Sitting pretty on the Mid-North Coast, Newcastle sums up what the Hunter region is all about: coastal living, country surrounds and delicious culinary exploits. Locals are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining – an ever-growing list of trendy new eateries swing open their doors along Beaumont, Darby, King and Hunter Streets, almost every day of the week. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite in town, or dinner spent listening to the lapping waves against the shore, we’ve whittled down the best restaurants in Newcastle that are guaranteed to impress.
A warm inviting space with exposed brick interiors and subtle touches of greenery, Subo is a fine dining destination that Newcastle has been craving. This contemporary bistro likes to keep things simple by offering a set five-course tasting menu of modern Australian cuisine, which pairs perfectly with their impressive line-up of wines and whiskies.
551D Hunter Street, Newcastle West
Sitting pretty on the harbour’s edge, Nagisa is where fresh produce, traditional Japanese culture and modern techniques coincide, to deliver an unforgettable dining experience. Serving up sashimi, sushi and noodles, Nagisa’s impeccably designed restaurant, with draped linen and pendant lighting, spills out onto an alfresco setting which comes alive on balmy nights. For thrill seekers, take a seat at the teppanyaki bar, and be mesmerised by the talented chefs and intoxicating aromas of sizzling meats and fresh seafood.
N2/1 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle
Newcastle Beach sets the scene for Mediterranean-themed eatery, Rustica. Occupying a bright and airy space opposite the beach, the Dion Ackland-designed interiors and hand-crafted pieces by local artisans will have you look around in awe. The menu is all about tapas, share-style and banquet menus, all teeming with Mediterranean-style dishes.
1 King Street, Newcastle
Serving up their delicious contemporary cuisine in the heart of the Hunter, Bocados is arguably Newcastle’s best tapas restaurant. For Spanish flair, Bocados brings the heat and flavour with their Jamon serrano, chicharron and local fave churros. The space is warm, like you have stepped into a friend’s home, and has a main dining room and banquet space for parties up to 70 people.
25 King Street, Newcastle
Occupying the top floor of the Merewether Surfhouse, The Surfhouse Restaurant by Lesley Taylor offers a menu that’s as impressive as its spectacular coastal views. White walls, copper accents and wooden furniture set the scene for a whimsical food experience. Look forward to a modern Australian menu that’s upscale without the pretentiousness, and filled with local, seasonal produce. Come summer the venue is a lively hub of activity, and the cocktail bar doubles up the perfect after dinner locale.
5 Henderson Parade, Merewether
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.
52 Glebe Road, The Junction
The Landing Bar & Kitchen
Treat yourself to an afternoon at The Landing Bar and Kitchen, located along the Honeysuckle foreshore; a beloved waterfront precinct of Newcastle. Along with its idyllic views, this chic venue 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 like wild mushroom arancini or for something heartier, opt for their mouth-watering clam linguine!
1 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle
For a taste of Brazil, MEET brings the real churrasco experience to the Newcastle streets. MEET sources the finest local pork, beef, chicken and lamb to spit roast over their custom BBQ, with added natural woods and coals to give the dishes that authentic smoky flavour. Along with endless meats served tableside, the huge menu of sides featuring cheese bread, cassava chips and banana fritters will have you hooked. Be sure to look out on the streets for the MEET Food Truck to get your hit of street food flavour.
1/2 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle
A true hidden gem, Una Volta’s unassuming setting and exposed brick interiors give this humble Italian trattoria an authentic edge. Each night there’s a fixed three-course menu that taps into local produce and traditional flavours. Regardless of your tastes and preferences, which the team work diligently to satisfy, Una Volta promise to deliver an unrivaled dining experience that won’t disappoint. If you need more convincing, the restaurant is BYO with no corkage fee. Sign us up!
23 Watt Street, Newcastle
For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.