16 March 2023

SUNDERLAND’S food scene served up a large portion of success – with a record-breaking Restaurant Week for the city.

More than 50 restaurants, bars and cafes took part in the nine-day event, which took place from 4 to 12 March and was organised by Sunderland BID and supported by Sunderland City Council.

And the support of more than 16,000 dinners and food lovers from across Wearside and beyond brought a welcome boost to the local economy of £482,520.

Sunderland Restaurant Week, which is sponsored by Bradley Hall and offers menus priced at £10, £15 and £20, is held twice yearly and has become a firm fixture on the city’s calendar.

Among those taking part for the first time this year were Good Apple Café and Roma Italian, along with recently opened Buddha Beat, whose owner Andy Drape said: “What a great week to help us show off our tapas at a great price. This has inspired us to continue a similar deal for pre-theatre, match days and early evenings mid-week.

“We like to give back to the local community and show support, and this means everything to us. We hope that Buddha Beat will help to inspire the new wave of food that is starting to appear in Sunderland city centre.”

Spent Grain, at John Street, also took part, and owner Nathan Outhwaite was delighted with the response.

“Restaurant week has been great not just for us but for the whole Sunderland food scene,” he said. “It’s wonderful for people to get out and try new places for a great price. 

“It was a very busy week for us with many new and returning customers and this year we launched our new spring menu in line with restaurant week so people could come and try the new menu as part of the deal.

“The feedback has been excellent, and we couldn’t be happier with the support we’ve received from everyone, especially during these tough times.”

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said she was delighted that “once again Sunderland has proved itself to be a big hit with food lovers.

“The standard and variety of our food outlets are really making the city a must-visit destination,” she said, “and I’m very grateful to all the businesses and customers who made this event such a stand-out success.”

Councillor Linda Williams, Portfolio Holder for Vibrant City at Sunderland City Council, said: “As a council, we are proud to support Sunderland Restaurant Week, and it’s brilliant to hear that it has been such a success for some of the city’s businesses. I hope customers from in and around Sunderland have had the chance to discover some new favourites that they will return to visit again.”