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Steak dinner with Mac and Cheese, chicken wings and sweet potato fries
Eat and Drink
April 2016
Reading time 3

Perfect places for a date night or a meal with friends and family

Grillhouse culture is having a moment right now, but with its many ports and traditional butchers the North East has long been the best place in the country for finding smoked meats and fish whether you’re eating out or stocking up for home.


The simplicity and clarity of Bierrex’s stylish wood-and-marble interior is reflective of its menu and culinary ethos: get a combo plate, load up with three meats and two sides, and gorge on ribs, pulled pork, sausages, wings and Northern Irish brisket fresh from the smoker.

82 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle
0191 447 7720

L. Robson & Sons’ reputation as the spiritual and physical home of the kipper is hard-earned and fiercely defended. If the kippers in the attached restaurant were any fresher you’d have to wear galoshes while eating them.

Haven Hill, Craster, Alnwick
01665 576223


Tucked away at the back of Blackfriars, this grillhouse comes with a couple of twists: firstly, it’s Korean; secondly, you grill the meat yourself at your table on a hot plate. Team marinated pork or beef with kimchi – acidic and tangy pickled cabbage beloved in Korea – for an authentically Eastern experience.

5–7 Taylors and Tanners Court, Newcastle
0191 232 7950


Sometimes the old ways are the best, and RC Roland make a virtue of swerving new-fangled techniques in favour of traditional oak-smoking their meats in the same way that they have since their inception in 1904. They’re not known as ‘the steak people’ for nothing.

26 Queen Street, Amble, Morpeth
01665 710210


Foodie types have rediscovered the importance of a good butcher in recent years, and there are few better than Rothbury’s. Getting quality meat from Northumbrian suppliers is paramount here. Their sausages have taken national plaudits, and their smoked bacon is a thing of wonder.

Townfoot, Rothbury
01669 620744
Heighley Gate Garden Centre, Morpeth
01670 504141


It’s easy to get the grillhouse concept wrong and end up serving flat, monotonous meat in a sticky, unedifying environment. The Dirty Bottles gets it right, though: that their brisket and pork joints are cooked for a full 48 hours, plus the smoked ribs and wings from their smokehouse, make it a grillhouse of rare sophistication.

Narrowgate, Alnwick
01665 606193


Very much an upper-class grillhouse, The Rib Room earned an AA Rosette in 2012 for its 32-day matured Durham beef. You can even see how the next batch is getting on by putting your head round the door of their meat locker.

Ramside Hall, Carrville, Durham
0191 386 5282


Grillhouse cuisine isn’t just limited to rich, dark meats like beef and pork. Head Chef John Calton’s expertise with grilled game and fish, the latter fresh from the North Shields quayside, is extraordinary; in a part of the world where the zeal for quality seafood borders on mania, that’s really saying something.

57 Low Lights, North Shields Fish Quay
0191 270 8441

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