Wandering along by the River Tyne, browsing all of the stalls that make up the weekly quayside market in Newcastle is one of my favourite ways to spend a Sunday. It’s presence has been a feature of the Newcastle local lifestyle for decades, back when stalls were for selling livestock and medicines, and used as betting stalls for racing tipsters.
Nowadays you will still find the more traditional fruit and veg, and flower stalls, but there’s plenty more on offer.
Whether you’re a local frequent visitor enjoying the view of the bridges that never gets old, or a guest in our city, just make sure you go along to the quayside market with an empty stomach.
Here’s what awaits you on the banks of the Tyne every Sunday from 9:30 – 4pm…
Sunday’s and good coffee go hand in hand, and you can get your caffeine fix from any number of coffee traders that set up camp at the market. If these don’t take your fancy there’s always Starbucks as part of the Malmaison, which is in a good spot at the far end of the market to begin your wander through.
Go for the local traders though, such as Coffee Supreme or Canny Coffee, they’re much nicer, and they’re dotted the whole way along the market!
Many of them sell their own beans as well, so if you find one you like you can take some home with you. The coffee vans may be most popular in winter when it’s a bit nippy along there, but there were still queues at most of them the past weeks when I’ve visited.
The guys from Geordie Gifts also have a stall, with all sorts of goodies emblazoned with Geordie slang, sayings and phrases. Mugs, tea towels, door signs they’re all great local gifts or souvenirs.
Local art and photography
If you’re after a local touch but something a bit more than a mug or a tea towel, many local artists and photographers sell their creativity at the market. You can’t beat a beautiful picture of the Newcastle bridges, the Angel of the North or one of the wonderful city views. Find them at multiple places along the market.
Clothes and jewellery
The clothing and jewellery stalls I’ve seen at the quayside market are a far cry from the cheap poor quality rubbish that can often be found at markets. There are the occasional ones of course, but I loved some of the scarves and summer jumpers at this stall.
Geordies will latch on to anything local, so the hat stand even sell ‘Vera’ hats. You can actually purchase a hat as worn by the North Easts favourite TV murder detective.
Sweet treats, and plenty of them…
If you have a sweet tooth you’ll be spoiled for choice with all the offerings available to you. Macarons, cupcakes, donuts, confectionary, chocolates and proper deserts they’re all there.
The home made donuts by Proven had been on my radar to try for some time, after seeing their pop ups in Kith & Kin in Whitley bay and Fenwicks food hall in Newcastle city centre. They always look so good and come in a variety of mouthwatering flavours. If you want one you’ll have to make sure you get there pretty early on though, they always sell out.
I loved the traditional jam and sugar one that I had, but there’s Homer Simpson style iced ones too, and Chloe aka New Girl in Toon swears by the rhubarb and custard.
For those who love colourful macarons you can get your fix from the Mini Macaron, who are there every week. Again these always seem hugely popular so make a beeline if you don’t want to miss them.
These are just a couple of my favourites, but the Little Creperie, The Lily Tree Bakery, the Brownie Bar, and the Waffle van always have long queues too, and are there until they run out.
Full selection of street food
As well as all the sweet stalls, at the far end of the market past the Tyne bridge is a more savoury section, with everything you’d expect to find at a street food market. Paella, Spanish meats, hot dogs, burritos and tacos to name a few.
The enormous sausages from the Geordie Bangers looked amazing, but theres a few other sausage options too, from as far and wide as Cumbria, and even a German van where the owner goes the extra mile to get his stock!
One of my favourite stalls is the Greek one, which sells olives in all sorts of flavours, but they also do the most amazing feta cheese. Honestly you have to try this stuff its amazing.
And of course there’s the bakeries, selling freshly baked bread, rolls, pies and scones.
Street performers featured at the quayside market back when it began, and they’re still dotted about today. You can also get your fortune told, and listen to some of the live music that can be found at either end, under the Tyne bridge and by the Millennium bridge.
There are often demonstrations or things happening on the river, involving the locals. I’ve seen some fishing boats and the lifeguard all showcasing along the market in the past few weeks.
Quayside seaside and fish and chips
During the summer months the quayside seaside opens, a makeshift beach complete with deck chairs, coloured huts, a play area, and of course fish and chips. The pop up fish and chip restaurant for 2018 is Little Fishy.
Personally I find the biggest source of entertainment comes from all the dogs. They’re everywhere and they’re hilarious, especially when they catch sight of a Geordie banger!
Even if you aren’t looking to buy anything, the market is a lovely way to spend part of your Sunday. The road is closed so it’s safe to wander at your leisure, and once you’re done a drink at either Pitcher and Piano or Broad Chare should definitely be your next stop.
More on Newcastle:
Pin this post: