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The 23 best restaurants in Newcastle

The city is awash with award-winning fine dining and locally sourced seafood, and all restaurants will delight your taste buds

Written by
Rosemary Waugh
&
Daniel Dylan Wray
Contributor
Liv Kelly
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Newcastle's food scene is thriving, and a visit to this vibrant northern hub will entail a constant struggle to resist going out for a lavish meal every single night of the week. From award-winning fine dining to the fantastic streetfood stalls of Grainger Market, all culinary tastes and budgets are well catered for. 

The Toon's abundance of seafood thanks to its proximity to the coast, and the high concentration of innovative chefs, mean the food scene here is absolutely prospering, and one of the most exciting in the UK. Here are our top picks for the best places to eat in the Newcastle. 

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At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

Places to eat in Newcastle

House of Tides

1. House of Tides

What is it? A michelin star restaurant in a historic building with an absolutely killer tasting menu.

Why go? This award-winning Newcastle restaurant is led by Kenny Atkinson, a familiar face on television, not least for his two wins on The Great British Menu. House of Tides does fine-dining but without the pretention. Its tasting menu is understated and perfectly paired, with the emphasis on local and seasonal. Oh, and it's got four AA rosettes, too. High-end.

Saltwater Fish Company
© Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd

2. Saltwater Fish Company

What is it? Fish doesn’t get much fresher than this, unless it’s still swimming.

Why go? Pull up a stool at the Saltwater Fish Company’s counter in Fenwick’s Foodhall and prepare for more underwater adventures than Ariel. Or, at the very least, taste some sincerely beautiful seafood. Like all the best fish restaurants, they keep the recipes simple and let the natural flavours speak for themselves. We're talking ceviche, tartare and even croque monsieur. Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter, as they say. High-end.

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What is it? Träkol is Swedish for ‘charcoal’ and cooking takes place over an open fire. 

Why go? For barbeque food that goes way beyond the usual burgers and hotdog options and to sample the seasonal ever-changing menu, which is cooked with a focus on preservation, dry aging and cooked over fire. Not to mention there’s the neighboring on-site micro brewery, making it a perfect destination to match amazing craft beer with innovative open fire cooking.

21
© Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd

4. 21

What is it? Quayside bistro that’s comfortable yet classy.

Why go? If you’re feeling in need of a little love – either for your tummy or your heart – then 21 is the place to go. Ideal for a laid-back date where you want to keep chatting for a long while over wine, the menu sticks to classic dishes with seasonal and local additions. It’s a simple formula but it works. High-end.

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Blackfriars Restaurant

5. Blackfriars Restaurant

What is it? A 13th century friary where you can feast like medieval royalty.

Why go? Okay, okay, before you go full-on Sir Gawain, the ‘medieval’ bit is optional. Blackfriars do host medieval-themed banquets, but only for large groups booking in advance. The rest of the time the restaurant does fine European dining and some class act puddings. Get into the monastery spirit of things by ordering beer instead of wine. High-end.

Dobson & Parnell

6. Dobson & Parnell

What is it? A foodie fantasia down on the quayside for those who like to Instagram their plates.

Why go? Curing, salting, smoking, brining, fermenting… Dobson & Parnell does it all. Owned by the same guys as Blackfriars, this trendy eatery serves contemporary British cuisine arranged picture-perfect on your plate. If you want to impress a foodie, book in for the 5 or 7-course taster menu. They’ll be tagging you on Insta all night long. High-end.

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Riley’s Fish Shack
Photograph: Courtesy Nigel John

7. Riley’s Fish Shack

What is it? The very, very freshest fish at King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth.

Why go? There’s a hugely praising quote from restaurant critic Jay Rayner on the Riley’s Fish Shack website (and these guys deserve it). If you appreciate knowing where your food comes from, you’ll love a visit to Riley’s where the menu is completely dependent on the most recent, local catch. Mid-range.

The Broad Chare

8. The Broad Chare

What is it? Old school British pub food to make you smile and keep you full.

Why go? There are times when you want something drizzled in jus or topped with foam, and there are other times when… you don’t. You just want a proper scotch egg and a hearty side of fluffy-yet-crispy chips. Got a craving for quality fish, chips and other pub staples? Make a beeline for The Broad Chare. Mid-range.

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Cook House
Cook House

9. Cook House

What is it? A chilled out but exciting restaurant run by local food blogger Anna Hedworth. 

Why go? If you want to support local, DIY, independent food operators then this is a great place to do so. But altruism aside, the food coming out of the Cook House is winning awards (2021 Michelin Guide, Financial Times Restaurant of the Year 2019) for good reason. Be it a dazzling breakfast and brunch menu, an ever-changing menu of small plates, innovative dishes cooked on a hibachi or their famous whole roast sharing chicken they knock out for Sunday lunch, there’s plenty to love here.

Elder & Wolf

10. Elder & Wolf

What is it? Posh kebabs, wood-fired pizzas and tacos in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Why go? Elder & Wolf were the proud winners of the 2017 Best Newcomer Kebab Restaurant in the UK. And if you think that award title is a bit of a mouthful, then you should try one of their dishes. These kebabs are nothing like the soggy strange thing you inhale at 3am on the street corner. Think: succulent meat, big flavours and fresh bread – there’s so much going on here you’ll barely have time to order a second cocktail. Mid-range.

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Khai Khai
Khai Khai

11. Khai Khai

What is it? Contemporary Indian cuisine served up in a Victorian dining room. 

