The Best Dining Spots Across the North East
From Michelin-starred dining experiences to award-winning restaurants by the sea, and the long-established to the newest kids on the block
House of Tides
Newcastle’s only Michelin star and four AA Rosette-awarded restaurant is set in a beautifully restored Grade I-listed 16th century former merchant’s town house on the historic Quayside where chef patron Kenny Atkinson creates thoughtful, precise and elegant tasting menus with an emphasis on natural, seasonal and sustainable produce. Expect the likes of salt-aged duck and stone bass with winter truffle on both the lunch and dinner menus, and the carefully chosen wine pairing is not to be overlooked.
28–30 The Close, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3RF
0191 230 3720
Dining here should be on every true foodie’s bucket list. At the North East’s first two-Michelin starred restaurant, self-taught chef James Close curates a forward-thinking and globally-inspired menu. Experience the restaurant’s tasting menu or for an extra special treat book the kitchen table where you can enjoy world flavours and a matching wine pairing together with an unforgettable foodie experience.
Summerhouse, Darlington DL2 3UD
Beside Hadrian’s Wall, the Michelin-starred restaurant of Northumberland-born Cal Byerley and partner Siân Buchan sits overlooking the rolling countryside. Offering an intimate dining experience, chefs bring ingredients which have been foraged from the Northumberland countryside or grown in their onsite kitchen garden to life through each of the dishes on the generous tasting menu. Look out for their talented in-house sommelier who is on hand to offer advice on wine flights and pairings.
Vallum Farm, Military Road, East Wallhouses NE18 0LL
Forge at Middleton Lodge Estate
Fine dining is back at Middleton Lodge Estate as Forge opens its doors with Jake Jones at the head of the kitchen, alongside Anthony Johnson as lead pastry chef. Taking guests on a foodie journey to remember, the team bring an estate-to-plate approach to their dishes as well as using ingredients from local suppliers to ensure the freshest of favours. Sample the 10-course tasting menu and enjoy the likes of Thumbelina carrot tartlet, chalk stream trout and forced rhubarb and apple marigold, alongside an optional wine pairing.
Kneeton Lane, Middleton Tyas, Richmond DL10 6NJ
Riley’s Fish Shack
An iconic foodie destination tucked away on King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth Riley’s Fish Shack serves up the freshest fish sourced from local day boats, meaning the menu is seasonal and always changing. Head here early to secure a fireside spot and watch the sun go down over the bay – it simply can’t be beaten – or visit their latest outpost, Riley’s Fish Shop just a short distance up the road in the village, where you can watch the chefs work in the open kitchen before sampling their small plates and extensive wine list.
King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth NE30 4BY
0191 257 1371
The French Quarter
Tucked away under the arches at the very bottom of Westgate Road, The French Quarter is a vibrant neighbourhood restaurant and bar which (as the name suggests) serves authentic French cuisine and fine wines. As well as charcuterie and cheese planches, you can enjoy plenty of small plates to share, including all the classics such as boeuf bourguignon, slow cooked duck confit and escargots. Make sure to check out their well-stocked wine cellar and sample their favourites with one of the wine flights.
Arch 6, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SA
0191 222 0156
Head down the narrow steps into this characterful 13th century cellar converted into a restaurant overlooking the river in Durham. Quality and passion are key here as the team forage for ingredients in the local woods and make sure most of them are sourced within a one-mile radius. Our order would include the lobster ravioli to start, followed by the beef wellington or the skrei cod and the white chocolate sable with grapefruit sorbet for dessert.
41 Saddler Street, Durham DH1 3NU
0191 383 1856
The Seaview Restaurant
Overlooking Saltburn’s long stretch of golden sands, dramatic cliffs and historic Victorian pier, The Seaview Restaurant offers fresh seafood landed locally from surrounding waters each day. The talented team prepare delicious seafood plates cooked to order, including their famous crab brioche topped with pickled cucumber and bloody Mary ketchup; and you’ll also find scallops, satay monkfish, Whitby scampi and classic cod and chips on the menu.
The Foreshore Building, Lower Promenade, Saltburn TS12 1HQ
Find this popular neighbourhood restaurant born from a love of good food and wine in Newcastle’s up-and-coming suburb of Heaton. With Chris Wood at the helm in the kitchen, using seasonal produce and local suppliers where possible, the team here believe indulgent dining doesn’t have to be daunting. Enjoy a lunch or evening tasting menu (with optional wine pairings) or book to experience Nest’s unforgettable Sunday lunch.
