The Best Restaurants in Newcastle to Take a Date

Date night is still held sacred for many couples whether they've been together for 2 months or 20 years. Even living in such a major cosmopolitan city as Newcastle, however, it can often be difficult to pull yourselves away from the usual haunts; the places you know and love to the extent that you've tried everything on the menu and know the owners by their first names. Sometimes, however, change can be a good thing.

If you want to inject a little dynamism and excitement into your next date night, consider one of the fine restaurants below, all of which offer something a little different. Of course, romance is subjective, but whatever your pleasure, the below represent (we think) the cream of the crop when it comes to the most date-friendly dining destination the Toon has to offer.

Yo! Sushi | 139-141 Grainger Street, NE1 5AE

Conveniently located in the middle of Grainger Street, Yo! Sushi is a revolutionary dining experience that brings Japanese cuisine and dining convention to mainstream UK diners. Since 1997, the brand has been endearing itself to British diners thanks to its quirky décor and conveyor belt system, which offers an endless choice of sushi options, all of which are prepared right before your eyes in the centre of the restaurant. A perfect balance of authenticity and convenience, this is a step up from fast food and the perfect date destination for younger, adventurous couples. It's not just raw fish either! Indeed, the miso soup and Katsu chicken curry have gained an iconic reputation in recent years.

Hanahana | 45 Bath Lane, NE4 5SP

The Japanese tradition of Teppanyaki has seen a popularity boom in the west in the 21st century. Cooked right in front of your eyes, it's grown a reputation as dinner theatre with flavours, sights and smells that evoke something truly unique. Situated on Bath Lane by Chinatown, Hanahana offers an ideal date night for couples that want to get more hands-on with their food. There's also a karaoke bar downstairs, so if you and your date have managed to work up enough liquid courage, Hanahana could very well be a one-stop destination for a very memorable date night indeed!

Blackfriars | Friars Street, NE1 4XN

Located in a genuine converted 13th century medieval friary, the award-winning Blackfriars is all about local, seasonal produce. The décor reflects the heritage of the building, with original stone walls, ornate medieval-styled furniture and gorgeous stained-glass windows. The décor might be the unique draw that makes the restaurant so popular, but the food is certainly not to be sniffed at either, with their award-winning gutsy, traditional British seasonal a la carte menus earning Blackfriars a Taste of England Award. For more ambitious date nights, Blackfriars also offers a medieval banquet in the same banquet hall where Kind Edward III entertained Edward Balliol, in 1334. The restaurant also offers a cookery school, which could be a unique and fun idea for a first (or fiftieth) date.

As You Like It | 2 Jesmond Three Sixty, NE2 1DB

Named for the Shakespeare play of the same name, As You Like It is a sprawling restaurant and bar venue in the middle of the city set over 3 floors and boasting 4 bars, as well as a stunning restaurant serving up affordable seafood, grilled meat and vegetable dishes that set at the decidedly 'posh' end of the pub grub spectrum. For more relaxed date nights, where you're more bothered by each other than the decadence of the food, As You Like It offers the perfect balance between casual and fine dining in an atmosphere that can be (as the name suggests) whatever you make of it.

Dacantus Gin Lab | 30-32 Grey Street, NE1 6AE

Gin is very much 'in' right now and with good reason. There are few drinks as subtle and flexible and whilst gin & tonic might have once been favoured only by housewives and Alan Partridge, it is now celebrated as one of the UK's most popular tipples. The Dacantus Gin Lab on the iconic Grey Street boasts not only a “Specialist G&T Menu,” of over 90 gins, but it also complements its gin selection with a varied and affordable food menu that pulls the very best from Mediterranean cuisine. Gin tasting evenings also offer a delightfully decadent alternative to traditional date nights, but make sure you book in advance as they do fill up fast.

Nancy's Bordello | 13 Argyle Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 6PF

Decidedly kitsch, with a décor that looks like it's fallen right out of a Wes Anderson movie, Nancy's is a favourite hangout of the city's hippest young trend-setters. Located on Argyle Street a stone's throw from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, but far enough away to offer a little breathing room, Nancy's is a cocktail bar first and foremost, but it does also happen to offer some of the best pub grub in Newcastle. The atmosphere is also perfectly suited to a relaxed first date. There's even a free pool table, so feel free to show off your skills (or let each other win) and give date night a bit of a competitive edge.

Lola Jeans | 1-3 Market Street, NE1 6JE

Offering the kind of magical dining experience, you'd typically only expect to find in Disneyland, Lola Jeans is a two-level venue with a basement speakeasy and an upstairs dining room and cocktail bar with gorgeous exposed brickwork, floor-to-ceiling murals and countless other signature quirks. Lola Jeans on Market Street is the brand's second location, but it maintains that same bespoke charm that has made the Tynemouth location so popular. The menu is inspired by a love of home cooking, with affordable American-style cuisine off-setting the decidedly vintage coastal British décor. It's a juxtaposition that makes it so special and makes it the ideal date night venue for couples looking for something that's truly different.

The options above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the culinary delights that Newcastle has to offer, of course, but hopefully, we've given you more than enough food for thought. There is a good reason why restaurants have stood the test of time as perfect date night destinations for generations. There's something so intimate about sharing a meal together, which has not been diminished by the passing of time. Indeed, in an age of distractions, a face-to-face meal at a restaurant with real character can be just what a relationship needs to keep the embers burning.