We take a walk through the alleys of the Grainger Market – a bustling foodie destination filled with stunning produce and fabulous street food
Opened to the public on October 24 1835, Newcastle’s Grainger Market is in the heart of the city, a few paces from Grey Street and Grey’s Monument. Its alleyways have come a long way in the last 180 years or so, from sawdust-covered floors and freshly hung game to a thriving market experience offering the best meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, coffee and more alongside some of the region’s best street food.
Traditional family-run cafés sit beside innovative, international food vendors, foodies travelling for miles to gather supplies and enjoy lunch in the alleys.
A visit to the market is an occasion to be celebrated and savoured. Take a couple of hours to walk the alleys, chat to grocers, fishmongers, butchers and bakers – many of them running multi-generational family businesses – about their produce and how best to use it. Also be sure to grab some lunch while you’re here.
Acropolis Greek Street Food
When it comes to authentic Greek food, Acropolis is one of the best. A stalwart of the North East’s street food scene, Acropolis celebrates its fifth birthday this year. Its permanent location in the Grainger Market is home to chicken gyros, grilled veg and halloumi, fried halloumi bites and more. Founded by brothers Filip and Viktor and their friend Yusuf, Acropolis has won thousands of fans at the region’s biggest festivals over the years, and their Grainger Market location is a must-visit. www.acropolisstreetfood.co.uk
Fresh produce is a huge part of the Grainger Market, and the best of the day’s catch can be found at Chirton Fisheries. Beautifully displayed and presented by the expert team, you’ll find brilliant seasonal fish and shellfish here, with everything from fresh crab and prawns to stunning fish landed every morning. Be sure to chat to the team while they prepare your choices; they’ve always got a story or a suggestion to share. www.facebook.com/ChirtonFish
The newest addition to the market’s street food scene, Cubanos offers Cuban-inspired food on the go. A popular sight at food events and markets including the Quayside Market, these meals star local ingredients and everything including the hot sauce is made in-house using traditional recipes packed with Latin flair. The menu features a selection of Cuban dishes, from the namesake Cubanos (pressed sandwiches) and medianoche (shredded beef sandwiches) to Cuban rice bowls with shredded beef, citrus chicken or black bean sofrito. www.facebook.com/Cubanosnewcastle
Dumpling and Bun
If you’re looking for a less traditional Victorian market lunch, the brilliant Dumpling and Bun is a must. Relocated this summer to units 14 and 15 in the market, Dumpling and Bun serves up Chinese steamed dumplings and buns made fresh before your eyes and filled with anything from chilli beef and sweet carrot to tofu and vegetables. The menu also features crispy bottom dumplings, noodles and soups along with traditional Chinese teas. This is street food at its very best. www.facebook.com/dumplingandbun
If you’re looking for hearty home cooking, Eats is the place for you. The café is home to superb roast beef stotties, traditional lunches and a great cup of coffee. There’s also plenty of room to grab a seat in the heart of the market and enjoy watching the world passing by as you take a break. www.facebook.com/eatscafeNCL
Fed’s Fried Chicken
A grab-and-go lunch to rival the very best, fried chicken from Fed’s is a must. Sweet tea-brined chicken is served on the bone or as tenders, which are also available in sandwiches with accompaniments from BBQ sauce and hash browns to hot bonnet sauce and jalapeno cheese. The vegetarian ‘chicken-fried’ cauliflower is a must-try alongside fries and spicy beans. www.fedsfriedchicken.com
In the heart of the market, Finlay’s has been the butcher of choice for families for generations. Here you’ll find the pick of the finest local produce as well as expert advice from the experienced and talented team. A traditional butcher’s counter, you’ll always find great quality local beef, pork, lamb and chicken here along with excellent game when in season. Facebook – Finlay’s English meat corner
