Thursday 16 August 2018

Eating at the Grumpy Panda, Gateshead - A Non-Vegan's First Visit

When my vegetarian friend recently paid us a visit I was a little clueless about where we could take her for dinner so asked my followers on Facebook for some recommendations. I was blown away by the response and it became clear very quickly that the North East is beginning to enjoy a thriving vegetarian and vegan foodie scene. Being able to offer her so many choices of where we could eat was fantastic and she quickly chose The Grumpy Panda in Gateshead, the North East's only vegan American diner.

She was absolutely buzzing about the idea of being able to pick anything that she wanted from a menu for the first time in her life and with a lack of vegetarian or vegan restaurants in her home city was pretty impressed by the offerings of The Grumpy Panda.

Eating at the Grumpy Panda, Gateshead - A Non-Vegan's First Visit

My only worry? What would "Grumpy Husband" make of "The Grumpy Panda"? I would usually struggle to get my burger loving boy to try anything like this so I was very happy to have the opportunity to try somewhere completely different that I'd never usually get to go to.

We all loved the vibe of the Grumpy Panda as soon as we walked through the door, from the checkered floor to the cool American posters and casual styled dining - the restaurant was really friendly and when we needed to switch tables for our pregnant friend they obliged immediately with  no fuss.

Looking over the menu, Grumpy Panda offered everything you'd expect from an American diner with fully loaded burgers, pancakes, waffles and shakes - the kind of food my husband usually loves, just this time he wouldn't be getting any meat.

Eating at the Grumpy Panda, Gateshead
Grumpy Panda is pretty special and a firm favourite with vegans in the North East. Independently owned and run by locals they make their own vegan friendly eggs, cheese and meat substitutes on site meaning that they can tell diners exactly what is in their food and can assure their customers that what they are eating fits perfectly with their diets. The dishes are forever evolving in their quest to perfect the menu and provide the very best vegan food.

It was burgers all round for us and I ordered The Mac n Stack (£7.00) - Mac n Cheez topped burger with lettuce and fry sauce with House Fries (£2.00). I am a huge mac n cheese fiend and wasn't overly convinced that a vegan offering would be any good so nervously awaited my dish.

Eating at the Grumpy Panda, Gateshead - Burger
When my burger appeared it looked damn good, it definitely ticked every box for "the gram" and after snapping a few photos on  my phone (they looked just as good as any other burger photo I have ever taken) I dug my fork into the generous helping of mac n cheese on my burger and tucked in.

The mac n cheese was delicious, the quality of the cheese was fantastic and I never would have realised it was vegan - it was thick and full of flavour! The burger bun and fries were also fantastic, I would happily return to the Grumpy Panda just for a massive portion of mac n cheese with fries - yum! The only part that I wasn't so keen on was the patty inside the burger. Whilst it wasn't awful, it was definitely an acquired taste and something I think would take a bit of getting used to, it was a little on the chewy side and as much as I really wanted to love it, I didn't.

Eating at the Grumpy Panda, Gateshead - Burgers
Simon opted for The Oklahoma is OK (£6.50) with House Fries - Burger patty with crispy onion strings, lettuce and BBQ sauce. His burger arrive fully loaded and looked just as good as any we've had anywhere else. As a huge burger monster I was pretty nervous waiting for Simon's verdict, I had a feeling he probably wouldn't be too keen but I really wanted him to give it a proper try. His thoughts are pretty much identical to mine, he loved the onion strings, BBQ sauce and fries but the patty inside he really didn't rate.

Having chatted to friends, both vegan and non-vegan who love The Grumpy Panda I am wondering if I'd perhaps have a different experience if I returned to try some more of the menu. I hear that the chicken is particularly good and I know a lot of people have been raving about their offerings at the newly opened By The River Brewery.

Grumpy Panda, Gateshead - Burgers

I wouldn't hesitate to return to The Grumpy Panda if we had vegan friends visiting us again, the atmosphere inside the cafe is fantastic and it offers a really full and varied menu. However, based on the burgers that we had, I have to be honest, I don't think Simon and I would rush to return just the two of us.

I would love to know your thoughts on The Grumpy Panda, especially if you're a non-vegan who's tried their food. Is there a different dish we should try?

Find Grumpy Panda at:

14 Regent Terrace

07498 903 588



  1. I’ve loved everything I’ve tried at Grumpy Panda so far (as a non vegan) but I’ve not tried the burgers. Knowing you, I think you would have loved their deep fried Oreos or waffle cake. I think for some meat alternatives, when you are still eating meat they don’t taste right. When you’ve cut them from your diet for a while and eat alternatives they taste much better I think.

    1. Yes, I definitely think we possibly just made the wrong menu choice - I've heard good things about lots of the other dishes and OMG I need to try those deep fried Oreos, every one has been going mad for them!

  2. I love this - I am not veggie but I am trying more to cut down on meat when I can, so will have to give this a try and get some of that delicious mac'n'cheese down me! I love your writing style :)

    1. Thank you :) I quite often eat veggie when I'm out just because I prefer the flavours!

  3. I cant believe this is vegan it looks amazing! i cant believe i haven't been here even though its only 2 mins down the road from me!

    1. You should definitely give it a go and then let me know what to order next time!

  4. You will have to re visit the burgers have changed and as a meat eater this is the best burger I have ever tasted

    1. Oooh really, that's good to know! Might be worth a revisit then!


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