Can’t decide where to eat in Newcastle? You don’t have to. Choose a Triple A Food Tour of Newcastle and dine in a different, top-rated toon restaurant for every course!
Newcastle is bursting with incredible restaurants of every kind. And despite the difficult time facing our hospitality industry, we’re seeing more venues and eateries opening their doors across the city. Now we’re allowed back out again (for how long, who knows?!), it’s becoming just too difficult to decide where you’ll take your tastebuds. Talk about first world problems…
Fear not, I’ve found the solution. Well, actually, Amy from Triple A Food Tours has. Established in 2018, a local entrepreneur with a passion for food launched the first walking food tour that aimed to show off the wonderful and ever-growing food scene offered by our beloved North East city.
What was it like?
I’d actually purchased a voucher for two as a birthday present for my friend and fellow foodie, Chantelle. We hadn’t gotten round to using it when COVID hit, but as soon as Triple A announced they were back in business, we scheduled our slot.
Our voucher was for ‘The Taste of Newcastle’ food tour, consisting of 5 stops around some of the finest independent restaurants in the city. This was one of the things that I liked most about the concept – involving homegrown, local businesses. Amy herself is passionate about it and it really shows as she explains each stop to you.
In addition to the fantastic food, Amy herself was one of the highlights of the day. She was warm, engaging and SO funny. I won’t lie, I wasn’t there for the history as we walked around the streets of Newcastle (just the food, plz) but I even found myself interested in her snippets of local knowledge. It was just the right amount, seamlessly delivered in a light-hearted way.
Amy leaves you at each restaurant once she’s got you settled with a drink and knows your food is on route, but we would have happily had her join us for a wine or two. Because of COVID restrictions, there was just myself and Chantelle on the tour which was actually really lovely but usually there can be a group of you all touring together.
I know from tours we’ve done abroad that this is one of the best ways to meet people. Especially because they’re very likely to love food just as much as you. And scran + a tipple or two has got to be the best possible ice breaker.
Whilst we’re on about the boring stuff, too – each restaurant felt incredibly safe with regards to the measures they had in place to stop the spread of you know who. Amy herself had personally checked each venue out prior to her restarting the tours. Diligent.
Where did we go?
We met Amy, who will drop you a text the day before to confirm, at Grey’s Monument at 1.00pm before making our way to the first foodie stop. We had a really good mix of restaurants which took us all across the city, without really feeling like we’d done much walking.
Lindsay Bros Seafood Stall, Grainger Market
OYSTERS. And Lindisfarne ones at that. We both lit up as soon as we realised what we were in for. If you’re not keen or just not sure, I highly recommend you at least try one if this is one of the stops on your tour. Let the lovely, knowledgeable fishmongers (who are rather renowned in the north east) prepare your oyster with a little lemon, maybe some hot sauce if you like some heat and I guarantee you’ll be surprised.
The Grainger Market is going through a significant revamp too, it’s already home to some of the best up and coming food spots as well as a lot of independent retailers.
SnackWallah, Grainger Market
Our next stop was just a few doors along and I won’t tell you fibs, when Amy said vegan, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Now, before you judge, it’s becoming increasingly apparent to me lately that I just haven’t had good vegan food before. And believe it or not, it was this place that really opened my eyes.
SnackWallah is a vegan, health-conscious hole in the wall serving up delicious Indian street food. We’d already necked three oysters and were now looking down at a bowl of six Panipuri, one of the most common street food snacks in India. I could tell I wasn’t gonna go home hungry. Panipuri are crispy, hollow balls that are fried and filled with a range of ingredients including chutney, chaat and spiced chickpeas. Honestly, if I vegan food always tasted that good, I’d happily hang up my steak knife now. The flavours were just incredible as the panipuri burst in your mouth. Not my last time at SnackWallah, I’ll tell you.
Next up, Blackfriars. After two – what would you call them, amuse bouche? Appetisers? Pre-starters? Whatever. After those we were seated in the bar area of the medieval themed Blackfriars for our starter. Previously home to the monks of Newcastle, the former-friary has been transformed into a beautiful restaurant with heaps of character.
Our official starter was a smoked mackerel pate with pickled cucumbers and crispy sourdough and it was absolutely delicious. It’s always been one of those must-try places but on this occasion, I was so pleased that I hadn’t already been. Accompanied by a gorgeous glass of red, as recommended by the bar staff, there wasn’t a thing to fault.
The Bridge Tavern
A different venue altogether, The Bridge Tavern was all about beers and burgers. Champion. The pub-come-brewery offers of artisan ales and craft lagers as well as impressive food menu too. On the table for us, however, was a line up of four different beers and three burger sliders.
Given just how varied my food and drink tastes are, I loved how the tour catered for each end of the spectrum. The only slight constructive criticism here would be different kinds of burgers to pair with the flavour profile of each ale we were served. Despite being absolutely delicious, each slider was the same and we thought it might have been quite cool to have the burgers paired with the beers. Still a really lovely spot that is famed for its roasts and, as I found out, dog friendly too, it’s definitely somewhere I wouldn’t hesitate to returning.
The French Quarter
The final stop of our food tour, and arguably my favourite of them all, The French Quarter. Nestled away in the arches of Westgate Road, this Parisian-style wine bar was our dessert destination and they absolutely nailed it. A platter of three mini, classic French desserts each paired with a glass of dessert wine. I mean, we were already stuffed. Well and truly. But there was not scrap left in any of those ramekins. We were served a creamy Crème Brûlée, an Ile Flottante (floating island) and a Mousse au Chocolat Maison (homemade chocolate mousse, of course). All ridiculously good and paired flawlessly with each wine.
You could tell the team at the French Quarter knew what they were talking about, too. Everything was explained including the notes in each wine and why they were paired as they were which I really appreciated.
Amy, the little gem that she is, had also ordered us a classic French Martini to enjoy on her at the end of our meal. She left us at the French Quarter to enjoy our final course and get on with our day after making us promise we’ll return again.
I think it’s safe to say she didn’t have to; our minds were pretty much made up quite early on. We both loved the day and it was something different to just going out for a meal and a few drinks. Especially for £49pp, you really got a lot for your money.
Triple A Food Tours also offer a Wine and Cheese Tour, which we’re still to pencil in but is 100% on the to-do list. And if you’re a visiting a little further north when things are little bit more normal, there’s the option of a Northumberland Coastline Tour too.
So next time you’re wondering where to eat in Newcastle, just save yourself the chew and book a tour instead. Or, it’s perfect gift – Christmas will be here before you know it you know!
Lot of love, LB x