Search launched for alternative restaurant week champions

Following hot on the heels of another successful Newcastle Restaurant Week, a search has been launched for the city’s best fast food, burgers, hangover breakfasts, and more.

With a judging panel including Peace & Loaf chef Dave Coulson, the awards have been created by stag and hen party specialists Last Night of Freedom. The company is asking the public to nominate the food and drink venues which fuel their nights out – and mornings after – in what it’s calling an alternative restaurant week.

“Whichever walk of life you’re from, everyone succumbs to greasy grub after a big night out,” said Last Night of Freedom’s managing director Matt Mavir. “Newcastle has an incredible food scene, but the focus is always on artisan venues or posh nosh. This competition instead celebrates the real food Geordies eat during or after a night out, with the awards also acting as great advice for the thousands of visitors – like stags and hens – who want to know where to eat if they are feeling a bit worse for wear. Be it a bag of cheesy chips from a Bigg Market takeaway, or the burger van whose food rivals that of a city centre restaurant, we want to find and honour the city’s unsung heroes when it comes to people tackling their hangovers.”

Former MasterChef contestant Dave, who swapped his award-winning restaurant into a pie shop called Peace of Pie during the Covid pandemic – and today sells more than 1,000 pies per week, said: “I think an alternative restaurant week is a brilliant idea as it shines a light on some real gems of the North East’s thriving food and drink scene. The North East is laden with Michelin stars these days, which is an incredible achievement, but there’s outstanding food in every corner of our region. From fish and chips in Tynemouth to takeaways in Byker – we have a food scene to rival anywhere in the country. In lockdown, we moved into pies out of necessity, but we have never looked back. Peace of Pie is thriving because, as we’ve found out, who doesn’t love a good pie? It is great that businesses that may not get much exposure during the traditional restaurant week have a chance to be highlighted.”

The award categories are: Best 2am Takeaway, Best Hangover Breakfast, Best Burger Van, Best Fast Food Venue, and Best Sunday Roast. To vote, click here.

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