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Durham Tees Valley restaurants and cafes

Whether it’s a classic English pub meal or an authentic fine dining experience, Durham Tees Valley is home to a fantastic array of places to eat during your stay. Durham has a real cafe culture. The Tealicious Tearoom on Elvet Bridge is famous for its cakes and unique blends of tea. Nearby is the quirky and cool Flat White Kitchen and award-winning Vennels Café tucked down an alleyway off Saddler Street. Restaurant 17 serves modern European food on candlelit tables from its below ground location on Elvet Bridge.

There is a truly international flavour on offer in Darlington. Voodoo Cafe has been voted Best Latin Cafe Outside London several times in recent years.  The town also offers some excellent fine dining options including Bannatyne’s Hotel or Rockliffe Hall at nearby Hurworth which offers gourmet menus to tasty grills from its flagship four AA Rosette Orangery restaurant, Spa Brasserie or the informal Clubhouse restaurant. Seven miles west of Darlington is the hamlet of Summerhouse, home to The Raby Hunt Restaurant. Self-taught head chef James Close has fused simplicity with a modern bistro style to create an acclaimed foodie haven. The restaurant is one of only a handful in the country, and the only one in the North East, with two Michelin stars.

There’s an enviable variety of restaurants in Stockton-on-Tees. Caruso is consistently rated one of the area’s best Italian restaurants in town. Presided over by Rocco, the authentic family-run affair offers freshly-cooked pizza, pasta, steaks and chicken dishes together with a range of parmesans (known locally as parmos). And Indian restaurant Vadah is another popular spot, blending chic surroundings and great riverside views with both traditional and contemporary Indian cooking.

For fine dining in even finer surroundings, try the Georgian lakeside mansion of Wynyard Hall, set in 150 acres near Billingham. The sumptuous setting of the two AA rosette Wellington restaurant offers contemporary cooking with a passion for local produce and seasonal ingredients. It also offers a scrumptious afternoon tea experience. Yarm is both picturesque and overflowing with dining options. Muse treats diners to classic dishes with a nouveau cuisine twist, while nearby Cena Trattoria is renowned for its warm, friendly atmosphere and extensive menu of Italian dishes including artisan pizzas and freshly-prepared pasta. The family-run Santoros restaurant and wine bar also has a good reputation and has been a High Street favourite for 35 years serving Italian fare with some British-inspired dishes.

Our picks

CoHo Durham

Freeman’s Place, Durham DH1 1SW

CoHo Durham is all about casual dining. Located opposite the HM Passport Office alongside the picturesque River Wear, CoHo Durham offer exquisite full English breakfast, coffee, lunch, pizza, burgers, pancakes, afternoon tea and much more. Savour the food and beverages as you relax in the riverside terrace with glorious views of Durham Castle and Cathedral against the backdrop, best enjoyed during sunrise and sunset. Come and unwind with the two for £10 cocktails available everyday during happy hour in a most privileged spot and immerse yourself in the CoHo experience! Visit website

Le Raaj
Onion bhaji

Front Street, Chester Moor, Chester-le-Street DH2 3RJ

Le Raaj offers a contemporary yet authentic Indian dining experience within a luxurious and refined setting. The finest exotic spices and highest quality, locally-sourced produce are combined to create intense dishes that are second to none. Delicious cuisine, exclusive wines and a sensational atmosphere make Le Raaj an unforgettable dining experience. Visit website

The Cellar Door

41 Saddler Street, Durham DH1 3NU

The Cellar Door won’t tell you about how they have stunning river views with outdoor dining set in a 13th-century cellar conversion. They’re not going to bore you with how difficult they are to find. They want you to go there, seek them out, walk down those narrow steps, be surprised by what lies beneath and leave wishing you had found them sooner. They’re not perfect, they’re not the best in the world, but they strive to be the best they can and evolve every day, so go and join them on their journey. Visit website

The Italian Farmhouse

South Street, West Rainton, Houghton le Spring DH4 6PA

The Italian Farmhouse restaurants span across the North East of England from the Roker coastline, to West Rainton village in County Durham and Coxhoe town. Each of the restaurants offer their own individual style, but all share the same value of authentic Italian cuisine. The Italian Farmhouse use a mixture of the finest quality ingredients with only the best local produce. Every meal at the Italian Farmhouse restaurants lead to a truly delicious dining experience. Visit website


48 High Street, Yarm TS15 9AH

Fancy something different? Visit Lebaneat and indulge in the authentic taste of Lebanon. With three different venues, Lebaneat guarantees quality and freshly-prepared dishes, within a special and buzzing atmosphere that will help you make the most of your experience. Whether you are looking for a romantic date, family and friends get-together, or just a cosy night in, Lebaneat has it all! Visit website

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Image credits: ©CoHo; ING Image; Jez Timms/Travis Yewell/Unsplash

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