If you like: Iberian traditionalism
Then try: Kaltur, Newcastle
Spanish food’s the best, right? Yes it is, and this new wine and tapas bar and from the very very excellent Benton-based Spanish food importers Kaltur shows it off with a flourish. The garlic prawns are an early favourite, though it’s worth working through the whole menu.
If you like: Imaginative spins on lunch staples
Then try: The Olive Branch Café, Alnwick
The esoteric verve at this place sets it apart from your everyday lunch stop-off: as well as superior takes on your standard panini and sandwiches, there’s stuff like the deep Pan Haggerty pies, black pudding and bacon bagels and the gloriously multicultural tikka cheese savoury scone with mango chutney.
If you like: Whip-smart Japanese flash
Then try: Issho, Leeds
Contemporary Japanese is taking its first steps into the northern mainstream at the minute: with its menu by former Zuma and Sexy Fish man Ben Orpwood, Ossho (which means ‘together’ in Japanese) couldn’t be much more on-trend. It’s got a 700 sq ft roof terrace and a position in Victoria Gate, so it couldn’t be much more alluringly accessible either. Look out for seasonal Japanese-style cocktails too.
If you like: Exciting, stylish internationalism
Then try: The Whippet and Pickle, Holmfirth
This cute little hideaway shows its globetrotting influences proudly in its finely-wrought seasonal plates – see, for example, the zataar roasted squash with courgette beignets and mixed grains. There’s a top wine menu and gin collection and you can eat in a private cinema room too.