If you’re yearning for ridiculously good plant-based food, then book a train, pack a bag and stay a while in this vibrant northern city, says Clea Grady.
Published on 8 Jan 2019
8-10 Leazers Park Road, NE1 4PF, chilli-padi.co.uk
Chilli Padi is a Malaysian restaurant that caters well for vegans with affordably-priced, super-delicious food – plus you can take along your own drinks which helps keep costs down. It’s always good to know about (and support) non-vegan restaurants with great plant-based options because they make meals out with less-obliging family and friends much easier. But regardless of the company, I recommend that you check this place out as soon as you can – if only for the amazing Salt and Chilli Tofu!
With a vegetarian section on the menu, it’s pretty easy to figure out what dishes are vegan, but if you’re in any doubt, then just ask. And if you think you don’t like bean curd or tofu, then bank that thought until you’ve eaten here… I can pretty much guarantee that Chilli Padi will change your mind!
37 Pink Lane, NE1 5DW, iloveboho.co.uk
No trip to the Toon would be complete without a visit to The Bohemian! Fully vegan, this popular eatery is a restaurant, bar and vinyl record shop all rolled into one. Only two minutes from the train station, make it your first foodie pit-stop and start your weekend as you mean to go on… in plant-based heaven! The menu is deliciously extensive, so the only problem you’ll have is deciding what to choose (perhaps plan to have a farewell meal here as well?).
My advice is to take advantage of the tapas-style sharing plates and sample as much as possible. Favourite options include the Peking Shredded Jackfruit, mezze, quesadillas, fish and chips, burgers and the Tandoori Jackfruit Shawarma. Pizza lovers will never want to leave, with flavour combos like BBQ Chicken and The Greek – all offered with vegan mozzarella. Haven’t got time to make it for dinner? The Bohemian has you covered there as well… Pop by for a proper afternoon tea and a glass of prosecco!
Junk It Up
Shields Road, Byker, NE6 1DL, junkitup.co.uk
The Bohemian’s little sister, Junk It Up, serves ‘vegan fast food with attitude’ and is most famous for its Southern Fried Fricken, which you can buy in pieces, in a bucket or in a burger.
Also serving up kebabs, pizzas, onion rings and fries, it’s the perfect place to introduce your non-vegan mates to the wonders of plant-based junk food! And if you’re staying locally then you can totally Netflix and chill as this super little place delivers to certain postcodes. A sign of the changing times? I certainly like to think so!
The Ship Inn
Stepney Bank, NE1 2P
Situated in trendy Ouseburn, The Ship Inn is an entirely vegan pub and an absolute must-visit! My top tip is to get there early, especially on Sundays or in winter, as this place is massively popular and fills up quickly. Famed for its vegan fish and chips and Sunday roast, The Ship offers great top-notch pub grub, so it’s an excellent choice if dining with a group that includes non-vegans. They’ll never expect a menu like this, plus there’s the novelty factor of dining in a plant-based pub.
Dog-friendly and with outdoor seating, it’s also great in the warmer months. If you’re looking for hearty portions of great-tasting food, a few drinks and a friendly vibe, then you really can’t go wrong with this twist on the local.
Wildflower Creative Kitchen
At Kommunity, Market Street, NE1 6BH, wildflowernewcastle.com
With small plates at £3 and large plates at £6, Wildflower Creative Kitchen is a totally affordable option for dining out, with the added
bonus of a super-cool ethos and friendly, community vibe. Inspired by Peruvian cuisine and combining street food with ‘home cooking flavours, a modern edge and seasonal British produce’, this experimental art café aims to create a ‘new and refreshing take’ on vegan food.
With innovative dishes like ceviche, wantons and Bananarama Sticky Rice, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the city centre. Almost all standard menu dishes can be made gluten-free as well, so it certainly ticks a lot of dietary boxes. Check out the website before you visit to see if you can tie in your meal with one of their fun monthly music events!
Beautiful and atmospheric whatever the weather, Tynemouth Longsands is one of the North East’s best beaches and is not far from the city. Perfect for stretching your legs and playing catch with your dog, sunbathing or eating al fresco with friends. Though not even slightly vegan, Riley’s Fish Shack on the neighbouring King Edward’s Bay is a very cool place to have a drink and watch the sea. Made out of converted shipping containers, it’s also pretty romantic on a cold night as you can snuggle up beside the outside fires.
More great places to eat in the city…
If you prefer to stick to what you know when dining out, Newcastle’s high street chain restaurants offer some great vegan options too…
- Zizzi: 42 Grey Street, NE1 6AE
- Wagamama: 6 Eldon Square, NE1 6JG
- Nando’s: Eldon Square Shopping Centre, NE1 7JD
- Carluccio’s: 89 Grey Street, NE1 6EG
- Pizza Express: Eldon Square Shopping Centre, NE1 7JD
- YO! Sushi: 139-141 Grainger Street, NE1 5AE
Vegetarian since she was 12 years old, Clea has been vegan since 2014 and loves inspiring and supporting others to live a cruelty-free life. With a fondness for bread making, running, wine and rescuing animals, she also runs her own bespoke marketing and PR agency, Chips and Grady (chipsandgrady.co.uk).
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