The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North

The Best Restaurants for a Pre-Theatre Dinner in the North East and Yorkshire

The Best Restaurants for a Pre-Theatre Dinner in the North East and Yorkshire Antico Restaurant
Eat and Drink
January 2024
Reading time 4 Minutes

Looking for the best place to eat before your next trip to the theatre?

We've rounded up some of the best pre-theatre dining destinations just a stone's throw from your favourite theatres. So whether you've booked a ballet at Newcastle Theatre Royal or a comedy show at Leeds Grand, here's what you need to know.
Di Sopra Di Sopra

MAVI Turkish Restaurant

52 Bridge Street, Berwick TD15 1AQ
A two-minute walk to Maltings
Serving traditional Turkish food, MAVI offers a special set menu from which you can order two cold meze and one main course for £14.95. Meze includes humus, cacik, saksuka, patlican ezme, beetroot salad and yaprak sarma, and the vegetarian moussaka is delicious. If you’re in the mood for sharing, you might want to try the MAVI platter (sucuk, avci boregi, falafel, pancar salad, humus, cacik served with bread and a bottle of house wine) for £29.50.

Di Sopra

9 Bondgate Within, Alnwick NE66 1SX
A one-minute walk to Alnwick Playhouse
This authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Alnwick (open Tuesday to Saturday) is a local favourite, serving dishes cooked with quality Italian ingredients and local produce. From noon until 6pm Di Sopra offers two courses for £11.95 or three courses for £14.95 with main options of pasta or pizza. Starters include soup of the day, garlic mushrooms, potato skins and bruschetta pomodoro.

Café Andaluz

87–89 Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6EG
A two-minute walk to Newcastle Theatre Royal
A 10-minute walk to Tyne Theatre and Opera House
A 13-minute walk to Northern Stage

Bringing the taste of Spain to Newcastle, Café Andaluz is the perfect choice for diners willing to share. Their patatas bravas are a hit, we love the albondigas (traditional spiced pork & beef meatballs in rich tomato sauce) and the classic crisp-fried calamari served with fresh lemon and smoked paprika alioli always proves popular. But it wouldn’t be a visit to Café Andaluz without the traditional Spanish churros with rich hot chocolate dipping sauce. Their lunch/pre-theatre menu (served Monday to Thursday until 6.30pm and Friday until 6pm) promises three tapas from £17.95 per person. On Sundays the offer extends to three tapas and a dessert from £22.95 per person.

Café Andaluz
Café Andaluz


15–16 Green Terrace, Sunderland SR1 3PZ
A four-minute walk to Sunderland Empire
Bianco is a brand new Italian dining experience in Sunderland, which we’ve fallen in love with. Their pizza, sizzling steaks and pasta are packed with flavours inspired by the rich traditions of Italy – and their meals are super affordable (even when they aren’t on special offer). They even offer Sunday roasts with beef, pork, chicken or lamb every Sunday (12pm–5pm) for just £10. Their mid-week specials include three courses for £9 and any burger and chips for just £8, and their cocktails are a winner too. Plus, if you’re heading to the theatre with the kids they can dine on chicken burger, cheese burger, pizza, pasta or chicken nuggets (each with fries and ketchup) for just £5.

Read More: 14 Great Country Pubs to Cosy Up in This Winter

Bianco Bianco

Antico Restaurant

Roker Terrace, Sunderland SR6 9ND
A seven-minute drive to Sunderland Empire
Neville’s Cross Complex, Darlington Road, Durham DH1 4JX
A 23-minute walk to Gala Theatre & Cinema
Antico is a go-to for pizza, pasta, meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, all created using original Italian recipes, and they have outposts in Roker, Birtley and Durham. In Roker their early-bird menu (two courses for £13 or three courses for £16.50) is available Monday to Friday 5pm–6.30pm, Saturdays 1pm–6pm and Sundays 4pm–6.30pm, whilst in Durham the early-bird menu (two courses for £14 or three courses for £18.50) is served Monday to Friday until 6.30pm. Starters include homemade paté, and toasted Italian bread with pan-fried mixed mushrooms in a creamy garlic sauce, while mains include pizza, pasta and chicken dishes and the tiramisù is a must-try.

Oven Restaurant

202–204 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough TS1 3QW
A six-minute drive to Middlesbrough Theatre
This family-run restaurant has been at the heart of Middlesbrough since 2015, serving innovative dishes that mix classic and modern British, Italian and Mediterranean flavours. Their Prix Fixe menu (available 12pm–9pm) offers one course for £12.95, two courses for £16.45 and three courses for £19.95. Their homemade sourdough bruschetta is served with virgin olive oil, garlic and parmesan, mains include pasta, pizza and cod and salmon fishcake, and we can recommend the Biscoff ice cream with Biscoff sauce and Biscoff crumble (you can never have too much Biscoff).


11 Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RF
An eight-minute walk to Darlington Hippodrome
Saltfish is a popular a seafood restaurant and wine bar within Houndgate Townhouse Hotel, and their meals are served alongside organic and natural wines produced by artisan winemakers. Their seasonal pre-theatre menu (available 4.45pm–6.45pm) offers two courses for £22.95 and three courses for £27.95, but this month you can order a three-course lunch for just £20 from Tuesday to Saturday (12pm–2.30pm) including curried butternut squash soup with warm sourdough to start, chestnut mushroom risotto with goats’ cheese and sage, and a flourless chocolate and almond brownie with salted caramel sauce.

