Grungy pubs, small bars, beer gardens, rooftops, wine bars, and slick watering holes. Newtown's got 'em all

The Bank Hotel


The Bank Hotel is one of the more upmarket late-night haunts on King Street. It's a spacious hotel with multiple bars to choose from. The public bar has an good range of domestic, and boutique and imported beers on tap, but if you're settling in for a few hours then head out the back for cocktails on the terrace.

Bench Wine Bar


The centerpiece at this wine bar is a series of backlit tubes arranged to look like a giant bunch of grapes while also acting as a nifty wine rack. On the menu you will find 22 wines, which are mostly Australian and New Zealand varieties, as well as the requisite French option for Champagne drinkers.

The Carlisle Castle Hotel


The Carlisle Castle is a local's paradise. Propping up the bar is an odd assortment of hipsters and tradies who are all there for the same reason: an ice-cold beer and an excellent feed. For many in Newtown the Carlisle is a second home - though sadly you can no longer bring your dog along with you. It's a warm, friendly watering hole with one of the best bistros around the 'hood.

Coopers Arms Hotel


The second floor contains the bistro and an open-roofed beer garden – bitterly fought-for real estate when the temperature rises. To slake your thirst you can choose from a range of draught beers that feature the usual suspects plus a few surprise additions like Fat Yak and AB Dark Lager.



it's very easy to stay put at Corridor and lose an evening here on the upstairs deck, which houses relaxed punters shooting the breeze. It's exactly what Darlinghurst's Chingalings should have been. Or, if it's indoor solace you're after, there's a great big Art Deco-style room filled with Chesterfield sofas and gentle lighting.

Courthouse Hotel


For a pub so close to Newtown's police station, you'd think there'd be more wallopers having a cleansing post-walloping schooner. But no. More likely you'll find a mixed bag of uni students, old guys in footy jumpers and stubbies and dreadlocked girls with fluoro hair. They pour a great beer and the jukebox is filled with gems. We're also big fans of the beer garden.

Jester Seeds


The real standout here is the sangria: great hulking jugs of chilled sweetened wine and enormous fruit pieces that you can fish out as an alcohol soaked snack at the end - definitely a group exercise. The snacks list is an eclectic mix of Korean, Mexican and Southern American or you can play it safe with broken potatoes and aioli.

The Marlborough Hotel


There's little to distinguish the Marlie from any number of pubs: it has a small stage accommodating covers bands, the usual suspects on tap and a few bottled imports hidden in the fridge. Head upstairs to the balcony that holds an airy bar that's perfect for a summer's afternoon, while the snug cocktail bar offers lounges and dark corners en route to the open-air deck



It was an STI clinic (called the Sanctuary – how creepy is that?), a Masonic Hall, a Greek club and a pool hall. And now that unassuming little building next to Kelly’s on King is a small bar called Mary’s. Well, it’s more of a micro-tavern really, with its blackboard walls (including one with Slayer scrawled across it, another with the wine list) and dark wooden furniture spanning across two levels.

Midnight Special


The little bar with its black walls and checkerboard tiling is decked out in Chinese lanterns and a few candlelit tables. There’s a short list of cocktails (Margaritas, Whiskey Sours, Collinses) but our money’s the Coopers on tap or Carlton by the tinny and a shot of Jack. Oh, and there’s Trumer Pils if you’re feeling a little continental.

The Moose


This unassuming little neighbourhood bar has been flying the flag for small bars on south King Street for some time now, winning local's favour with cocktails, live music and little share plates.

Newtown Hotel


The latest Newtown watering hole is no small bar. In place of the beloved Freaky Tiki stands a schmick and sizable establishment with a tiki-tinged courtyard, a public bar complete with leopard-print pool table, Greek restaurant the Animal upstairs and a very inviting balcony from which to view all the action of King Street. 

Newtown Social Club


With am impressive pedigree from the beloved Corner Hotel and Northcote Social Club in Melbourne, the Newtown Social Club is rising from the ashes of the Sando. This is only phase one for the new bar and music venue. Once the downstairs bar is all sorted they will be hard at work on phase two, which we understand involves the fit out of the upstairs bar and band room. And did we mention that they will be doing eight-dollar pizzas?

The Townie


There are those who hold being thrown out of the Townie as a badge of honour, since the staff are notoriously understanding of the youthful high spirits that accompany a night out. With a late, late licence and conveniently situated but a hop, step and a woozy stagger from Newtown train station, it's an integral part of the community.

The Union Hotel - Newtown


The Union's one of the few pubs in the area to have a beer garden. (Weird, huh? You'd think every pub in Sydney would be equipped with somewhere to enjoy our frequently beautiful weather.) The front bar is a large open space and is great in winter. 



The rooftop Cloud 9 bar at Zanzibar may require a bit of a climb but trust us, it's worth it. It's decked out with wrought-iron furniture, spiky potted plants and terracotta tiles; squint, and you could almost be drinking in Marrakech. 


First published on 25 May 2012. Updated on 24 May 2013.

By Time Out Sydney editors   |  

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