8 Places Crowned the Best King Street Restaurants
Each week Quisine brings you ‘Where to Eat’, a guide to the most popular dining districts around the country, which restaurants you should eat at and of course, must-try dishes. Here is our first: your guide to King Street restaurants in Sydney’s Newtown neighbourhood.
Navigate King Street with your stomach
Each week at Quisine we like to highlight an area we think you should go and eat. This week’s street of choice is none other than the inner-west hub of King Street, Newtown. A street with a whole lot of history and even more restaurants. With several rumours – note, rumours – of there being more restaurants than residents and non-stop openings, we thought we’d give you the rundown on eight of our favourite dining spots on King Street, Newtown. You’re welcome.
The 8 Best King Street Restaurants
1. Jin’s Teahouse
With a dream to create a home where teapots, cocktail glasses and dinner plates could live together in harmony, Jin’s Teahouse was born on King Street in 2019. From the street, this Chinese restaurant looks rather humble. However, once you step behind its doors, Jin’s Teahouse reveals its slick open-planned dining space with modern wooden furnishings, golden accents and cool geometric touches. With a farm-to-teapot philosophy, Jin’s premium tea selection is made up of organic and premium leaves straight from the tea farms in China. This tea can be enjoyed in its traditional form or pimped up in a cocktail. When it’s time to eat, expect extraordinary renditions of classic Chinese dishes. It’s not unusual for a few theatrics to accompany your serving of dumplings, sichuan fish, roasted duck or Shanghai noodles.
Must-try: Start with ‘Jin’s Tea’ cocktail with vodka, lychee and vanilla syrup before feasting on a mixed dim sum platter of steamed prawn dumplings, pork xiao long bao and crystal mushroom dumplings.
111 King Street Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday: 12pm – 9pm Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 9.30pm Closed Monday & Tuesday
2. Alba Salentinian Restaurant
Come hither lovers of all things Italian. Alba is a recent addition to the King Street restaurant scene, but hit the ground running with its endless charm (and pasta). Brought to life by Andrea Taccone, the focus at Alba is on celebrating home-cooked food from Salento, a beautiful peninsula region in the south of Italy’s Puglia. Expect typical dishes like pittule and rustico leccese, inspired by traditional recipe books and even the treasured handwritten notes of Andrea’s grandmother. While we love eating our way through pizza in Sydney, it’s nice to discover an Italian restaurant that showcases other delicious qualities of the culture. Freshly made pasta, beautifully cooked seafood, parmigiana and more awaits, plated in a rustic yet seriously stylish fashion.
Must-try: Authentic rustico leccese filled with mozzarella, besciamel and tomatoes.
304-308 King StreetMonday to Thursday, 5pm – 10pmFriday & Saturday, 12pm – 11pmSunday, 12pm – 10pm
3. Vina Vegan
As you can probably guess by the name, Vina Vegan is a family-run Vietnamese restaurant that keeps the animal out of the equation when it comes to dinnertime. The menu is extensive to say the least, full of delicious possibilities that you never thought possible with just plant-based ingredients. Dishes are given a hearty boost through the addition of tofu, potato and mushrooms as well as more interesting soy creations like vegan fish and crispy vegan duck. It’s also nice to know that every plate is free of MSG. Like the food, the venue is fresh and modern with exposed brick walls and lush greenery. Vina Vegan is also a BYO restaurant so bring along your favourite mates and your favourite bottle of wine!
Must-try: Vina Pho Noodle Soup with your choice of vegan beef or vegan chicken and basil
395 King Street__Thursday to Tuesday, 4pm – 10pm
When Sydney temperatures soar, there’s nothing quite like diving into a refreshing feast of Japanese food. King Street is full of good options for sushi and sashimi, but we’ve got a soft spot for Miyama. The venue itself is rather simple and restrained, but with a table laden in perfectly executed dishes there’s no need for any extra frills. Whether you’re in the mood for crispy tempura, agedashi tofu, ramen, Japanese curry, udon noodles or the full sushi platter, it’s all here and it’s all good. Add in the attentive service and special lunchtime deals and you’ll be a regular customer in no time.
