Play Hard

Walk-in wins

20 bars in and around Newcastle you don’t need to pre-book

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 24.04.2021

Ok, there’s only really one place to start this article off, and one place only – Wylam Brewery. They made us wait a little longer than some of their contemporaries, but on Thursday our favourite Palace of the Arts officially reopened their beer garden and – praise be! – the Jakehead is now flowing once more. Their Tap Terrace is open from midday every day, along with their café and burger joint.

Sticking with the brewery theme, Tyne Bank Brewery is also open to walk-ins and bookings alike. Always child- and dog-friendly, their recent announcement that they’ve just bagged themselves a permanent sour line with Exale Brewing’s Krankie Iron Bru Sour (4.4%) is just another reason to stop by. You can rock up and nab yourself a table just up the road, too – The Tyne Bar’s always a peak pitstop for us, as are Ouseburn neighbours Kiln (who have a right little sun trap) and Ernest, who’ll sort you out all the way from breakfast to beers. If you happen to succumb to a severe chocolate craving on your walk around, (listen, it happens), artisan chocolatiers Studio 28 Patisserie are also open from 10am to 3pm. Just FYI.


By The River Co. is the big Quayside destination for all walk-in wanderers. They’re open from midday every day – with HWKRMRKT open from 5pm – to serve up all those chill terrace vibes and street food screamers. If you’re sticking along the river, Head of Steam’s Quayside outpost is also a great shout, as they’re accommodating walk-ins only.

In town, we’ll never not want a bev or two at Alvino’s. This quirky urban bar now has new food on offer, as well as a brand new cocktail menu, which means there are plenty of new discoveries to be made. Revolucion de Cuba gives us our very own slice of Havana’s heyday with no reservations necessary, (spoiler alert – Bottomless Brunch has now made its grand return), and if that helps you work up an appetite then Meat:Stack is your best bet to get proper good scran without booking a table.

Blonde Barrel is open from 12pm at weekends and from 2pm every weekday for walk-ins only. Remember – they’ve temporarily taken over Rusty’s outdoor space, so there’s oodles of room and a right good atmosphere. Just over the road, Newcastle’s longest-running gay bar, The Yard & Heavens Above, also have some tables knocking about for walk-in warriors looking for a good time.

A little further out of the city centre, popular Jesmond haunts Spy Bar and Bar Blanc are both accepting walk-ins as well as bookings. Towards the coast, the pub garden with one of the best views in Newcastle – The Gibraltar Rock – are operating on a first-come, first-served basis, as are Tynemouth neighbour Allard’s Lounge, (although their North Shields outpost, Allard’s On The Quay are still booking-only).


Speaking of North Shields, swanky cocktail bar How Do You Do are another prime spot for alfresco drinks, while La Terraza at The Quay Tap House is just waiting to give you your summertime fix of tapas and sangria as though we were already in August. New bar on the block, Black Storm Tap House, will also be serving up their craft beers, cider and gin to walk-ins at their new Royal Quays set up, while they wait for their Whitley Bay outpost to open back up in May.

In between the two, Fox and Finch has a drinks selection extensive enough to satisfy even the pickiest of pallets, alongside a tapas menu with a modern twist. And their Whitley Bay neighbours, Elder and Wolf, are also back to doing what they love best – serving up speciality beers, wines and cocktails alongside their award-winning ‘posh kebabs’. Belter.

So the only question left is: where to first?





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