When it comes to restaurants, in the UK we really are spoilt for choice. With so many great quality restaurants and cuisines to choose from, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. That’s why we put together these lists to help make the decision a little easier. We’ve covered the best restaurants all over the UK from Oxford and Bristol to Birmingham and Edinburgh and now it's Newcastle’s turn. Home of the Geordies, who are arguably the friendliest bunch of people in the UK, Newcastle is full to the brim with great restaurants with rich history.
The best restaurants in Newcastle
Ready to explore some of our favourite spots? Whether you decide to eat down by the river Tyne or head further out to the beach there is something for every taste, budget and time of day. There are hundreds of restaurants we could have included in this article but after talking to Geordies themselves we have narrowed it down to 16 places that locals recommend and that we have tried too. So next time you are headed down to Newcastle, or are lucky enough to call it home, these restaurants are a must visit.
Why: Owned by Masterchef: The Professionals star David Coulson, Peace & Loaf’s homey atmosphere and enticing menu have made this restaurant a must visit for classic British dishes with a twist in Newcastle. Using fresh local produce as well as ingredients Coulson himself has grown or foraged for, the dishes on offer features grouse with fruit and nut and hot chocolate, guinea fowl with black pudding, and for dessert, butternut squash with marshmallows. These unique combinations are well worth a try.
Where: 217 Jesmond Road, NE2 1LA
Why: Laying claim to being the oldest dining room in the UK, Blackfriars has been taken over by Andy Hook (formerly of Sidney’s restaurant) where it now serves up British classics including gin cured salmon, lemon sole and a good old fashioned sticky toffee pudding. The restaurant pays homage to its rich history with plush red chesterfield seating and original dark wood features. We say, if it’s good enough for King Henry III (who is said to have visited circa 1200) it’s good enough for us.
Where: Friars Street, NE1 4XN
Why: Serving up beautifully presented dishes in a traditional 16th century townhouse, House of Tides prides itself on a casual, informal style of dining best enjoyed with loved ones on a weekend or for a special occasion. Expect to find things like veal sweetbread, partridge with parsnip and pear and praline parfait on the menu. Since it also has one Michelin star, all the dishes you'll find here will be impecably presented too.
Where: 28-30 The Close, Quayside, NE1 3RF
Why: This modern bistro, located in the heart of Newcastle Quay, serves up beautifully presented simple dishes using only the finest quality fresh and seasonal ingredients to create the 21 (get it?) dishes on the menu. Spaghetti with lobster and tomato, braised shoulder of beef and salted caramel and chocolate soufflé all feature on the menu making for an indulgent line-up. Residing in the trendy Quay area way before it became the fashionable district it is now, 21 is a popular dinner spot in the city for intimate and group dining alike.
Where: Trinity Gardens, NE1 2HH
The French Quarter
Why: Modelled to look like a stylish Parisian wine bar, The French Quarter is a located under an old railway arch serving up tapas style French food to diminish the idea that the French cuisine is too fussy or formal. Here you’ll find great French wine and small sharing plates including the likes of gratin dauphinoise, ratatouille, onglet à l’échalote and rillettes de canard. Décor is as imagined very French; everything in this restaurant is incredibly on theme.
Where: Westgate Road, NE1 1SA
Why: Little sister to House of Tides, Violets' all day dining menu, central location and quirky rustic décor make it equally as popular as it’s Michelin starred counterpart. Smoked salmon with gooseberries, lemon and mustard and slow cooked pork belly and toasted almond pannacotta are just a couple of the options on the menu. Violets' laid back interior and vibe also mean it’s great for a quick coffee break or laid-back lunch too.
Where: 5-7 Side, NE1 3JE
Why: As part of the By The River Brew Co., a community of shipping containers housing restaurants and shops, Träkol’s urban surrounding and riverside location makes it one of the coolest spots in town. Swedish for Charcoal, food is cooked on an open fire. Fried potato cakes, Asado duck, wood roasted celeriac and a 1kg rib of beef feasting platter are just a few of the dishes you’ll find on the menu.