Read More: Six of Our Favourite Cafés for a Quick Pit Stop on your Winter Walk

Cena Trattoria

85 The High Street, Yarm TS15 9BG
A six-minute walk to the Princess Alexandra Auditorium
A wood-burning pizza oven and fine wine make this Italian restaurant popular with the locals in Yarm. Their Fisso menu is served weekdays (12pm–5pm) with two courses for £15 or three courses for £20. We recommend the mushroom arancini with truffle cream sauce to start, but save room for the apple and blackberry Eton mess with chantilly cream and meringue.

The Tannin Level The Tannin Level

Elixir Ristorante

30 Market Place, Richmond DL10 4QG
A three-minute walk to the Georgian Theatre Royal
This contemporary Italian in the heart of Richmond has an extensive wine list, good cocktail options and a menu to satisfy all tastes. Their happy hour offer (Monday to Sunday ‘til 6pm) means you can combine any of the starters on the main menu with pizza, pasta, risotto or chicken dishes from £13.95. But with more than 15 starters to choose from, the decision isn’t always an easy one! We recommend the deep-fried French goats’ cheese, coated in breadcrumbs, served with a mixed berry sauce on a bed of rocket and parmesan salad.

The Tannin Level

5 Raglan Street, Harrogate HG1 1LE
A five-minute walk to Harrogate Theatre
The Tannin Level is one of the most popular restaurants in Harrogate, and it’s not difficult to see why when you browse their menu of dishes focusing on local, seasonal ingredients inspired by the Yorkshire countryside. From 5pm to 6.45pm on weekdays, guests can order two courses for £19.95 or three courses for £23.95. The Harrogate blue cheese tart is a must-try, and you can’t go wrong with the classic fish and chips, but you mustn’t forget to save room for the chocolate, orange and hazelnut mousse.

The Wardrobe

6 St Peter’s Square, Leeds LS9 8AH
An 11-minute walk to Leeds Grand Theatre
There are so many places to dine in Leeds, but could this one be the best value for money? While it may be an arts space and events venue, The Wardrobe is also home to a popular bar and kitchen. Their lunch menu offers a burger or salad, fries and a soft drink for just £10 – with the option to add extra toppings and to load your fries. Vegan and veggie burgers are available too.

Read More: Six New Places Foodies Should Try This Month

Cena Trattoria Cena Trattoria
The Wardrobe The Wardrobe
Rustique Restaurant Rustique Restaurant

Rustique Restaurant

28 Castlegate, York YO1 9RP
A two-minute walk to the Grand Opera House
A 10-minute walk to York Theatre Royal
Rustic French cooking is the aim of Rustique Restaurant’s game, and their set menu has plenty to offer. From 12pm–10pm from Monday to Thursday, 12pm–7pm on Friday and Saturday and 12pm–9pm on Sunday, diners can order two courses for £21.95 or three courses for £25.95 from the set menu. Start with a portion of mussels cooked in a white wine, garlic cream and herb sauce served with French bread; meat-eaters will love the rich slow-cooked casserole with duck, sausage and pork, haricot beans and tomatoes (also served with French bread); and the traditional caramelised crème brûlée goes down a treat.

TẾT Restaurant TẾT Restaurant

TẾT Restaurant

3–9 Cross Square, Wakefield WF1 1PQ
A four-minute walk to the Theatre Royal
This contemporary Asian-inspired restaurant has Instagrammable interiors and big flavours. This month enjoy two courses for £17.95 from Tuesday to Saturday until 6pm and on Saturdays until 4.30pm. The Vietnamese duck spring roll is Tet’s signature dish – succulent duck breast, spring cabbage, carrot, cucumber, leeks, mixed peppers, served with hoisin sauce – and we love their chicken massaman curry, but you might be tempted to pay the £5.90 supplement for the Weeping Tiger. This is a hot, tangy grilled sirloin steak with black pepper sauce on a sizzling plate with mixed veg, served with tamarind chilli sauce.

Restaurant 1914

Morley Street, Bradford BD7 1AJ
Within The Alhambra Theatre
The Alhambra Theatre’s pretty Restaurant 1914 promises stunning views of the city skyline and the hand-picked wines here perfectly complement the menu – plus you’re only a few steps away from your seat. There’s a new menu for spring and we love the sound of the smoked salmon and Prosecco parfait to start served with leaf salad and melba toast garnished with pea shoots and finished with lemon oil, and there are plenty of vegan and gluten-free dishes on the menu including a vegan jalfrezi and a sweet potato, butternut squash and mushroom bake. Children can dig into a two-course meal for £7 (and you can add an additional course for £3 for an extra treat).


88 Surrey Street, Sheffield S1 2LH
A one-minute walk from both the Lyceum and the Crucible
For good Mediterranean food Ego is the place to be, and the Prix Fixe menu here offers two courses for £18.95 or three courses for £22.95. We love the homemade spiced courgette and sweetcorn fritters, carrot, raisin and orange salad, red pepper tapenade and picked coriander. The Sicilian lemon tart with chantilly cream and raspberry coulis is a refreshing way to finish a meal here, but the decadent warm triple chocolate brownie with chocolate fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream is too tempting.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.