258–260 Chillingham Road, Heaton NE6 5LQ
0191 276 1112
After opening their doors in April last year, Rebel restaurant in Heaton have already shown they mean serious business by being featured in the 2023 Michelin Guide. Chef-owner Lindsay Rushton and his team create a warm and friendly atmosphere alongside an ever-changing, hyper-seasonal tasting menu focused around locally-sourced ingredients. The latest addition to their pop-up series sees MEET serving tasty sharing Sunday lunch small plates, but book early as these tables get snapped up quickly.
150 Heaton Park Road, Heaton NE6 5NR
0191 691 2720
Nestled in the heart of Morpeth, Novo is a modern market town brasserie offering warm hospitality and delicious food. Big on flavour, the meals here are created with the seasons in mind and with the finest ingredients the chefs can get their hands on – think slow-cooked belly pork, catch of the day fish and beef shoulder with smoked pancetta. You’ll also find hearty Northumbrian Sunday roasts and a great selection of wines and cocktails (created by their own in-house mixologist) on the menu.
Elm House, Well Way, Morpeth NE61 1BJ
Newcastle’s iconic 21 restaurant offers warm and generous hospitality alongside skilful cooking under the watchful eye of Terry Laybourne. With a straightforward, flavour-first food philosophy which is influenced by the French classics and executed using local ingredients, expect everything from Northumbrian game terrine and confit of duck on the à la carte menu. You’ll also find delicious Sunday lunches, an early bird evening menu and a five-course tasting menu inspired by the seasons.
Trinity Gardens, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 2HH
0191 222 0755
This historic restaurant, café and cocktail bar has recently been renovated to showcase the history of the building. Serving seasonal, local and artisan dishes in a mezze tapas style, to be enjoyed snuggled up by one of the open fires, the menu includes everything from charcuterie boards and small plates such as lime and chilli fish tacos and seared flat iron steaks to delicious home bakes, or choose to just chill out in the cosy cocktail bar.
30–32 The Bank, Barnard Castle DL12 8PN
Set in a historic, Grade II-listed building which dates back to the 18th century, Beadnell Towers is a home-from-home welcoming all the family (including the four-legged ones) after a day on one of the nearby beaches. Using Northumbrian ingredients wherever possible, delicious breakfasts, lunches and evening meals are served in the welcoming bar restaurant, alongside local beers, spirits and carefully selected wines. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, their roasts are top notch – think dry-aged beef sirloin with beef dripping roasties, seasonal veg, giant Yorkshire puddings and proper gravy.
The Wynding, Chathill NE67 5AY
Fusing the very best Northumbrian produce with Scandinavian values and cooking techniques, Hjem is an intimate 24-seat restaurant in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall country. Creating a tasting menu from ingredients sourced from the surrounding farms and gardens of Northumberland, the food is cooked with Scandinavian precision and techniques – it’s no wonder Hjem holds a Michelin star. Don’t miss the accompanying wine which has been expertly chosen by their in-house sommelier.
The Hadrian Hotel, Wall,
Hexham NE46 4EE
Lovage is a Michelin Guide recommended Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in the heart of Jesmond and is the debut of partners chef Kleo Tabaku and front of house manager Lisa Hide. The menu boasts vibrant and flavourful small and large plates, as well as tasty sharing dishes which change weekly depending on seasonality. Using the best ingredients they can get their hands on, including plenty of local produce, and foraging for ingredients themselves, expect the likes of cod cheeks with chickpea batter, cauliflower steak and slow-braised beef shin ragout. They also offer an extensive wine list.
115 St George’s Terrace, Jesmond NE2 2DN
0191 366 5379
This informal, friendly restaurant brings the culinary delights of the French countryside to the North East, serving flavourful dishes which have been prepared and cooked in a simple fashion. Expect all the classics here – from escargots drizzled in garlic and parsley butter to crispy duck confit with Lyonnaise potatoes and a red wine sauce, as well as crème brûlée to finish.
Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3NJ
Showcasing seasonal and ethical cooking with a focus on preservation, dry-aging and cooking over fire, Träkol has become a North East favourite for foodies. Their ever-changing, menu reflects the seasons but expect to find dishes such as plaice with smoked seaweed, pork chop with black pudding and rhubarb, and cured brill with oyster mayonnaise. Booking here is essential as the demand for a table is high – but the food is worth the wait.
