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Sunderland Restaurant Week?

A new initiative from Sunderland BID, Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant Week runs from September 24 – October 2.

I see where they got the idea from… Alright, alright, I know it wasn’t really a Newcastle creation, and you certainly don’t need me to rant on about the generally terrible quality of your dining out options in Sunderland. I mean, some of these are just Wetherspoons…

That said, I think you’ve gotta support it. Just maybe, if Sunderland residents are out and about a bit more often, trying something they might not have otherwise, standards might go up. Increased competition. Better awareness. etc. etc. That’s my optimism…

Anyway, it’s tempting to see what’s happening, so here’s the full list of participants, with some commentary where I have it/have even heard of the place, and my top picks, y’know, if you have to go. Because there are some coffee and cake offers included, deals are £5, £10, and £15. Just remember what £15 will get you in Newcastle…

  • Angelo’s Ristorante
  • Arabesque
  • Asiana Fusion: 3c £15 from one of the better fusion restaurants. It’s always busy, and not bad at all.
  • Barista Coffee Shop
  • Barnett’s Restaurant
  • Bavaria
  • Biscops @ The Minister
  • Bistro by the Sea
  • Cafe Purple
  • Casa Italia
  • Crumb On In

⭐️ D’Acqua

Honestly, one of the best restaurants in Sunderland. Jimmy really does his bit for the city, and is making more of an effort than 95% of the restaurants in Sunderland. Makes his own bread, . There’s a hundred shitty Italians which you can ignore, and give D’Acqua a go.

d'acqua fish & chips

Fish and chips, D’Acqua

  • Dandy’s Bar & Grill
  • Divino’s Pizzeria
  • Elephant Tea Rooms
  • Fat Buddha: Sunderland branch of the popular, but not-really-that-good Asian fusion restaurants/bars
  • Frankie & Benny’s: ?
  • Gabriele’s Italian
  • Gatsby
  • Grosvenor Casino: do you need me to tell you that there are better dining options than dining in a casino in Sunderland?
  • Holmeside Coffee
  • Italian Farmhouse: from the Tavistock

⭐️ Juniper’s Pantry

My enthusiasm for visiting the place means that I still haven’t made it along to Juniper’s Pantry, but I have been following them for a long time on the old social media,and they seem to be pumping out homemade, decent standard scran.

Karbon Grill: it’s the restaurant from the new Hilton, so all of the bloggers have been, and loved it. I’ve not been, but I’d be very, very sceptical of restaurants within chain hotels, because 9 times out of 10, they are absolute shit.

⭐️ Let There be Crumbs

Popular cake spot that does some might treats and a good looking afternoon tea.

Liberty Brown: been there, done that, not going back.

⭐️ Longhorns

It’s a Newcastle export so I guess it’s a classic case of “what’s OK for NCL is awesome for Sunderland. If you haven’t been, then I think there are a few imitators in Sunderland now but this is probably the best.

longhorns bbq board brisket pork

3 meat platter, Longhorns

  • Love Deli
  • No. 18 Holmeside
  • No. 2 Church Lane
  • Olive Affaire

⭐️ Papadoms

Decent looking curries of the British Indian style.

⭐️ Port of Call

Looks like a canny little place. All of the cliches that were so 2008, but y’know. Pulled pork buns etc can still be great (and reasonably priced).

  • Revolution
  • San Marino
  • Saucy Burger: did this one not too long ago.
  • Serendipity Tea & Trinkets
  • Signatures Italian Restaurant and Grill
  • Spice Empire
  • Sunderland Greyhound Stadium: See, Grovesnor Casino above.
  • Sweet Tooth Delivery
  • Thai Bay
  • The Cooper Rose

⭐️ The Funky Indian

Indian tapas – something NCL has never really nailed. Looks canny.

The Ivy House

⭐️ The Lambton Worm

  • The Old Vestry Tearooms
  • The Place Cafe
  • The Tipsy Cow
  • The William Jameson
  • Thyme Restaurant

Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID says “I think many people may be surprised at the variety of restaurants we have in Sunderland, we have some superb, unique places to eat and we’re hoping that the first Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant Week will give everyone the opportunity to explore what we have to offer.

Make of that what you will, I don’t know where I’d use the word superb in terms of anything to do with Sunderland, but to their credit, it looks like it’ll be an annual event. They want people to use the hashtag #EatDrinkSunderland, so have a look at that and see what you make of Sunderland’s best.


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