Portofino: authentic neighbourhood Italian in the centre of Newcastle

It’s a weekday evening around 7pm, and there’s a small queue of hungry locals outside the front door of Portofino, eagerly waiting for a table.  One remarks to me as we join the queue that “this place is always so busy”, but assures me it’s for a good reason.

We’re not waiting for more than a few minutes before we’re shown to a table by the window.  The service is friendly and relaxed, just like the atmosphere.  There’s a big mix of customers here – there are those that have just come straight from work, families, a few couples, and some groups of friends.  Everyone seems happy to be here and this adds to the feel of the place.

The food is really good.  We ordered a cannelloni (£8.95) and a 10z sirloin steak (£14.95 including a side order) and they were both very tasty.  We washed them down with a couple of Italian beers.

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As well as the main menu, if you arrive before 7pm on weekdays or 5pm on a Saturdays, Portofino has a very reasonable happy hour menu.  Make sure you get here in good time for this though as it does get busy.

While we’re having our coffee and delicious homemade tiramisu we take a moment to look up at the beautiful Victorian Grade II listed building that building – a pretty unique setting that works very well as an Italian restaurant.

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This gets the thumbs up from me – it’s tasty, honest, authentic food served in a family-run restaurant without a hint of pretentiousness.

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