Horticulture top bars newcastle blog

Famed for its lively nightlife and burgeoning foodie scene - Newcastle has an abundance of restaurants to suit all tastebuds making it a must-visit destination for lovers of excellent food near and far.

Narrowing down your options can be tough if you're staying in Newcastle for a short city break or you want to impress visiting friends. Read on for our guide to the quirkier places to eat out in the region. From the coolest Instagrammable bars and eateries to Newcastle's quirky restaurants in unusual settings - why not choose a more unique dining experience when you're next in the toon?

Discover our recommendations for 10 quirky restaurants in Newcastle...

Blackfriars Restaurant and Parlour Bar, Newcastle city centre

Situated inside a 13th century priory, Blackfriars Restaurant and Parlour Bar lays claim to being the 'oldest dining hall in the UK.' The building's history dates back to 1239 when Dominican Friars first established home at Blackfriars; the location was also regularly frequented by King Henry III who stayed at the Priory on numerous occasions. In modern times, Blackfriars, which is one of Newcastle's best restaurants, is an independently-run and atmospheric fine-dining restaurant and bar which also provides a range of events such as their unique medieval banquet experiences. 

Roof Thirty Nine at Fenwick Newcastle

Dine out atop Newcastle's most famous department store, Fenwick Newcastle at Roof Thirty Nine.  A recent addition to Newcastle's growing number of exclusive rooftop bars and restaurants, Roof Thirty Nine is a sophisticated place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, evening meal or cocktails from a unique spot overlooking Newcastle's bustling shoppers along Northumberland Street. 

Fat Hippo Underground, Newcastle city centre

Get your chops round a juicy burger beneath the busy streets of Newcastle city centre at Fat Hippo Underground. The quirky location adds to the independent restaurant's edgy charm and the hefty burgers are famed for their size and accompaniments.

WC, Newcastle city centre

You asked for quirky bars and restaurants in Newcastle, how about WC - located in a renovated Victorian public toilet? The building, which dates back to 1898, can be found in the popular Bigg Market and was once the public loos within the bustling market square. Over a century later and the renovated space is now a quirky and contemporary, underground bar serving up a variety of wine, fizz and signature cocktails within its small but perfectly formed walls. 

Cook House, Ouseburn

Cook House is everything you'd want from a quirky and cool restaurant. Found in Newcastle's bohemian district of Ouseburn, the locally-run restaurant and deli is full of unique charm and character and has an exceptional menu which earned Cook House its place within the 2021 Michelin Guide.

See also - Kiln in Ouseburn for fairy lights, creativity and laid-back dining. There is often someone sat at a potter's wheel in the adjoining studio which adds to this quirky cafe, bar and restaurant's appeal.

The Redhouse, Newcastle Quayside

The Redhouse is a traditional pub with a quirky vibe. Set in a ramshackled and historic building along Newcastle's Quayside, The Redhouse is committed to a simple menu of pies, mash and peas. Their signature dish of pies are handmade by a butcher in the small seaside town of Amble in Northumberland. Make your way through the warren of rooms and passages to a crypt-like cellar room at the back of the pub or grab a pint under the heavy beams to peer out the window at the Tyne Bridge. 

If it's quirky pubs you're after, try also Brandling Arms in Gosforth, and The Punchbowl in Jesmond which are also full of character and dog-friendly.

The Valley Junction, Jesmond

All aboard The Valley Junction in Jesmond! With a slight whiff of an Agatha Christie novel, The Valley Junction is your chance to experience excellent Indian cuisine from the elegant carriage and signal box of an early 20th century train. 

Horticulture, Newcastle

Horticulture is fast becoming one of the coolest bars and restaurants in Newcastle city centre. Decked out with plants and greenery galore it is a perfect venue to snap for the 'gram. The independently run restaurant serves up an imaginative selection of small plates and sharing dishes which are packed with fresh and seasonal produce. Horticulture is also featured on our top bars in Newcastle guide and if you're a fan of an espresso martini, then this is the place for you! 

See also Alvino's, Colonel Porters and Blues Cafe - all cool and quirky bars to try in Newcastle.

River Beat, Gateshead Quayside

Combining North East history and Pan-Asian flavours - River Beat on Gateshead Quayside is a quirky restaurant with bags of personality. Located in the old river police station overlooking the River Tyne, the menu transports you to warmer climes and ranges from fish, meat and vegan tapas to Far Eastern curries and gourmet options full of creativity and flavour. It's also a restaurant with a cracking view! 

See also nearby The Central Bar which is in a very unusual historic building and Earl of Pitt Street which is a stone's throw from St James' Park in Newcastle. 

Trakol, Gateshead Quayside

Take a trip to Trakol when you're next visiting the North East. Tucked under the Tyne Bridge and with spectacular views overlooking the River Tyne, Trakol is an award-winning and much talked about open fire restaurant on Gateshead Quayside. Established in 2018, the relaxed approach to dining and top-quality menu has attracted foodies from all over. Found in a shipping container and part of the By The River Brew Co community, Trakol prides itself on sustainable nose-to-tail dishes that include their famous pig's head sharing platter and other locally-source produce that are perfect for group dining. 

Throughout the spring and summer - make sure to visit the Hawker Market, also part of By the River Brew Co, which has a plethora of local street food vendors serving their wares at one of the trendiest spots in Newcastle. 

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