8 Teesside Restaurants You Need To Try After The Lockdown

20 Apr 2020

If you're anything like me, you're gasping for lockdown to be over because you just wait to get back out and eat at a restaurant. Sure, you can cook up your own dinner and lay the table as if you're eating out, but there's nothing quite like going out for food with your partner, friends or family. Inspired by this need to get out, support some independents and eat some lush food, I've put together this list of Teesside restaurants that you need to try once we're all out of lockdown.

1. The Peppermill Bistro, Billingham

I discovered The Peppermill Bistro during Teesside Restaurant Week and it was a brilliant find! It's a family-run spot, which is something you can feel as soon as you walk through the door. It's warm, friendly and so relaxed. With over 50 years of experience behind them, the family and their fabulous team of staff strive to provide a cosy environment, great service and food that will leave you coming back for more. All of their dishes are created with locally sourced and high quality produce where possible, which is also a huge selling point.

They serve up an assortment of scrumptious dishes in a delicious bistro style, like venison steak, Char Sui belly pork, pork loin and so much more. I absolutely recommend going along and giving their sweet potato soup a go... it's absolutely incredible. They also do tapas on a Thursday night, which I'm yet to try out, but I'm a huge fan of tapas, so this has got my name written all over it! If you need to be convinced anymore, have a look at their Instagram for some drool-worthy snaps.

See also: Fabulous Food In A Family-Owned Restaurant - The Peppermill Bistro, Billingham


2. Eliano's Brasserie, Middlesbrough

I haven't actually featured this restaurant on my blog before, but it's actually one of my favourite little places in Middlesbrough. It's one of those places that's completely hidden, so you'd only know it was there if you looked for it, but you'll find Eliano's nestled down the back street behind The Dovecot cocktail bar on Linthorpe Road. It's a funny location, but trust me, it's worth a try, especially if you were looking for somewhere a little more intimate for a date night.

It's a rustic, family-run Italian restaurant that offers authentic cooking in a spot that feels just like you've been transported to the side streets of Italy, complete with Italian crooning over the speakers. Their pizzas are perfect, their prices are fair and their staff are amazing. The menus aren't massive, but it's kind of nice to not spend a whole load of time trying to decide what you want. Plus, they do a great set menu of three courses and a glass of wine for less than £20 each! Just make sure you check the opening times carefully because there's been plenty of times where I've thought they were open and I've arrived to closed doors!

3. The Ship At Redmarshall

This is one of those places that I just can't get enough of. If me and Matthew ever fancy a restaurant parmo, The Ship is out first port of call. It's one of my top favourite places in Teesside to get a parmo, actually! You can find this pub-style eaterie in Redmarshall, just outside of Stockton, and it's definitely worth a visit if you like cosy decor, lots of choice and stellar service from the staff.

Alongside the standard main menu, which offers a range of classic dishes, like burgers, pies, fish and chips, and so much more, you can find the crown jewel in The Ship's repertoire - the parmo menu. It's themed around the globe, with parmo offerings that are topped with a variety of ingredients to give them a taste of a specific country or city. With that in mind, there are 35 different ones to choose from. That's right... 35! Some might argue that that is just way too much choice and in other cases, I'd probably agree, but with this place, it's perfect because you can all order different flavours and share! I tend to go for the Meze parmo, but there are so many others that I'm itching to try!

4. The Prickly Pear Bistro, Middlesbrough

I feel like this might be cheating a little bit because The Prickly Pear Bistro is owned by the same family behind The Ship At Redmarshall, however, while they share similar menus, the settings are completely different. For one, The Prickly Pear is hidden away in the TAD Centre in Boro, rather than out in the sticks like The Ship. It also has a modern bistro appearance, with lots of plants, wood and light, as opposed to The Ship's cosy vibes. It's a whole different eating experience!

With The Prickly Pear, owner Toby Marshall was keen to inject his love for Asian cuisine alongside the outstanding parmo menu (yep, you can get the very same Meze parmo from The Prickly Pear too!), so you can find a range of favourites like crispy gyozas, dragon noodles and chicken shwarma, sitting just next to classic burgers, breakfasts and roasts on a Sunday. There truly is something for everyone and it's a definite hidden gem in Boro.