Where: Hillgate Quays, NE8 2FD
Why: Industrial features mixed with luxurious touches give Route a laid back but still comfortable vibe. Serving up modern British cuisine without fuss or frills makes this the perfect restaurant for casual dates and catch ups with friends. Expect the likes of Cod and dill croquettes, pot roast cauliflower and North Sea squid ink risotto on this menu.
Where: 35 Side, NE1 3JE
Why: Specialising in casual fine dining, Dobson & Parnell's modern and homely restaurant is great for special occasions or date nights. With a 5 or 7 course tasting menu and beautifully presented dishes this restaurant will definitely leave an impression. On the tasting menu you’ll find courgette risotto with goat's curd and black olives for starters, Eyemouth crab with an avocado puree for mains and honey cake for dessert. Just a stone’s throw from the river, it’s perfect if you fancy a stroll afterwards too.
Where: 21 Queen Street, NE1 3UG
Why: There are so many Instagram opportunities in this restaurant and we are not complaining. From a flower mural shaped like a skull to quirky vintage lamps and chandeliers you won’t be able to leave without snapping at least one pic. Not forgetting about the main event, comfort food is king here. Think: fish tacos, burgers served with monster munch crisps (packet included) and sharing platters for bigger groups. Head down to the basement after you’ve eaten and check out the Confession Room speakeasy for a cocktail or two.
Where: 1-3 Market Street, NE1 6JE
Riley’s Fish Shack
Why: Although not strictly in Newcastle, Riley’s Fish Shack is close enough and according to diners, good enough that we just had to give it a mention. Located on the shorefront at King Edward Bay and serving freshly caught fish out of two shipping containers, people travel from far and wide to get a taste of this ever-changing menu. Catch-dependant dishes are announced each day but regular things you can expect include lobster, monkfish and squid. You’re advised to ring ahead to check out dishes in advance as some days the local fishermen's boats can’t go out due to weather conditions.
Where: King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth, NE30 4BY
Why: Serving up good old fashioned British pub food and just a stone’s throw from the Quayside, The Broad Chare is a great spot for a pint and a hearty, carby meal. Referring to its dishes as ‘proper food’ you’ll find haggis with a fried duck egg, dry-aged rib eye beef and sticky date loaf on the meny. It’s Sunday roast is well worth a try too.
Where: 25 Broad Chare, NE1 3DQ
Why: You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to Portofino Italy after stepping foot into this incredible unique and stunning restaurant. With intricately tiled arches running throughout the restaurant this venue nails authenticity when it comes to the Italian culture. Menus include everything you’d expect from a classic Italian restaurant, and with so many dishes to pick from we recommend sticking to the basics. Think Bolognese, risotto and Napoli pizza. Italians do simple best after all.
Where: 12A Mosely Street, NE1 1DE
Why: A hidden gem in the city, Pani’s family run Italian café specialises in Sardinian food in a cosy and intimate setting with décor reminiscent of the kind of restaurants you would find on the island itself. Open since 1995 it is a favourite among locals. The kitchen serves up classic Italian dishes like Bolognese and minestrone as well as the option of choosing from a range of Sardinian tapas including gamberi tiger prawns, calamari and Carciofi roman artichokes. We recommend booking in advance though because this little Italian gets busy quickly.
Where: 61-65 High Bridge, NE1 6BX
Why: Turkish food has gained even more popularity over the last few years, so we just had to include Lezzet in our round up of the best restauranst in Newcastle. With some claiming it is the best Turkish food outside of Turkey, you’re in for a treat if you happen to end up in Benton during your time exploring the city. Featuring cold mezze dishes, kofte, coal fire dishes and shish you’ll find almost every traditional Turkish dish on this menu and it won’t disappoint.
Where: Front Street, NE7 7XE
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