails.
Where: 237 Hunter St, Newcastle

The Prince of Merewether

The Prince, as it’s locally known, is great for top-notch food and weekly specials. A stand-out feature has to be the wrap-around beer garden decked out with greenery.
Where: 1 Morgan St, Merewether


New to the area and in need of a cocktail? Craft beer? You’re in luck! There’s a heap of quality bars all over the city, so no matter what kind of night you're after, you’re sorted.

5 Sawyers

Make your way down to 5 Sawyers to soak up the history of Newcastle, and enjoy sipping on the fruits of the region. The $10 weekly cocktail special is one not to be missed. 
Where: 15 Darby St, Cooks Hill


Indulge in a cocktail or whiskey at Bartholomew's, a 1920s-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar. The food at Bartholomew's is all about being social, so grab a few bar snacks or a cheese platter to pair with your drinks. 
Where: 145 King St, Newcastle

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Coal and Cedar

Slightly hard-to-find, Coal and Cedar is a New York-style speakeasy with an early 1900s influence that will make you forget about the outside world. Serving up classics alongside some fresh new cocktail flavours, this moody, eclectic cocktail bar has an urban edge that you need to see for yourself. 
Where: 380 Hunter St, Newcastle 

Merewether Surfhouse

Enjoy a cocktail or two whilst taking in spectacular ocean views from the terrace bar at Merewether Surfhouse. If you’re craving some food, you can also head downstairs to the beach bar or make your way over to the restaurant on the top level. 
Where: 5 Henderson Parade, Merewether

The Edwards

The Edwards has developed a reputation not only as a hub for artistic and cultural events, but for its stand-out food and drink offerings. Definitely one to visit if you’re new in Newcastle.
Where: 148 Parry St, Newcastle West

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The Koutetsu

Get intimate, dark, and moody at The Koutetsu, a sophisticated speakeasy bar. Try something new from the large range of cocktails, spirits, craft beers, and premium wine.
Where: 555 Hunter St, Newcastle West

Plus some local breweries for beer lovers… 

FogHorn Brewery 

An iconic Newcastle venue, Foghorn creates craft beer from grain to glass, all under one roof. Pair its fresh brews with pizza and American-style diner food and you have a winning combination. 
Where: 218 King St, Newcastle

Good Folk Brewing

Enjoy house-made wood-fired pizza while you try a tasting paddle of six beers at Good Folk Brewing, a family-owned and run Beaumont Street favourite.
Where: 80 Beaumont St, Hamilton

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Grainfed Brewing Company

With old-school Australiana vibes, Grainfed Brewing Company is a top-tier offering in the Newcastle craft beer scene. Plus, it's close to McDonald Jones Stadium if you want to catch a Knights game!
Where: 1/52 Young Rd, Lambton

Method Brewing

An industrial and minimalistic open space is what you can expect from independent and locally-owned Method Brewing. You can either set up in the brewery for an afternoon to enjoy their brews, or head to the fridge and take a pack of cans to enjoy at home!
Where: 18 Maitland Rd, Islington


Dining out in Newcastle is sure to be an unforgettable experience, with a diverse range of restaurants located all over the city. 


Antojitos is all about authentic and traditional Mexican street food flavours with a Californian flair. This restaurant is fresh, flavoursome, and a must-visit for anyone new to the area.
Where: 1 Steel St, Newcastle West

Ginger Meg's

Ginger Meg's is a hidden bar and Asian fusion restaurant on King Street in the CBD. The delicious food and Asian-inspired cocktails make the perfect combo. 
Where: 212 King St, Newcastle

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If you’re after delicious and simple food, Humbug is a restaurant you need to check out. This neighbourhood restaurant and all-sustainable wine bar utilises local produce and provides a fresh and playful vibe.  
Where: 87-89 Hunter St, Newcastle


Craving Japanese? Then head to Honeysuckle restaurant, Nagisa, to experience some fresh and innovative Japanese cuisine. No matter the occasion, you’re sure to enjoy the fusion of traditional Japanese and modern flavours. 
Where: 1 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle 