Must-try: Chicken karaage lunch set with agedashi tofu, miso soup, salad and rice.
87 King Street Lunch: Monday to Saturday, 11am – 3pm Dinner: Monday to Sunday, 5pm – 10pm
Rubyos Restaurant on King Street in Newton is a smart casual dining experience with a uniquely personal touch. Located in a charming heritage space, the interior is elegant without being pretentious and offers a cocktail lounge and dining room. The menu is modern Australian and designed for sharing in a grazing, tapas-style with Spanish, Chinese, Moroccan, French and Italian influences. There is an extensive cocktail list alongside a selection of Australian, French, New Zealand and Spanish wine all well worth a try. Broken down into hot and cold grazing, this is a relaxed degustation with a myriad of flavours. We recommend arriving a little before your reservation and relaxing with a cocktail, wine or beer in the cocktail lounge before a meal you won’t forget. Be sure to save room for dessert – trust us.
Drinks: Rubyos martini made with ruby red grapefruit juice, Absolut kurant and Cointreau
Must-try: The signature baked Atlantic salmon topped with Thai green marinade, coconut mango rice and tamarind dressing.
18 – 20 King StreetSunday, 9am – 2:30pmLunch: Friday to Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm__Dinner: Tuesday to Thursday, 5:30 – 10pm & Friday to Saturday, 5:30pm – late
6. Thai Pothong Newtown
Thai Pothong is basically part of King Street’s identity. Everyone in town knows about this iconic restaurant as it’s been on King Street for over 21 years now. Voted as the best Thai restaurant in Sydney as well as winning several other accolades, it’s casual, vibrant, lively and always full. This quirky restaurant on King Street is also home to a built-in gift shop which we are always partial to, truth be told. As for the menu? Superlative Thai cuisine is the name of the game. Open for lunch and dinner, this Newtown fixture is high on our list for a very good reason.
Must-try: Barramundi cooked with coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, Thai spices, betel leaf, turmeric, lemongrass and galangal.
294 King StreetLunch: Monday to Sunday, 12pm – 3pmDinner: Monday to Friday: 6pm – 10:30pm, Saturday, 6pm – 11pm & Sunday, 5:30pm – 10pm
7. Exotik Latin Cafe
King Street is a hub of culture – political, social, local and global – which is what makes it so eclectic. Naturally, with that comes some pretty cultural eating spots. Exotik Latin Cafe is a space that encompasses the vibrant food, music and culture of South America. The menu offers a whole host of dishes, from Peruvian ceviche to Colombian slow-cooked beef, Venezuelan ensalada de gallina (chicken salad) and plenty more. Colourful, fun and damn delicious, this King Street spot is a must.
Must-try: Peruvian flame-grilled chicken served in a creamy mushroom and tomato sauce.
284 King StreetMonday, 9:30am – 4pmTuesday to Thursday, 9:30am – 9pm__Friday & Saturday: 9am – 10:30pmSunday, 9am – 9pm
8. Konak Turkish Restaurant
Two worlds collide on the plate at Konak, where traditional dishes tell rich tales from the streets of Turkey as well as the stories of the people making them on King Street. Just like walking through your own front door after a long day, Konak is a restaurant that invites you to take a load off and be looked after through the power of nourishing food and great hospitality. We’re talking wood-fired Turkish pide packed with flavourful combinations, crispy falafel, tender lamb mains, colourful sharing plates and more. On the weekend, a Turkish breakfast banquet is available featuring a range of signature food and drink for just $30 per person. Dine inside amongst an eclectic mix of decor of mosaic tiles, ceramics and a warm glow of exposed lights. On warmer days, a beautiful hidden garden space awaits out back.
Must-try: The famous Konak set menu with modern housemade dips, kebabs, wood-fired pide, baklava and more.
496 King Street Tuesday to Friday, 5pm – 10pm Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 10pm Closed Monday