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SALAD DAYS: Eateries of old that we wish were still around

With restaurants popping up in this town faster than you can say “cheque please,” Newcastle has certainly come a long way over the past decade or so when it comes to food culture.

As our palates become more sophisticated, we at Newcastle Live thought it was high-time to give some love to those classic eateries of yore – those iconic food purveyors of days past that we still wish existed.

Big Al’s

Ahh, Big Al’s. A Newcastle institution. The concept was recently revived in food truck form, which was great, but there was something truly special about the original home of Big Al’s on the corner of King and Brown streets.

Their slogan was ‘the best darn fries in the world,’ and we reckon they weren’t very far off the mark. Also, those legendary sandwiches burgers and subs (before Subway was a thing, thank you very much) were something to behold.

The Eliott Ness, named after the lawman who brought down gangster Al Capone, was a simplistic delight and you could pick one up for the low, low price of $3.95!!


This family-friendly eatery was THE place for this writer’s clan to visit on any special occasion and I vividly remember starving myself on the day of a visit to ensure I got the most out of the magnificent bottomless salad bar.

The pototo skins were also high on the agenda, but the apex of any visit was biting into that deliciously moreish thick-cut cheese bread.

This restaurant chain featured heavily on the Newcastle food landscape with locations in King street and Broadmeadow, but sadly, these days there is only one Sizzler location in NSW.


There was a time when if you wanted to eat a lobster on a chips budget you could still live the culinary high-life at this Broadmeadow seafoodery.

They also did a decent takeaway and seafood platters while the atmosphere made it high on the hit list for families looking for a wholesome night out.

Sadly according to online reviews, the quality declined in the later years and the restaurant eventually closed its doors. The site now houses a Subway and Thai restaurant.

Angus Steak House

There was a time in this town when if you wanted a good quality steak, THE place to go was The Angus Steakhouse.

Located on King Street, opposite the also now-defunct Tower Cinemas, the biggest selling point for this writer was the cool train that snaked its way around the restaurant carrying a cargo of piping hot garlic bread.

Milano’s on the Lake

When it came to fine dining in Lake Macquarie,, this picturesque restaurant at Pelican was always high on the list (along with the likes of Squids’ Ink, Anacapri et al) when you wanted to live high on the hog.

The located right on the water at Pelican, this was the perfect place to while away the hours with a delicious meal and some of the most picturesque views one the Lake.

Tragically, the dream came crashing down in 2016 when the restaurant partially collapsed into the water after ta section of the marina gave way.

Written by Newcastle Live

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