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Be inspired every day with Living North
Italian cuisine dish shrimp and arugula spaghetti with ink cuttlefish
Eat and Drink
January 2020
Reading time 5

You won't be disappointed...

The food scene in the North just keeps getting better, here are our favourite spots for fish and chips, Michelin-star magic and something a little different

Bao Bar, Heaton

Newly opened on Heaton’s Chillingham Road, Bao Bar serves pan-Asian street food that’s packed with flavour. Specialising in the fluffy, Chinese-style steamed buns, there’s a choice of four mouthwatering fillings; sriracha fried chicken and cucumber kimchi, pork belly with miso and pickled apple, tempura oyster mushroom with basil emulsion or crispy panga fish with tartar sauce. They also serve a small selection of daily specials chalked on the blackboard, which put innovative twists on pan-Asian favourites.

Riley’s Fishshack, Tynemouth

For an alternative to classic fish and chips head to Riley's Fish Shack. This unique eatery tucked away on King Edwards Bay, serves up fresh seafood ranging from mackerel to monkfish, as well as wood-fired flatbread and crispy hot-plate garlic potatoes.

Barrio Comida, Durham

Shaun Hurrell’s taqueria pop-up took prime position on Newcastle’s Quayside but left a Mexican-shaped hole in our hearts when they closed their doors in December 2017. Having built themselves a permanent out-post on Church Street, Durham – complete with a taqueria and basement bar – Barrio Comida are yet another of the North East’s successful street foodies to go bricks-and-mortar. Expect authentic Mexican dishes inspired by the amazing taquerias dotted all over Mexico and California, and be sure to try their rare-breed pork belly tacos with guacamole, salsa habanera and pink onions – we like ours with a margarita.

Hibou Blanc, Newcastle

Hibou Blanc is the latest addition to the Bigg Market’s on-going regeneration project. The menu promises to showcase the best local and seasonal ingredients (with an emphasis on fish and shellfish), the atmosphere promises to be relaxed – and, most importantly, the wine list promises to be extensive. 

Raby Hunt, Darlington

Dining here should be on every true foodie’s bucket list. Chef James Close is hailed as ‘a food visionary’ and his two Michelin-starred menu celebrates the wealth of fresh, local produce in the North East. 

Trakol, Gateshead

Describing themselves as ‘a fiercely seasonal open-fire kitchen’ Träkol has received rave reviews from some of the country’s most respected food critics since its opening. There’s a real emphasis on nose-to-tail dining, and they use only rare and heritage British breeds to produce their menu (which is heaven for carnivores). Booking is essential and demand for tables is high, but when the food’s as good as this, it’s worth the wait. 

Restaurant Hjem, Hexham

Alex Nietosvuori started his culinary career working in the two Michelin-starred restaurant, Daniel Berlin Krog, and adopted a nose-to-tail approach to minimal-waste cooking. Earlier this year, he made the move to Wall, in Hexham, bringing his Scandinavian flair and exceptional culinary skills to the North East, and has since captured the attention of critics nationwide.

Horticulture, Newcastle

Recently opened on Market Lane, an area of Newcastle that has recently undergone something of a revival, Horticulture are there to cater to your breakfast, brunch, lunch and drinking needs. Start your day with their Muckle breakfast, or opt for dishes including king prawns and steak come night time. With three floors, including an outdoor terrace, and an espresso martini menu featuring over 40 variations, there’s plenty to be explored.

Box. Pizza, Beadnell

Perched atop a hill overlooking the Northumberland countryside and Beadnell Bay, Box Pizza are setting themselves apart from the other eateries in this small coastal village by serving up the most authentic, wood-fired Italian pizzas from their pop-up converted shipping container. Try the shroom, a olive and garlic tapenade base topped with local wild-forest mushrooms, spinach, Fior Di Latte and truffle oil.

