Darlington’s food scene has come on leaps and bounds to offer you some seriously delicious options throughout the day. Here you’ll find fine-dining restaurants, Michelin stars, stunningly designed eateries and a meze joint that’ll knock your socks off, not to mention some of our favourite cafes in Darlington.
Places to eat in Darlington
We have no choice but to begin our round-up of recommended restaurants with The Raby Hunt. It’s the only restaurant in the North East with two Michelin stars to its name. In fact, it’s one of only 20 restaurants in the entire country to earn such a lofty accolade. It’s set in the picturesque hamlet of Summerhouse, just a 15-minute drive from our Darlington Town Centre hotel. Make the pilgrimage and you’ll be treated to some culinary miracles in a beautifully refurbished 200-year-old inn. It’s not cheap, but you absolutely get what you pay for. It goes without saying, you need to book well in advance.
From one fine-dining restaurant to another, The Orangery is a 4 AA Rosette-winning restaurant at Rockliffe Hall in Hurworth-on-Tees, with a magnificent menu from the mind of Michelin-starred chef Richard Allen. The setting is as exquisite as it gets for an evening’s meal, the food is beautifully plated and tastes even better and the service is sublime. Again, be sure to book before your visit.
If you don’t fancy the airs and graces of fine dining, the good news is that you can make your way to Duke Street to hunt down Stable Hearth, the best pizzeria in England. We’re not just saying that, by the way. It took top honours at the English Italian Awards, and when you taste their pizzas, you’ll understand why. They’re authentic, they use the finest and freshest ingredients and the service is exceptional.
Neighbourhood restaurants don’t get better than Meze. You’ll find it on Parkgate, at the edge of the town centre, serving the kind of sublime Mediterranean cuisine that’ll bring you back for more. That’s probably why the facade is a little rough around the edges; Meze has a legion of locals that simply love what it’s cooking. Prices are reasonable, portions are good and the flavours are big; give it a try.
Last but by no means least, The Otter and Fish is a family-run restaurant with a beautiful riverside setting in nearby Hurworth-on-Tees. The menu is made up of English classics and European favourites. Everything is cooked fresh to order and tastes properly incredible. In a food scene with such sky-high standards, it’s up there with our favourites.
The Raby Hunt
Quick daytime eats don’t get all that much better than Maggie’s Place on Duke Street. It’s a cosy cafe with tasty bagels, homemade cakes and a mighty-fine bacon, avocado and feta sandwich up its sleeve.
Santorini Greek Cafe is another delicious option on Crown Street. The food is fab and authentic, and the cafe is lovely and airy. The head chef has worked in three Michelin-starred restaurants. The prices are reasonable, the location is great and the baklava is out of this world.
A couple of other honourable mentions go to Panini’s Coffee Shop on Skinnergate, home of some biblical paninis, and Origins Coffee Lounge, where you’ll find the best coffee in Darlington.