Parry St Garage

If you like a relaxed dining experience and delicious Italian food, then you need to check out Parry St Garage! This Newcastle favourite is sure to leave you wanting more with good food, good drinks and good vibes on the menu.
Where: 106 Parry St, Newcastle West


You can expect quality Mediterranean cuisine, a playful interior, and amazing views when you visit long-standing local favourite Rustica. 
Where: 2/1 King St, Newcastle

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Looking for fresh and sustainable seafood in the city’s East End? Locals love Scottie’s, a cute and cosy seafood-focused eatery that’s perfect for any occasion. 
Where: 36 Scott St, Newcastle East


There’s no shortage of live music in Newcastle. Whether you prefer clubbing and a good DJ, a live band, or simply someone playing an acoustic guitar, Newcastle has plenty of options to suit everybody’s needs. Here are some of the best spots to go for a night out on the town.

Bar on the Hill

Whenever there’s a concert at Bar on the Hill, it’s an unmissable event in the social calendar, and for good reason. The University of Newcastle bar goes from a cafe during the day, to a concert venue at night, with indoor and outdoor stages. If you want to experience a concert with an electric atmosphere and energetic crowd, then Bar on the Hill is worth a visit. 
Where: Ring Rd, Callaghan

Bernie's Bar

In 2023, Newcastle became home to an LGBTQI+ bar after not having a dedicated venue in the city for almost five years. Bernie's Bar hosts heaps of events for the LGBTQI+ community – make sure you keep an eye on its Instagram page to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings.
Where: 410 King St, Newcastle

King Street

The King Street nightclub has been refurbished and now features five rooms across three levels, each with a distinctive feel. There’s different styles of gigs on from Friday through to Sunday, and it’s a great spot to head to if you want to immerse yourself in all things music.
Where: 15 Steel St, Newcastle West


Uptowns is a super cool, retro-themed cocktail bar that offers a variety of cocktails and drinks for a night out on the town. Plus, there’s old school video games built into the tables!
Where: 6/23 Watt St, Newcastle

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Queens Wharf Hotel

Situated on the harbour, Queens Wharf Hotel provides you with all you could want in a pub. Good food, good prices, and amazing views. On Sunday nights, Queens Wharf Hotel transforms its outdoor space and puts on its student night, Wharf Life. It’s a great opportunity to hit the town, grab some cheap food and drinks, and dance the night away. 
Where: 150 Wharf Rd, Newcastle

The Argyle House

The Argyle House is one of the best mid-week party spots in Newcastle – there's free entry every Wednesday for uni students, $6 drinks, and DJs over three rooms to match your vibe.
Where: 311 Wharf Rd, Newcastle

Things to do

With beautiful scenery all around Newcastle, you can also take part in some more low-key activities that won’t break the bank.

ANZAC Memorial Walk

You can’t come to Newcastle and not do the ANZAC Memorial Walk. The cliff-top coastal bridge walk provides amazing views of the Newcastle coastline, city, and Hunter Valley, with multiple viewing platforms to help you take in the scenery. While you’re at it, walk the rest of the Bather’s Way, which stretches all the way from Merewether Baths in the south to Nobby’s Beach at the northern end.
Where: 24 Memorial Dr, The Hill

Bogey Hole

Australia’s oldest ocean bath and a Newcastle favourite. Cut into the ocean rocks in the 1800s, the Bogey Hole is now one of Newcastle’s most iconic destinations and an unmissable visit.
Where: Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle

King Edward Park

Do you like your picnics to have spectacular ocean views? If so, then King Edwards Park is the perfect place to go. There's heaps of space to spread out with your family and friends, and there's even an off-leash area where your furry friends can run around.
Where: Reserve Rd, Newcastle

Merewether Baths

Merewether Baths are the largest ocean baths in the Southern Hemisphere and are open all year round for your enjoyment. Be sure to check the cleaning schedule before you go to avoid disappointment!
Where: 3A Ocean St, Merewether