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There are so many fabulous and unique restaurants in Newcastle to choose from that picking out the very best is a nearly impossible task. However, there are some Newcastle restaurants, cafes and eateries that simply stand out from the crowd, and where you're always guaranteed a delightful dining experience.
Below, we've rounded up just 10 of the top restaurants in Newcastle - in no particular order - and we could have chosen many more. We've picked these for their exceptional food, unique location, or fabulous service - and in most cases, all three. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it!
The jewel in the crown of Newcastle's fine dining restaurants, House of Tides is the first restaurant opened by double Michelin-starred chef, Geordie lad and TV star, Kenny Atkinson. Enjoying an enviable location on the Newcastle Quayside, House of Tides was awarded a Michelin star in September 2015 - just 18 months after its opening - making it the very first Michelin-starred restaurant in Newcastle since the year 2000! House of Tides is a thoroughly British restaurant, offering set tasting menus that change daily to reflect the availability of local produce, and you'll soon discover why it was worthy of such high accolade.
Newcastle loves its Italian restaurants, especially pizza, and one of the very best and quirkiest places to enjoy it is at The Herb Garden. Situated within a railway arch, you'll be greeted by Herbie the horse at the entrance, followed by a delicious menu of artisan pizzas and generously sized salads. They're also famous for their Sunday breakfast pizzas - the ultimate indulgence! By the way, The Herb Garden isn't just a cool name, as you'll soon see that all of their herbs are grown on-site in their hydroponics pods which fill a whole wall.
Artisan restaurant at The Biscuit Factory art and design gallery certainly does its elegant location justice, with a modern and creative British-inspired menu that puts the focus on seasonal and regional ingredients. It's a favourite destination for Sunday lunch in Newcastle, but during the rest of the week, you can choose from an ever-changing a la carte menu or an early evening set menu to sample the flavours. The Head Chef of Artisan, Andrew Wilkinson, is a former winner of the North East Chef of the Year, so be assured that you can expect something special.
Now most often referred to as simply '21', this stylish bistro is one of Newcastle's longest-established eateries, having first opened in its former location in 1988. Now at the Quayside, with a second more relaxed location in Fenwick, 21 is north-east chef and restaurateur Terry Laybourne's first and best-loved eatery in Newcastle. On the menu is classic European bistro food with a thoroughly modern touch, and crafted with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, but the restaurant itself is the real finishing touch with crisp white tablecloths, elegant polished wooden floors, and spotlit tables for an intimate atmosphere.
Newcastle's best restaurants aren't only to be found in the city centre. Peace and Loaf in Jesmond is another of Newcastle's top fine dining restaurants, and perhaps one of its best-looking, as the restaurant itself has an effortlessly cool decor with exposed-brick walls and wooden beams. As for the food, it's as stylish as the restaurant itself. The menu is traditionally British with local ingredients and a generous drizzle of sophistication; choose from an a la carte menu or treat yourself to the exquisite tasting menu, complete with wine pairing for the complete experience.
Proof that excellent dining in Newcastle doesn't need to come with expense, Pani's Cafe is perhaps the best-loved Italian restaurant in Newcastle and offers some of the very best value. To be clear, Pani's is actually a Sardinian, rather than Italian restaurant, and is as authentic as you can get in Newcastle; run by a Sardinian family, the menu comprises of classic Sardinian dishes freshly made with many ingredients brought over from the island itself. With most main courses around £9, dining at cosy, friendly Pani's restaurant is an affordable treat.
Priding itself on offering 'proper food and proper beer', The Broad Chare on the Quayside is certainly not your average Newcastle pub. Sophisticated yet sleek and simple, The Broad Chare offers a vast selection of real ales alongside a menu of hearty, 'home-cooked' meals and bar snacks, with such delights as a Handraised Pork Pie, Bubble 'n' Squeak and Mutton Masala - made with the very finest local and seasonal ingredients, this is as good as comfort food gets. Even if you're not feeling peckish, you'll love the warm atmosphere of The Broad Chare gastropub, and soon be booking a spot for Sunday lunch.
The Newcastle street food scene is outstanding, but you don't need to head to a market or street food festival just to get a taste. Dabbawal is Newcastle's Indian street food restaurant, and here you can tuck into authentic street food dishes on any day of the week. There are two Dabbawal locations, on High Bridge and in Jesmond, and both offer an exciting menu of authentic Indian dishes - if you're stuck for choice, order the Chef's Special Menu, and let the chefs surprise you with their choices of dishes from the daily menu. Vegans and vegetarians are also especially well catered for at Dabbawal - it's truly a people pleaser.
Not only is Jesmond Dene House a stunning boutique hotel in the heart of Jesmond, but it also houses a fabulous award-winning restaurant that has deservedly become famous in its own right. The Restaurant at Jesmond Dene House offers a fine dining menu of modern British favourites, and it's also well-loved for its wonderful champagne afternoon teas, and delectable Sunday lunches. The Restaurant itself is magnificent too; choose from two dining areas, The Garden Room with its terrace views, or the former music room with the original plasterwork ceiling.
If your taste is more 'filthy burger' than 'fine dining', Newcastle has you spoiled. The Fat Hippo is Newcastle's burger institution, with two Newcastle locations in the city centre and Jesmond, and its burgers (which are the good kind of filthy!) are dangerously addicting. All the beef is ground in-house daily, so whether you sink your teeth into a classic American, or experiment with delicious toppings like peanut butter, chilli jam or candied bacon, you're guaranteed a real burger experience. Vegetarians can enjoy too, with several options - including a burger of deep fried mac 'n' cheese balls which even carnivores can't resist.
Got an appetite to discover even more fantastic restaurants in Newcastle? Read all about the best breakfasts in Newcastle to start your day, or if your doggy wants to dine too, let us share our favourite Newcastle dog-friendly pubs. Nobody goes hungry in Newcastle!