We take a foodie tour of a Newcastle institution: The Grainger Market
The Grainger Market is an essential stop for any foodie in Newcastle.
Home to the finest fresh produce in the city, the Grade I-listed covered market opened in 1835 and brings together suppliers and producers in a combination unlike anywhere else in the region. Whether you’re looking for a spot of lunch in a traditional café, an international street food journey or simply need to pick up some meat, fish, vegetables or cheese for your tea, this is the place to go.
What makes the market truly special is its people. Family businesses which have been here for decades sit alongside street food from across the world. Every stall has its own story and history, and the people working at them are more than happy to share their own stories of the market and their culinary advice.
During Avent and at Christmas, the market supports the work of homeless charity Crisis, collecting food and supplies for homeless people in Newcastle. This year the charity will serve three meals a day to more than 700 people on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The Grainger Market Traders Association is coordinating the collection of supplies and donations. For more information speak to the team at the market inspector’s office or go to www.facebook.com/GraingerMarketNewcastle.
Dumpling and Bun
When we’re looking for something totally different for lunch, we head to Dumpling and Bun. Chinese steamed dumplings and buns are made fresh before your eyes and filled with anything from chilli beef and sweet carrot to tofu and vegetables. The menu also features noodles and soups along with traditional Chinese teas. Street food at its very best.
Acropolis Street Food
When it comes to authentic Greek food, Acropolis is one of the best. Winner of two BBQ Battles at Wylam Brewery (2018 & 2019), this is the place for proper chicken gyros, veggie souvlaki, halloumi fries, kalamaki and more. Founded by brothers Filip and Viktor and their friend Yusuf, Acropolis has won thousands of fans at the region’s biggest festivals and their permanent base in the Grainger Market is a must-visit.
An essential part of any trip to the Grainger Market, Matthew’s Cheese is home to hundreds of English and Continental cheeses for every taste. Part of the market for more than 50 years, the team are experts in choosing the right goat, cow or ewe cheese for a cheese board or for cooking. UK cheeses are sourced from England, Scotland and Wales, and Northumberland while you’ll also find varieties from Germany, Norway, Holland, Switzerland, Spain and Italy too.
The French Oven
The aroma of fresh bread, scones, pies and pasties fills the air around The French Oven bakery. The scones here are the stuff of legend, while filled baguettes and paninis are a perfect lunch option. Traditional cakes and sweet treats include sublime peach melbas, Viennese swirls and Empire biscuits.
Finlay’s corner butcher shop is in the heart of the market, where you can find the pick of the finest local produce and get some expert advice on preparing and cooking it at the same time. A traditional butcher’s counter is always filled with the finest local beef, pork, lamb and chicken along with game when it’s in season.
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 room to grab a seat in the heart of the market and enjoy the world passing by.
OLIVERS Café BISTRO
When it comes to traditional market cafés, Olivers is our go-to. Coffee and cake here is a perfect opportunity to watch the world go by, while the lunch menu features something for everyone, from pies and burgers to jacket potatoes and salads.
When it comes to burgers in Newcastle, Meat:Stack is a must-visit. Set up by friends Charlie Mair, Allan Hyslop and Tom Westman, Meat:Stack is home to some of the best burgers in town, including the signature West Coast Classic cheeseburger, all made with rare breed salt aged beef. Find them in the Grainger Market and at the Dog and Parrot.
Redheads Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Street food pop-up turned market must-visit, Redheads is home to the best macaroni cheese in town. The team has turned a passion for the simple dish into a popular player in the North East’s festival scene and it’s avaiable at the Grainger Market every Monday to Saturday and at a permenant pitch at Newcastle’s Quayside Market on Sundays.
Pumphreys Coffee Centre and Brewing Emporium
Pumphreys Coffee Centre and Brewing Emporium is a coffee-lover’s dream. The shelves are filled with some of the finest beans from around the world. The North East business has been roasting and producing coffee since 1750 and the team continues to serve superb fresh coffee at the bar of this Grainger Market institution. You can also buy beans and loose leaf tea to take home, with more than 50 options to choose from.
Fresh produce is still a huge part of the Grainger Market, and when it comes to finding the best of the day’s catch, head to Chirton Fisheries. The catch is beautifully displayed with everything from fresh crab and prawns to stunning seasonal fish from the North Sea. The team area always happy to offer advice and five minutes spent at the counter often yields a week’s worth of ideas.
Traditional market stalls are the cornerstones of the Grainger Market and Lindsay Bros is an essential stop for the quality fish and seafood. Supplier of fine seafood since 1936, Lindsay Bros always has a fine selection of produce from the North Sea and the team sources local fish every morning six days a week from North Sheilds and along our coastline, including North East favourites such as Craster kippers and Lindisfarne oysters.