Ask anyone what Newcastle is known for and they’ll mention the city’s seven remarkable bridges, a fascinating industrial heritage, its cultural side and fantastic night life. And they’d be right, it has all that in bucket loads but the Newcastle food scene is breaking ground all over the city and it’s absolutely superb.

 

Newcastle Tyne BridgesBridges over the Tyne, Newcastle Gateshead

My visit to the city was hosted by the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, however, all views, opinions and love of good scran are entirely my own. This article contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission at not extra cost to you.

 

I recently spent a few days eating my way around a variety of Newcastle food hotspots and restaurants sampling some amazing scran – that’s Geordie for food. I discovered a diverse range of places to eat in Newcastle with culinary encounters from fine dining Newcastle restaurants to small artisan food outlets, street food and local hipster hangouts.

If you’re looking for a foodie city break packed with flavour, your taste buds won’t forget the Newcastle food scene anytime soon. Why not throw in a few of these fab foodie activities and feast your way around the Toon.

 

Getting to Newcastle

We travelled to Newcastle from London by train with LNER. If you leave London before breakfast you’ll be in Newcastle in time for lunch.

Where to stay in Newcastle

We stayed at Melia Innside, a new riverside hotel with fantastic views over the Tyne and Gino de Campo restaurant. Its in a fabulous location meant everywhere we visited in Newcastle and Gateshead was within easy walking distance. 

Check rates and availability for Melia Innside. If you’re looking to stay somewhere else in Newcastle click here for inspiration.

 

Newcastle food in the city centre

 

Grey Memorial, Newcastle City CentreGrey Memorial in Newcastle City Centre

 

Visit Fenwick Food Hall

 

Fenwick food hall, NewcastleFenwick food hall, Newcastle

 

Fenwick Food Hall has been a Newcastle institution since it opened on Northumberland Street back in 1882 and it’s fabulous. I’d have moved in if I could. Fenwick’s is like a contemporary version of Harrod’s food hall – without the price tag.

Drool over the incredible deli counter, artisan bakery and the confectionary counter. It’s the go to place to stock up on luxury food, gourmet gifts and local foodie favourites like Ouseburn coffee.

 

Have a Mediterranean Feast in Fuego at Fenwick

 

Food at Fuego, Fenwick, NewcastleFood at Fuego, Fenwick

Some of Newcastle’s best places to eat can be found in the Fenwick food hall including Mason + Rye patisserie, Porterhouse Butcher and Grill, Saltwater Fish Company and Fuego.

It’d be impossible to resist stopping for lunch so we opted to eat at Fuego and get stuck into its Mediterranean tapas. Remember to get there early or book because it’s super popular and as soon as it opens Fuego’s is instantly packed. For good reason – the food is fabulous.

Fenwick Food Hall, 39 Northumberland Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7AS

 

Cocktails at the Botanist

 

The Botanist, NewcastleThe Botanist, Newcastle

 

Start your evening with botanical cocktails at the dreamy Botanist where resident mixologists craft deliciously unusual concoctions. The Botanist must be the most unique bar in Newcastle.

The one-time shopping mall has morphed into an indoor botanic garden bursting with foliage and flora. It even has a tree reaching from the bar to the magnificent glass domed roof above where you can sip your cocktail with magnificent views of the city below.

The Botanist, Monument Mall, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7AL

 

Eat Thai food with a view at Chaophraya

 

Food at Chaophraya Thai Restaurant, NewcastleStarters at Chaophraya Thai Restaurant, Newcastle

 

For an authentic and excellent Thai food feast make your way to Chaophraya at Eldon Square. Views from the floor to ceiling windows over the city centre and Earl Grey monument are excellent.

Inside the atmosphere is relaxed but sophisticated. Décor is Thai themed with giant Buddha and elephant statues, candles, orchids and soft ambient lighting. There’s an outdoor terrace which would be great for aperitifs on a warm summer’s evening.

We started the evening with a refreshing ‘Made in Thailand’ cocktail of  vodka, coconut rum, pineapple, lemongrass, coriander and ginger beer.

