So there’s a new kid on the pizza block in the toon, Pizza Punks Newcastle sprung up on iconic Grey Street a few weeks ago, and has been doing a roaring trade ever since.
We were lucky enough to score an invite for a family lunch to try out this funky new venue for ourselves. Maybe you’re one of those families that can have a meal out with your kids in tow without it feeling like a slow form of torture, if I’m totally honest we don’t do it that often these days as it often ends up being a total disaster. So we took a deep breath and got on the Metro into town.
It was a positive start from the boys when I told them we were going to a cool new pizza restaurant, and even more encouraging when I informed them that they could have whatever they wanted on top of their pizzas!
Think neon lights, graffiti, unfussy decor – it’s not too hectic and over-done like some concept restaurants tend to be, it just feels like a light and relaxed space with a backdrop of fun.
We got a warm welcome from the friendly staff and attentive service from our waitress Rachel, who immediately explained how the whole thing works.
“Inspired by our love of proper pizza and motivated by our drive to do something different, something unique. What would happen if customers could choose exactly what they want on a pizza without charging more” ponders the Pizza Punks website.
What do you think would happen? Well macaroni cheese on top of a pizza that’s what! It was a festival of carbs…
Given kids tend to be fussy critters who know exactly what they want and how they want it, or think they do, this place is a win-win. Arlo wanted sausage on his pizza, but the resulting pizza was too spicy for his taste. The staff were amazing and dealt with the issue with a smile, immediately exchanging his pizza for one the same as his brother’s mac ‘n’ cheese version. It didn’t take long for the replacement pizza to arrive given it was a busy Sunday lunchtime service.
If you’ve got younger children, there’s a good value kids menu for £7 which gives them a pizza (with more normal toppings), drink and a dessert. But my boys almost always opt for the adult menu these days – Sam is very nearly the same height as me, and Arlo isn’t far behind.
The pizza menu
It’s a simple concept so don’t expect a gazillion options. For a fixed price of £10 you choose a pizza base – sourdough or gluten free. You pick a sauce – Red, White or BBQ. Opt for your favourite cheese or combo of cheeses and then go wild in the aisles of unlimited toppings.
They’ve sorted them into categories of Protein, Veggies and then the fun-sounding Rogue options which includes Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Irn-Bru Pulled Pork, Lamb Donner, Tortilla Chips & Newcastle Brown Ale Beef Brisket. You can then finish with a final flourish to top it off with Rocket, Basil, Chilli Flakes and Oregano.
We asked the waitress if anyone had ever had ALL the toppings on one pizza… apparently someone has but we get the impression they might have regretted it!
If you can’t be bothered to come up with your own punk pizza creation, or just fancy a bit of inspiration there’s also a list of nine ready-created combos that you can choose from. I went for the Messy Mexican which was loaded with Applewood Cheddar, Fajita Chicken, Caramelised Red Onion, Red Peppers, Jalapeños, Tortilla Chips, Sour Cream and Guacamole. Looks-wise my pizza certainly subscribed to the chaotic punk theme – loaded with toppings, it was colossal so I only got half way through it and had to box the rest up to bring home. It was so tasty but even more delicious cold!
Matthew went for the Philly Cheesesteak Calzone, but was a bit disappointed with the quality of the steak. What he loved though was his side order of candied bacon (£4) and Sourdough Cheeseburger Bites (£5). His years of vegetarianism are firmly behind him, but if you’re purer of heart then dietary preferences are well represented here among the topping options for Veggie Sausage and Haggis and Vegan Cheese, as well as three meat-free options on the named combos.
Desserts at Pizza Punks
Presuming you’ve got the room for a dessert after gorging yourself on unlimited pizza toppings, or maybe you’ve developed an extra stomach, you can go for ice-cream punked up your own way (£4), opt for a Nutella & Banana Pizza with Butterscotch Ice-Cream (£6) or have a crack at one of their rather outrageous Freakshakes (also £6). Matthew and I watched in disbelief as the boys launched into Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Cheesecake Freakshakes respectively. Not for the faint hearted.
Pudding King Sam devoured the entire creation, but Arlo had some help from his Dad with his. I sipped on my glass of wine in awe of their pudding prowess. I may have pinched a chocolate button.
There’s also a Vegan Chocolate Brownie Freakshake too if that’s your thing.
Drinks wise it’s a delight, with a creative selection of cocktails (£7), gins, craft beers, wine and prosecco on tap (well it was frizzante actually, but very lovely with a dash of Elderflower). Don’t be put off by the wine being on tap either, they get it direct from their supplier in recyclable barrels to cut out the bottling charge to help keep the cost low. I had a large and beautifully smooth glass of red (£5) which is great value given the city centre location.
Matthew and I both agreed it’d be a fab place to kick off a night on the toon with cocktails and pizza before hitting some bars or going to a gig. You’d need to have a very energetic dancing session to burn off some of the calories from your time there though! Slimming World friendly it ain’t!
Ambience: Funky and fun vibe, this is a brilliantly informal setting perfect for families or groups of mates.
Best place to sit: Get a window seat and watch the world go by on Grey Street
Value For money: We loved the one flat price of £10 for all pizzas – no need for starters or desserts given how filling they are!
Would I go back? The boys immediately demanded to know when we could go back, so that’s a yes from the Feeding Boys clan. The whole experience gave us a whole new confidence about eating out as a family!
34-40 Grey Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 8AE
Disclosure: We were guests of Pizza Punks. All views are my own, I was not required to write a positive review
Picture Credits: I’m very proud to say that Arlo snapped most of these pictures for this review… he got RIGHT into being behind the lens, plus it stopped him from getting fidgety and bored during the meal.