A collection of Asian restaurants and supermarkets create an interesting cultural district in Newcastle’s historic Grainger Town area.
Chinatown in Newcastle-upon-Tyne is one of only five Chinatown districts in England. Dine on the aromatic flavors of Asia at restaurants and be part of the annual Chinese New Year festivities. Chinatown runs along Stowell Street in the heart of the bustling city center. There are shopping malls, entertainment centers and centuries-old landmarks located nearby.
A traditional Chinese arch marks the northern entrance to the district. It’s decorated with Chinese calligraphy, and paintings of dragons, serpents and phoenixes. Note the image of the city’s coat of arms and portrayals of scenes and figures from the Tyneside region. Seated stone lion statues guard one side of the gateway and symbolize good fortune and prosperity.
Newcastle’s Chinatown is a great place for authentic culinary experiences and you can sample typical dishes from China, Hong Kong and Japan. Some restaurants have all-you-can-eat buffet options. Buy snacks from a bakery to eat on the move and stock up on noodles, spices and other supplies at a supermarket. Live out your dream of being a world-famous pop star at a karaoke bar.
One of the busiest and most entertaining times to be here is in February for the Chinese New Year festival. A parade with dancing dragons, lions and unicorns begins at Old Eldon Square and continues into the district. Watch acrobats, drumming troupes and folk dancing demonstrations. Shop for souvenirs at the market stalls that set up on Stowell Street.
For more dining and entertainment, visit The Gate leisure complex, located in the same block as Chinatown. It has bars, restaurants, a casino and a cinema. Pass through a covered alley to see Blackfriars, a 13th-century friary whose cloisters have been restored into artisan shops and a restaurant. Remains of the city’s medieval defensive wall frames the western side of the district. It features three towers: Ever Tower, Herber Tower and Morden Tower.
Chinatown is a short walk from St. James subway station. You can park for a fee at The Gate. Grey’s Monument, St. James' Park soccer stadium and the Theatre Royal are all within comfortable walking distance.