Review – Dark Matter Cafe, Durham

Finding places that really appeal to Jnr is hard. Not only is he a fussy eater, he is also totally obsessed with computer games. Him Indoors would also rather play on his PS4 than be dragged off to spas or to eat cake! In my teens I was a gamer, but my interest waned when motherhood took over. Working in the tech industry made me sympathetic to their cause though!
I was doing some research on places to eat in Durham when I stumbled up Dark Matter Cafe. The mention of Pokemon tournaments and comics meant I knew Jnr would be itching to visit. In fact he badgered me every day about our planned trip! The cafe is just outside the city centre, slightly off the beaten track but not impossible to find thanks to the abandoned bicycle pointing you in its direction.


We visited during half term, and it was a shame there weren’t events on through the day. They’reΒ usually held on an evening instead. Jnr was disappointed by this as he had brought along his Pokemon cards specifically. There were cartoons on a tv and computer games to play on. They sell comics and games merchandise at the back of the store, and also have a table full of board games to choose from. If I was a cooler Mum I’d have played Catan with him!Β 



The cafe was very busy because of the holiday. Their coffees are quirkily served in cartoon mugs and they have a wide range of milkshakes. Jnr chose his favourite – Oreo- which he loved. It was Β£3.20 and he liked it. More info can be found here. He ate a Meatball & Gravy Sub to eat, while I opted for the Incredible Hulk: two burger patties, topped with bacon, cheese, mushrooms and onions. The food isn’t going to win any awards, but the place is worth visiting for the quirk factor. Thankfully for bored Mums & Dads there’s free Wifi, and I sat writing while he entertained himself. The Star Wars reference for the password made me chuckle πŸ™‚
I’ve promised we’ll return on a Thursday night so Jnr can participate in their Pokemon tournaments. Hopefully they’ll have some of the amazing cakes I saw on their Facebook page next time we visit. It’s a nerdy place, but Jnr feels like he fits in here. Just as long as he’s happy πŸ™‚
Thanks for reading,
Pip x
Follow Canny Food on Twitter.


  1. North East Family fun

    This looks like such a cool place – definitely somewhere worth making the trip for, perhaps for birthday tea with a few of the kids' friends so they can play a game together?

    Have you heard of The Sugarloaf in Whitley Bay? They serve THE BEST buttermilk pancakes and have a pinball machine and pacman computer too.

  2. mandy charlton

    This looks like a place to take Iain, he would absolutely loves it being an uber geek!

  3. New Girl in Toon

    Oooooooooooh have you seen that the Life Centre are doing a special exhibition about gaming this year, it's running from May to November! I reckon you'd score yourself some pretty serious brownie points if you took your boys along .. maybe in exchange for some whinge free cake dates πŸ˜‰

    … something tells me I'll be going!

  4. Emma Phillips

    Yeah, I've been told I'm going πŸ™‚

  5. Emma Phillips

    Sounds great πŸ™‚

  6. Emma Phillips

    I've been told to just drop Jnr off if he wants to participate in a tournament without his embarrassing mum around! Boys are funny!

  7. Emma Huggins

    This is so a place for the hubby he would love it. And excuse to catch up with my Durham family

  8. Emma Phillips

    All your boys would love it! πŸ™‚

  9. Jamie Tarren

    Looks like my sort of place with the food and geek culture combined. I've got so many foody places to visit and try now.

  10. Emma Phillips

    It's definitely worth a visit. There's constant My Little Pony on the TV, which I wish they'd do something about. Get some Adventure Time or Regular Show on πŸ™‚


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *