It’s pretty easy to fall into a rut of returning to your favourite restaurants and ordering the same dishes off the menu.
Newcastle has a host of exciting dining experiences where you may find that things are bit less predictable.
Quirky décor and interesting twists on classic dishes make for a real feast for the eyes and the belly.
The Brandling Villa
Home to the ‘Burgers of Destiny’, there are some rather weird and wonderful dishes served at the Brandling Villa. It’s hard to pick a highlight from a menu bursting with tasty burgers and clever puns, but maybe try ‘A Night in with Susan Boyle’ a burger with poached egg, pancetta, baked beans, potato cake and mushrooms. For the super brave, order the most talked about tribute to Newcastle’s own pop princess ‘The Dirty Thoughts of Cheryl Cole’ a burger that includes a Greggs Sausage Roll. If your best friend happens to be a dog you’re in luck, the pub allows pets and even has a menu for your canine pal.
Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear NE3 1QL, 0191 284 0490, brandlingvilla.co.uk
The Sausage Emporium
It’s not every day you are greeted at the door of a restaurant by a dog, but at the Sausage Emporium, Hannah the sausage dog is an important part of the furniture. She loves strolling round saying hello to diners. The restaurant is tucked away in an old railway arch making for a cosy dining experience with trains rumbling above your head. Made up entirely of sausages, the menu features hot dogs, and home comfort style dishes using handcrafted sausages. The triple chilli sausage packs a punch if you like your food with some added spice.
6 Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1AS, 0191 340 3082, thesausageemporium.com
Za Za Bazaar
Travel round the world without leaving Newcastle with a trip to Za Za Bazaar. The all you can eat buffet encourages you to fill your plate making it perfectly acceptable to eat a burger followed by fish and chips and finishing off with a curry. Food is cooked fresh while you wait and no one cares if you go up for seconds and thirds. The restaurant is the largest in the UK and offers diners a unique experience with its colourful light up signs and great atmosphere. The dessert buffet is particularly fun with all of the treats being prepared by the in-house bakery.
The Gate, Newgate St, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 5TG, 0191 230 5777, zazabazaar.com
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like eating in a fairytale then step through the doors of Pinocchio. The entire restaurant is covered in giant murals telling the story of Pinocchio and you may even spot a few puppets sitting on shelves behind you watching you eat. The menu is large and crammed full of Italian dishes, the calzone is recommended for a portion that spills off your plate.
61 Westgate Rd, City Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SG, 0191 232 0708, pinocchionewcastle.co.uk
It’s not every day you find yourself ordering a cocktail at the bottom of a tree. The life size indoor tree towers above diners at the Botanist making it all too tempting to ignore your date in favour of taking hundreds of photographs for Instagram. Once you’ve managed to stop yourself marvelling at the garden inspired décor there’s some fun and creative food to order off the menu. Kids can order a seaside dessert with edible sand and ice-cream in a bucket, with the hanging dessert kebab providing fun for the adults.
Monument Mall, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7AL, 0191 261 6307, thebotanist.uk.com