Why go? For an amazing selection of traditional and modern Indian dishes that are prepared over hot stones, coals, and wood fires in a josper or old tandoor oven. However, it’s not all deliciously smokey meat kebabs or perfectly grilled fish, Khai Khai also have an excellent plant-based menu, so vegans are very well looked after here.

Simla
Simla

12. Simla

What is it? Modern Indian food served up on the Quayside.  

Why go? To sample the Indian delights of a family-run business that has roots stretching back to 1981 in the city. The menu at Simla is refined and the setting relaxed and informal, letting the food speak for itself - keep an eye out for the clay oven specials cooked in the in house Tandori oven.

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Peace & Loaf
Photograph: Courtesy David Coulson

13. Peace & Loaf

What is it? Top draw dining at a friendly restaurant run by Masterchef finalist.

Why go? Proving yet again that Newcastle truly is the land of plenty for up-market restaurants, Peace & Loaf provides fine dining, but with less of the hoo-ha than usual. The immaculately presented, pretty food is largely British and comes from a kitchen led by Dave Coulson, a Masterchef finalist. The best part is you get to enjoy it in an unstuffy atmosphere. Winner. High-end.

Fern Dining Room
Fern Dining Room

14. Fern Dining Room

What is it? An upmarket neighbourhood dining room and bar. 

Why go? To treat yourself to some classy high end grub in a relaxed environment, prepared by a team of chefs led by Danny Parker, who was a finalist on MasterChef The Professionals. Classic and modern collide here for a tasty offering of contemporary British food with a big focus on local and seasonal produce. Fern Dining Room is located in the stunning and elegant Jesmond Dene House, meaning you can soak up beautiful surroundings, including the gardens, while you tuck into some of Newcastle’s finest food.

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Horticulture
Horticulture

15. Horticulture

What is it? A eco conscious cafe bar restaurant.  

Why go? Many reasons. The incredible brunch menu, the tasty lunch and evening options, the huge focus on local and sustainable food with a menu heavy on gluten free and plant-based options, the stylish interior. Oh, and if you like a cocktail to finish things off then you’re in luck, Horticulture offers over 40 variations on the espresso martini alone, with coffee sourced from local roasters Ringtons.

Fat Hippo

16. Fat Hippo

What is it? Seriously lush burgers absolutely dripping with the good stuff.

Why go? There are two branches of Fat Hippo in Newcastle, so that’s at least two excuses to go try their squelchy, succulent take on Americana. Mac 'n' Cheese Balls, Dirty Skins and Deep Fried Gerkins are on the starter menu, but the real deal are the burgers. They even do a Hangover burger to help you out post a heavy night. Mid-range.

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Dabbawal

17. Dabbawal

What is it? Small plates of Indian street food proving that sharing really is caring.

Why go? There are two branches of Dabbawal in town, one at High Bridge and one in Jesmond. The idea is the same at both: modern Indian food that looks so good you’ll want to order the whole menu. The good news is that you can, by heading down the tapas route with friends. If you hate to share, order a ‘big eat’ instead. Mid-range (with many affordable offers).

Kaltur

18. Kaltur

What is it? Authentic, mouth-watering Spanish food served by people who really know their Iberian specialities.

Why go? Kaltur is another favourite place to eat among the Newcastle locals. The tapas and wine bar will introduce you to Spanish dishes way more interesting than a simple paella. The best part is they also know a thing or two about wine, so you can accompany the fresh, colourful dishes with a robust glass of red. Mid-range.

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The French Quarter
The French Quarter

19. The French Quarter

What is it? A Parisian style wine bar and eatery.  

Why go? To get a brilliant and contemporary take on traditional French food. The French Quarter opened in 2017 “with the aim to take the fuss out of French dining, whilst offering an alternative to the chain dominated high streets” and it offers up a small plates approach to French cuisine. As you would expect from such a place, the wine list is impressive enough by itself to warrant a visit.

Nan Bei Dumpling and Tea Bar
Photograph: Shutterstock

20. Nan Bei Dumpling and Tea Bar

What is it? Impeccably prepared Chinese dumplings you’ll return more than once for.

Why go? Another Grainger Market must-visit, Nan Bei Dumpling and Tea Bar is a great place to grab an authentic, street-food style lunch. The plump packets of meat and veg will have you craving a return visit almost as soon as you’re done. Keep hydrated with some Chinese tea on the side. Mid-range (very affordable).

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The Tanners Arms
The Tanners Arms

21. The Tanners Arms

What is it? A gastro pub serving up tasty street food

Why go? To visit one of Newcastle’s most beloved pubs that dates all the way back to the 1800s. The Tanners Arms knock out no-frills but super tasty fried chicken, burgers, smoked german krakauers, loaded fries, smoked BBQ and the veggie and vegan options are plentiful. 

Lola Jeans

22. Lola Jeans

What is it? Cute and quirky food and drinks venue for those who appreciate some sexy decor. 

Why go? Lola Jeans may not sound like the name of a restaurant, but don't let that fool you. The company started in Tyneside, and then opened a branch in the city. A delectably decorated location, Lola Jeans has an unapologetically girly vibe. Get pretty in pink with a Five Shades of Grey cocktail and some USA-style bites or a healthy option from the ‘clean’ menu. Mid-range.

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Super Natural Cafe

23. Super Natural Cafe

What is it? Vegan-friendly café and bar ideally located if you’re heading to the station. 

Why go? Super Natural Café is a vegan and veggie café that’s a hit with the locals. Head here for a satisfying selection of burritos, jacket spuds, quiches and sarnies, then take the biggest piece of vegan cake away with you to eat on the train. If you’re looking for a lighter lunch, diners always love the Super Natural’s salad bar, too. Mid-range (on the cheaper side).

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