Camber Coffee, Newcastle
It is exciting to hear about all of the independents that seem to be springing up in Newcastle at the moment. After visiting Sky Apple’s Friday night chippy, Grumpy Panda in Gateshead, and discovering Vegano, it seems like the market is swaying more towards providing vegan options too. Music to my ears!
Camber Coffee also opened last week in the city centre (6th July), offering a predominantly vegan menu alongside smoothies and pastries. Beans roasted by Pilgrims Coffee House on Holy Island are served above Start Fitness on Market Street in this stylish new cafe.
The first thing I noticed were the re-purposed bus seats acting as a ‘comfy’ couch area for those just wanting a brew.
The rest of the area is open plan with plenty of tables for those wanting to try out Camber’s breakfast options (Sweet Potato Toast, Chia Seed Puddings, served until 11:30) or one of their healthy lunch dishes.
The menu has been designed by Nieka, who many will know from Bunker Coffee and Mama Zen. The food is rainbow bright and bursting with fresh flavours. I wanted to try the Mega Stack Lasagne but unfortunately it had sold out, so opted for the Rainbow Rad Thai Salad (£5) instead. The peanut, lime and chilli dressing packed a punch for me, while the raw spiralised vegetables were surprisingly filling.
My friend chose the Mediterranean Wrap (£4.50), which was stuffed with chickpeas, olives and sundried tomatoes. The side salad served alongside was a mix of strawberries, mint, cauliflower and cucumber. Definitely anything but boring! Even Dinky seemed keen to try out the food on offer, with her taking a shine to the raw Salted Caramel and Banana Bar we were planning on having for dessert.
It’s not often Dinky’s so enthusiastic about food when we’re out and about so we encouraged her to finish it off. She may have ended up with a fair amount round her chops – as well as on her white dress – but she seemed to give it her seal of approval.
It seems appropriate that the food on offer in a cafe above a sports store seems to veer more towards ‘clean eating’ than other establishments in the Toon. For those who just want to pop in for a decent cup of coffee and something more ‘stodgy’ there are pastries on sale. These are not suitable for vegans, more’s the pity. Smoothies can be made to order using any of the ingredients they have to hand on the day for £2.95. My friend had a Rise and Shine alongside his wrap while I enjoyed a bottle of Karma Cola. With Doisy & Dam Chocolate bars on sale – which are made using ethically sourced ingredients – Camber’s team have clearly put a lot of thought into providing a selection of food that is aimed at promoting well being as well as being better for the environment too.
The cafe isn’t completely vegan, however, with dairy milk available for the coffees alongside soy and oat varieties. As Northern Juice was only a temporary venture in the city centre there was a definite market for healthier choices, and it seems Michael and his team are aiming to fill this gap. The food menu is subject to change depending on availability, especially at peak times. Judging by how busy they were during our visit I think Camber Coffee will be a big success.
Thanks for reading,