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Best Restaurants in Durham

Apr 26, 2022
Best Restaurants in Durham

With two World Heritage Sites and plenty of fascinating art and culture, Durham is worth its UNESCO status. But it’s the food that really makes the difference. From authentic Italian pizzerias and elegant bistro to Michelin-starred restaurants and traditional north-eastern pubs, every taste is catered for. Whether you’re visiting from Newcastle, Sunderland or Hartlepool, we’ve picked some of the best spots to have a bite in this charming city that you won’t forget.

Cellar Door

Found on the other side of the River Wear, this 13th-century cellar conversion is a brilliant place to taste exquisite international food in a desirable location. Find your way through Saddler Street and be ready to taste fresh, locally-sourced ingredients modernised in off-the-wall recipes. Make sure you try the Northumberland smoked gnocchi – an absolute delight for the palate.

Restaurant 17

Looking for a modern European menu? You’ve come to the right place. With riverside views of the historic Elvet bridge, this restaurant offers delicious classics, including Thai Penang chicken curry, chargrilled steaks and roasted duck breast.

La Spaghettata

If you are a fan of Italian food, La Spaghettata will not disappoint. Located in the heart of Saddler Street, the menu is varied to suit all tastes. Whether you fancy pasta, meat or fish, or want to try one of their incredible pizzas, you will feel like travelling across Italy here. The restaurant closes at 10.30 pm, but you can move to the bar upstairs for some post-dinner cocktails and some great fun.

Garden House Inn

There is no place like the old English pub. This charming gastropub outside of the city centre offers plenty of hearty British dishes just like you’d expect them. The traditional fish and chips is to die for, and the cheeseburgers are executed with a touch of dining-finesse - a unique mix of old and new in a beautiful location.


Just a stone’s throw from Durham train station, Finbarr’s offers a sophisticated three-course, fixed-price menu at an excellent value. Their locally-sourced ingredients are simple but treated in an excellent way, creating mouth-watering dishes. Try their seared sea scallops, crispy langoustines and crab or go for their exquisite wild mushroom risotto for an authentic Italian taste.

The Raby Hunt Inn

This Michelin-starred restaurant is worth the 30-minute drive. Chef James Close cooks simple food in an almost theatrical way, complemented by impeccably elegant presentations. The only option for lunch and dinner are a 12- or a 15-course tasting menu. What to look out for? The signature skull and the Buddha dessert. Just incredible.

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

This Old Shire Hall has been turned into Hotel Indigo, which features Marco Pierre’s White Steakhouse. This red-brick building includes multi-level seating and a domed roof, bringing great classics to the menu. Try the fish pie, baked Camembert and take your experience to the next level with one of the mouth-watering desserts.

Bells Fish & Chips

Fish and chips will never die. It will always be the ultimate delight for the palate. If you are of the same idea, you need to pay a visit to Bells Fish & Chips – heaven on earth for all fish lovers. And what better place to taste a great dish than overlooking Durham’s historic marketplace from the main branch?