Starters arrived. A tasty and colourful selection including chicken satay, spring rolls, tempura prawns, duck salad and Thai chicken tacos and were duly devoured. All excellent.

This was followed by the main courses. We enjoyed crispy chicken with cashew nuts, spiced roast duck and lamb Masaman served with steamed jasmine rice. The food was so, so good, although I didn’t do it justice after having eaten so well on the food tour. I’d love to go back on an empty stomach.

 

Food at Chaophraya Thai Restaurant, NewcastleMain courses at Chaophraya Thai Restaurant, Newcastle

 

We tucked into the ‘Yom’ set menu at £35 a head which included the starters and main courses.

Chaophraya, 15 Upper Level, Greys Quarter, Eldon Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7AP

 

Explore Grainger Market

 

Grainger indoor market opened in 1835 close to Grey’s Monument and is a colourful and historic part of the Newcastle food scene. Known as the city’s first supermarket you can pick up most things from everyday staples to Indian street food, craft ales and fresh oysters. The original weighing room is still in use today.

With 17 different food stalls offering fabulous foods from around the world with some British favourites and excellent coffee you’re guaranteed not to go hungry. Sample a brew or two from Firebrick Brewery, the fabulous pani puri at Snackwallah and if you’re feeling decadent the Lindisfarne oysters from Lindsay Fisheries.

Grainger Market, Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QQ

 

Sip Cocktails at your convenience

 

If you’re looking for a quirky bar then how about WC located in a renovated Victorian public toilet? This tiny bar in Bigg Market dates back to 1898 and was once the public loos for the market square.

The underground space has been renovated and is now a contemporary bar serving wine, bubbles and cocktails.

 

Take a Newcastle food tour

 

A good Newcastle food tour is a wonderful way to discover the heart and soul of a city and a few hidden gems besides. I loved the Triple A Food Tours and devoured two; ‘A Taste of Newcastle’ and the Ouseburn Tour.

Both were excellent and gave a fascinating insight into the Newcastle food scene with culinary encounters from the north east to Spain, France and India. The tours last around three hours and I advise you turn up on an empty stomach wearing stretchy pants…

Read my review of the Triple A Newcastle food tour. The following stops are all part of the ‘Taste of Newcastle’ tour.

 

Eat in the UK’s oldest dining room

 

Parlour Bar, Blackfriars, NewcastleParlour Bar, Blackfriars, Newcastle

King Henry III stayed at Newcastle’s Priory during his frequent battles with the Scots. Apparently, there was no Inn fit for royalty in the city at the time. My, how things have changed.

Blackfriar’s Restaurant is located in the friary’s refectory and it’s believed that it’s the oldest dining room in the UK, and without doubt, the oldest Newcastle restaurant. Be sure to have pre-dinner drinks in the atmospheric old parlour bar.

Blackfriar’s restaurant, Friars Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4XN

 

Go Spanish at Kaltur

The Spanish vibe in Kaltur wine bar and restaurant is bright, lively and friendly with good music. Go for their large selection of wines and try the tapas while you’re there.

The superb charcuterie and cheese board will fill you up for lunch for just £16. I loved their Spanish twist on black pudding made with Iberico. A place you could easily plan to spend an afternoon and then end up staying until closing time.

Kaltur, 19 Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1PQ

 

The French Quarter

 

The French Quarter, NewcastleThe French Quarter, Newcastle

 

If you’re looking for cosy and romantic paired with and fabulous food and wine flights head to The French Quarter under the old railway arches on Dean Street. This little Parisian-style restaurant, owned by Cedric and Catherine is big on flavour and includes a wine bar and deli.

Food is served tapas-style so you won’t find any full-sized portions on the menu. I like this casual way of dining as it’s a good way to try lots of small plates of different foods. I highly recommend the trio of desserts and wine flight pairing.

