Rio Steakhouse Newcastle Quayside Review (with kids)

This post is based on a visit in Februray 2022. Please check with venue direct for up-to-date info, menus and opening times when making plans. Reservations recommended but walk ins may be accommodated.  

The North East has seen a few Brazilian style steak restaurants pop up over the years and although popular, they never seem to last too long. Rio Steakhouse seems to have bucked that trend and received rave reviews when they opened in Jesmond and went onto expand into Newcastle and Middlesbrough with restaurants in Sunderland and Durham planned soon. 

The first time I tried a Brazilian restuarant was in Cancun way back when I was just 19. I actually think that branch was called Rio's too (although I think it has closed now). We were blown away with the concept and loved it. I would say it was definitely a holiday highlight for us. 

Fast forward 20 years and we have enjoyed dining at various Brazilian restaurants over the years but if I am perfectly honest, they do feel a little gimmicky to me now. However I'm no snob and not against a gimmick if it's still a decent experience and in this case, it is. 

We visited Rio Steakhouse during February Half Term with our youngest son, 11 year old Jack.

We try to have one on one time with the kids in school holidays doing something they enjoy and eating unlimited steak is something which is right up Jack's street and a real treat for him. Jack is a real carnivore and the fact that 11 year olds can eat unlimited steak for just over £10 seemed like brilliant value to us as parents too. 

We booked the Newcastle Quayside restaurant for us and I know from speaking to others that all of the Rio restaurants are pretty much the same with the same standards, food on offer, menus and welcome.

The Quayside restaurant shares a building with Tomahawk - Tomahawk is downstairs and Rio's is upstairs. Click on the map below for a location.

We parked in the Quayside Multistory car park which is a few minutes walk away and Newcastle Quayside is easy to get to on foot from the city centre or public transport too. 

If you haven't been to a Brazilian style steakhouse before, I will try my best to explain the concept. You pay a set fee depending on what time you are dining. This gives you access to a salad bar which you can visit as many times as you like and includes fries, bread and peppercorn sauce brought out to your table. 

Your place setting comes with a card which is red on one side and green on the other. When you place the card with green facing up, this signals to the servers that they can approach. If you turn it onto red, it signals to the servers that you are in need of a little break and they won't approach. 

When you're ready to go again, simply switch your card back onto green. 

Servers leave the kitchen with various cuts of meats regularly. They will approach your table (if your card is on green), let you know what that particular cut of meat is and ask if you'd like some. If you do, they will carve one or two slices for you which you 'help' with using the tongs at your place setting. 

There are different types and cuts of meat available with more variety available in the evening. You can look at the menu below (click on it to enlarge) which will give you an idea of what to expect. 

After around 45 minutes, we were completely stuffed and couldn't eat anymore. I think we tried every type of meat bar one and some twice. I can't see a time limit on tables anywhere (althoughthey are only open for lunch across 3 hours) and it does seem to be unlimited. I would expect to stay between 40 minutes and 2 hours depending on your appetite and how busy the restaurant is. 

As well as the constant flow of meat, you can visit the salad bar as many times as you like (you get a fresh plate each time). The salad bar feels premium and as well as regular salad items has things like pork crackling, tomato and mozzarella, cous cous and rosemary roast potatoes. It's lovely. 


  • £22.95 (ages 13+ lunctime service) / £33.95 (ages 13+ evening service) 
  • £10.30 (ages 9-12) 
  • £6.70 (ages 5-8)
  • FREE (under 5s)
Drinks and desserts are charged seperately and they do cater for vegans, vegetarians and pescetarians too (see menu). One of my readers mentioned that Rio is excellent for GF.

We dined at Rio's when all Covid restrictions had ended but they still seemed to have some good hygiene protocols in place which was nice to see. They made sure that everyone sanitised their hands before visiting the salad station (and it wasn't crowded / was well maintained) and asked customers to use a fresh plate each time they left their table too.

Everyone has their own tongs to hold the meat as it's being carved and the carving knife doesn't touch your plate etc....... It felt super safe to me and as if they took things seriously. Rio's has a 5* food hygiene rating. 

The service at Rio Steakhouse was fantastic and we felt very well looked after. Staff were attentive, on the ball but also personable and were chatting to Jack about school and half term which was nice. Children are very welcome here and there are highchairs available. Kids are offered the exact same as adults and I honestly felt like Jack was getting the bargain of the century. 

If you're lucky enough to get a window seat, the views of the Tyne are fantastic and dining here really feels like a proper treat. 

We all thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and I feel like this is the best version of a Brazilian steakhouse we have been to. They have perfected the winning formula of something a little different, good food and excellent customer service I would say. 

Most of the meats we tried were beautifully tender and served pink (you can ask for well done if you prefer) and just melted in the mouth. We particularly enjoyed the sirloin steaks and lamb. I personally found some of the chicken to be a little dry but the boys didn't think that at all and raved about the chicken.

Due to the price, I don't think you should expect the highest quality out there - you need to go to somewhere like Porterhouse for that, but it is all still delicious and of a good standard. 

Ah we were SO full afterwards. How anyone could squeeze in a dessert I will never know. Rio Steakhouse is a real treat for carnivores. 

It's not the cheapest place for a meal out but I do think it offers excellent value, especially for kids who love meat as they will definitely get their money's worth.

Rio Steakhouse is definitely somewhere I would recommend as a special treat with kids / birthday meal or something a bit different. There were quite a few families with teens.

Find out more and book:

Looking to extend your day? Check out 75 things to do in Newcastle with Kids. 

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