Saluna Cafe


This cafe on king street is the little sister of the very popular Rolador cafe on Beaumont street. The original Rolador was and still is a trend setter of Newcastle, people line up every Saturday to get some of that amazing coffee.

Rolador was way ahead of itself and it is usually packed out with every arty type in Newcastle. Because Rolador was so ahead of the curve, I really sat up and took notice at Saluna’s especially because of its position.

It is on King street, a tricky spot for cafes and businesses. Many have come and gone from this street it is littered with the scars of past attempts at life.

The model is a little like Rolador, self made alternative furnishings like crates and old electrical wire holders for tables, plywood everything and cheerful interesting hipster staff.

The coffee like Rolador is hands down the best in Newcastle, the food here is a little different and notch above Rolador.


Saluna’s is the sophisticated inner city sister, it’s more laid back in’s own way and once again it’s ahead of the curb. You can tell this cafe is going to work mainly because of all that hard work and experience gained from Rolador.

It’s probably fitting that a cafe like this is just around the corner from the bones and spirit of the Lucky country hotel, it is absorbing all that alternative energy it once abounded in.

This cafe is a sign of Newcastle’s future, people are starting to head back into the inner city and it’s so damn exciting.  Well done Saluna!

The Depot Hamilton


The Depot Hamilton is a nice place to be ‘seen’. It took over from Hogs breath Cafe which resided there for years. The building itself is a former Masonic hall and it is a very beautiful big space and the Depot renovation really embraced the look of the place. Its an enjoyable space to be in.

The Depot is one of those places that pride itself on being funky the waitresses and waiters are young attractive types the bars (there are two a cocktail bar upstairs and a bar out the front) usually peopled by small groups of young people (and some older) consuming cocktails.

The food is of a pretty high quality, it however stumbles a little on its journey to gain a twosips chronicles chef hat.  Firstly there are so few things on the cello glazed dark designed menu, what you do get is of a very high quality. The depot poses a conundrum on their menu with a ‘side’ that temps you to think you may need it. The thinking behind a ‘side’ always has me curious, is it that they are lacking confidence that their main meal will not fill a novocastrian stomach? Or is it that they are sick of serving chips with everything so they put it on a side so not to ruin the meal? In this particular case I didn’t really need the side but I ordered it anyways which led me to thinking deeply about the whole affair.

The bar had a very good selection of wines and some good beers and you may as well get a cocktail like most people are doing when I regularly walk past the place. (I have actually had a few margaritas here and it was worth it) It is pretty pricey, which makes it confusing because it fits somewhere between a pub and a restaurant. Its not a schnitzel meal pub fare, but it also isn’t a 5 star posh restaurant. Generally I think this kind of thing is fairly rare to Newcastle which makes this place really worth its weight in gold as far as a meeting place and a meal is concerned.