5. The Old Yard Tapas Bar, Darlington

This is another place that hasn't featured on my blog, but I totally fell in love with The Old Yard Tapas Bar this year and it's somewhere that I'd recommend to anyone who wanted tapas on Teesside. For Valentine's Day, me and Matthew were keen to try somewhere new, but have that 'sharing' sort of experience. We looked at a few tapas places, but this was the one we opted for - it had lots of choice, gorgeous rustic decor and very reasonable prices. We were seated upstairs and it honestly felt like we had been transported to Spain... think wooden beams, faux plants and exposed brickwork. It was like we were on holiday!

Like I said, there was a ton of choice when it came to the tapas menu, and that's exactly what you want from tapas. What makes it even better is that you can mix and match between Spanish tapas and Greek meze, so you can get a gorgeous Mediterranean mix. You can try things you know and love, or go for items that you've never heard of, which is definitely our style of tackling tapas. It's worth keeping an eye out for any tapas specials that The Old Yard Tapas Bar might have on too, so keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page.


6. Borge Restaurant, Stockton on Tees

While I gave my recommendation earlier in this post for my top parmo spot, Borge Restaurant in Stockton is actually the winner of the World Parmo Championships for several years in a row. It's an Italian restaurant that has stood the test of time, serving it's delicious dishes to the town since 1984. You can find this popular food spot just on the brink of Stockton town centre, along from the ARC, so it's a good choice if you're catching a show or need a bite to eat before a night on the town. I have so many memories going for meals here with my school friends and birthday meals with my family, so it certainly holds a lot of nostalgia for me.

Of course, the true star of the menu is their classic parmo, but as this is an Italian restaurant, you can also grab the usual pizzas and pastas, as well as steaks, burgers and fish dishes. There's a huge variety of choice on offer and the best bit is that you get to watch it all being cooked up in the open plan kitchen. There's something I just love about seeing all the chefs at work! With something for everyone, this is a foodie spot that should be on everyone's lists.

7. The Chairman, Middlesbrough

I've made it no secret how much I love Baker and Bedford Street in Middlesbrough. There are just so many cool independents to find down the two, and one of them is The Chairman. I discovered this bar and kitchen after going on the hunt for a good Sunday roast within walking distance, and this is the place that grabbed my attention. It's a fairly small place that has totally embraced the industrial roots of the town. There's exposed brickwork, wooden tables and plenty of metal, so it's pretty trendy, but the staff are so incredibly friendly that it's impossible to feel unwelcome. One of my favourite things about it is the rack of board games, so if you can have a quick game of Scrabble, Jenga or Snakes & Ladders before your food arrives, if you fancy!

While their roasts are my top favourite in Boro, they also offer toasted sandwiches, burgers, parmos, chilli and more. The menus aren't huge, which is kind of nice because you don't have to umm and ahh for ages, and you can see everything being cooked up in the kitchen. It truly is one of the best spots in Boro, in my opinion, and it's worth checking out. Plus, it's on the same street that Orange Pip Market is held on, so you could totally make the most of a weekend visit!

See also: My Favourite Place For A Sunday Dinner In Middlesbrough - The Chairman


8. Meze Lounge, Middlesbrough

I flipping love Mediterranean food and one of my favourite places to get it is Meze Lounge in Boro. This is a teeny little restaurant in the weirdest spot on Linthorpe Road, but look for Iceland and you can't go wrong! Despite being a dinky little place, this spot serves up the most incredible Turkish food in the cosiest, most intimate setting. Seriously, you have to go along and give their lamb a try. It's absolutely phenomenal!

You don't just have to take my word for it - they're one of the top rated restaurants in the area on Tripadvisor, and constantly raking in those 5 star reviews. People rave about their food, and not just the lamb, but the sharing platters, their perfectly spiced chicken and the classic musakka. There's lots to choose from on the grill, plenty of seafood options and even pasta for those aren't too familiar with Mediterranean food. There's something for everyone, so it's absolutely worth a visit.

Of course, I could keep this list going on for ages and ages because there are so many other gems in our part of the North East, but these are the 8 that I'm hankering for at the minute and that I'd recommend to absolutely anyone. Make sure you check back soon to see my list of places that I want to try after the lockdown is over!

Which places feature on your list for post-lockdown?

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