Places to eat in Newcastle city centre

Local resident Stuart Forster provides an overview of some of Newcastle upon Tyne’s top restaurants in this look at places to eat in Newcastle city centre.

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Tyneside’s culinary scene offers diners a broad choice of cuisines and restaurants. This overview includes some of the best restaurants in Newcastle city centre. The list of suggestions is based on places that I’ve enjoyed visiting for meals.

My intention is to add to and curate this post as I visit newly opened restaurants plus establishments that I haven’t yet dined in,

I’ve broken up this look at top restaurants in Newcastle according to styles of cuisine. That way you can quickly find a restaurant serving the type of food that most appeals to you.

The Swing Bridge leads to the Quayside, from where it's easy to reach several of the best places to eat in Newcastle city centre.
The Swing Bridge leads to the Quayside, from where it’s easy to reach several of the best places to eat in Newcastle city centre.



Indian restaurants in Newcastle

Sachin’s Punjabi and Indian restaurant (Forth Banks; tel. 0191 261 9035) is a place that I enjoy visiting. I’m still working my way through the extensive menu, whose house daal and chicken-based murgh tikka labadar have been the pick of the dishes I’ve tried so far. If you’re looking for an alternative to a beer with your curry try a cooling yoghurt-based mango lassi. It’s ideal with the piquant dish formerly known as Jalfrezi.

If you enjoy Indian cuisine and are in the heart of the city, stop by Dabbawal at 69-75 High Bridge. There’s also a Dabbawal restaurant in Jesmond. Dishes inspired by Mumbai’s street food, including bhel puri and sweet potato chaat, are served in a modern, informal dining space. If you’re into peppery spice, order chicken curry inspired by Tamil Nadu’s Chettinad cuisine.

Earl Grey tea is named after the Prime Minister of Great Britain whose statue tops Grey's Monument in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Earl Grey tea is named after the Prime Minister of Great Britain whose statue tops Grey’s Monument in Newcastle.



Italian restaurants in Newcastle

Pani’s Cafe (61 – 65 High Bridge Street; 0191 232 4366) opened more than quarter of a century ago. The hearty service and honest, well-cooked food such as the pollo al marsala dish, are reasons why diners keep returning. Sardinian dishes feature on the menu.

Marco Polo (33 Dean Street; 0191 232 5533) is another of Newcastle’s long-established Italian dining establishments. A short walk from the Quayside, Marco Polo first opened its well-used doors back in 1974. The linguine meatballs and mushroom risotto are ideal ahead of a night out in Newcastle.

The Swing Bridge and Tyne Bridge spanning the River Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead.
The Swing Bridge and Tyne Bridge spanning the River Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead.

Japanese restaurants in Newcastle

Looking for sushi restaurants in Newcastle? It’s difficult to look past Sushi Me Rollin’ (The Stack; 07946 744 453). Beautifully presented, the chef’s platters give you a selection of maki, sashimi and rolls from the menu. As a dining space, Sushi Me Rollin’ is informal and upbeat.

To watch a teppinyaki chef at work and taste the results head to Hanahana (45 Bath Lane; 0191 222 0282). Order one of the set banquets to sample a cross section of dishes.

The Guildhall on the Newcastle Quayside is home to the Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle.
The Guildhall on the Newcastle Quayside is home to the Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle.



Pizza restaurants in Newcastle

Pizza Punks (30- 40 Grey Street, tel. 0191 230 0777) is casual, moderately priced and serves outstanding pizzas. They are prepared in the open kitchen’s wood-fired oven. You have the option of choosing a unique combination of ingredients. That involves selecting the base, sauce, cheese and toppings. The list of ‘rogue’ toppings includes ingredients such as spicy cauliflower and haggis. I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with unlikely combinations.

Pizza served at Pizza Punks, one of the pizza restaurants in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Pizza served at Pizza Punks, one of the pizza restaurants in Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Spanish restaurants in Newcastle

Kaltur has two venues serving a selection of Spanish dishes and drinks in central Newcastle. The original wine bar and restaurant is at 8 High Bridge (tel. 0191 447 4464). The premises at 19 Dean Street (tel. 0191 447 1180) offer more space while you dine. Order sherry by the glass or select wine from Kaltur’s well-curated wine list. Boiled octopus, red tuna tartar and Andalusian-style prawns count among the tapas dishes served.

El Coto (23 Leazes Park Road, tel. 0191 261 0555) is a long-established dining venue whose dark wood tables remind me of traditional restaurants in Andalusia. The lengthy choice of tapas includes set menus that remove the need for discussions about what to order when sharing plates as part of a group.

