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Dining in and Around Durham - A Where to Eat Guide

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You'll find lots of eating choices in central Durham, in the countryside, and by the sea, ranging from country inns and riverside bistros to gastropubs. In many places the emphasis is on traditional English cooking. You'll find plenty of restaurants that serve a hearty Sunday roast, and most menus feature staples like fish and chips and steak and ale pie. You'll also find Italian trattorias, curry houses, and Chinese restaurants.

Typical dishes


Seafood such as Whitby oysters and Hartlepool crab from the North Sea finds its way to restaurant tables in and around Durham. You'll also see lamb from the Durham Dales on many menus.

Durham city centre


Some of the most attractive eating and drinking options in Durham cluster beside the Elvet Bridge, overlooking the River Wear. At restaurants such as Bill's, where the menu leans towards Mediterranean fusion dishes, you can enjoy lunch on a deck with fine views. There's open-air dining too at The Cellar Door, where typical dishes range from grilled North Sea turbot to Szechuan marinated beef brisket and heirloom tomato and pressed watermelon salad.


  • Bill's, 39 Saddler Street, Durham DH1 3NU; Tel: +44 191 386 7672; Website: Bill's

  • The Cellar Door, 41-42 Saddler Street, Durham DH1 3NG; Tel: +44 191 383 1856; Website: The Cellar Door


Around Durham


You can dine heartily at restaurants like The Rib Room Steakhouse and Grill, in a grand Victorian manor at Carrville, 2.5 miles north of the city centre. As you'd guess from the name, the menu here is meaty, featuring local aged steak and beef. Seafood dishes include grilled halibut, lobster, and Hartlepool crab. On the outskirts of Durham you can also eat in traditional village inns like the Lambton Hounds Inn, where despite the very English 18th-century surroundings the menu is resolutely modern Spanish, featuring paella and tapas dishes.


  • The Rib Room, Ramside Hall Hotel, Carrville, Durham DH1 1TD; Tel: +44 191 386 5282; Website: The Rib Room

  • The Lambton Hounds Inn, 62-63 Front Street, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5DE; Tel: +44 191 386 4742; Website: The Lambton Hounds Inn


Around Bishop Auckland


You can combine a visit to Auckland Castle with fine dining in restaurants near Bishop Auckland. Gourmets will find an innovative menu at Raby Hunt Restaurant, where offerings include dishes like razor clams with brown shrimp, cod skin, and warm Lindisfarne oysters. At Auckland Castle's Library Restaurant, you'll find local cheeses and lunchtime snacks like potted salmon and ham and pease pudding sandwich.


  • Raby Hunt Restaurant, Summerhouse, Durham DL2 3UD; Tel: +44 1325 374 237; Website: Raby Hunt Restaurant

  • Library Tea Room, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NR; Tel: +44 1388 743 750; Website: Library Tea Room


Durham Heritage Coast


You can choose from a handful of gastropubs and hotel restaurants around Seaton, the most attractive spot on the Durham Heritage Coast. In the grand surroundings of Byrons Bar and Grill at Seaham Hall, diners can sample fishy delights like stone bass with chorizo, grilled lemon sole, potted prawns, and Whitby crab. Nearby, the Seaton Lane Inn rings the changes on traditional pub grub dishes like salmon marinated in teriyaki sauce and beef cottage pie.


  • Byrons Bar and Grill, Seaham Hall Hotel, Lord Byron's Walk, Seaham SR7 7AG; Tel: +44 191 516 1400; Website: Byrons Bar and Grill

  • The Seaton Lane Inn, Seaton Lane, Seaton SR7 0LP; Tel: +44 191 581 2038; Website: The Seaton Lane Inn