Play Hard

19 independent lunch spots in Newcastle, Jesmond, Heaton and Gosforth

Level up your lunchbreak game

Written by High Life North
Published 17.02.2022

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of having the same meal deal day in, day out now most of us are back at the office.

But if this last year has taught us anything, it’s the beauty of shopping locally. And why not liven our lunchbreaks up while we’re at it, eh?

We know deciding what we fancy to eat can be ridiculously difficult – which is why we’ve done all that we can to make it that bit easier for you. So whether you’re after mouth-watering gyros or satisfying sushi is more your vibe, we’ve found some local foodie spots that’ll make your working day that little bit tastier.



If you’re based in Newcastle’s city centre, escape your busy day at the office with a wander around the Grainger Market. But a word of warning – this isn’t the place for the indecisive. Here, you’re spoilt for choice on what to pick for lunch. But we’ll try and break it down a little for you.

Some of our faves? Well, if you fancy fresh pies and pastries, then we’d go to The French Oven every time. Keen to have a taste of the Mediterranean on your lunch break? Head to Acropolis – where they’ve got all the gorgeous gyros goodness you could ever dream of.

There’s nothing better than some comfort food to fuel your day and, here at HLN at least, we love anything full of cheese and carbs. You too? Indulge your Italian cravings at Pizza Slice then, or treat yourself to a cheeky cheesy pot of Redheads Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Trust us, you won’t regret it.


Fancy going to Italy on your lunch? Yeah, us too. And while a last-minute flight might be out of the question at the moment, a cheeky trip to The Social Café Bar isn’t. Think European-inspired everything. Or if Asian cuisine is more your vibe, get your Chinese street food fix with handmade dumplings at The Little Dumpling House.

 After something a little more traditional? One of Newcastle’s favourite sandwich shops, Frankie and Tony’s Sandwich Bar, gives you a selection of sarnies to satisfy your cravings – saving you the job during your morning rush, too.




STACK Newcastle is where it’s at in this neck of the woods. If you’re wanting a lighter lunch, try out the fluffy bao buns from Bao Down, or feast on some fresh, hand-rolled sushi from Sushi Me Rollin’.

Still fancy your more classic sandwich-style lunch but sick of the basic ham sarnie you whack together every morning? Head to Hatch 76 – with freshly baked bread and the best seasonal ingredients out there, they’ve got everything you need to get that sexy sandwich hit and then some.



So rushed in the mornings that you miss breakfast? Let Aidan’s Kitchen come to your rescue. From a full English to a range of pancakes, their delicious brunch menu will sort you out, (and is served until 4pm through the week). Life’s good when you have a good sandwich – and at Dene’s Deli, their combinations of fillings will blow you away. Know exactly what you like? That’s ok you can customise your own sandwich down to the finest detail here too.

Not quite sure what you want until the choice is right there in front of you? We hear ya. Our best advice? Pop along to 1901 Caffe Bistro. The location (in a beautifully converted church) is an added bonus here, thanks to the wide range of dining options available. So whether you’re feeling like a full English or a tuna toastie, it’s an avocado smash kinda day or you’re in more of a milkshake mood, these guys have got you covered.



Get a taste of Asia on your dinner break at Bao Bar. These buns may be small, but they’re mighty in flavour. Our favourite is the Crispy Chicken and Sriracha – honestly, it’s to die for!

We’re prone to popping by Dot Bagels for our lunch here at HLN. From North East Parmo to Salt On Chilli Road, their wide range of bagel combos will have your taste buds tingling here.

Wanting to eat healthily but don’t have the time to meal prep? The Naked Deli is here for us – hallelujah! Time to get your clean eating fix with their Naked Hot Bowls, featuring Grilled Asian Style Chicken Satay or Naked Bowl Deli Salads – setting you straight up for your post-office workout.

A new kid on the block but one that hasn’t failed to impress yet – head to The Big Banh on Chillingham Road for a taste of Vietnam. With a wide selection of different Banh’s – for the meat-lovers or vegans amongst us – there’s something for everyone.



Not sure what you fancy? Visit The Lemon Tree Deli, who offer a range of street food, gourmet sausage rolls, hot and cold sandwiches, paninis and wraps, so you’ll be sure to find that special something to tickle your tastebuds. Oh, and their selection of cakes are just perfect for that late afternoon pick-me-up, too.

Channel those authentic, rustic Italian-style vibes at Café Corsaro. From coffees, cakes and salads to a range of weekly specials – including lasagne, meatballs and homemade soups – this little gem is the perfect getaway from your screen, (and will fuel you up good for the rest of the day!).

Keen to stick to a more healthier lunch? Deli Espresso has got your back. With wraps, lean burgers and healthy salads – and all the calories in each of their dishes listed on the menu – these lunchtime legends will make sure you get your flavour fix, without compromising your diet. Thanks guys!


Other stories by High Life North

6 bottomless brunch spots in Durham

High Life North

20 of the best beer gardens in and around Newcastle

High Life North

6 spring staycation spots in the North East to book now

High Life North

Country houses, spa hotels and castles to stay in Scotland

High Life North

6 of the best places to stay in Yorkshire

High Life North

Tasty by Greggs is now open at Primark in Newcastle

High Life North