Although the tapas trend originates in Spain as a snack or appetiser, the idea of sharing food platters and small dishes obviously stretches far beyond Spanish kitchens, and are pretty much a staple on most restaurant menus these days. Ideal as a starter, or combined with a few other plates to make a full meal I think it’s the perfect way to go for a group of friends or a couple dining out with a few drinks or bottle of wine. While the restaurants of Newcastle may not quite be accompanied by a view of the Spanish sun setting over the Mediterranean, Newcastle and the coast offer some pretty good tapas selections these days. Here’s twelve places to get tapas in Newcastle, all offering great food, wine and atmosphere.
Disclaimer: This post has been updated in July 2020 to include new restaurants, remove ones no longer open, and to include current Coronavirus guidelines for each place.
Kaltur – Authentic Spanish Tapas on Dean Street and High Bridge Street
The two locations in central Newcastle both serve authentic Spanish tapas and wine. It’s family run, with a mix of imported and locally sourced ingredients, and they really know their stuff. It’s quite hard to get in usually, but if you do the food is tremendous. The potatas bravas are spot on, and the staff are great at helping you pair wine to your chosen tapas. If you don’t fancy wine I’m a big fan of their authentic sangria.
I’d really recommend their sharing boards as starters to your main tapas, they have a few to choose from and are a good option for a group. I would also suggest booking a table for not too late in the evening, as their specials sometimes run out – a sign of a good quality restaurant.
COVID Update: Kaltur have reopened their Dean Street restaurant and you can book online here. They are also continuing to offer their Kaltur at Home takeaway and delivery service 7 days a week. There is quite a lot of information on site about this here.
Fuego, Tapas in Newcastle’s Fenwick’s Food Hall
When I talk about Fuego the first thing I think of is their meatball tapas dish, in a rich tomato sauce they are delicious. Located in Fenwick’s food hall I love sitting up at the bar and ordering a few dishes and either a glass of wine or one of their seasonal cocktails.
Ham croquets, falafel, calamari, prawns, classic Spanish tortilla, they are all on the excellent menu, perfect for lunch or late afternoon after a shopping trip if you can get a seat. Watch the shoppers go by, or the chefs serve up the food if you’re sitting at the high table.
COVID Update: Fuego introduced Fuego at Home during lockdown, where they put together meal kits for you to make at home, and this is still available here. They have now reopened their restaurant and booking is recommended but not essential. Personally I would book if I were you as it is popular. Full COVID guidelines are here.
Saint Vincents Wine & Tapas Bar, Quayside
Typically a wine bar and a very good one at that, but you can order from their tapas menu to enjoy as you drink, or book to go specifically for food. Either way you wont be disappointed their menu has so much to choose from. There are sections for cheese, meat, fish, charcuterie – it really is one of my favourite places to go.
You can see the full tapas menu here, or if you’re interested at visiting St Vincent’s for just a drink or even brunch then have a read of my full review here. It’s one of Newcastle’s gems.
COVID Update: Unfortunately St Vincents haven’t yet reopened but are aiming for end of August.
Dacantus – Gin & Tapas on Newcastle’s Grey Street
If you’re just ordering drinks at Dacantus, with every one they bring you a small tapas taster to go with it. Even if you’re sat for a few rounds you’ll get a different one to try each time. It’s a good way to get you hooked in, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve then ended up ordering the proper portions off the back of it.
The Dacantus starter menu doubles up as light bites, which can be ordered a few at a time. They make for a perfect lunch after shopping, or walk along the quayside and served with some of the best gin cocktails I’ve tasted you won’t be disappointed if you stop by.
The portions are generous and full of flavour, especially the Brazilian Tiger Prawns cooked with garlic and white wine and the Baby Squid sautéed in olive oil, garlic, parsley and white wine. Obviously I’m a seafood fan but if you aren’t there are other meat (beef/pork/chicken) and vegetable options. All vegetarian and gluten free options are clearly marked on the menu too.
I don’t have a photo of these tapas but I do have one of a lovely gin.
COVID Update: Due to their size and layout, booking for food is essential, and you can contact them on 0191 261 8111.
Bealim House – Food & Gin Distillery on Gallowgate
Another of my favourite places for lunch or Saturday evening after a day shopping, The menu here is just designed to be shared between whoever you’re with and I always get carried away. The most memorable tapas I’ve had here aside from the prawns are the chicken and chorizo, and the pulled pork nachos which are so good!
Very memorable as well were the deep fried whitebait and baked baby camembert. The portions here are definitely generous too and because the menu is so good you will definitely over order. Sometimes the worst thing about tapas is feeling like you might not get enough, but that’s not the case here, you will leave feeling stuffed!
