Thursday 21 June 2018

A Newcastle Food Guide - The Chains v The Independents

I'm a huge supporter of eating in the independent restaurants in Newcastle and, whilst you'll certainly not find any chain restaurant snobbery around here, I am a big believer of supporting our local businesses. We are so blessed in Newcastle to have so many wonderful small businesses treating us to the most delicious dishes from all over the world and I'd encourage you all to make sure you try as many as you can.

So whilst I love devouring pasta at Pizza Express or enjoying a cheeky Nandos as much as the next person I thought I'd share with you a little look at the alternative places in Newcastle to eat if you usually find yourself stuck at the same old chains.  With so many wonderful places it makes me so sad that people are missing out on something truly special!

A Newcastle Food Guide - The Chains v The Independents

Love Nandos? Try Chicken Coop

Nandos is hugely popular with a constant buzz on social media, the favourite for date night it seems everyone is loving chicken! But did you know that here in Newcastle we have our very own independent alternative? Coop Chicken House serve up the finest damn chicken in the Toon! Their chicken is perfectly cooked over a fire pit then served up with a huge choice of sides. When it comes to sauces they rule with a massive selection of small batch craft sauces to choose from including their famous nuclear scorpion sauce.

Coop Chicken House, 25 Collingwood Street, NE1 1JE

Love Starbucks and Costa? Try Laneway & Co 

Ever think that sitting in Starbucks or Costa gets a little boring? Grab your usual, take a seat and you could be sitting in any one of their coffee shops across the country - YAWN!  Here in Newcastle we have the finest selection of independent coffee shops including the mighty fine Laneway & Co who serve the highest quality coffee from the UK's best roasters. Self confessed coffee nerds, these guys know how to make the perfect cup!

Laneway & Co, 17-19 High Bridge, NE1 1EW

Love Five Guys? Try Fat Hippo

Why anyone would choose to go to Five Guys over Fat Hippo is beyond me? Every burger fan in the Toon knows that Fat Hippo serve up the best burgers in the North East! We've enjoyed many burgers over the years and believe me, none have ever come close to beating the Fippo. Their burgers are huge and always stuffed full of so many tasty fillings that you immediately end up with delicious sauce running down your arms. Find me a Five Guys Burger that does that!

Fat Hippo, 35A St George's Terrace, NE2 2SU 
Fat Hippo Underground, 2 - 6 Shakespeare Street, NE1 6AQ

A Newcastle Food Guide - Fat Hippo

Love Krispy Kreme? Try Proven Doughnuts

I used to really enjoy Krispy Kreme, now I honestly can't be bothered with them and that's because I've found local Doughnut Kings, Proven. The Proven doughnuts are hand rolled and filled with the most amazing fresh fillings that taste so good I honestly can't imagine myself ever biting into a Krispy Kreme ever again!

Follow Proven on Facebook to discover where you can get your hands on their doughnuts - they pop up weekly!

Love Barburrito - Tray Zapatista

Zapatista will always be the best place to get Mexican in Newcastle and their burrito bar has the freshest ingredients perfect for making a mammoth burrito that'll fill you up for hours. The friendly service and fun interiors keeps us going back for more - it's our favourite place to head for a quick bite.

Zapatista 9 Grainger Street, NE1 5DQ or 28 Ridley Place, NE1 8JW

A Newcastle Food Guide - Zapatista

Love Patisserie Valerie? Try Les Petits Choux 

Personally I've never really understood Patisserie Valerie, their cakes aren't all that amazing for the price that you pay and with so many fantastic cake shops in Newcastle there's always somewhere better to head to. Les Petite Choux is a family run business that pride themselves in serving up freshly baked cakes using the finest ingredients.

Les Petits Choux, 11 Leazes Crescent, NE1 4LN

Love Wagamama?  Try Meet and Treat

If you love Asian food then you really need to try Meet and Treat in Newcastle's China Town. This unique little spot brings far east asian cafe culture to the North East and their beautiful dishes are packed full of flavour with generous portion sizes and amazing value for money - we can't keep away!

Meet and Treat, 41 Bath Lane, NE4 5SP

A Newcastle Food Guide - Meet and Treat

Love Carluccio? Try Zucchini Pasta Bar

I can't see myself ever going to Carluccio again because we have discovered Newcastle's best pasta at Zucchni Pasta Bar.  Creators of the most delicious dishes in the Toon, Zucchini serve up the most amazing hand rolled fresh pasta, bringing a true taste of Italy to the North East. Oh yes, and did I mention they do amazing desserts too?

55 Degrees North, NE1 6BL

Love Cafe Rouge? Try French Quarter

Nothing makes date night more romantic than heading out for some French food but do you really want to go back to Cafe Rouge when we have The French Quarter just around the corner? Their regularly updated wine selection and tapas style menu makes this little place really special.

French Quarter, Westgate Road, NE1 1SA

Love Crepe Affair? Try Le Petite Creperie

If you like your crepes served up with plenty of flare and personality you need to try Le Petite Creperie. With friendly service and delicious fillings you can watch your crepes being prepared and then tuck into delicious authentic French goodies whilst wandering the aisles of the Grainger Market.

Le Petite Creperie, Unit 166, Grainger Market, 131 Grainger Street, NE1 5AE

A Newcastle Food Guide - Le Petite Creperie

There are, of course, plenty more independent restaurants in Newcastle and if you have any swaps of your own I'd love to hear any more that we should try!

So next time you find yourself heading into the same old boring chain restaurant, stop, have a think and support local. There may be a far better alternative just a few steps away.


  1. Love this Chloe 👏👏👏

    1. Thank you, came up with the idea quite a long time ago and been carefully considering who to include .. we are so spoilt for choice I could have talked about so many other places! Gutted I couldn't include everyone!

  2. Love this! I always try to eat in local establishments but sometimes I do love a good Nandos, Wagamama or 5Guys! I guess it depends on where I am, since I live so close to the Metro Centre I'm there all the time, it's such a shame that independents can't get themselves into the shopping complex.

    I'm really craving a Zucchini now...

    Katie xoxo

    1. Oh yes ... we spend far too much of our time at Nandos at the Metrocentre ... it's definitely a shame that there are no independents in the shopping centres but I think the rent is just too high for them!

  3. So useful article of you. Love independent businesses. I believe that they usually have better service and quality. I have already tried some of the above and I will do the rest for sure!! Ha ha

    1. Ahhh that's brilliant! I have a never ending list of places to try!

  4. Loads of my favourites are in here! In fact, we're heading to Zapatista before the theatre tonight! x

    1. So jealous! We went last month but definitely need another visit soon! I've also made myself crave a Fat Hippo burger!

  5. This is such a great idea for a post - I love it! I also really, REALLY want to visit all of these restaurants now! I must get my butt over there soon xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    1. Thank you - it was a long time in the making! One of my flashes of inspiration that I have every now and again (not as often as I'd like!)

  6. What a brilliant article. It is easy to got to the chains as they are in your face / everywhere, but the local guys are usually more personal and better quality.

    1. Thank you! I tend to end up in the chains when I'm feeling lazy and my head isn't working! LOL!

  7. Such a good, creative idea! I'm always looking to steer towards the independent restaurants and this post is now my go-to guide!.


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