There are a plethora of places to go in Newcastle for lunch, but sadly a lot of them are busy chains in the city centre. I never seem to run out of places to go for dinner in the toon (or drinks for that matter), but when it comes to lunch, I often feel stumped. So when I got invited along to Dog Leap Cafe, an independent cafe really close to my office, I jumped at the chance.
Dog Leap Cafe is part of St Nicholas Cathedral, near to Newcastle Castle and the High Level Bridge. The name comes from the Dog Leap Stairs that lead you from Colonel Porter’s up to the Castle. The entrance is hidden down a side alleyway, near to the infamous vampire rabbit.
Because it is part of the cathedral, it has a very unique decor. It’s not the most stylish or modern place you will visit, in fact it is very traditional, but I think that could well be part of its charm. It’s nice to see religious places offering something different, and Dog Leap Cafe have used this space well.
I went for lunch at 12:30pm on a Thursday and the cafe was busy, despite being off the beaten path.
There was a good range of food on offer at Dog Leap – breakfast, sandwiches, main dishes, desserts, coffees, alcohol and soft drinks. There is also a range of specials that change regularly. There are a few vegetarian options and gluten free choices are also marked.
The cheapest items on the menu are the sandwiches, which come in between £3.50 and £5.50. Main dishes are between £4.50 for soup and £8.50 for the pie of the day. It’s not badly priced, but it’s not dirt cheap either. I’d put it around the price of most other eat in Newcastle lunch eateries.
I went for the Honey Salmon Salad, which was a steal at £5.50, accompanied by a cranberry juice (£1.90). What arrived about ten minutes after I ordered, looked absolutely delicious – a huge plate of wild rice, honey soy salmon flaked into pieces, cherry tomatoes and roasted leeks. And I’m pleased to say it tasted as good as it looked! I’d love to go back and try the seafood platter from the specials board.
I didn’t catch a glimpse of the dessert counter before I sat down, but the portions looked huge and delicious!
When I arrived, I was greeted and took a seat and it wasn’t long until I was served at my table. The food came quickly, without feeling rushed. The one downside was that I wasn’t asked whether I wanted anything else – my plate was just cleared away. If I’d seen how good the cakes looked before I sat down, then I definitely would have said yes, so they missed out on a sale there.
I arrived at the cafe, ate a leisurely lunch, read an entire copy of Living North magazine (so civilised dahling) and still made it back to the office within an hour.
Would I go back?
The big question – would I go back? I would, although it’s probably not the sort of place I’d take someone if I was trying to show off, or for a client meeting. Save this one for quiet lunches with a friend in a slightly quirky venue. Hopefully next time I’ll get asked if I want some dessert, because that lemon posset has got my name all over it!
Do you like the sound of Dog Leap Cafe?
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