Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in County Durham
Hardens guides have spent 15 years compiling reviews of the best County Durham restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 48 restaurants in County Durham and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing County Durham restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured County Durham Restaurants
. Byron's Restaurant, Seaham Hall
British, Modern restaurant in Seaham
Lord Byron’s Walk - SR7
“All gorgeous”… “simply fabulous” – the “romantic” and glam’ dining room of this fine Georgian house won (almost) unanimous praise this year for its cuisine under Damian Broom, which offers a tasting option alongside a fairly conventional à la carte selection.
. The Bay Horse
British, Traditional restaurant in Hurworth
45 The Grn - DL2
“Imaginative cuisine that’s really well presented” (“and excellent choice, including game in season”) wins a number of enthusiastic gastronomic endorsements for this “great, renovated village inn”. “It can be noisy, for which the only solution is to avoid it on busy nights (ie Thu-Sat)”.
. Raby Hunt
British, Modern restaurant in Summerhouse
“I cried it was so good!”… “the single most satisfying food I’ve eaten in my 35 years on the planet!” … “James Close is one of the top, top chefs in the country and his incredible passion is shown in every detail” at this restaurant-with-rooms, “set in an unimposing, out-of-the-way village, in the Durham Dales”. That said, since it was awarded two Michelin Stars its ratings actually declined a fraction this year as it took flak for a couple of disappointing experiences. Perhaps, though, it was the strain of preparing to have the builders in? (Towards the end of the survey, in May 2017, the restaurant closed for a £400k extension and redevelopment, the building of a new restaurant entrance, and the installation of glass walls so diners can watch the chef and his team at work.)
. Bridgewater Arms
British, Modern restaurant in Winston
The Bridgewater Arms - DL2
Seemingly “aimed at visiting well-heeled Darlington locals out for a good meal in t’country” – this “charming one-time school” doesn’t disappoint thanks to “very comprehensive menu (fresh fish a speciality)” that’s a “delight for the tastebuds”.
. The Rose & Crown
British, Modern restaurant in Romaldkirk
2016 Review: A “lovely, traditional inn with good local produce”; one reporter was “a bit underwhelmed”, but not sure why… perhaps it’s because, as another suggests, what was once “County Durham's answer to a proper gastropub” is now “trying too hard”.
. The Crown at Mickleton
British, Modern restaurant in Durham
Mickleton, Barnard Castle - DL12
2016 Review: A “great country village pub” offering solid food options and a good range of wines, and where the open kitchen adds a touch of drama.
. The Garden House Inn
Fusion restaurant in Durham
Framwellgate, Peth - DH1
“A welcome addition to the offer in Durham”; Ruari MacKay, head chef at Terry Laybourne’s now shuttered local foodie beacon Bistro 21, has decamped to this country-style low-ceilinged pub. His “imaginative” cuisine ranges all over the place – lobster sandwiches “to die for”, Korean pork belly, Thai soup – but the results are “very good” and “excellent value” too.
British, Traditional restaurant in Durham
18 Claypath - DH1
2014 Review: A handily located all-day brasserie whose “quality locally sourced food” and reasonable prices make it “a regular stop off” for many reporters; there are critics, though, who find its standards too “ordinary”.
Pizza restaurant in Durham
4 Walkergate - DH1
2015 Review: “Unexciting, but adequate for a basic meal”, these “standard” pizza-and-pasta operations are a paradigm of your “typical chain restaurant”.
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