The North East's Best Cafés | Living North

The North East's Best Cafés


Flat White Cafe, Durham
Cafés are no longer just places you go for a pot of builder’s tea and a scone – they are places where you can enjoy the finest quality food and drink, prepared by skilled and knowledgeable staff. Here are some of the best the North East has to offer

Allendale Forge Café

This friendly café, which is part of the Forge Studios art complex and is owned by Allendale local Zoe Bell, is very much a local-first kind of place – they sell chutneys and jam made in the village, for instance – with an emphasis on stonking brunches. Try the sugar waffles or the posh sausage ciabatta with Monk Farm pork and apple sausages for proof.

Allendale Market Square, Hexham NE47 9BD 
01434 618220 


Managing to look both handsome and unassuming at the same time, Bertram’s has won a lot of friends in Warkworth for its local-first approach and chatty, friendly vibe. The crab sandwiches, in particular, are a standout.

19 Bridge Street, Warkworth NE65 0XB 
01665 798070 

Bettys Café Tea Rooms

The market town of Northallerton provides the location of the most northerly outpost of the famous Bettys chain. Within a grand Georgian building on the High Street you’ll discover a stunning interior, with a magnificent domed glass roof and sumptuous decor – ideal surroundings to relax with a coffee and a cake.

High Street, Northallerton DL7 8LF 
01609 775154 

Blacksmith’s Coffee Shop

The flagship branch of this family-run business has been operating in the small Northumberland village of Belsay for over twenty years, offering a range of mouthwatering homemade sweet and savoury food, and coffee from Pumphreys – you also need to try their legendary bacon and egg pie. There’s a second branch in the Milkhope Centre on the Blagdon Estate.

Belsay NE20 0DU, Milkhope Centre NE13 6DA 
01661 881024 

BLK Coffee

If you are particular about your coffee, then the range on offer at Heaton’s first speciality coffee shop will cater for all your caffeine- based needs. Their brewing methods include AeroPress, which allows the use of a finer grind, and Chemex, which produces a strong coffee without any bitterness.

214 Chillingham Road, Heaton NE6 5LP 
07595 493488

Café 95

This vibrant and popular café in the heart of Gosforth boasts a full and varied menu, ranging from delicious breakfasts – eggs benedict, anyone? – to full Sunday lunches, with everything in-between.

95 High Street, Gosforth NE3 4AA 
0191 284 5533 

Drift Café

This breezy, friendly joint on the north Northumberland coast is a much-loved hangout. As well as their home-baked cakes and scones, wraps, soups and broths (the latter are very handy out here on the coast in December), they’ve got absolutely storming homemade pulled pork, award-winning ice cream from Minchella’s and a second-hand bookshop to boot.

Cresswill NE61 5LA 
01670 861599 

Flat White Café

The Flat White Café is hugely popular amongst the denizens of Durham, who come in their droves to sample their coffee, speciality teas and tasty treats. They have second premises just round the corner, Flat White Kitchen – where you can also enjoy something a bit more substantial.

21a Elvet Bridge, Durham DH1 3AA 
07936 449291 

Laneway & Co

One of the newest kids on Newcastle’s café block, Laneway & Co is small but perfectly formed, offering great coffee, delicious cakes and light lunches – it’s fast becoming the place to grab your morning brew.

High Bridge, Newcastle NE1 1EW 
07931 514857 

Leonard’s Coffee House

Located next to the river in the pretty Fowler’s Yard, Leonard’s Coffee House has established a reputation for serving delicious, freshly prepared food – we recommend their soup and sandwich combo. They also serve a range of teas and coffee and they’ve even created their own blend of coffee, The Leonard’s Blend, made by Pumphreys.

Fowler’s Yard, Durham DH1 3RA 
0191 384 0647 

The Lookout

With a full menu ranging from hot breakfast rolls, freshly prepared paninis, jacket potatoes and homemade scones and cakes, plus a range of coffees prepared by trained baristas, a visit to The Lookout is made memorable by the fabulous sea view from its covered outside seating area.

The Waterside, Seaham Harbour Marina SR7 7EE 
0191 581 4087

Mister Woods

All of the Mister Woods cafés contain the right ingredients: quality drinks and homemade food (fairtrade where possible) – including their own blend of coffee – excellent customer service and a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.

142 The Broadway, Tynemouth NE30 3RT
Front Street, Tynemouth NE30 4DZ
Forum Shopping Centre, Wallsend NE26 8JP
3b Railway Street, North Shields NE29 6QD 
0191 296 4412

Number Four

For 20 years Number Four Teashop and Patisserie has been serving the people of Sedgefield and beyond with its delicious selection of sweet and savoury treats, speciality teas and coffee. Alongside firm favourites such as cupcakes and strawberry tarts, you’ll find an exciting selection of unusual scones, pasties, pies and a range of jams, preserves, pickles and patés.

4 High Street, Sedgefield TS21 2AU 
01740 623344 

The Olive Branch Café

One of the most popular coffee shops in Alnwick, The Olive Branch Café boasts an extensive menu that covers breakfast, lunch and afternoon treats.

10 Market Street, Alnwick NE66 1TL 
01665 602727 

Pink Lane Coffee

A mecca for coffee lovers and one of the coolest cafés in town (well, the city) Pink Lane Coffee is a multi-roaster shop that brews some of the UK’s finest speciality coffee, including beans from its own roastery.

1 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW

Quay Ingredient

In a shoebox of a place under the stanchions of the Tyne Bridge, this shabby-chic (with the emphasis very much on chic) place has set new standards in brunch. There are probably small cults devoted to its eggs benedict, they’re that good. An offshoot in Heaton, imaginatively dubbed Heaton Ingredient, opened last year too.

4 Queen Street, Newcastle NE1 3UG 
0191 447 2327

The Shoreline Café

The Shoreline Café offers a clean, bright, coastal-themed interior, premium coffee, delicious homebaking and hot and cold light lunches and snacks. Their cosy log fire will be a welcome sight for visitors who have enjoyed a bracing walk up to Dunstanburgh Castle.

1 Church Street, Craster NE66 3TH 
01665 571251 

Tyneside Coffee Rooms

The Coffee Rooms upstairs at Tyneside Cinema have been there since 1938, and turn out light lunches as well as teas and coffees – in the past they’ve had Sir Ian McKellen, Charlton Heston and John Hurt in, though as far as we know not at the same time. What a charades team that’d be though.

Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG 
0191 227 5520 

Published in: December 2016

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