The Freshers’ food crawls were a great introduction to the sea of street food and expanse of more exquisite dining that can be found just around the corner, sandwiched between a Greggs and a Subway no doubt. But as marvellous as these chains and large restaurants are, look out for the hidden wonders of the food world; the little independent cafes that provide you not only with happiness for the stomach but happiness for the heart, as you’re embraced by warm welcomes and a desire to come back to the community that seems to have been established over a plate of cake and a pot of tea.
Upon researching the food culture, its easy to get swept up in tradition and the staples of family cooking. But as much as these dishes are vital when looking at Newcastle’s heritage, its important to note that the variety of cuisine they have on offer is astounding and goes way beyond century old meals.
There is no sole food culture for the North East, only food for the soul. As it embraces a number of different cultures through its many restaurants, bars and cafes, the beauty of being able to dine on sushi for lunch at Sushi Me Rollin then have a choice of gourmet burgers from Fat Hippo, Five Guys or SmashBurger in the evening is a beautiful experience.
"Many are unaware of the twenty minute journey that brings them to the cold but charming coast"
When asked what they believe the food culture of the North East to look like, locals talk of fish and chips, Greggs (of course) and scotties. With many students seldomly straying from campus and its surrounding comforts, its likely that many are unaware of the twenty minute journey that brings them to the cold but charming coast. And what better incentive to get on a bus and spend your afternoon walking around in perpetual drizzling rain with the seagulls overhead than a homely fish and chips at the end. And if the weather permits, and you have half an hour to spare, with your stomach full of bettered goodness, you can take a walk to the end of the pier and marvel at the brave individuals taking on the waves.
Whether you’re a first year or a post- grad student, whether you’ve been local your entire life or have moved countries to study in this beautiful city, I urge you to go out and explore the food culture of the North East for yourself. With the range of delicacies growing, changing and thriving, you’ll always feel behind with the trends but that isn’t reason to leave them unexplored.