Scream for Pizza, Sandyford

Last year the deeply-loved Scream for Pizza took its charming Neapolitan pizza van and turned the concept into a brand new restaurant in Sandyford. And, the pizzas they serve there are second to none. Cured meats and chilli honey come together on the Brooklyn Bee, then there’s the Mimosa with cream sauce, roast ham, sweetcorn and parmesan or the Why Aye Sweetie Pie with blue cheese, cranberries, parma ham and honey. There are classics in there too, but it’s the joyous experimentation which really sets Scream apart.

Wild Plum, Harrogate

Following a refurbishment in 2019, Wild Plum gave us even more reason to visit. Everything on the menu is painfully Instagram-worthy, particularly the matcha waffles, served with strawberry, whipped cream and meringue. If deciding what to order from the all-too-tempting menu proves a challenge, then opt for the signature Brekkie Board, featuring miniature versions of their super-seeded bircher oats, smoothie, protein energy balls, and homemade sourdough with smashed avocado.

The Owl, Leeds

This recently-opened pub, from the chef creators behind fine dining destination HOME, is nestled in Leeds Kirkgate Market. Complete with an oyster bar, whilst serving re-imagined pub classics too, it’s a spot worth trying, whether its for a  craft beer in the tap room, or locally-sourced Sunday lunch.

Grantley Hall, Ripon

Yorkshire’s ultimate luxury hotel destination opened in summer last year, and with it brought us exciting new exciting dining options. Their relaxed all-day dining restaurant Fletchers showcases the best that Yorkshire has to offer, EightyEight serves up vibrant pan-Asian dishes, and Valeria’s is a glamorous late-night Champagne and cocktail bar. The jewel in Grantley Hall’s crown however, may perhaps just be found in their restaurant partnership with Yorkshire-born, Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin.

Forge, Middleton Lodge

Here Chef Gareth Rayner has created a unique nine-course tasting menu, which focusses heavily on ingredients found in the estate’s Kitchen Garden, produce from the local farming community, and ingredients which can be foraged from nearby woodland. Dishes are cooked on open fires and menus change on a daily basis, depending on which produce has been picked from the estate that morning. There’s also optional wine-pairing available, with the estate’s sommelier selecting the finest drink to complement every dish.

The Ox Club, Leeds

This restaurant serves up local produce fresh from its grill and a range of tasty brunch dishes at the weekends within the cool setting of Headrow House. It’s somewhere to enjoy good food in a quirky environment.

The Angel at Hetton, Skipton

Having built a reputation for gaining and retaining Michelin stars across the country, Michael Wignall took on the new challenge of running The Angel at Hetton last year, and quickly bagged a coveted Michelin star. And the development of their new dining outlet just across the road, could see another heading their way in the future.

Trenchers, Whitby 

Few places in the world are better for fresh seafood than Whitby, and Trenchers is a restaurant and takeaway that brings the very best bounty of the sea to diners’ plates. It’s the ideal place to dip your toe into different culinary waters, serving up halibut steak – when available – alongside the standard cod, haddock and plaice.

Engine, Sowerby Bridge

Engine is the brainchild of award-winning chef Mark Kemp and co-owner Wil Akroyd, who together aim to bring their concept of ‘social dining’ to Sowerby Bridge. Their vast range of small plates to share include dishes such as fire roasted aubergine in turmeric oil from the vegan menu, enjoy a selection of Spanish charcuterie or sample the sea bream chraymeh – a North African fish stew in a spicy tomato sauce. To finish, try Engine’s innovative desserts, including ricotta fritters with blackberry sauce or burnt honey and thyme panna cotta.

Kommune, Sheffield

This creative, urban space is home to a variety of independent kitchens and a quirky bar that serves innovative cocktails too. It’s the perfect spot to fill up on local street food, from Pom Kitchen, Fat Hippo and more, whilst getting involved in a game of ping-pong.

The Star Inn the City, York

Andrew Pern’s riverside restaurant in York is a celebrated spot in the city. Turning the very best of Yorkshire’s produce into a countryside-inspired menu — think high-grade game, pork and chicken – the restaurant is a go-to for classic Yorkshire-style dining, while the terrace is the perfect spot for drinks beside the river.

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