The French Quarter, Arch 6, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SA, UK

 

Newcastle food around the Quayside area

 

Trakol and Tyne Bridge, NewcastleTrakol restaurant under the Tyne Bridge, Newcastle

 

Eat by the Tyne at Träkol

Stroll across the red Swing Bridge to Gateshead and you’d be hard-pressed to miss Träkol. Located on the quayside under the iconic Tyne Bridge Träkol is made up of a series of rusting shipping containers, not that you’d notice once inside. The views of Newcastle and across the river are beautiful on a still night, especially from the outside terrace.

Träkol, which means charcoal in Swedish, is an open fire restaurant serving seasonal food. They are passionate about nose to tail cooking with a concept of bringing primitive outdoor cooking, indoors.

 

Food at Trakol, Newcastle restaurantStarters at Trakol, Newcastle restaurant

 

We ordered various starters including Lindisfarne oysters, delicious crispy mission spice pig tails and mushrooms with honey and black garlic.

My main course was tender Asado lamb with roasted cauliflower, barley salad and goats yoghurt with oregano. The flavours were gently aromatic and lightly spiced and I thoroughly enjoyed my dish accompanied by a decent Tampranillo Rioja.

My companions ordered the Market Fish Feast; a whole turbot with heritage potatoes and roasted greens on the side. I tried a taste of the turbot which was beautifully moist and full of flavour.

 

Food at Trakol, Newcastle restaurantMarket Fish Feast at Trakol, Newcastle 

 

A beautifully autumnal dessert of roasted plums with thyme ice cream, blackberries and brown butter crumble followed. If you appreciate good food, that’s a little adventurous, I’d absolutely recommend you visit.

Träkol By The River Brew Co under the Tyne Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne

 

Snack on street food at the Sunday Quayside Market

 

Quayside Sunday Market, NewcastleFood stalls at Quayside Sunday Market, Newcastle

 

Newcastle Quayside Market has been part of North East culture for decades. Every Sunday between 9am and 4pm stalls and traders showcase their wares along the quayside. You’ll find a range of handicrafts, jewellery, ceramics, clothing, food, toys and local products on offer accompanied by street artists and buskers for added atmosphere.

After browsing the stalls head to the Tyne Bridge end of the market for a bite to eat from one of the many food trucks and stands. You’ll find everything from coffee, pastries and macarons to vegan and Armenian food, local cheeses, pulled pork and burgers.

Quayside Market, Newcastle Quayside, Swing Bridge to Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Newcastle

 

Go for afternoon tea at Cupcakery

For an Insta-worthy afternoon tea in Newcastle head for Great British Cupcakery on the Newcastle Quayside. Tuck into sandwiches and savoury bites followed by freshly baked scones, jam and cream and a selection of sweet treats all presented on pretty vintage china.

The parlour is pretty in pink with faux cherry blossom trees and if that isn’t enough you can even order a pink latte! Afternoon tea costs £19.99 with dairy free, vegan and gluten intolerant options

Great British Cupcakery, 15 Queen Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3UG

 

Ringtons Tea and biscuits delivered to your door

review of the Triple A Newcastle food tour are a family business who began selling tea from a horse and cart back in 1907. Their range of award-winning tea and biscuits can now be delivered right to your doorstep all across the UK.

The Monty Hamper was waiting for me in my hotel room packed with tea, coffee and a fabulous selection of biscuits. After a day exploring Newcastle it was wonderful to sit down with a canny cuppa and one or two of their excellent biscuits. Their hampers make the perfect gift.

 

Food in Ouseburn Valley

 

Street Art in Ouseburn, NewcastleOuseburn Valley Street Art, Newcastle

 

The Ouseburn Valley is an area south-west of Newcastle centre. Ouseburn has undergone a transformation from post-industrial wasteland to a busy cultural and creative quarter.

Nowadays, the thriving area is enhanced by a cluster of cool eateries that co-exist with remnants of the area’s industrial heritage including the old flax chimney by the Cluny, Ouseburn Railway viaduct and the Glasshouse Bridge.

We visited the following foodie hot spots as part of the review of the Triple A Newcastle food tour which also included a tour of the Victoria Tunnel.

