Soul Foods, Newcastle NSW

A couple of weekends back, we took a quick weekend trip up to Newcastle to visit the Bear’s new baby nephew. Our efforts to arrive super early were apparently in vain – when we got to the airport, there were no shuttle buses for over an hour. We sat at the airport drinking big old mugs of coffee wondering why exactly we had taken the 6am flight.

The shuttle bus took us into Newcastle, where we desperately needed some breakfast after already being up without food for over five hours. Harnessing the power of the internet, we found our target – Natural Tucker Health Food and Cafe on Darby St. We started making our way there, when we stumbled upon this sign:


Vegan options? Count us in!

newie2Soul Foods was closer than our destination, and conveniently right across from the train station we needed to get to to scoot out to Cardiff afterwards.

The cafe had high ceilings and a quirky interior – lots of mismatched coloured chairs and pretty teacups. I liked it. I was a bit jealous of two ladies to my left who had what looked like the most royal thrones of the room, but I stopped giving them greasies to look at the menu.

The bubbly lady explained the vegan options – I went with the zucchini fritters/pancakes? Usually served with haloumi, but could be replaced with tofu to be made vegan. Sounded great.

newie1 When my meal came out, I was impressed by the vibrant colours – I like to eat with my eyes and I like rainbow plates. However unfortunately this dish just didn’t quite come together. The zucchini fritters were semi-sweet pancakes with blueberries in them, but then topped with savouries. It was great that they could substitute the haloumi instead of just take it away, however the tofu was raw and I could not taste any marinade. Tomato and avo are always good brekkie additions, and everybody knows I am a dip fanatic, however the hommus tasted distinctly of one I have bought at the supermarket, as did the pesto – which tasted very cheesy (like those little oily cashew ‘chunky’ dips you can buy). When I asked afterwards, the lady assured me that it was vegan and house-made, but I was still a little skeptical. It tasted EXACTLY how I remember that non-vegan store bought dip to taste. But hey, if they tell me so I gotta believe it.

The bear went with a bean dish, though he had it with feta so I didn’t snap it. He really enjoyed it and I tried some of the beans which were tasty. I think they came with some pumpkin toast.

Soul Foods had a bunch of tasty looking vegan sweets, but I wasn’t really feeling it on the day. I was a little disappointed with the breakfast, but wouldn’t discount them entirely without having another go. Maybe next time!

Afterwards, we bumbled with buying train tickets (confusing machines), missed our train (and also forced an innocent man to miss the train too with our inability to navigate the ticket machine) and ultimately had to wait another hour and a half for the next one. When we complained of our plight, we were told “but it’s Saturday” as if that explained the lack of transport options. Oh us Melbourners with our frequent departing Saturday trains, what were we thinking? We arrived at Billy’s sister’s place at about 2pm. Good thing we got that 6am flight! Ha!

Soul Foods
227 Hunter st, Newcastle NSW
Tues – Fri – 7.30am – 5pm
Sat – Sun – 8am – 3.30pm


  1. It’s too bad you didn’t enjoy the meal more. And I’m always afraid my meal isn’t completely vegan when I eat out– you never really know. Hopefully you can get a great meal next time!

    1. When I first went vegan I was definitely more cautious, however now I am very trusting as veganism seems to be quite common place. I guess you don’t really know what happens behind the scenes, but I do hope for the best! People do make mistakes though I guess..

  2. wow that was a long trip to visit family – and shame about your meal – if cafes actually advertise their vegan options like that you expect they know about vegan food but if they are serving unmarinated tofu that really makes me wonder. Hope the nephew was really cute and you had a nice visit that made the food and transport recede into the background

    1. Yes, seeing the new little bub definitely outshone the breakfast, he was adorable! As were Billy’s other two little nephews who are both 3. It was so cute seeing them play together – whenever they met up they would yell each others names and giggle and jump up and down and hug. SO CUTEEEEE!

  3. How frustrating – no shuttle buses for over an hour? We booked shuttle buses online in advance for Auckland, it was pretty convenient. I love seeing β€˜Vegan Options’, it makes me happy to see restaurants/cafes accomodating vegans and with allergens. Mismatched colored chairs and pretty teacups sound like my ideal cafe – I love colorful things! Bummers about the vibrantly colorful meal – I don’t like sweet and savory together fortunately you get to spend quality time with your family! ❀

    1. I am far too unorganised to have planned that far in advance (and perhaps have become to expectant for things to happen quickly!) but never mind. That’s right – the quality family time far outshone the average brekkie πŸ™‚

  4. I also like the rainbow look of the dish! Too bad not all of the elements tasted as good as they looked. I love tofu but most brands need at least some kind of flavouring or cooking. The cafe sounds lovely though. πŸ™‚

  5. Hm, I would’ve been skeptical about the dips, too. Weird, as when I looked at your plate I got so excited (I love spreading and dipping things) and then my second thought was, hm… that’s a lot of different dip for some tiny fritters. I can understand your hesitation about the sweet and savoury combo and the raw tofu too, it’s strange that they were more pancake-ish and sweet when they were described as fritters! Here’s hoping they will take some tips from you and make their dishes a little more cohesive in future. Gorgeous post though. Love the colours xx

    1. It was really bizarre, and a bit of a shame. I’m the same – I love lots of different bits and pieces, particularly things to dip in (Billy tells me it doesn’t classify as food, but I always say crackers and dips are my favourite food!) This one just didn’t quite come together. Hopefully they improve in the future πŸ˜€

  6. Don’t you just love it when the sign clearly states vegan options πŸ™‚ Sure makes our life easier.
    Not sure that I like the sound of zucchini and blueberries being together in a fritter though either!

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