Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in County Durham
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best County Durham restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 50 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
1. The Seaview Restaurant Fish & seafood restaurant in Saltburn The Foreshore Building, Lower Promenade - TS12
Epic views of the sands and Saltburn pier reward a trip to this seafront café, set over two floors and with an outside terrace. It serves an all-day menu that goes beyond posh fish ’n’ chips to more complex seafood dishes and steak.
2. The Orangery, Rockliffe Hall British, Traditional restaurant in Darlington
Limited but all-round very good feedback last year on this glass-roofed dining room – the top eating option at this five-star retreat, near the North Yorks border, set in over 365 acres. Richard Allen’s cuisine makes use of local ingredients – many foraged or grown on the property – to present the choice of either the three-course menu (£55) or spend an extra tenner and you can go for the six-course tasting option.
3. Bridgewater Arms British, Modern restaurant in Winston The Bridgewater Arms - DL2
This classy former school is “particularly good at seafood dishes”, part of its “extensive blackboard options”, which also run to “excellent game in season”; credit too for the “fab portion sizes” and “well-priced lunch and early-bird menus”.
4. Raby Hunt British, Modern restaurant in Summerhouse
James Closes’s “global-quality cuisine” – “enjoyed as part of a 15-course tasting menu” – and “stunning wines” (“make friends with the sommelier and you will drink a more interesting selection”) have won foodie fame for this converted old pub with three rooms, out in the sticks of County Durham: the only restaurant in the north east with two Michelin stars. Even fans concede that it is “expensive”, however, and critics feel that “there’s too much hype and fuss” surrounding cooking that “at the eye watering prices, is good, but not that good”.
5. The Bay Horse British, Traditional restaurant in Hurworth 45 The Grn - DL2
Chef-patron Marcus Bennett’s “excellent cooking” has earned solid ratings for this fifteenth-century coaching inn over the past dozen years. Bennett and his business partner, fellow-local Jonathan Hall, now own three other venues on Teesside, the Devonport Hotel and Yarm’s Cena and Muse Café.
6. The Garden House Inn Fusion restaurant in Durham Framwellgate, Peth - DH1
2019 Review: The head chef behind Bistro 21’s success, Ruari MacKay, now runs this relaxed city-outskirts pub-with-rooms – a proper boozer backed up by an “interesting” modern British menu (from much-lauded lobster sandwiches through to chorizo and fried eggs) and drinkable real ales.
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Byron's Restaurant, Seaham Hall
Seaham Pan-Asian £71
Summerhouse British, Modern £214