This post is overdue. Like about 3 years overdue. So, when Travelodge* got in touch to set me the challenge of writing about what I think are the best kept secrets in and around, Newcastle, I knew this was the time to write about one of my favourite food haunts (especially now that it’s had some major developments), that you all need to get yourselves down to and discover.
There are a plethora of amazing hidden gems in the centre of Newcastle, and I could wax lyrical all day about places like Bunker, True Coffeehouse, Pink Lane Coffee etc, but for something truly great (in both food and setting), get on the Metro, hop on the bus or in the car, get on your bike (or run?), and get yourself down to Tynemouth.
Ok, ok, so I do live in Tynemouth so I’m a little bit biased, but it’s such an exciting place to live and the food scene is thriving. This summer not only saw the arrival of Longsands Fish Kitchen but also a permanent and ideally located home for Riley’s Fish Shack – the seafood streetfood wonder creating delicious dishes using locally sourced fish and seafood. For the past 3 years, the guys have operated from a converted and modified bicycle, made into an al fresco barbecue unit to great acclaim and for good reason.
In the past few years, they’ve also put on a ton of pop-up events from curry suppers at the Tynemouth Sailing Club right through to their annual Lobster Fest at the Toffee Factory. Adam and Lucy Riley, the couple behind the business, are also two of the founders and curators of the Boiler Shop Steamer – Newcastle’s monthly street food and music event.
Last year, they began Crowdfunder campaign to help them create a permanent base for their seafood offering in the heart of Tynemouth, and after smashing their target at the beginning of this year, their shipping container restaurant went into production and opened this summer down in the glorious King Edward’s Bay – I am extremely lucky that this is a stone’s throw away from our house.
So, why should you venture out of the town and down to the coast? Well for one, the restaurant is located in one of the North East coast’s most beautiful bays, meaning you have a view of the sea whilst you chow down; all fish and seafood on the menu is sourced from the North Sea, y’know the big blue guy on the doorstep of the restaurant; it’s open for breakfast! At the moment the guys are only offering pastries and coffee but will soon have kedgeree and gradavalax on the menu (I can’t even describe how awesome I think this is for the colder mornings).
The shipping container has an in-built pizza oven meaning all of their breads are freshly made for each fish-lover who comes down, and the menu which changes daily depending on what’s available, usually always including their infamous Mackerel wrap. All of their food is fresh, tasty and comes with amazing sides – they’ve recently expanded this and were trialling gruyere-topped potatoes last time I was down. Bloody lush.
They’ve just winter-proofed the unit for those colder days and nights, so expect wood-burning stoves for a toasty setting if you head along in the next few months.
This really is one of the most unique settings to eat in the North East so, venture down to the coast. You won’t be disappointed.
Riley’s Fish Shack is open Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 9am-5pm at King Edward’s Bay in Tynemouth.
*post sponsored by Travelodge