Whether you’re making dining out the main event or you’re looking for some pre-show eats, Sunderland has a satisfying variety of world cuisines served up in its city centre restaurants and further afield in its small but perfectly formed food scene.

Italian restaurants

With moreish salads, herby breads, devilishly creamy risottos, hearty pastas, a rainbow of pizzas and a plentiful supply of fresh seafood all falling under its label, there’s little wonder that Italian food is a perennial favourite.

If you have a hankering for a taste of the Mediterranean, you’ve got plenty of options in Sunderland.In Sunderland city centre, you’ll find a host of independent ristorantes serving up authentic cooking with some true Italian hospitality. D’Acqua is a favourite for locals and visitors alike, offering fine Italian staples with a range of European dishes, and an intensely decadent dessert menu. Or head to the hub of eateries surrounding Derwent Street and Olive Street, where you can try one of Roma Italia’s famous steaks: Enjoyed in a cosy setting with warm red walls, dark wooden furniture and exposed brick, you’ll be transported to a little nook of Rome. Elsewhere, just a four-minute walk away from our City Centre hotel, is Casa Italia. If the aromas don’t draw you in, the inviting fairy lights in the window are hard to resist. Here, it’s all about the carbs – pizza, breads and Casa Italia’s signature potato skins take centre stage.

D'Acqua Restaurant

Italian restaurants

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire

Right around the corner from the Sunderland Empire Theatre is Moti Raj, the only Indian restaurant in Sheffield to have been awarded the AA guide of excellence, serving delicious aromatic curries and Indian dishes in sleek, welcoming surroundings. A few steps away, The Spice Empire has an extensive, delectable menu of tandoori, balti and biryani dishes, chef specialities, and a small selection of vegetarian options. If you just can’t decide on one cuisine, Papas Tapas is the small-plate specialist offering a mix of Spanish and English tapas between noon and 9pm every day.

If you’re looking for a pre-show drink, Vesta Tilleys and The Dead Rabbit both offer a great range of beers, wines and cocktails in classy but casual surrounds, and you can also grab some hearty pub grub at the latter.

Looking for a hotel in Sunderland?

Our Sunderland hotels are ideally situated for exploring the city and the coastline - and also taking in the cultural scene, including  the National Glass Centre and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.