Tips from a Local – The best places to eat Mediterranean in Newcastle by Jasmin Carman
Jasmin Sophie Carman is originally from Woy Woy, a gorgeous little seaside town on the Central Coast in New South Wales. We have the pleasure of her insight this week of the best places to visit in Newcastle if you’re looking for Mediterranean flavours.
Jasmin has been travelling to the Mediterranean part of the world since she was 4 years of age. She loves the food, the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas and she loves to go on some fabulous hikes. She grew up eating Mediterranean food and comes with an extensive knowledge of great choices when eating Mediterranean.
She recently returned from a five-week holiday in Europe with her husband visiting Italy and participating in her close friends wedding, hiking up the French Alps of Morzine, remembering the past in Berlin, taking long walks in the manicured gardens of Austria, catching up with family and friends in the UK and enjoying Paris, the city of love! But for now, it’s Newcastle and I hope you enjoy the fabulous choice of eateries we have in this gorgeous city!
Newcastle, a coastal town which is located about 2 hours north of Sydney, is a hot spot for foodies. There are many places to eat, sometimes it can be hard to choose, but whether you’re after breakfast, lunch or dinner, Newcastle has got you covered.
If you especially love Mediterranean food, then Newcastle has some treats for you. These are my personal favourites! You might also notice a trend where a lot of the restaurants do ‘smaller plates’ for sharing. This is very traditional in the Mediterranean culture and a great way to be able to try a little bit of everything.
I’m not quite sure when Bocados opened in Newcastle, but they have been around for a while and they are delicious. They serve their meals tapa’s style and it is the perfect way to enjoy their deliciously prepared meals. You really do want to try a little bit of everything here. My personal favourite is their Chorizo A La Romesco and their traditional Paella. I also highly recommend their Sangria, the perfect compliment to every dish.
Napoli Pizza Bar opened in 2014 and if you’re craving some authentic Italian pizza, this is the place to go. Naples is where pizza originated in Italy and Napoli mimic this true way of preparing pizza using the same ingredients and techniques and of course, cooking it in a wood fire pizza. My personal favourite pizza is the Diavola, a salami and basil flavoured pizza, but they have many options to choose from. Due to their cooking style, they cannot cater to gluten free but they always have a vegan pizza as an option for those who don’t want to eat meat. You can do takeaway here as well, so on a summers night grab a pizza and go sit by the beach!
Rustica opened up in 2011 and is definitely a special occasion location with beautiful views of Newcastle Beach. They embrace the Mediterranean feel of dining, but they also include flavours of Northern Africa in their cuisine, you are in for a treat when you dine here. Rustica offer a little bit of everything, they do tapas, small plates and also larger plates to share. I can never get past their slow braised ‘Kleftico’ lamb shoulder, which comes with crispy potatoes and sauteed greens. They also cater largely to gluten free and vegan.
Moor brings to Newcastle East Spanish, Middle Eastern and North African flavours. They are open early and serve breakfast and lunch and on Thursdays, it’s Tagine night! Their breakfast menu hold some traditional options, but for something different you should try the Shakshuka. This traditional dish has eggs in a tomato and herb sauce with warm pita bread and labne! For lunch, I highly recommend their Lamb Koftas. They have paired it deliciously with hummus and pita bread. It is my ‘go-to’ for lunch time!
If you have been to the Mediterranean before, you would have noticed that seafood is high on their list! The Kingfish, a seafood restaurant in Honeysuckle recently opened in 2018 and I highly recommend it. I love Australian seafood, our local waters have an abundance of delicious seafood to choose from. The team at Kingfish prepare their dishes fresh and with wholesome ingredients, keeping it as authentic as possible. They also cater to vegans and have a vegan ‘fish’ as an option! Take the family down for a feast of seafood and chips, there is a great grassy area to keep the kids entertained whilst you’re peeling the shell off your prawn!
It wouldn’t be Greek of me if I didn’t recommend a Greek place to go and eat. There are a few around, but personally, this is one of my favourites. Jamie opened up Mega Gyros a few years ago and has been non stop pumping out, gyros! Let’s just clear a few things up first. It’s pronounced “yeeros” and no, it’s not a kebab. A gyros has a pita bread base, you then layer it with Tzatziki, lamb (or meat of choice), onion, lettuce and hot chips. That’s it. YUM! This was certainly one of my childhood favourites growing up and still is today. Make sure you pop in to Mega Gyros and try it out, they also have a selection of Greek treats like Baklava.
As I have travelled overseas to the Mediterranean multiple times, I have experienced first hand authentic, Mediterranean food. Ultimately everyone will have their own flair on how they create a dish but these local places in Newcastle are delicious considering we are 8,000kms away!