A Day on Darby

Wander down Newcastle’s famous Darby Street and you’ll be greeted by great coffee spots, boutique shops, street art and seriously good food.

It’s easy to spend an entire day on this vibrant, leafy street in the heart of Cooks Hill, eating, drinking, catching up with friends and shopping for local treasures. The strip is buzzing from early in the morning as locals spill out of the many coffee spots dotted along the street with Goldbergs Coffee House being one of the stalwarts.

This homely cafe with its rustic wooden furniture is a winner for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a coffee and cake with friends. When visiting Goldbergs be sure to stroll down the cute laneway alongside to check out the colourful street art and growing collection of plants.

Three Monkeys is another long-standing favourite, known especially for their hearty breakfast menu that’s dished up until 2pm daily. Three Monkeys is also renowned for their house blend teas and coffees and their decadent smoothies, toasties and burgers.

Next door, The Autumn Rooms is a refined yet welcoming cafe, serving up amazing tea, coffee and creative food. Wander up the almost hidden staircase inside and you will find an atmospheric tea room with antique furnishings and fresh flowers where delectable high teas are served by booking only each weekend.

Down at Baba Yaga it’s all about Turkish flavours with dark espresso shots and freshly prepared, traditional gozleme while over at the WIA Store you’ll find refreshing acai bowls topped with a mix of fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and muesli.

When it’s time for a spot of shopping, there’s an abundance of lovely one-off pieces to be found in the eclectic fashion, jewellery and homeware stores owned by passionate locals.

Freshen up your wardrobe at Ramjet Assortments, a fashion boutique with a lot of character, stocked with a unique collection of vintage inspired dresses and retro accessories. Stop by Colour Bug, a shop stocking wonderful African clothing for men and women in bold, vibrant prints along with colourful accessories and eclectic homewares. Another boutique not to miss is Abicus, which has been on Darby Street for over 20 years. There is an excellent collection of men’s and women’s fashion and vinyl records. Or take your pick from Steel & Anchor’s beautifully curated collection of homewares, men’s gifts and accessories.

If it’s jewellery you’re after, take a look inside Whitakers for a large selection of diamonds, pearls and bespoke pieces, while nearby Leonards Jewellers has a gorgeous display of rare Argyle pink diamonds.
For home decor, step inside Willows Home Traders for a beautifully curated range of art and homewares or stroll to Blackbird Corner, the spot for finding quirky handmade local goods like t-shirts, bags and greeting cards. Right next door, Cooks Hill Books, the Darby Street second hand book shop have been bringing new life to books for over 30 years.

Nearby you’ll also find newcomer Palinopsia, a store for beautiful handmade ceramics where every individual piece has “a story baked into it”. If you’d like some flowers to add even more colour to your day, Blooms on Darby is the place to go. The mother daughter team here put together amazing floral creations ranging from stunning structured arrangements to organic and wild bunches.

As the daylight fades, tasty dinner options include MEET for a Brazilian churrasco experience where the meats, vegetables, accompaniments and sides are cooked over charcoal and ironbark wood. Coal River & Co is known for its house-made pasta like their ribbons of fresh fettuccine with blue crab, cherry tomatoes and white wine. Will & Sons is another great option for local craft beers and gourmet share plates ranging from burrata with truffle honey to duck fat potatoes and wagyu tartare. Afterwards, treat yourself to a hand-crafted artisan gelato or sorbet at Monella where everything is made on site from scratch. Another favourite dessert spot is Coco Monde, a chocolateria with hand crafted chocolates and cakes and rich hot chocolates. If you’re after a nightcap accompanied by some live music, swing past 5 Sawyers and enjoy a glass of Hunter wine or a cocktail.

From first light, to last light, you’ll never run out of things to savour and enjoy when you spend time on one of Newcastle’s favourite streets.

Story by Nathalie Craig, photos courtesy of Darby Street Traders Group. Supported by Newcastle City BIA.