In the very center of Newcastle sits the historic Grainger Market, once the largest in all of Europe.
I first came across this market by accident, not having seen it on any tourism information. Unlike high street shops, there are no in-your-face markers at the entrances, but as it's smack bang in the middle of the city, just by Monument Metro Station, it is very easy to find.
The 1904 domed glass and steel roof will still catch your eye today
The Market mainly sells meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, all of decent quality and very cheaply priced. There's also a general repairs store, fabric shop, perfumery, hairdressers, jewellers, a couple of florists and a good handful of clothing stores. Famously, it is also home to the world's oldest Marks and Spencer's, which is called the Penny Bazaar. Towards the Clayton Street end of the market is the Arcade, which at one point had two working fountains! The roof, until a fire at the turn of the century, was a simple wooden frame, but was replaced in 1904 with the glass and steel domed roof that still draws attention today. The arcade is a busy part of the retail floor and is sometimes used as an events space.
I usually duck into the market for a few bags of coffee beans from Pumphreys Coffee Company (which has the added benefit of making my handbag smell amazing for the rest of the day) and some muesli ingredients from Fruit & Nut Company. Near Pumphreys there are two intriguingly-named shops called 'mmm...' and 'glug...', which I absolutely love to visit but, as they are pricier than the market generally, I usually don't buy much there. However it's well worth a look at least, as 'glug...' has an amazing range of imported and local craft beer, and its sister store 'mmm...' will set you up with all sorts of mouth-watering nibbles.
Grainger Market is open Monday - Saturday, 9:00am - 5:30pm every week of the year, with Sunday hours in the run-up to Christmas. See here for a full map and list of the stores available, or follow this link for more information about the history of the site. The official web link is here.