In Autumn 2021 the Spanish tapas restaurant Cafe Andaluz opened its doors on Grey Street in the centre of Newcastle. Originating from Glasgow, and with other restaurants in Edinburgh too, the Cafe Andaluz concept was born from the owner’s love of Spain. In full swing now in one of the best spots in Newcastle, here’s what you can expect from a night of Spanish tapas at Cafe Andaluz.
When it comes to tapas restaurants in Newcastle there are quite a few, I’ve previously written about 12 of them here, but that was long before Cafe Andaluz opened. I think Cafe Andaluz brings something completely different, due to the size and scale of the restaurant, but also not compromising on quality.
While many of the tapas restaurants, or certainly the more authentic Spanish ones in Newcastle, are quite small intimate restaurants that you would just go to for food, a night of tapas at Cafe Andaluz could last the entire evening, with drinks before and after and in that sort of atmosphere.
Cafe Andaluz on Grey Street
Cafe Andaluz, Newcastle is on the corner of Grey Street opposite Newcastle Theatre Royal, taking over the two floors of the building that used to be Carluccio’s. Inside it’s completely different, with the traditional Spanish flair present everywhere you look.
From the dark wood benches and cocktail bar, to the citrus trees, artwork and a lot of mosaic detail, it does feel like you’ve stepped into a Spanish restaurant. It really reminds me of Palma every time I visit, so they’ve nailed the decor.
There’s big booth tables for groups or families, more intimate tables for date night, and a good amount of bar stools up at the bar if you want a pre or post dinner drink. Personally I prefer sitting downstairs as it’s more lively, but the views from upstairs down Grey Street and over to the theatre are pretty special.
We first visit on opening night months ago, and the welcome you get from the staff now is as enthusiastic and friendly as it was then.
Cafe Andaluz Tapas, Paella & Sangria
The tapas menu is extensive, and caters for all dietary requirements. They have all the usual Spanish favourites, including traditional charcuterie boards to share to start, a varied vegetarian section, fish and shellfish, meat and a selection of sides.
If you’re after authentic dishes, then don’t miss out on the tapas plates like the padron peppers, potatas bravas, chorizo al vino and croquetas de jamon y queso. If you like seafood then I’d highly recommend the gambas pil pil, and the mussels in white wine. The asparagus in grated manchego cheese is also a must order!
If you want something more substantial than tapas dishes, then they also have three paella dishes to choose from, including a meat paella, a seafood paella and a mixed paella. Two of these are gluten free and they range from £25-£27, serving 2 people.
The drinks menu isn’t available to view online, but I always get the sangria, as it’s so delicious and is the perfect match for alongside your tapas. There are a few variations of it, as well as a full wine list, spirits and cocktails to choose from. The only thing to mention that isn’t on the menu is prosecco, but they do have sparkling wine.
Tapas Deals At Cafe Andaluz
Although the a la carte menu is very reasonable, and good value for money, there are some tapas deals to take advantage of at Cafe Andaluz at certain times. The lunchtime and pre theatre menu includes three tapas from £15.95 or £19.95 with dessert, and this is available 11:30-6:30pm Mon – Thurs, and 11:30-6pm on Fridays.
Sunday also has its own menu with any three tapas and dessert for £19.95 available all day. If you let the staff know if you’re on your lunch break, or have theatre tickets they make sure the service is more efficient, but likewise if you’re in no rush and want a leisurely drawn out meal with plenty of drinks to go with it, then they happily accommodate this too.
I’ve enjoyed tapas at Cafe Andaluz for many different occasions, and with different company, including girls night, with my family and date night. It’s ideal for groups or bigger parties too as it’s a lively atmosphere so you don’t have to worry too much about the noise. The tapas are very good quality, and set in an unrivalled location in the centre of Grey Street it’s an ideal place to start your night.
If you want to book your tapas at Cafe Andaluz then you can do so via their website here.
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