We have some excellent pubs to tell you about in Darlington, including a four-times-on-the-trot Michelin Bib Gourmand winner and two town centre rivals at opposite ends of the Horse Market.
Nightlife in Darlington
Even with Darlington’s excellent food scene, The Bay Horse could have easily found its way onto our page of recommended places to eat in Darlington. It’s comfortably the best gastropub in the area. It’s housed in a historic inn that dates back to the 15th century and has earned the coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand every year for the last four years. It’s an extremely impressive achievement and entirely deserved – as you’ll see when you try the food. You’ll find The Bay Horse in nearby Hurworth-on-Tees, just over a ten-minute drive from our Darlington Town Centre hotel.
Another popular pub choice in Hurworth-on-Tees is The Emerson Arms. It enjoys a prime location a few doors down from the bridge and overlooks the River Tees. It has the best beer garden in the area, an excellent selection of ales and bottled beers from around the world. Plus (and we’ll have our wrists slapped for letting the secret out), there’s a seriously good gin bar hidden in the back.
If you’re after a pub in central Darlington, the Hole in the Wall in the Horse Market is a popular choice, with a green-metro-tiled wooden bar, an extensive selection of ales and rustic yet cosy decor throughout. The food is hearty and well-portioned, although we’d point you in the direction of some of our other recommendations if you get peckish; the Hole in the Wall is best for casual evening pints.
Your alternative option in the Horse Market is The Pennyweight. It’s a solid all-rounder. The food’s good, the pub’s rustic yet stylish, the staff are friendly and it hosts regular events, such as G&T trivia nights every Wednesday – it’s essentially a pub quiz with gin and tonics for a fiver. What’s not to like? If you’re around on the last Thursday of the month, it also hosts an excellent jazz night, and entry is always free.
Moving on, The Mowden is an excellent neighbourhood pub tucked away on Staindrop Road. The locals are friendly, the drinks selection is decent and the food is fantastic. Compared to some of our other recommended pubs in Darlington, The Mowden doesn’t look like much, but don’t judge a book by its cover; it’s top class.
Pubs in Darlington
Bars in Darlington
Among Darlington’s most popular nightlife options is Crooners Champagne Bar. It serves some of the best cocktails in town and stocks an enormous selection of more than 100 spirits, not to mention a shed load of champagnes, beers and fine wines. The decor’s old-fashioned, but that’s part of the vibe, as you can probably tell from the name.
Genever is a stylish gin bar nestled amidst the boutiques on Grange Road. As well as stocking an extensive selection of gins, the friendly faces behind the bar are also maestros at making cocktails, and the kitchen serves some seriously tasty sharing platters.
Number Twenty2 is another of the most popular bars in Darlington. It caters for an older clientele of ale fans with its exceptional selection of Belgian beers, continental lagers and English ales. The decor is traditional, the staff know their stuff and the lack of music encourages conversation.
A stylish choice is Hash on Coniscliffe Road. It’s family-run, has a seriously tasty menu of homemade food and a stunning roof terrace that’s perfect for a spritzer or two when the sun’s shining and the weather’s warm.
Last but by no means least, Voodoo is a Mexican cantina with a delicious menu of tacos, fajitas and burritos, as well as some award-winning cocktails. You’ll find it on Skinnergate. It also hosts DJ nights on the weekend and salsa classes on Tuesday.