Doing Veganuary? Here’s where to eat in Newcastle
Plus, vegan influencers to follow for plant-based inspo.
By Amy Johnson
After over-indulging at Christmas, more of us than ever are trying plant-based food this New Year. Last year, over 582,000 people took part in “Veganuary”, breaking all previous records. Whether you’re taking part for a New Year challenge or for health and/or environmental reasons, plant-based options are better than ever and a great way to try exciting new flavours and expand your culinary horizons. There are some fantastic vegan cafes and restaurants in Newcastle – want to know the best?
From innovative takes on meaty classics and Asian Fusion sushi, to Indian street food and sourdough ‘veganizzas’, we’ve hand-picked some of the tastiest plant-based eateries Newcastle has to offer.
Little Green Social
This plant-based café in the heart of Sandyford is one of the top spots for breakfast, brunch and lunch in Newcastle. Its dishes are truly perfected with unique and superb flavours, proving that eating vegan doesn’t have to be a compromise. Homemade tempeh is a house speciality and is used to make its famous LG burger and sausages. The British fava bean hummus is a tasty favourite and if you’re a fan of artichokes, we recommend the pan-fried artichokes with aioli dip. The start of this year sees some exciting new offerings such as creamy pea guacamole on toast (they promise you won’t miss the avo!) and spicy shakshuka as well as 48-hour fermented Neapolitan pizzas. Little Green Social champion sustainability and seasonal produce and use local suppliers wherever possible.
83-89 Goldspink Lane, Newcastle, NE2 1NQ
After a winter walk along the Quayside, treat yourself to Asian Fusion cuisine at Veganatomy, you’ll be well-rewarded for your efforts. Tucked under the Tyne Bridge at By The River Brew Co, Veganatomy’s food is as beautiful as it is tasty, bursting with fresh and clean flavours. Get a spot by one of the open fires and indulge in some warm Urban Tempura Sushi. The graze box for two is a great way to get a taste of everything on the menu. The mushrooms in the Bánh Mi are sourced from YMCA Urban Mushrooms, grown using reused coffee grinds that are collected from local businesses in the city.
HWKRMKT By the River Brew Co. Hillgate Quays, Gateshead, NE8 2FD
The lively atmosphere, 80s music and delicious food make for a great evening at this Italian-inspired vegan café. The newly revamped menu includes its plant-based take on classics such as burgers, pasta and pizza. The kebabs, including ‘Wor Dirty Doner’ work remarkably well using seitan (surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when it’s cooked, making it a popular meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans), packed with salad in a flatbread. The BBQ pulled Porklyke loaded fries using jackfruit are amazing and easy to mistake for the real thing. Booking ahead is recommended as the place fills up quickly.
33a Blandford Square, Newcastle, NE1 4HZ
Super Natural Café
Near to Central Station, this inviting café is an insta-worthy oasis of green and lights. A veggie café since 1978 and fully plant-based for six years, signature dishes include the New York Deli burger made with mixed soya protein and mushroom, creamy lentil and chickpea dhal curry and South Carolina Hot Dog using onion and carrot. You don’t need to comb the drinks menu for vegan options as the café boasts an exciting and entirely vegan cocktail menu with popular options including the Pornstar Martini, White Russian and Daiquiri. Cocktails use aquafaba instead of egg white.
27 Grainger St, Newcastle, NE1 5JE
Get a taste of authentic Mumbai Street food at this family-run stall in the Grainger Market. Snackwallah is a great lunch spot with popular dishes including curry of the day, hot samosa chaat and most famously their Pani Puri and Bhel Puri (described by the Hairy Bikers recently as like “eating sunshine”). Mumbai street food is mostly prepared without meat or dairy, and in this spirit, Snackwallah is 100% plant-based.
42-43 Grainger Market, Grainger St, Newcastle, NE1 5QG (NB: It’s moving premises soon so be sure to check the Instagram before you head down).
Karma Kitchen Café
(evening take-away/collection only)
This is a great take-away option to satisfy your curry cravings. Karma Kitchen serves a mixture of traditional vegetable-based curries such as Tarka Daal, Vegetable Korma and Dal Makhani as well as interesting and original meat replacement curries such as Seitan Madras, Tofu do Piazza and Ch’kn Jalfrezi. We recommend the homemade vegan ‘paneer’ kofta in the mango curry and the Thoran Masala with uses marinated banana blossom as a fish replacement. The fluffy, sweet peshwari rice was a delicious standout that we’re surprised isn’t on offer in more curry houses. For an added bonus, curries come in recyclable cardboard packaging.
6 Bigg Market, Newcastle, NE1 1UW
These plant pizza pioneers are a handy and delicious takeaway option. The sourdough bases are topped with various well-finessed vegan cheeses, which are made in-house (and some of the best we’ve had). The meaty, smoky flavour of the pepperoni is excellent and the creative beetroot pizza topped with pumpkin cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and balsamic chilli beetroot is a winner.
More food to try…
These hearty plant-powered pies are great to have in the freezer for an easy mid-week meal with fresh greens and gravy.
Glazed Handmade Donuts
Satisfy your sweet tooth with these plant-based donuts handmade fresh every day. Classics include biscoff, cinnamon sugar and dough balls as well as regular specials and their own blend coffee.
Unit 132, Grainger Market, Newcastle, NE1 5QN / 19 Coast Road, High Heaton
Who to follow this Veganuary
Follow these inspiring North-East women for recommendations and recipes.
@itzallvegan – Annelise is a local plant-based recipe developer and creator, soon to launch her own website with recipes
@jenuinely.vegan – follow Heaton-based Jennifer for simple and fun vegan recipes and local food recommendations
@veganonthetyne – recommendations and inspiration from Andrea
@vegantoonlife – Lauren is a vegan foodie blogger
Get in touch! Share your recommendations and dining experiences with us using the hashtag #HLNVegan in your posts this Veganuary.