These are Newcastle's best hidden gem restaurants

This coastal city is having a culinary moment. A foodie resident lets us in on the local secrets that should not be missed.

Restaurant Mason is a locals' favourite.
  • Michelle Meehan
  • July 2019

Once home to Australia’s largest steelworks, this coastal hub has thrown off its industrial tag to become a thriving cosmopolitan centre. Italian, Jamaican, Indian or Greek - Newcastle's residents know where to go for global flavours, and now, you do too!

Restaurant Mason

Two towering trees obscure this Hunter Street venue but its reputation ensures it’s impossible to pass by – it’s received a Chef’s Hat every year since opening in 2011. Signature dishes such as the warm reypenaer cheese mousse with barbecued onion consommé and crisp royal blue potato make it easy to see why.

Ginger Meg’s

Located down a dimly lit laneway and with no signage, you’d be forgiven for walking straight past Newcastle’s first Pan-Asian style eatery. But step into the dark and sophisticated surrounds of Ginger Meg’s and you’ll know you’re in for a one-of-a-kind experience. The sultry lighting and evocative artwork complement a creative menu inspired by the exotic flavours of China, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

Ginger Meg's is popular for its pan-Asian flavours.
Ginger Meg's is popular for its pan-Asian flavours.​

Una Volta

Just one visit will have you committing the location (it’s on King Street) of this authentic Italian restaurant to memory, its unassuming exterior notwithstanding. Created by a local who spent many years working and cooking her way across Italy, Una Volta offers an intimate candlelit setting and an ever-evolving menu of antipasti, primi, secondi and dolce (that’s appetisers, pastas, mains and desserts to the regular folk!)

Surtaj Indian Restaurant

Hidden up a set of stairs on Hunter Street, this family-run institution with a spacious, inviting interior offers authentic North Indian Mughlai food. The restaurant is known for its wide selection of naans and tasty traditional curries, such as chicken surtaj, beef vindaloo and saag paneer.

Surtaj Indian Restaurant remains a tried and tested favourite for Indian cuisine.
Surtaj Indian Restaurant remains a tried and tested favourite for Indian cuisine.

The Greek Taverna

Not many people know that the Hellenic community centre in Hamilton offers an authentic Greek banquet of starters, mezze and mains, two nights a week. Leave room for sweets, including galaktoboureko, a traditional tart.


For a pub feed without the traditional options, Finnegan’s Hotel offers a taste of the Caribbean in Newcastle’s first Jamaican restaurant, Winnie’s.