Cafe Review: Local Customs is the New Kid on the Block

A big, wooden and sophisticated signage of Local Customs along Glebe Road, Adamstown, Newcastle

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Exterior of Local Customs with multiple signages in Adamstown Newcastle

Local Customs is Adamstown’s newest cafe, aiming to bring an already tight-knit community even closer together. Its weekend opening was last  March 9, and the gorgeous backdrop was music from Afro band Kalakuta Republic and Big Jarda complemented by a beautiful and sunny autumn day. 

Situated along the long and busy Glebe road, this Newcastle cafe is spacious and beautiful, built next to the iconic Habitat store, and brought to you by the beloved owners of The Bondwood Cafe, Shaun and Daniel Osborn.

Front of the Local Customs Menu
Ext. Local Customs with a courtyard in the middle
Newcastle cafe Local Customs signage outside

The space itself is huge enough to probably fit a few hundred people – perfect for its purpose as a community space where people can gather and socialise. It’s filled with lush greenery, a massive courtyard that welcomes you as you enter, and an indoor area where you and your family can choose to sit and have a chat. There is also a curated pantry featuring locally made products, sauces, vegetables, and other pantry staples. The chili oil and wide array of sauces caught my eye, which I’m keen to buy and try next time we visit.

Backyard style seating in the courtyard area of Newcastle cafe Local Customs
Courtyard inside Newcastle cafe
Lush greenery everywhere inside Newcastle cafe
Fully stocked pantry selling local goods from Newcastle
Rows of locally made jars of sauces

Yummy locally made sauces

Fully stocked pantry of locally made Newcastle/Australian goods

Fully stocked pantry with organic and healthy goods

Coffee bar with flowers underneath

Coffee bar

Encapsulating the space are different kinds of art – paintings, books, beautiful furniture, and music records – all of which you can enjoy at your own pace. The cafe, in its massive entirety, should feel overwhelming, but it’s not. It feels like a place of rest, joy, and somewhere you can put your feet up (figuratively) and wind down. I appreciate the intentionality behind the interiors and designs, and it truly aligns with what the brand speaks about.

Mid century couch and a huge mirror and vintage painting on the wall
Room with records on the walls
An apothecary inside the cafe with oils and candles

It’s an interesting layout inside, as there are rooms within rooms. As you enter the main part of the cafe, past the courtyard, you’ll see an open kitchen bustling with energy. This was a joy to see, as I do love open kitchens. There are lots of spaces to choose from, but if you have babies or toddlers that need high chairs, I recommend sitting inside in what feels like the “restaurant” part of the whole space. It has a more intimate, quiet vibe and this part had air conditioning, which we appreciated.

A room inside the cafe with chairs and airconditioning
Open floor plan directly leading to the open kitchen
Busy and bustling kitchen
Chef in action in the open kitchen

On to the food—as expected, it was delicious, albeit a bit on the smaller side in terms of portions. What it lacks in size makes up for in quality, though, as one bite of the pastrami or hippie sandwich confirms. We ordered the Reuben sandwich, the hippie sandwich, and a lot of sides. Our toddler absolutely loved her sides—she firmly said “no” to us whenever we’d try to get some of the hash or mushrooms. It was all hers!

Sourdough sandwich with brocolli, chickpeas, green dressing, rocket and fennel
Reuben sandwich
Hash brown and bacon and mushrooms
Toddler eating bacon, hash, and mushroom

Should I eat here?

Yes – come for the food and space, stay for the people. It’s a hideaway and a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Once you step in, it doesn’t feel like you’re a stone’s throw away from the main road – which, in itself, is already a big feat. 

If you want to unwind and stop for a second, stop by Local Customs. You’ll thank yourself for it!

Huge oak signage of Local Customs outside

Open Monday through Saturday, 7 AM to 2 PM


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