If Newcastle’s stunning coastline, friendly locals and laid-back attitude weren’t enough to entice you to visit, the seaside city’s burgeoning creative culture might just do it. With an ever-growing list of places to eat, drink, shop and stay, we took a MINI Clubman for a drive up the coast from Sydney to visit some of the most notable spots…
Eat & Drink
Shop 1A/295 Darby Street, Bar Beach
Nestled at the end of popular Darby Street, Hubro is a little cafe with a strong coffee game. Pronounced ‘Hugh-bro’, the cafe is run by passionate coffee lovers, the Hughes brothers. Ideal for warm summer days, their Hubrew cold brew is not one to be missed. The space is a white and timber oasis that’s beaming with natural light — a perfect place to start your morning.
Level 2, Westfield Kotara, Kotara
If you’re shopping in Kotara, you’ll no doubt find yourself drawn to the irresistible aromas coming from Mr.Sister Coffee. A trio of siblings are the brains behind the cafe that features blends from local and interstate roasters. The bright, contemporary cafe is just the place to stop in for an espresso before recommencing your browsing.
Corner House Cafe
29 Union Street, Newcastle
Taking full advantage of its sunny corner spot, Corner House Cafe invites you to pull up a seat and enjoy a healthy bite from the menu and a superb coffee. You’ll find all the brunch classics here, including house-made muesli and a top-notch smashed avo. Decidedly Scandinavian in style, the warm interior is one of Newcastle’s most welcoming.
Little Lane Espresso Bar
52 Orchardtown Road, New Lambton
Nestled amongst a row of local shops in New Lambton, Little Lane Espresso Bar‘s green facade and awning wouldn’t look out of place on the streets of New York. Inside, the abundance of green continues with a custom tiled counter that holds irresistible baked treats to go with your coffee.
131 Beaumont Street, Hamilton
If you’re a foodie staying in Newcastle, Mockingbird Cafe should be high on your to-do list. Using interesting textures and flavours, some of the standouts on the all-day menu include the poke bowl, red velvet pancakes, and porkyboy jaffle. Wash it all down with a nitro coffee or cold pressed juice.
Parry St Garage
106 Parry St, Newcastle West
Rather than rushing off after your meal, at Parry St Garage, you’re encouraged to linger awhile. The relaxed atmosphere allows you to take things at your own pace, with enough space to move between zones. Go for the authentic Italian cuisine, stay for a few wines.
140 King St, Newcastle
A visit to Susuru will have you thinking you’ve stepped into the future. Sleek, precise lines are everywhere you look, from locally made furniture to the yellow cubic feature walls. In addition to the restaurant design, their delicious selection of ramen and gyoza provides an unforgettable food experience.
102 Hunter St, Newcastle
If the sound of housemade farfalle followed by a Hunter Valley Shiraz sounds appealing, you’re in for a treat at Reserve. Home to one of the most extensive wine lists in the area, the food menu is just as diverse, offering mezze plates, wagyu flank and chicken ballotine to name a few. The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere is ideal for an afternoon with friends enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
Coal & Cedar
380/382 Hunter St, Newcastle
With no street signage, this speakeasy-style cocktail bar is accessible only by texting a special code to the number on the door. Once you’re in, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1920s. Take a seat at the bar and let the larger-than-life bartenders mix you up a concoction of your choice. Whether it’s a midweek tipple or a social occasion, Coal & Cedar‘s moody atmosphere and old-world charm will not disappoint.
103 Darby St, Cooks Hill
Assembly Label, Nudie Jeans, Vans – these are just a few of the brands you’ll find when perusing the shelves at Abicus on Darby Street. As well as a premium range of clothing, shoes and accessories, the store offers a strong selection of music books and vinyl records.
High Swan Dive
178 King Street, Newcastle
A visit to High Swan Dive is inevitably going to lead to you walking out with a new leafy friend under your arm. The little corner shop’s collection of hanging pots resembles a rainforest and provides a calming oasis for lovers of all things green. Amongst the ferns and palms you’ll find a curated range of ceramics and planters to help keep your new addition looking good and feeling healthy.
174 King St, Newcastle
Whether you’re in the market for a statement piece for your home or are just window shopping, the hand-picked furniture and homewares at Monsoon Living will inspire you to decorate your own home with the handcrafted goods and eclectic antiques showcased in store.
Flourish On Bull
Bull Street, Cooks Hill
Perched above an interior design studio on a peaceful, leafy street, Flourish On Bull is a bright two-bedroom abode that’s filled with tasteful, contemporary furniture and global treasures. A custom bar below the arched window is a sunny spot designed for enjoying a morning coffee or afternoon glass of wine.
The Beach House At Merewether
John Parade, Merewether
The Beach House at Merewether is just footsteps from the ocean and a short stroll to Merewether Ocean Baths and seaside cafes. There’s no better way to experience Newcastle’s natural beauty than to wake up every day to the sound of crashing waves before venturing down to the beach for the sunrise. Enjoy breakfast on the front deck before kicking back in the hot tub. Inside, touchscreen technology powers the house including sheer and block-out blinds for privacy. There’s a large, wall-mounted TV in the living room with Sonos sound and a stone fireplace for relaxing after dark.
This guide was produced by HEY GENTS in partnership with MINI Australia.