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  • 29th May 2024
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The best restaurants to book for graduation meals in Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham

Graduation season is upon us, which means it’s time to book those graduation meals.

Whether you’ve got family visiting from out of town or just looking for a special treat, these are the best restaurants we recommend for graduation celebrations.


Best Graduation Restaurants to book in Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham


Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA

Elevate your celebrations with a graduation meal in the clouds. The recent refurbishment and feature in the Michelin Guide put SIX back on the map for fine dining in Newcastle. Perched on the top floor of the Baltic, SIX offers a range of tasting menus that you can enjoy with panoramic views of the Quayside.



6-10 Bowsden Terrace, Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE3 1RX

This neighbourhood brasserie in Gosforth is one of HLN’s favourite dining spots for good reason. Inspired by French cooking, the food quality is just exceptional – the whole roast chicken in crab bisque is probably the best chicken you’ll ever eat. They’ve also got a great bar serving up pre and post-dinner cocktails.



4 Hume Street, Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE6 1LN 

Kiln may seem like an artsy, neighbourhood hangout worthy of its spot in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter – and that’s certainly part of its charm – but its Mediterranean and Middle Eastern evening menu is worthy of any of the Newcastle restaurants in the city centre. Its originality is sure to impress your folks.



Friar’s Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 4XN 

Students often get a bad rep for being more focussed on partying and less concerned with the culture of the city they study in. Not so if you take your family to Blackfriars. Demonstrate your awareness of Newcastle’s medieval history over sophisticated British dishes in a 13th century Friary and just watch the jaws drop.



9 Osbourne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 2AE 

Stylish and elegant, serving up seasonal menus using local produce… It seems Branches was created with the sole purpose of impressing Jesmond students’ visiting family members. Enjoy a sophisticated meal at one of the most popular restaurants in Newcastle, then spill out onto Osbourne Road for drinks after.



258-260 Chillingham Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE6 5LQ

Good food and good wine – that’s what you can expect from NEST. A cosy and beautifully designed space on Chillingham Road, the interiors and food will make you feel at home and comfortable, making for a really special experience. Another perk of visiting NEST is that you will be given wine-pairing options to broaden your palate. If you’re not a meat lover, you also have the option of selecting from an interesting vegetarian tasting menu.



150 Heaton Park Road, Heaton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE6 5NR 

Bring fine dining into the mix within designated ‘student suburb’ of Heaton and you’ve got a recipe for graduation night success. After all, your parents are picking up the tab, right?! Tuck into the seasonal, seven-course tasting menu (with optional wine pairing) at this Newcastle restaurant and savour the very best of North East flavours.



1 Trinity Gardens, Pandon, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 2HH 

If impressing your family with a stylish meal at one of the most respected restaurants in Newcastle is your goal this graduation season, then book a table at 21 Newcastle. With chic, sleek décor and a flavour-first food philosophy, you can enjoy mature dining inspired by French classics in comfortable, contemporary surroundings – which, let’s face it, is all any parent really wants. 



Arch 6, Westgate Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 1SA 

This cosy, Parisian-style wine bar is a dream when it comes to special meals out without any fuss. Challenging the notion that French dining is overly formal, this most relaxed of great Newcastle restaurants prides itself on doing the simple things well: with a small plates menu meant for sampling, satisfying and sharing.



29 Broad Chare, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 3DQ

Part wine bar, part restaurant, this city-centre venue enjoys a city-centre buzz. Inspired by the neighbourhood bars the team here discovered on their travels through France and Italy, St Vincent is big on flavour and low on fuss: serving interesting wines, charcuterie and crowd-pleasing dishes full of punchy flavours.



2-12 Grey Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 6AE

If you haven’t heard, Leila Lily’s has had a rebrand. And whilst the restaurant has moved more towards small plates and Mediterranean dining, this is still a great, good value option for a celebration meal in Newcastle. Right in the centre of Newcastle, cracking cocktails and if it’s sunny, an outdoor dining terrace.




Best Graduation Restaurants to book in Sunderland


6a Pier Point, Marine Walk, Sunderland, SR6 0PP

This elegant charcuterie-style restaurant and wine bar is perched right on Roker beachfront – making it an unbeatable destination for your next wine night with the girls.



6–7 Green Terrace, Sunderland, SR1 3PZ

Swanky British gastro restaurant Rumour Has It knows that variety is the spice of life ­– so whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find it done well here.



Whitburn Bents Road, Sunderland, SR6 8AD

Love seafood, great wine, good music and a relaxed atmosphere? This one is for you. Seafood small plates served tapas style (they also have a smaller selection of meat and veggie dishes). Be quick with booking as this is a super popular spot.



Best Graduation Restaurants to book in Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham


29 Silver Street, Durham, DH1 3RD

This restaurant in Durham city centre offers five-course or 10-course tasting menus for both lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Saturday. Another relaxed option, Faru doesn’t set a dress code, instead opting for an informal setting where the food is the focus. The name Faru comes from Old English meaning ‘journey’ and the menu aims to take the diner on a culinary adventure from start to finish – a great metaphor for your graduation, don’t you think…

BOOK NOW: https://www.faru.co.uk


Reform Place, North Road, Durham, DH1 4RZ

One of the hidden gems in Durham, Coarse is tucked away in a cute courtyard in the city centre. The set menu changes seasonally, and the Michelin Guide particularly praises the chefs for the quality of the sauces (say no more). They offer a three-course lunch menu (£25) and a six-course dinner menu (£45) which is incredible value for the quality, thanks to their mission to make tasting menus accessible and affordable.



34 Church Street, Durham, DH1 3DG

Looking for more relaxed vibes with a spicy marg on the side? We’ve got you. Barrio Comida is inspired by the neighbourhood taquerias in Mexico and North America where people meet to eat, drink and have a good time. The food and drinks are all ethically sourced and where possible, authentically imported – plus the vibes are always high.


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Laura Kingston
Founder and Editor

Laura is the Founder and Editor of High Life North. She had the idea to set up an exclusively digital women’s magazine after feeling there was a gap in the market in the North East. With over 10 years of experience in marketing and PR, Laura had a very clear…


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