Chris Thornton – eat & drink insider knowledge

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eat & drink insider knowledge: chris thornton

See where else to eat & drink around the country:
ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA

Young Restaurateur of the Year 2015 and owner/head chef of Restaurant Mason, Chris Thornton takes you on a culinary tour of his favourite go-to places in his hometown of Newcastle NSW.


favourite coffee shops

Welsh Blacks

Incredible attention to detail, beautiful product, sets the bar for coffee smiths in Newcastle.

The Locomotive

Like Welsh Blacks, solely focused on coffee, specialising in single origin coffee; excellent product.

Side Pocket Expresso

Great little coffee shop just down the road from home; first proper coffee shop in Mayfield. A local favourite!


favourite cafe's/eateries

Moor Cafe

Top notch food and coffee and run by a pair of great blokes.

Asa Don

Excellent Japanese food, run by Asaku and Neil; two of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Napoli Centrale

Authentic Italian and without a doubt the best pizza outside of Italy! Alphonso had a pizza oven imported from Napoli, all the kitchen staff are specialist in pizza. Makes for a great combination.


favourite restaurants

Muse Dining

Consistent, high quality dining, never a bad meal.

EXP. Restaurant

Frank and Emma only opened it a few months back, but are already making a splash. Warm brioche, blue cheese custard, honey and marigold – Could eat this dish every day of the week!

Fortunate Son

Delicious food and excellent drinks.


favourite bars

Coal and Cedar

High end saloon, delivered a touch of class to the Newcastle bar scene.

The Koutetsu

Opened by a local veteran of the bar scene, Chris Wilson. Small, intimate and very funky.

Grain Store

Awesome selection of ever changing beers from all over.


favourite food markets and/or local grocers

Newcastle Farmers Markets

Some hidden gems and quirky producers that have helped expand my knowledge and respect for the produce they provide.

Shane’s Seafood

An old warhorse of the industry; they provide the best product and are always on the hunt for something interesting.

Swansea Butchers

Always handy to have a chefs insider knowledge when supplying premium pork and lamb.


favourite interstate restaurants

Chin Chin VIC

Relaxed yet utterly delicious.

Amuse WA

The dining experience we had there gave us inspiration on how we should run our restaurant.

Hentley farm SA

Incredible overall dining experience.



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