There’s a little gem on Staiths Southbank, Dunston. Nestled in a cul de sac and facing out onto the river bank, this hub of good food, culture and entertainment feels like something I want to shout about, but at the same time keep as a bit of a secret!
Housed in the former Taylor Wimpey sales office, The Staiths Cafe began life in 2014 with the ethos of providing a service for the community. Eight years later, the owners still strive to involve the community through asking for ideas and aiming to meet need.
With one off events and a bustling weekly timetable, this place has community at its heart. Vintage clothes sales, vinyl swap nights, live music including showcasing local talent, food themed nights and even yoga, it feels like every interest and palette is catered for.
The café itself has quirky seating area across two floors and the walls are adorned with local art and prints, available to purchase. At peak times there’s often a queue, especially in the cold weather when seating outside is less desirable. With a mixture of cosy seats, chairs and tables, the space is used well, creating a feeling of comfort and safety. Dogs are welcome, with water provided and cyclists who use the riverside route are encouraged to stop by, with bike racks available. As well as all this, The Staiths Café has a high business social value, employing local people and upskilling the community. It’s also an official Refill Station, part of the free tap water initiative designed to promote health and reduce waste.
“The Staiths Café aims to become a destination point for comfort, socialisation and relaxation. By providing high quality coffee, fresh, honest food, together with basic daily essentials like fresh bread and a range of local produce, The Staiths Café can offer its customers a true third place between home and work.” The Staiths Cafe
Attracting almost 13k followers on Facebook and a rating of 4.9/5 some of the customers have stated:
“The service is first class, staff welcoming and very friendly.”
“Great coffee and top quality produce.”
“Best burger we have ever had.”
“Cheerful atmosphere, perfectly poached eggs and hot coffee.”
“Such a lovely café! Great food, good service and friendly staff.”
So what’s on the menu? I hear you ask. Well outside of weekly burger and pizza nights (Friday and Saturday), the café provides a variety of choice for all requirements, sourcing ingredients locally and organically.
Breakfast items include Full English (meat and veggie option), eggs cooked in numerous ways such as eggs benedict and smashed avocado with poached eggs, overnight oats, granola and fruit. Snacks and light lunches include a range of panini’s and sourdoughs such as chicken, chorizo, cheese and peri peri, or smoked ham, applewood cheese and onion, or the delicious roast veg and houmous that I went for! Soup of the day is an option, and salads are also on offer such as chicken and bacon or avocado and pine nut. Small portions for those less hungry are available, or if you want to leave room for dessert!
Added to this is an array of local teas and coffees and a mouth-watering selection of homemade baked treats including rocky road and gooey brownies (I recommend buying an extra one to take home for later!)
Whether you want to relax, get involved with the diverse activities, buy some local produce or indulge in a delicious menu, The Staiths Café is the place to try. Friendly staff, reasonable prices and a little bit of local magic makes for more than a full belly. Bon appetite!
The Staiths Café, 1 Autumn Drive, Staiths Southbank, Gateshead, NE8 2BZ.
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Helen is a journalist for Radio Gateshead, a local lass who has spent the last two decades working in health and social care. She has recently set up a community interest company called Write on the Tyne which amalgamates her passion for supporting and empowering marginalised groups to thrive with her love of writing.
Her debut novel, The Dinner Club, was released in March 2022 with UK based Cahill Davis Publishing, and her second book The Life and Love (Attempts) of Kitty Cook will be released in March 2023.