Hillgate Quays, Gateshead NE8 2FD
0191 737 1120
Enjoy a taste of history inside what is believed to be the oldest purpose-built dining room in the UK. Dating back to 1239, the building served as the refectory for the Black Friars of Newcastle and is now home to an 80-seat restaurant serving traditional British food using seasonal produce from local farms and producers. Dine in the evening for their award-winning à la carte menu and enjoy the likes of venison and truffle sausage roll, pan-roasted halibut and fresh market fish of the day. If you fancy trying your hand at being the chef, there are a number classes including bread making and world food courses at the Cookery School.
Friars Street, Newcastle NE1 4XN
0191 261 5945
A restaurant in Durham city centre which was named as one of the Michelin Guide’s new favourite restaurants earlier this year, Coarse is all about offering an affordable, seasonal and delicious tasting menu experience. Head chef and co-owner Ruari MacKay started his career under Michelin-starred chef Terry Laybourne and now, with 20 years of experience, has opened his own restaurant where he offers a six-course evening menu and three-course lunch menu. Allowing the seasonal ingredients to shine through in every dish, expect modern British small plates as well as optional wine pairings inside a simple restaurant decorated in rustic-style.
Reform Place, North Road, Durham DH1 4RZ
0191 374 1123
Casual, all day dining is the name of the game here and what originally started as a recipe blog and supper club has transformed into a two-floor dining destination in Ouseburn (plus a sister venue, Long Friday in Jesmond). Approaching their food with a do-it-ourselves attitude, growing and producing whatever they can and sourcing locally where possible, the team here offer a regularly changing menu, including delicious small and large plates, brunch at weekends and Sunday lunches.
Foundry Lane, Newcastle NE6 1LH
0191 276 1093
1910 Steak & Seafood
At the top of Whitley Bay’s iconic Spanish City you’ll find the glass-fronted 1910 Steak & Seafood restaurant looking out over the bay. Lindisfarne Oysters have their own section on the menu here, and we recommend the lobster Thermidor or sharing their famous chateaubriand served with hand cut chips, seasonal greens and two sauces of your choice. If you can manage a dessert, the caramel and chocolate sphere served with salted caramel sauce drizzled over the top would be our choice. You might need a stroll along the seafront to walk some of that off before bed!
Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG
0191 691 7090
Peace & Loaf
Headed up by chef proprietor Dave Coulson, Peace & Loaf is a long-standing favourite in the North East. Using only the freshest, locally-sourced produce, Peace & Loaf’s seasonal menus combine traditional British cuisine with meticulous attention to detail. From the tasting menu expect raw steak pie, shiitake katsu and matcha macarons to enjoy in this friendly Jesmond restaurant.
217 Jesmond Road, Jesmond NE2 1LA
0191 281 5222
Colmans Seafood Temple
Serving the finest fish and chips and seafood since 1926, Colmans is a staple in North East food culture. With beautiful panoramic views of the coastline, Colmans has reinvented the neoclassical ‘Gandhi’s Temple’ into a food altar offering everything from classic haddock and cod to local oysters, native lobster and seabass. If you’re ordering to take away, the trio of tacos is a must – think teriyaki salmon, traditional cod and mushy peas and crispy prawns with slaw. And if you’re on Ocean Road, don’t miss picking up award-winning cod and chips from their original shop to eat on the beach.
Sea Road, South Shields NE33 2LD
0191 511 1349
Using the finest seasonal produce sourced daily from their suppliers across Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, Audela continue to create delicious new dishes and offer diners a memorable experience every time. Our order would include the Berwick crab with pickled carrot and Lindisfarne Oyster dressing to start, followed by the Borders venison, and the hot chocolate fondant with gingerbread ice cream to finish. They also have an extensive wine list, as well as plenty of gins and spirits to accompany your meal.
64 Bridge Street, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1AQ
The Glass House at Wynyard Hall
A plot-to-plate approach at The Glass House allows estate-grown and locally-supplied produce to be the focus of the menu. Located in the centre of their kitchen garden, the restaurant sees seasonal menus curated using fresh ingredients alongside perfectly-paired English wines. Choose to dine for lunch, Sunday lunch or dinner, before stopping by the farm shop to pick up a range of goodies to take home.
Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham TS22 5NF