Société Cafe & Bar – Newcastle’s New European Hotspot

Société Cafe & Bar is the newest hotspot to arrive in Newcastle city centre, having opened in early May. Previously serving pizza in Stack, they’re now catering for multiple needs in a cracking location at the top of the coveted Grey Street. 

You’ll find them right at the top on the right hand side as you walk down from Monument, before you reach the Theatre Royal. With a handful of outside tables very reminiscent of Paris, and another few inside they are a lot more than meets the eye.

Referring to themselves as a European cafe and bar, that’s the best way to describe them. What first appeared very Parisian, turned into more of an Italian wine bar feel, and even a Spanish eatery all within the hour I was there.

At first I was just going to grab a coffee to go, but the two guys behind the counter were chatty and friendly, and encouraged me to take the little round table in the window to make the most of the vanilla iced latte they were whipping up for me. It was so inviting with a view of Grey Street I didn’t take much persuading.

If it had been an hour or so earlier I’d have been tempted by the selection of pastries too, or an hour later and I’d have gone for either a fresh focaccia pizza or pastrami sandwich. The selection of food in the glass counter looked delicious, it reminded me of the little lunch and wine bars in Florence. Two big sweet cakes were on the top shelf too.

Societe is a great table, just inside the window to enjoy the sights of Newcastle on a Friday lunchtime, shoppers rushing home to enjoy the sun, and the first of the day’s drinkers making their way out. 

I wasn’t alone for long, before others made their way in either alone for a coffee, a couple to share a pizza, and a photographer sat with a cocktail capturing Grey Street with a very vintage camera. Nobody would be out of place here. 

For this weekend they have a Jubilee cocktail menu, which includes an English Garden gin cocktail, a frozen Pimms and a strawberry mojito. I have a feeling these will end up as permanent fixtures on the menu alongside the traditional ones, as seasonal summer cocktails to enjoy for the next few months. 

Open until 8 or 9pm depending on the day you visit, I can see it being a bustling spot known for its friendly service and unique style. Pizzas will be flying out of the oven – they looked delicious, ideal for lunch or a light evening bite. There was no wifi, which means it won’t just turn into another Starbucks filled with people on laptops. Instead it’s to be savoured and enjoyed, as they do in Europe. 

It’s different to other places in Newcastle, making it one people will keep going back to. If you’ve ever found a coffee or wine bar on holiday that you wish was back at home too, Société Cafe & Bar is probably the closest you’ll get. 

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