Shields Road in Byker (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) isn’t your stereotypical setting for a vegan eatery. I like Byker and used to live not far from Shields Road, but was surprised to hear about a vegan place among the pawn shops and bookmakers. I had to be in Newcastle for an evening meeting yesterday, so thought I would give it a try. Having tried it (and liked it!) I now see it makes perfect sense.
‘Junk it Up’ does vegan fast food. Kebabs, pizzas, burgers and KFC style ‘fricken’ pieces. I went for a fricken burger with (vegan) cheese and fries. It was really good – all the flavours and textures you would want from fast food, just without the animal bits.
From the branding to the food to the décor, there is something unashamedly grungey about Junk it Up, and it feels totally at home on Shields Road. Junk food isn’t something I want to eat a lot of, but I like the fact that veganism doesn’t always have to equal buddha bowls full of quinoa, lentils and falafel. In other words, I like the fact that it is normal.
I’ve been enjoying eating much more healthily since going vegan, and have no intention of changing this positive new habit. However, I’m glad that there are options like this for when I want to make an unhealthy exception.
I liked the location, I liked the food, and I liked the Green Day tunes playing on the stereo. I got the impression that the teenage emo-types who had come for their dinner also approved. I’m pretty sure I’ll be back.