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From locally-run cafés with mouth-watering menus to amazing markets which host dozens of unique stores, there are so many fantastic independent businesses to enjoy and support in Newcastle. Here are 10 of our favourites:
If Italian is by far your favourite cuisine, you can’t skip having a meal at Zucchini Pasta Bar. Just a stone’s throw from the iconic Tyne Bridge, the independently-run restaurant serves up delicious homemade pasta with a range of toppings to suit all tastes and diets.
Zucchini first opened in 2017 and prides itself on using both locally-sourced produce and authentic ingredients from Italy. While it won’t be open to dine-in until the 17th May, you can still enjoy their delicious dishes at home with a takeaway. Savour their braised beef pappardelle or keep it simple with bucatini tossed in garlic, olive oil, chilli and herbs.
Frothy cappuccinos, strong espressos and yummy baked goods are all on offer at Pink Lane Coffee. It’s just one of the many independent coffee shops in Newcastle.
You’ll be able to enjoy its Instagram-friendly décor indoors from the 17th May, as well as choose from a range of speciality coffees made by small batch producers. They also have an online subscription service if you can’t wait that long for your Pink Lane Coffee fix.
Your one-stop-shop for all things totally unique, Flea Circus is an independent centre spread across various industrial units in Ouseburn. The space only opened in 2018 and it gives a modern spin to the traditional flea market. There are over 35 locally-run stores inside, each offering up weird and wonderful items – from collectable comic books and refurbished bikes to vintage furnishings and amazing homewares.
Keen to update your denim collection? Union is a locally-run clothing store that’s been around since 1987. It mainly specialises in high-quality denim and you’ll find a range of jeans, shirts and jackets from the likes of Levi’s, Lee and EDWIN, as well as plenty of other brands.
Newcastle is known for having an artistic flair – and there are few better places to immerse yourself in it than the Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art. Right on the riverfront, the independent art centre features ultra-modern interiors and hosts an ever-changing collection of modern art.
With galleries set to open up their doors again soon, why not spend an hour or so wandering around the Baltic Centre? You’ll also find a fantastic onsite gift shop, plus a café with amazing views across the Tyne.
There’s no shortage of quicky independent gift shops in Newcastle. UpSide Down Presents is a prime pick for pressies for all your family and friends. The charming store has a unique location under the railway arch on Dean Street and, despite its small space, is jam-packed with gifts, greeting cards and other unusual items made predominantly by local artists.
One of the longest running markets in Newcastle, Quayside Market can be found right on the north bank of the River Tyne. It’s usually held on Sundays and packed with rows of stalls selling locally-made food, gorgeous handmade jewellery and second-hand clothes.
It’s the ideal spot to kickstart your Sunday, plus its location lets you soak up some of the best riverside views in the city.
Always wanted to set foot in a biscuit factory? While this one is no longer used to make delicious treats, you will find plenty of treasures inside. The former factory was beautifully refurbished back in 2002 into a space for exhibiting and selling art. The Biscuit Factory has retained all of its original charm too – we’re talking high ceilings and lots of exposed brickwork.
You can browse two floors of amazing works from local and emerging artists, including stunning paintings, exquisite sculptures and handmade pieces created by members of the Contemporary Glass Society. You could also dig into a light lunch at The Factory Kitchen which features a rooftop terrace perfect for socially distanced dining.
Another independently-run market popular with the locals is the Make and Mend Market. Hosted inside the historic Grainger’s Market on the first Saturday of every month, it’s a lovely event which sees some of the city’s best local businesses set up shop to sell everything from scented soaps to recycled furnishings.
Last, but certainly not least, is Grate – an incredible cheese emporium in Jesmond. The independent cheesemonger only opened in late 2020, but is now one of the best places in Newcastle to buy melt-in-your-mouth cheeses sourced from all over the world. In fact, Grate have over 70 different varieties.
If you’re set on supporting some indie shops and restaurants in Newcastle, make sure you follow the current government guidelines and stay distanced from other people. If you need to travel, book your train tickets online or on the TPExpress app to save time and help limit contact at stations.