It’s a great place for a drink and some olives as well – try the Newcastle gin.
COVID Update: I cant see any information at the moment that Bealim House has reopened. You can order the Newcastle gin online.
Broad Chare – Pub snacks on Newcastle Quayside
Ive included Broad Chare despite their bar snacks not technically being tapas, and more bar bites but because they’re so good for a weekend pub visit if you don’t want a full meal.
Without fail we always get the scotch egg (best in Newcastle and I’ve tried a lot!), the home made pork pie (pleased to report there’s minimal jelly), prawns with dipping sauce, monkfish cheeks and some fries. God they’re good and come to around £20.
COVID Update: The Broad Clare is currently closed but they are aiming to reopen in August.
Revolucion de Cuba – Newcastle
I love the atmosphere at Revolucion de Cuba, and what makes them slightly different to most places is their tables to eat are amongst the bar so you don’t lose the music or atmosphere when you sit down to eat. Go for happy hour where the gin cocktails are two for £10, the Seville orange is my favourite, and then get a table and order a few plates.
They have a really broad selection of things to choose from, my go to are the roasted chorizo, calamari, cheeseburger tacos, potatas bravas and the sweet potato fries.
See their menu here.
COVID Update: Revolucion de Cuba Newcastle is now open from today. Book via their website.
Aveika Asian Cuisine – Newcastle Quayside
I enjoy Aveika for date night or double date night tapas! The steak skewers are to die for, they’re not cheap but worth every penny. I’m also a big fan of their sushi tapas dishes and meat skewers.
For Asian tapas and drinks all in one place with a good atmosphere if you’re having some drinks and out for the night then Aveika is a great spot. I’m going to also mention the service here, while the bar is incredibly slow with no concept of who’s turn it is next, the restaurant staff are very good and very attentive. It’s quick without rushing you through and not too intrusive either.
COVID Update: Aveika has now reopened their restaurant and you can book a table on their website.
El Coto Spanish Tapas – Newcastle
A traditionally Spanish tapas restaurant, the food here is amazing and includes some of the things you’re likely to get on a menu in Palma or Southern Spain. Padron peppers, a full range of hot or cold tapas, and if you’re too hungry for tapas then Spanish paella.
COVID Update: El Coto have reopened and are taking table bookings, walk in and offering takeaway. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 261 0555
Allards – Tynemouth
My favourite place in Tynemouth, Allards just gets better every time I go. I wouldn’t get anything other than the tapas here and I seriously struggle what to get every time. The menu is huge, and everything from their seafood paella, chorizo and halloumi, lemon chicken to their sweet potato fries with feta and honey dip (seriously unreal) are big portions and delicious.
Ive been with everyone I could possibly go with, my family, Kieran, work friends and my group of girls it’s a favourite for everyone. Would one million per cent recommend followed by a few of their cocktails!
They have a location on the North Shields fish quay now too.
COVID Update: Allards have reopened at both locations, bookings needed for food but they will allow walk ins if there are tables available.
Ora – Tynemouth
Another one of my favourite bars in Tynemouth, but probably more of a sophisticated environment if you book the proper restaurant upstairs which is lovely. You can just walk in and hope there’s a free table though, and this is often what Nige and Viv do on a Friday afternoon along with a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!
Their tapas come on towers which is a great hack for table space, and like Allards are good big portions and from an extensive menu. My go to dishes are the chorizo, paella, chicken wings and brie. And the prawns obvs. The food is always fresh and service is spot on and very friendly.
On Wednesdays they have a tapas deal where you get four tapas and 2 drinks for £20.
COVID Update: Ora have reopened, book your table here.
Ahar – Whitley Bay
This one is a bit strange because it’s basically an Indian restaurant, and it’s really small but very popular in Whitley Bay. On a Thursday and Sunday nights they do a tapas menu. I’m not a big fan of Indian takeaway but I love to eat in, and the tapas menu is perfect.
I can never finish a full curry but the tapas option lets you order a couple, as well as a small rice, side and naan bread. You can try a couple of different ones and they come in small tapas dishes. It’s a great way to be more adventurous with your curry especially if you’re there as a group, but it also doesn’t leave you feeling really full afterwards.
It’s quite a small place but the food is incredible, and it is definitely worth booking especially for their tapas nights.
Read my full review on Ahar tapas here.
COVID Update: Reserve a table for the Ahar by calling 0191 297 1183 but note that they only do the tapas on a Thursday or a Sunday evening.
Let me know if you book up to go anywhere!
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