If you’re planning a trip to Newcastle in the next few months to take in the culture, history, and beauty of this impressive city or you’re headed to Sunderland for a spot of Christmas shopping, the Tyne and Wear region is just jam-packed with exciting, unique, and award-winning restaurants you simply must check out.
From some of the best Italian restaurants in the country to 1920s-inspired Shanghai jazz supper clubs, no matter what kind of cuisine you’re craving or what kind of atmosphere you’re after, Tyne and Wear has it all.
Check out some of our favourite eateries in the region below and for a more comprehensive collection of places to eat out in the area, pick up a free copy of our Tyne & Wear Food & Drink Guide 2019 or read a digital copy here.
Overlooking the River Wear and exuding historic character and romance, this charming restaurant boasts a beautiful terrace area that’s perfect for al fresco dining. With a menu featuring stunningly presented innovative dishes created using the finest locally sourced ingredients and a drinks list that includes an impressive selection of fine wine, premium spirits and cocktails, The Cellar Door is one of the finest places to dine out in the region. Try dishes like the flavoursome starter of pea and chorizo gremolata, charred gem lettuce, blue cheese and honeycomb or the show-stopping smoked carpaccio of venison which arrives in a glass cloche and contains a revelatory wisp of wood smoke.
Situated in the iconic St James’ Park Stadium, experience the atmosphere of Nine Sports Bar & Lounge, Newcastle’s premier sports bar. Screening all major sporting events including every Newcastle United home game, grab a pint and peruse the fantastic food menu. For the ultimate lunchtime treat, the rib-eye ciabatta featuring sliced rib-eye steak with aioli, rocket and caramelised onions is a must-try. If you fancy something a little heartier, try one of their famous burgers like the Swiss cheese or pulled pork burger served with a generous helping of homemade chips.
Voted the best Italian restaurant with over 50 seats in the North East at the English Italian Awards 2016, award-winning head chef Nello, who himself was voted best Italian chef in England, guarantees an eating-out experience you won’t soon forget. Situated within the ancient walls of a Grade II listed building in Sunniside, Angelo’s kitchen is always busy with Italian chefs rolling homemade pasta, stirring pots of traditional sugo al pomodoro, and producing the very best homemade sausages. With its sleek, understated interior, one taste of the ravioli and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.
An authentic Italian restaurant with a modern twist, Angelo’s Trattoria promises excellent service and fantastic food all in a relaxed environment. Located in East Rainton and sister restaurant to Angelo’s Ristorante in Sunderland, the restaurant was voted best Italian restaurant with under 50 seats in the North East at the 2016 English Italian Awards and was runner-up for Best Pasta in 2017, and it’s clear to see why. Award-winning head chef Aniello Russo and his talented team of Italian chefs pride themselves on creating some of the best homemade food outside of Italy.
More than just a restaurant, there’s nothing quite like this 1920s-inspired Shanghai jazz supper club where diners are asked to dress for the occasion and wear upscale attire. Paying homage to a bygone era of pure decadence and indulgence, once inside you’ll be charmed by the restaurant’s cosy and atmospheric hidden passages and doors. Having only opened in September this year, the restaurant is already popular with foodies due to its delicious sharing dishes which combine the best of the exotic Far East with the highest quality produce of the whimsical West. The melt-in-the-mouth Mongolian lamb shank, braised in an intense savoury tomato and oyster sauce, is a must try and the perfect dish to enjoy in wintry months alongside a robust and punchy red wine.
Recently restored to its former glory and fast becoming one of Whitley Bay’s most popular landmarks among residents and visitors, Spanish City now plays host to a high-quality steak and seafood restaurant, family-friendly dining, tearooms, event spaces and even a Champagne bar.
1910 Steak & Seafood serves stunning steak and seafood dishes within a modern and stylish dining space. With a menu that will excite even the most discerning palate, expect dishes that perfectly blend classics and innovative flavours using only the finest ingredients. Start with the delicious Lindisfarne oysters with some spicy lemon and garlic sauce before moving onto the highly recommended lobster Thermidor or the côte de boeuf.
Offering a unique gastronomic experience to all who visit, Restaurant 17, found inside one of Durham’s most historic buildings right in the heart of the city centre, is a modern British restaurant that has earned a respectable reputation for the creative way it transforms and showcases local produce from farms and fields just a few miles away.
Just minutes from the River Wear and Durham Cathedral, this multi-floor venue, with its charming boutique-style interior and luxurious blend of low-level chandelier lighting, velvet seating and solid oak tables, focuses on serving up exceptional cuisine from around the world. Try mains like the Sicilian-style chargrilled tuna steak with mussels or sesame-seared pork loin with mild mushrooms, mung beans, tenderstem broccoli and asparagus in a spiced black bean sauce.
With its lively and informal atmosphere, Billabong Bistro is the perfect destination in which to relax with friends and enjoy a bite to eat from the great gastropub-inspired menu. Situated in the heart of Newcastle’s leafy Jesmond suburb within the chic Caledonian Hotel, dine on classics like fish and chips, the Knobbly Whopper hot dog, or Billabong’s delicious gourmet burger. Boasting a tempting range of familiar dishes but with a difference, try the deep-fried mac and cheese, grilled cheese toasties, or the Mother Clucka, a succulent jerk chicken breast in a brioche bun served with skinny chips.
Tucked away along a vibrant street on North Shields’ quayside, this hidden gem of a restaurant boasts a cosy environment with a jovial buzz, perfect for a relaxed and joyous social gathering with friends. With its tempting tapas menu featuring the tastiest locally sourced food and seafood from the thriving fishing industry nearby, sample dishes like the potted Shields crab, Spanish-style battered chicken glazed with honey, mustard and soy sauce, or the king prawns with chilli and garlic.