Foodies across the North East rejoice as the ever popular Sunderland Restaurant Week finally returns in 2021. It’s great to see the event, organised by Sunderland BID, return after what feels like a lifetime of being locked down due to Covid-19.
For those not in the know, Sunderland Restaurant Week is a chance to celebrate the best food in and around Sunderland across a variety of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants. From tomorrow, Saturday 25th September through to Sunday 3rd October, you can dine out across the city for just £5, £10, or £15 per person. If you’ve been holding back on trying a new place to eat or returning to an old favourite, now is the perfect time and you’ll get to save that little bit of money too!
I was luckily enough to be invited to experience a few of the bars and restaurants taking part in Sunderland Restaurant Week 2021 and I can assure you that it’s not to be missed. Below I’ve added a few photos and information about the places I tried which may help narrow down your options. For a full list of places taking part, check out Sunderland BID’s website here.
Before heading out for our starters, mains and desserts, we met at Ttonic on Vine Street; a cocktail bar with plenty on offer. This is the place to come for a good drink and, during Sunderland Restaurant Week 2021, they’ve got plenty of drinks packages that you can take advantage of. Firstly, you’ll get a nice booth to yourselves before deciding whether to go for that full bottle of gin (complete with tonics and garnishes) or a bottle of Grey Goose vodka plus mixers. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll love the sparklers. Some of the offers available are 12 craft beers for £45, 2 bottles of prosecco and 2 bottles of wine for £60 and a bottle of Jagermeister and 8 cans of Red Bull for £90.
Don’t just think that TTonic only caters for a heavy night of drinking, the pizzas available were absolutely lovely; my favourite was the spicy meatball one!
There’s some really good deals on the food at Ttonic. I’m talking one large pizza for £5, two large pizzas and dirty fries for £10 or two large pizzas, two cocktails and dirty fries for just £15.
808 Bar & Kitchen
808 Bar & Kitchen is a restaurant offering Asian inspired tapas with an Asian theme running throughout the decor (and neon signs too for those selfies). The offers during Sunderland Restaurant Week 2021 are any 2 tapas + a side for £10, any pizza + a side for £10 or 4 tapas for £15.
We were treated to what seemed like a never-ending supply of dishes with each improving on the last. My favourite dishes and the ones that I would have no hesitation ordering again were the honey chilli chicken, chorizo and halloumi, Thai satay prawns, the katsu fish bites and the halloumi fries. Basically, pretty much everything that was available I would eat again. For those that are vegetarian or vegan, your needs have also been catered for with the highlights being the garlic mushrooms, tempura aubergine and honey chilli seitan.
Proven People is one of the latest additions to the Sunderland food and music scene. This pastel coloured pizza joint has been created by three friends with extensive DJ experience and I absolutely loved the vibe here. The pizzas are cooked in front of the diners in an open plan kitchen all whilst (at least when we were there) an acoustic band played. For a second, the worries of the world disappeared and I felt as though I was abroad! The pizzas themselves were really good, we tried about eight different ones. Surprisingly I really enjoyed the crab and chilli pizza as well as the more classic ham and mushroom and pepperoni ones! I couldn’t not mention that Proven People stock natural wines and I’m reliably informed that the orange wine is unbelievably good!
At Sunderland Restaurant Week 2021, Proven People are offering a pizza and fries for £10 or a pizza and small plate/dessert for £15. These deals exclude the crab and chilli pizza unfortunately but don’t let that stop you checking this place out.
Crumb on In
Last but not least, we visited the cafe Crumb On In which is housed in the Harrison & Brown Furniture store. With extremely friendly staff, you can expect a wide selection of homemade cakes as well as teas and coffees. We visited at the end of night where we got to experience a taster place of treats with my favourites being the cheesecake and the M&M brownie. During Sunderland Restaurant Week 2021, you can grab 2 toasties and 2 cups of tea for just £10.
Other Notable Mentions
Bear in mind that the above are the places I was able to experience alongside Sunderland BID prior to the launch of Sunderland Restaurant Week. There are plenty of options available to cater for pretty much every taste. Having looked at the full list (and seeing photos on Instagram) I will definitely be checking out the insane looking burgers at 2 Church Lane – that is a whole lot of me and might just help on my ongoing quest to find the best burgers in the North East.
How Does It Work?
For a full list of those taking part in Sunderland Restaurant Week 2021, check out the page on Sunderland BID’s website here. Once you’ve settled on a place to eat, you’ll simply click on that particular restaurant and then make sure you download the voucher in advance. As far as I can see, the voucher doesn’t have to be printed out (who has a printer these days?) so you can simply show the voucher on your phone when ordering.
Let me know if you do have chance to check out Sunderland Restaurant Week 2021. I for one will definitely be returning almost certainly for a few bites to eat at 808 Bar & Kitchen and a burger at 2 Church Lane!
I was invited to experience Sunderland Restaurant Week by Sunderland BID and received complimentary food and drink.