If you like your drinks shaken, stirred and muddled with a cute garnish on top, I’ve rounded up the best independent cocktail bars you need to visit across Newcastle, whatever the occasion.

WC Newcastle

This subterranean bar is one of my personal favourites. True to its name, it used to be public toilets on the infamous Bigg Market. Nowadays, it’s an intimate circular-shaped bar with a beautiful glass roof and it serves some of the most imaginative cocktails in the city. It makes the perfect date night spot, and pre-booking is almost always essential as it’s super popular. 

WC bar

Mother Mercy

Mother Mercy is a basement bar beneath the Cloth Market. It’s a dark, uber-cool space and the cocktails are divine. Indecisive? Play the bar’s Twist of Fate and dare to find your perfect match from six sublime concoctions. It’s no surprise that Mother Mercy has been named among the top 18 cocktail bars in the UK by The Times. A must-visit!

Mother Mercy

Leila Lily's

Located at the bottom of Grey Street, Leila Lily’s is a swanky bar with a sumptuous cocktail list to match. The menu reads more like a whimsical storybook and its cocktails rank among the most Instagram-worthy in the city. And they don’t just look the part – they taste luscious too.

No 28

Glitter balls, fairy lights and dainty foliage – No 28 is one of Newcastle’s prettiest bars and something of a hidden gem, nestled upstairs on Nelson Street. You’ll find a selection of classic cocktails on its menu, such as the French Martini and Moscow Mule, alongside sours, spritzes and long and short drinks. All day and night, Sunday to Friday, you can enjoy two cocktails for £12.

No 28 bar

Cafe Mercy

This is Mother Mercy’s little sister on Grey Street, think brighter, chicer and a whole lot pinker! The bar serves creatively-crafted cocktails alongside Mediterranean spritzes and a few Mother Mercy favourites. You can also enjoy small plates on the side, including burrata, mixed charcuterie and seasonal pickles. And keep an eye on its social media for news of regular kitchen takeovers.

Cafe Mercy

Grey Owl

A classy setting and enviable views along Grey Street make Grey Owl a great cocktail destination, especially before a trip to the theatre. In a former life, it used to be a jewellery shop, but was transformed into a stylish bar by the people who brought us Hibou Blanc. The bar’s cocktail menu is extensive, and its happy hour runs from 2-7pm Monday to Friday and 12-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, with two cocktails for £12.

Grey Owl


Horticulture is pure heaven if you love espresso martinis, as you’ll find over 40 variations here. From Biscoff and Malteser to toasted marshmallow and mint – there’s something for everyone. But, if like me, you’re not a huge fan of coffee flavours, their regular cocktail list is just as tempting. The bar’s dinky sun terrace is also a top spot for drinking and brunching.


Barluga on Grey Street is the place to go if you enjoy drinking al fresco, thanks to its all-year-round outdoor terrace. The cocktail list only features eight drinks, including the Raspberry Bonbon, Bakewell Sour and Blood Orange Mai Tai. BUT, the bartenders are trained on all the classics, so you just need to ask for your favourite and, voila, they’ll create it for you!

Barluga terrace

Pleased to Meet You

Located on High Bridge, a cobbled street filled with independent businesses, Pleased to Meet You is popular with gin lovers and boasts more than 100 different varieties of the stuff. Its cocktails are something else though, crammed with sweet and succulent ingredients such as lavender syrup, orange blossom flower water and plum sake. Cocktails are two for £12, 5-9pm, Sunday to Friday.

Central Oven and Shaker

This lively bar has a fun, inventive cocktail menu split into three mouthwatering categories: classic, fruity and tropical, and sweet shop. And best of all, it’s two for £11.95 all day, every day. The bar lies side by side to Central Oven’s main restaurant, which serves Neapolitan pizza and pasta dishes. You can also book cocktail masterclasses, bottomless brunch and Italian themed afternoon tea.

Central Oven and Shaker cocktails


All aboard! Tickets is a stone’s throw from Central Station and pays homage to the bar’s days as an actual ticket office. There are nods to King’s Cross and Waverley in its elegant decor, and a train station style clock hangs above the former ticket booth (aka modern bar area). The railway theme continues on the cocktail menu, with tipples inspired by the 393-mile route of the famous Flying Scotsman.

Tickets bar area

Mad House

If you like your bars quirky and fun, then Mad House on Pink Lane has got you covered – and then some! Swings, a sandpit, rocking horse, and a bathtub-come-table make up the bar’s outlandish decor, which is inspired by different rooms inside a house. The cocktails are just as funky and unusual; expect rubber ducks and party hats for garnishes!

Mad Bar

Lola Jeans

For cocktails with creative flair, you can’t go wrong with Lola Jeans, which is also known locally for its award-winning burgers. Inside, the bar boasts a vintage-inspired decor with pops of pink and floral furnishings. Its Cocktail Club is also fantastic value, with a smaller, specially curated selection of cocktails priced at just £5 after 9pm.

Tiger Hornsby

This trendy bar is located on Newcastle’s iconic Quayside. Faux greenery drapes from the ceiling and you can sink into its plush sofas while soaking up its buzzy atmosphere and live beats from musicians and DJs. Look out for its cocktail hour (available all night Tuesday to Thursday and until 4pm Saturday and Sunday) with signature and classic cocktails priced at just £7. 


For sky-high sips, try 3Sixty, an upmarket piano lounge and restaurant offering fantastic views across Newcastle’s cityscape. This fancy bar is housed inside Hadrian’s Tower, a 27-storey apartment building close to St James’ Park. The cocktails are between £13 and £17.50 each, which is on the pricier end of the cocktail-ometer, but the stunning backdrop sets this place apart from other local bars.

3Sixty bar

For more inspiration on the best bars to visit across Newcastle, follow my Instagram page at @nclsparkles


*Prices and offers correct at time of publishing – please check with individual bars to confirm their current menus and deals.