Forget Ant and Dec, Cheryl Cole or seeing Mike Ashley give evidence yet again (call it what you want, it’ll always be St James park to the Geordie faithful), Newcastle is a superb place for any bloke to visit, but for a real taste of the city get off the beaten track and check out the best of the best. Meet the artists and artisans who bring this amazing city to life in our Alternative Guide to Newcastle.
The Pie Place – The Redhouse
Halleluiah! Connoisseurs of a fine crust and loving filling can worship at the altar that is The Redhouse. You might not have religion in your life but a visit to this amazing pie shop will definitely convert you to feel like you should make it a regular pilgrimage and give thanks for their genius. Oh, and did we mention they also serve fantastic pints?
32 Sandhill, NE1 3JF
The Record Place – Beatdown Records
Vinyl junkies can get their fix at this top quality record shop. You won’t get so much as a whiff of Bieber or the fading stench of One Direction, this is a real music shop run by and for real music fans. Every musical taste is catered for and as well as stocking the latest vinyl releases they stock classic records. No matter what you’re looking for, if they can’t get it they know a man who can.
Clarendon House, Bewick Street, NE15EE
The Burger Place – Burger Stop
‘Burgers, beers, beats’, as mottos go Burger Stop’s is a greater call to arms than anything we’ve ever read in Latin. And they back up their fine words with great deeds, delivering succulent, locally sourced burgers in fresh brioche buns, with their own special sauces, craft beers and laid back tunes. Special mentions would have to go to the Chilli Chilli Bang Bang and Winner Winner Chicken Dinner but then we’ve never met a Burger Stop burger we didn’t like.
35 Side, NE1 3JE
The Secret Place – Prohibition Bar
Like stepping back in time to the roaring 20’s the Prohibition Cabaret Bar is that weird mix of cool, vintage and crazy imaginings that you wish every night out could be like. The bar is created purely for bringing together the very best of the UK’s variety, cabaret and music hall acts. Whether you’re looking for a quiet Sunday night pint or a place to meet your best friend for a Friday night adventure, Prohibition has a way of always making you feel wanted.
Brandling Street, NE8 2BA
The Breakfast Place – Ernest
There are those that can do the healthy breakfast thing and we wish them well. Normally we wouldn’t join them but at Earnest you can. This fantastic funky modern diner serves a huge range of locally sourced ‘proper’ breakfasts. Whether you’re dropping by after the gym or it’s the last stop of an extended Saturday night, there’s soul food for everyone. And any menu that features ‘Breakfast Booze’ is well worth a visit or two.
1 Boyd Street, NE2 1AP
The Movie Place – Star & Shadow Cinema
“Movies, of the people, by the people, for the people…” Ok, so Star & Shadow Cinema might not have been what Abraham Lincoln was referring to in his original address but he probably would’ve loved this locally run cinema that puts independent movies and projects top of the agenda. An absolute must see for serious film lovers and movie buffs.
Warwick Street, NE2 1BB
The Trendy Place – Mr Lynch
The dream pub would have friendly staff who know how to mix perfect cocktails while never entering into political debate, the menu should be a collection of all your favourite comfort food, the furniture should be comfy in a way that feels like it’s been waiting just for you, the decor should look like the living room you’ve always wanted and the tunes should be cooler than an Eskimo’s lunch box. Welcome to Mr Lynch’s, our favourite bar in Newcastle. There, we’ve said it. Happy now?
Archbold Terrace, NE2 1DB
The Pedalling Place – The Cycle Hub
Not only can you get a really good breakfast, but having had your fill you can then hire one of Cycle Hub’s bikes and head out along the banks of the Tyne in the Ouseburn Valley and enjoy traffic free cycling on the many bike paths. This is perhaps the best way to see Newcastle (apart from being given a piggy back by Alan Shearer while Sarah Millican gives you an audio guide and being welcomed home by Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini). The Cycle Hub is one of our favourite spots in the city.
Quayside, NE6 1BU
The Haunted Place – Old George Inn
First things first, let’s put our beer mate firmly on the table and state that the George Inn is a first rate pub, the kind of pub you wish was your local (or yes, you would cheat on your local just to sneak here once a week while your local is at Slimming World). Great food, proper pints, superb atmosphere and shedloads of ghosts. One of them is believed to be King Charles I who was held nearby by the Scots in 1646 and he was often allowed to have a drink here before being taken away, tried and executed. The room and chair he sat in still exists and many staff and locals claim to have seen a grey figure sitting in it.
Old George Yard, NE1 1EZ
The Funny Place – The Stand Comedy Club
The North East is the birth place of so many of the nation’s funniest faces, Rowan Atkinson, Sarah Millican, Ross Noble, Chris Ramsey, Bob Mortimer, Peter Beardsley to name but a few. The Stand hosts big names and regular panel show pundits as well as the best up and coming new talents (“I remember him back when…”). You’ll find something on most nights as well as ‘Red Raw’ open mic nights so you can try out your own comedy chops.
Although they don’t accept stag weekends they’re still a top night out for fans of the funny.
5 York Place, EH1 3EB
The Experimental Place – Science Bar
Let your inquisitive mind find fellow free thinkers and journey forth together in a voyage of discovery at Science. The crazy alchemists behind the bar have been mixing potions and concoctions for those in the know and although Science isn’t exactly unknown it still has that great feel of a bar that hasn’t been overtaken by the masses. You’ll find live music on Tuesdays plus live DJs and other top nights throughout the week.
Neville Street, NE1 5DH
The Retro Place – Flip Vintage
If you like your fashion to be one offs and love the feel and look of vintage clothes then Flip Vintage is a mecca for like-minded hot steppers. Flip specialise in American vintage with all of their stock coming direct from the US of A. Sweaters, shirts, jackets and superb T-shirts sit alongside sunglasses and even license plates and signs. And of course plenty of seriously cool denim. “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A…”
104 Westgate Rd, NE1 4AF
The Ink Place – Hype Studio
One of the few places where you can believe the hype, Hype Tattoo have 2 studios in the city, both creating superb living art. Specialising in bespoke design you can bring your ideas, images or etchings for their dedicated team of artists to turn into a design for life that you’ll treasure forever. The friendly team are happy to talk about your design and work with you.
24 Nun St, NE1 5AQ
The Music Place – The Globe
Ever been in a bar when suddenly they start playing Taylor Swift and you get the overwhelming urge to push a Peperami in your ears and just keep pushing until everything stops?!? Well thankfully Newcastle has an antidote, the excellent Globe is an independent music label that features the UK’s best up and coming acts for those “I was there when…” moments in life.
11 Railway Street, NE4 7AD
The Forgotten Place/s – Hidden Newcastle App
If you’re one of those people who walks through a city and never pauses to consider the mysterious brown door beside the church then move along, nothing to see here. But if you have the kind of inquisitive mind that wants to know the quirky secrets that built the city then the Hidden Newcastle app is packed full of amazing local facts that range from “QI” to “OMFG!”
The Historic Place – Great North Museum
One of the UK’s foremost museums, The Great North is packed with a wealth of facts and artefacts spanning the nation’s history from our earliest ancestors to Newcastle’s massive shift during the industrial revolution. Away from the fossils and mummies you’ll also find The Living Planet gallery featuring tanks and aquaria. Best of all, they actually have their own pet T-rex, every home should have one.
A great place to take a date, a group of like-minded friends or explore on your own.
Barras Bridge, NE2 4PT