 

Brinkburn Street brewery, bar and kitchen

 

Brinkburn Bar, NewcastleBrinkburn Bar, Newcastle

 

Brinkburn’s have been brewing great-tasting beer for years with a range of about 20 on cask and keg. The food’s good too. I loved their black pudding bon bons with Byker brown ale chutney – like little arancini topped with a pleasing dollop of their homemade chutney. The beetroot bahjis are not to be missed either.

 

Black Pudding bon bons at Brinkburn Brewery, NewcastleBlack Pudding bon bons at Brinkburn Brewery

Beer at Brinkburn Brewery, NewcastleCraft Beer at Brinkburn Brewery, Newcastle

The bar area has a casual feel as well as being pretty cool with chunky tables to sit at. There’s a cosy snug furnished with squishy sofas and colourful rugs and a small outside terrace.

Brinkburn Street Brewery, 3 Hume Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 1LN

 

Kiln Workshop & Kitchen

 

Kiln, NewcastleKiln, Newcastle

 

Kiln is a cool café space with a working kiln and pottery on site. The high-end pottery is for sale and it’s the kind of Scandi-cool, stoneware which is on trend right now, they even supply many of Newcastle’s top restaurants.

Find yourself a communal table or one of the cosy couches by the fire and order away from the small but perfectly formed menu. There’s a patio area outside too.

 

Meze at Kiln, NewcastleMeze at Kiln

 

We tucked into the meze and it was one of my favourite meals of the whole Newcastle trip. Think beetroot hummus, labneh, figs with goats cheese, heritage tomatoes, hummus and burrata all served with warm homemade sourdough pitas. Absolutely delicious.

Kiln Hume Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 1LN

 

Cook House

 

Cook House, NewcastleCook House, Ouseburn

 

After starting life as a recipe blog and supper club, Cook House set up in two shipping containers overlooking Ouseburn river. The venture proved so popular that owner and founder Anna Hedworth, aka The Grazer, moved to a two-storey premises with roof terrace, garden, shop/deli and a menu that earned them a place in the 2021 Michelin Guide.

If Cook House was in my hood I’d be hanging there at least once a week. The atmosphere is buzzy, informal and friendly and the food is seasonal, local and full of flavour.

 

Food at Cook House, NewcastleFood at Cook House, Newcastle

 

From the daily-changing menu we shared a range of dishes; potted chicken liver with apple and Early Grey jelly and charred sourdough, smoked trout with crème fraiche and pickled cucumber and an especially fabulous tempura cauliflower with coconut curried and black sesame seeds. Snacks included beetroot topped kimchi and house pickles with a glass of kombucha.

Cook House, Foundry Lane Studios, Foundry Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 1LH

Read more about craft ales, beer bites and street art in Ouseburn.

 

Ernest

Eton Mess at Ernest, NewcastleEton Mess at Ernest

 

Ernest serves up café cuisine in a laid back atmosphere which appeals to the creative Ouseburn crowd.

We only had time, and room, for dessert which for me was a light and fruity Eton mess. Those who ordered sticky toffee pudding were served a generous helping oozing with toffee sauce.

I’d be keen to go back and try more from the menu which is a mix of of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Latin American and British. Ernest also have a large vegan offering.

Ernest, 1 Boyd Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 1AP

These are just a few of my Newcastle food favourites. With over 400 restaurants to choose from you could eat out every day of the year and still not get through them all. Have you tried any of these Newcastle eateries? Share your favourites in the comments.

You’ll be well fed and watered on your visit to Newcastle – be sure to pack your stretchy pants!

 

Getting to Newcastle

We travelled to Newcastle from London by train with LNER. If you leave London before breakfast you’ll be in Newcastle in time for lunch.

Where to stay in Newcastle

We stayed at Melia Innside, a new riverside hotel with fantastic views over the Tyne and Gino de Campo restaurant. Its in a fabulous location meant everywhere we visited in Newcastle and Gateshead was within easy walking distance. 

Check rates and availability for Melia Innside. If you’re looking to stay somewhere else in Newcastle click here for inspiration.

 

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Newcastle food and drink guideNewcastle food and drink guide