Dacantus (30 – 32 Grey Street, tel. 0191 261 8111) has knowledgeable bar staff and an a well-curated selection of gins and tonics. During the COVID-19 lockdown I’ve missed taking a seat at the bar, chatting with the staff and tasting gins from around the world. A small, complimentary tapas is offered with each drink ordered. In my view this place is worth visiting for a G&T (or two).

Grilled prawns served as a tapas dish in one of the Spanish restaurants in Newcastle
Grilled prawns served with garlic, wilted greens and a wedge of lemon as a tapas dish.

British restaurants in Newcastle

A short distance from Newcastle’s medieval West Walls, Blackfriars Restaurant (Friars Street; tel. 0191 261 5945) is in premises built for Dominican Friars back during the 13th century. The restaurant embraces that history and has a banqueting hall in which King Edward III of England met with Scotland’s Edward Balliol in 1334. The smoked cheddar croquettes are ideal if you want to cut down on your meat intake. Try the pork loin if that’s not a concern.

The Herber Tower, part of the West Walls, is a short distance from Blackfriars, one of the best places to eat in Newcastle city centre_
The Herber Tower, part of the West Walls, is a short distance from Blackfriars, one of the best places to eat in Newcastle city centre.

The five- and seven-course tasting menus at Dobson and Parnell (21 Queen Street; 0191 221 0904) are worth considering with their wine pairings. Just off the Quayside, this restaurant serves well-mixed cocktails. It was the first restaurant I visited with friends after England’s first COVID-19 lockdown was lifted and the meal was a genuine joy.

During the first COVID-19 lockdown I focused on acquiring videography skills. Heading out for a meal with friends provided the inspiration for my first multi-clip video. A year on, I’d make the short film, which you can view below, very differently. The video is undoubtedly flawed but making it was part of a valuable learning process:

Video about dining in Newcastle after England’s first COVID-19 lockdown in the summer of 2020.
Route (35 Side; tel. 0191 222 0973) is a modern bistro style restaurant that serves small plates to share. Expect seasonal ingredients, good cooking and a decent wine list. This restaurant is a good place to meet for an informal lunch or a dinner with good friends.

Neon light at Route in Newcastle, a bistro-style restaurant serving sharing plates of seasonal, well-cooked food.
Neon light at Route in Newcastle, a bistro-style restaurant serving sharing plates of seasonal, well-cooked food.

Fine-dining in Newcastle

If you enjoy modern British cooking, both of the restaurants that follow are worth considering:

House of Tides (28 – 30 The Close; tel. 0191 230 3720) is the only restaurant with a Michelin star in Newcastle and stands within easy walking distance of the Quayside. Kenny Atkinson and his team serve seasonal tasting menus on premises constructed as a merchant’s house back in the 16th century. The presentation of dishes and intensity of flavours make this an outstanding choice for special occasions.

Tasting menus and a la carte dishes are options at Peace and Loaf (217 Jesmond Road; tel. 0191 281 5222) in Newcastle’s Jesmond district, a short taxi ride from the city centre. Chef Dave Coulson made a name for himself as a 2010 finalist in the television series MasterChef: The Professionals. His exquisite creations are served with an air of informality, making this a good place to pair fine food with relaxed conversation. Watch out for the kick from the boozy sorbets.

Chef Dave Coulson at Peace and Loaf, rated one of the best restaurants in Newcastle.
Chef Dave Coulson at Peace and Loaf, rated one of the best restaurants in Newcastle.

Steak restaurants in Newcastle

Enjoy a succulent steak? There’s a handful of good steak restaurants in Newcastle city centre. If you feel like sharing but can’t decide on which cut of meat to go for, the 24-ounce butcher’s block at Miller and Carter (Mosely Street; tel. 0191 261 2028) might appeal. It includes cuts of rib-eye, rump and fillet steaks as well as barbecued ribs.

If you’re looking for a lunch venue or early dinner you may enjoy steak prepared over charcoal on a Josper grill at Porterhouse Butcher and Grill (in the Fenwick Food Hall; tel. 0191 239 6612). This venue is part of highly regarded restaurateur Terry Laybourne’s 21 Hospitality Group, whose restaurants are well worth visiting. Starters at the Porterhouse Butcher and Grill include Lindisfarne oysters, steak tartare and caviar.  ‘Big cuts’ of aged beef, including the porterhouse and chateaubriand steaks, are sold according to weight.

The Tomahawk Steakhouse (95 Quayside; tel. 0191 is one of many bars and restaurants on Newcastle’s Quayside and nearby streets. Starters include an eclectic range of dishes inspired by global cusines. If you’re looking to splurge and share you may be tempted by the Wagyu carnivore board, featuring a selection of cuts and garlic prawns along with four sides.

