Durham may be a historic city, but it’s also one with a robust selection of fantastic places to eat. From burger joints to luxurious steakhouses, this city offers delicious meals that draw in foodies from far and wide. Of course, the best places are the ones that locals still love to go to, and these are the ones we’ve rounded up on our list.

    Sumptuous food, tasty ales, scenic views, historic ambience, and warm hospitality – you can find all these and more in these places locals love to eat in Durham.


    Flat White Kitchen

    Enjoy delicious cakes, coffee, and brunch food

    • Food
    • History

    Housed in a 17th-century townhouse, the Flat White Kitchen is more than just a café that serves excellent coffee and cakes. It’s also one of the top brunch spots in the city, serving tasty dishes like its famous avocado toast with poached egg and chilis, as well as baked eggs with tomato, red pepper compote and chorizo.

    With generous portions and beautiful food presentation, this charming bistro has rightly gained its reputation as a favourite among foodies and Instagrammers. If you’re undecided on what to get, you can ask the friendly staff, who are more than happy to give their recommendations

    Location: 40 Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)7936 449291


    Tealicious Tearoom

    Treat yourself to an afternoon tea at this cute teashop

    • Food
    • Families

    Tealicious Tearoom offers a unique range of tea blends that’s sure to appeal to tea lovers. Enjoy your cup with a choice of dainty sandwiches, fresh fruit and cheese scones, and homemade cakes and tartlets. Besides its superb tea blends, the teashop also serves coffee and cold beverages.

    The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the interior is cosy and quaint, making this place great for enjoying a quiet, relaxing moment in the historic Durham city centre.

    Location: 88 Elvet Bridge, Durham DH1 3AG, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed from Sundays to Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1913 401393


    Vennels Café

    Feast on delicious pies, scones, and quiche in this historic venue

    • Food
    • History

    Tucked away in an alley in central Durham, Vennels Cafe combines historic ambience with delicious food. Famous for its banoffee pie, this café also serves delicious scones that are freshly baked every morning. Its quiches and cakes also come highly recommended. For drinks, you can choose from a variety of teas, hot chocolate, latte, or even Prosecco.

    As you enjoy your meal, make sure to take in the handsome interior of this venue. Occuppying a 16th-century building, Vennels Cafe boasts a breathtaking interior with high beams, crooked ceilings, original fireplaces, and old sewing machine tables.

    Location: 71 Saddlers Yard, Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NP, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, Sunday from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1913 750623


    photo by Jim Barton (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Fat Hippo

    Satisfy your burger cravings in this family-friendly resto

    • Food

    Fat Hippo is an independent burger restaurant specialising in good old-fashioned burgers and fries. It offers a choice of patties from signature beef to boneless buttermilk chicken, as well as vegan, vegetarian, gluten- and dairy-free options.

    Besides mouth-watering burgers and fries, Fat Hippo also offers a good selection of milkshakes and sweet desserts to cap off your meal. It even has something a little special for those who want a little buzz in their slushies and shakes. If you’re craving a juicy burger served in fluffy brioche buns, you can get your fill at this joint. 

    Location: 36 Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU, UK

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1913 709699


    Bells Fish and Chips

    Enjoy some of the best local cuisine in this family-run chippie

    • Food

    Bells Fish and Chips in central Durham is a great choice for a traditional British meal. Enjoy freshly fried fish served in big portions for a satisfying dining experience. Whether you’re going with scampi, sausages, or cod with your chips, this resto doesn’t disappoint.

    It also has a great selection of hot and cold beverages and delicious desserts to pair with your meal. Occupying 2 floors, you can get a good view of the historic marketplace as you enjoy your food.

    Location: 11 Market Place, Durham DH1 3NE, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11.15 am to 8.30 pm, Sunday from noon to 3.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1913 848974


    Rose and Crown Inn

    Treat yourself to good food in a picturesque location

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Upon arriving at the Roses and Crown Inn, you’ll be greeted by said roses above the doorway. Known for its warm and cosy atmosphere, this country inn houses a renowned village pub that draws in foodies from all over. You can enjoy delicious dishes and an extensive choice of local ales and single malts. Don’t forget to try its local Raby Estate venison pie or the ham hock terrine.

    You can enjoy your meal at the pub or in the candle-lit dining room. If the weather’s good, dining outside on the gravelled forecourt is a delightful option.

    Location: Low Rd, Shincliffe, Durham DH1 2LY, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm, Sunday from noon to 8 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1913 868512


    photo by Stanley Howe (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Dun Cow Inn

    Rub elbows with friendly locals in this Grade II-listed pub

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • History

    The oldest pub in Durham, Dun Cow Inn is a favourite among locals and is a great place to enjoy delicious food and warm hospitality. Dating back to the 15th century, this traditional pub continues to serve delicious, homemade meals to its patrons.

    You can pair your food with any of their tasty cask ales, which include the Black Sheep Best Bitter, Moorhouse's White Witch, and Castle Eden Ale. If you stop by on Monday night, you can join Dun Cow Inn's weekly quiz night for added fun.

    Location: 37 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday from noon to 11 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1913 869219


    Cellar Door

    Enjoy a breathtaking view of the River Wear

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • History

    The inconspicuous Cellar Door is tucked away on the main street towards Durham Cathedral. This restaurant offers glorious river views to go with its seasonal menu, which changes every month to take advantage of the freshest produce available. In fact, some of its produce is sourced straight from the restaurant's back garden.

    Housed in a 12th-century building, you can still see patches of the original stonework all over. Cellar Door has large open windows to let natural light in for an altogether warm and welcoming atmosphere.

    Location: 41 Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU, UK

    Open: Daily from noon to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1913 831856


    Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

    Expire fine dining in this posh steakhouse

    • Food
    • Luxury

    Located inside the Hotel Indigo, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill is the place to go for a fine-dining experience complete with signature steaks and timeless classics of European cuisine. Despite the grand interiors, you can enjoy a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. The menu changes seasonally to take advantage of the freshest ingredients available. 

    The chateaubriand, roasted lamb rump, and shepherd’s pie come highly recommended. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill also offers a good selection of premium cocktails to go with your meal.

    Location: Old Shire Hall, 9 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HL, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 12.30 pm to 2 pm and from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm, Sunday from 12.30 pm to 3 pm


    Tango Durham

    Indulge in delicious comfort food

    • Food

    Tango Durham offers both delicious food and a scenic view of the River Wear. It serves both classic and speciality burgers, juicy grilled meats, and tasty chips. You can round off your meal with sweet cakes and pudding. The restaurant also serves cocktails, beers, and wines if you want to enjoy a bit of a buzz after your meal.

    The ingredients are all locally sourced, with the dishes prepared in-house so you’re assured of great-tasting, freshly cooked meals. The service at Tango Durham is also commendable, thanks to its friendly and hospitable staff.

    Location: 96 Elvet Bridge, Durham DH1 3AG, UK

    Open: Daily from 11am to 7pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1913 840096

    Geri Mileva | Contributing Writer

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