Based along the Tyne in Blaydon, Firebrick Brewery produces a range of established and award-winning craft beers and lagers covering a wide range of styles, including blonde session beer Pagan Queen, craft lager Giuseppe and Toon Broon brown ale. Firebrick’s Grainger Market shop offers beers and lager on draft as well as in bottles and cans alongside gift packs. There’s space to sit and sample the beers before purchasing some to take with you and you can also purchase small batch gins, vodkas, rums, whiskies and fine wines here too. www.firebrickbrewery.com
The French Oven
The French Oven fills the air with the smell of fresh bread and sweet treats. The scones are the stuff of legend, while bread, pies and pasties are essential on our shopping list. For lunch, filled baguettes and paninis are perfect and you should also treat yourself to a traditional sweet treat for pudding – we recommend the peach melbas. www.frenchoven.co.uk
Geordie Banger Company
A stalwart of markets, food shops and foodie gatherings since 2013, Geordie Bangers’ sausages come in a wide range of flavours and styles to suit every taste. Run by third-generation butcher David McDonald, you can buy sausages to cook at home at the Grainger Market or enjoy your choice of freshly cooked sausage on a stick, a banger in a bun or chipolatas to-go in the The Pig Sty. www.geordiebangercompany.co.uk
Launched in 2020 to bring the best of the Grainger Market to people’s homes, Grainger Delivery has proved a massive success, surpassing £1m in orders and becoming the go-to delivery service for North East produce. Starting as a Facebook post on March 23 2020, today the website offers more than 2,000 products from more than 20 businesses to homes all over the region, delivering goods from the market’s reatilers as well as heat and eat meals from street food vendors six days a week. www.graingerdelivery.com
Another cornerstone of the Grainger Market, Lindsay Bros. is an essential stop for quality fish and seafood. Supplier of fine seafood since 1936, the team has a renowned selection of produce from the North Sea and beyond delivered fresh every morning six days a week, including kippers from Craster and oysters from Lindisfarne. www.facebook.com/Lindsayfish1936
A cornerstone of the market’s food scene for more than 50 years, Matthew’s Cheese is expert in choosing the right goat, cow or ewe cheese for a cheese board or recipe. UK cheeses are sourced from England, Scotland and Wales, and Northumberland, while you’ll also find varieties from across Europe and further afield.
North Shore Coffee
Mobile coffee business North Shore Coffee Co moved into its first permanent location in the market in 2021. Founded by Toby Davison, North Shore is popular at foodie events as well as operating from the market, where it serves up top-notch coffee from Origin Coffee Roasters alongside fresh cakes and bakes as you do some shopping, head through the market on the way back to work or pop in for a mid-afternoon treat. www.northshorecoffeeco.co.uk
Oliver’s Café Bistro
When it comes to traditional market cafés with great breakfast, Oliver’s is our go-to. From simple scrambled eggs on toast to full English and Irish breakfasts, this is a perfect place to start the day. The menu also includes something for everyone at lunchtime as well as coffee and cake while you enjoy an afternoon break. Facebook – Olivers Cafe Bistro NCL
For fresh pizza served by the slice with plenty of Italian charm and fresh ingredients made to an original Italian recipe, head to Pizza Slice. Located in Alley 4 and run by Agostino, this is a perfect pit stop for lunch, and a large slice of pizza or a mini calzone always brightens our day. Facebook – PIZZA SLICE Newcastle
Pumphrey’s Coffee Centre and Brewing Emporium
Pumphrey’s Coffee Centre and Brewing Emporium is a coffee-lover’s dream, where you can drink superb fresh coffee at the bar and buy beans and loose leaf tea to take home, with more than 50 options to choose from. Their beans are freshly roasted at their showroom in Blaydon where they also supply espresso machinery and home brewing equipment. www.pumphreys-coffee.co.uk
Redheads Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Street food pop-up turned market fixture, the Redheads team have turned their passion for the simple dish into an essential part of every visit to the market with a selection of accompaniments elevating mac and cheese from side dish to star of the show. Ridiculously good! www.redheadsmacncheese.co.uk