Succulent steak in one of the steak restaurants in Newcastle
How about a succulent steak in one of the steak restaurants in Newcastle?



Burger restaurants in Newcastle

Fat Hippo (2 – 6 Shakespeare Street; 0191 447 1161) serves stacked burgers in toasted brioche buns. Informal and open until late, this is a good spot for a last beer and a burger before heading home.

Meat: Stack (41 – 43 Groat Market: 0191 261 7395) looks onto the Bigg Market. I find it hard to look past the Buffalo blue burger served with a side of flavour-packed Parmesan truffle garlic fries.

Cheeseburger in a brioche bun served at one of the burger restaurants in Newcastle.
Burger in a brioche bun served with fried and ‘slaw. The burger is topped with melted cheese and shredded pulled pork.

Thai restaurants in Newcastle

The Thai House Cafe (93 Clayton Street, tel. 0191 261 5717, closed Tuesdays) is informal and welcoming. Traditional, home-style dishes including tom kha gai soup and pad thai count among the dishes served. If you’re looking for Thai food the way it’s served in Thailand, this is the place to dine.

Mantra Thai Dining (29 Forth Banks, tel. 0191 232 6080) is a spacious restaurant with onsite parking. The jungle chicken curry and Penang pork curry are two of the dishes that I’ve enjoyed while dining in this restaurant.

How about an evening stroll along the Quayside after dining in one of Newcastle's best restaurants.
How about an evening stroll along the Quayside after dining in one of Newcastle’s best restaurants?

French restaurants in Newcastle

Bistro du Vin‘s (inside the Hotel du Vin; tel. 0191 389 8628) French name is indicative of the style of dishes offered on the menu. It’s a pleasant place to enjoy a bowl of steamed mussels and a glass of wine followed by crème brûlée.



The Hotel du Vin and Bistro in Newcastle's Ouseburn district.
The Hotel du Vin and Bistro in Newcastle’s Ouseburn district.

Informal dining in Newcastle

Looking for something less formal than a restaurant meal?

Stroll around the Grainger Market and see if any of the food stalls appeal. The choices include Greek street food, Chinese dumplings and sausage sandwiches. The market is a decent shout for an inexpensive lunch.

Scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream on a Union Jack serviette.
Scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream on a Union Jack serviette.

If you’re in town on a Sunday between 9.00am and 4.00pm you could grab a snack from the food trucks parked at the Quayside Market.

To stock up for a special picnic I enjoy browsing the temptingly presented baked goods and delicatessen in the Fenwick Food Hall. The cheese counter and deli in the Waitrose supermarket at Eldon Square are also worth browsing. Both of those shops have a decent choice of wines.

Ham and pease pudding sandwich made from stottie cake, a traditional bread from North East England.
Ham and pease pudding sandwich made from stottie cake, a traditional bread from North East England.

Have you been impressed by other places to eat in Newcastle upon Tyne? If you would like to make a suggestion or recommendation, please leave a comment below.

Hotels in Newcastle

Planning a night out in Newcastle? Search for accommodation in Newcastle via Booking.com:



Booking.com

Map of top restaurants in Newcastle

Zoom into the map below to locate some of the best restaurants in Newcastle:

Google map showing leading places to eat in Newcastle city centre.

Further information

See the NewcastleGateshead website for information on things to do in Newcastle and Gateshead, including ideas for food and drink on Tyneside.

Do you live in the north-east of England and enjoy visiting restaurants? Newcastle Restaurant Week is usually held twice a year, in January and August. More than 100 restaurants participate, offering two-course meals for £10 or three-course meals for £15.



Stuart Forster, the author of this post, is an award-winning travel and food writer based in North East England. Stuart’s work has been published by publications including BBC Good Food, Love Food and Great British Chefs.

Thank you for visiting Go Eat Do and reading this post about the best places to eat in Newcastle upon Tyne. If you enjoy good seafood why not ride a Metro and dine at Riley’s Fish Shack in Tynemouth. Planning a trip to Tyneside? You may be interested in reading posts on art in Newcastle and Gateshead and walking in Newcastle travel tips

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A version of this post was first published on Go Eat Do on 9 January 2018.

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2 Comments

  • Rachel Kershaw

    January 13, 2018 at 10:35 Reply

    Great list Stuart! I would add Marco Pierre White at Hotel Indigo for steak, chef Paul Amer is fabulous! I also love Jesmond Dene House and Artisan for fine dining. My favourite spot for a cheap and cheerful Greek lunch is always Kafe Neon in the Bigg Market 🙂

    • Stuart Forster

      January 15, 2018 at 08:52 Reply

      I enjoyed an afternoon tea at Marco Pierre White a few months ago but love a good steak, so may have to return! Thanks for your suggestions.

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