Our Guide To The Best Places To Eat In Northumberland



Where’s the best food in the UK? Whatever sprang to your mind, it probably wasn’t Northumberland. It’s true, you won’t find all that many Michelin-starred chefs here – but what Northumberland lacks in fine-dining destinations, it more than makes up for with glorious craggy coastal views, fabulously fresh seafood, and picturesque seaside pubs. 

From hearty smoked kippers to vegan fish and chips – and the world’s largest treehouse restaurant – here’s our guide to the best places to eat in Northumberland.

 Dunstanburgh Castle at sunset (David Mark from Pixabay)


Craster is one of Northumberland’s most scenic harbour towns. Pretty fishing boats bob up and down with the tide, and the fragrant scent of smokehouses mingles with the salt of its sea breeze. 

There are plenty of places to eat here, and one particular favourite is The Jolly Fisherman, established in 1847. In 2015, it was named Northumberland’s pub of the year. Inside, it’s a cosy traditional pub: think comfy leather seats and roaring log fires. Book a window seat for views of nearby Dunstanburgh Castle, and for maximum local flavour try the pub’s renowned crab sandwiches. 

L. Robson and Sons is a Craster institution. At the heart of the village, they’ve been oak-smoking kippers and salmon here for over 130 years. Once you’ve eaten at the restaurant, visit the shop to take some local produce home.  


Pretty Newton-by-the-Sea is split into two parts: High Newton is on the hill, and Low Newton is (unsurprisingly) lower down the slopes. 

High Newton is home to dog-friendly gastro-pub The Joiner’s Arms. Omnivores are well-catered for here – and they also do a mean vegan ‘fish’ and chips. A carefully thought out, seasonally-changing menu means that you’ll always get the best of Northumberland’s local produce here.

The little fishing village of Low Newton, meanwhile, has The Ship Inn, a whitewashed 18th-century building that’s the go-to for ultra-fresh seafood. From late summer (June/July) until around October, you might see a man walking up from Newton Bay with buckets of freshly caught lobster – one of the items on The Ship’s small but perfectly formed menu. Almost all their fish (served year-round) is locally caught. 

Aside from fish, they also have vegetarian options and deliciously decadent traditional British puddings, which you can pair with ales from The Ship’s very own microbrewery.

Alnwick Castle (LynnB from Pixabay)


Alnwick is a busy market town in the heart of Northumberland, best-known for 12th-century Alnwick Castle (which was used as a filming location for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films). It makes a great base to explore this lovely county from: check out places to stay in Alnwick

Food-wise, top of the list has to be Alnwick Garden’s Treehouse Restaurant, a sprawling wooden structure up in the treetops and filled with unique handcrafted furniture. It’s the biggest treehouse restaurant in the world, and especially magical at night – when it’s lit up by twinkling lights and a crackling central log fire. 

If you’re just visiting the restaurant, you don’t have to buy a ticket to the 12-acre gardens to enter – but it’s a really good idea to do so, as that allows you to explore features like the cherry blossom orchard, swinging benches and 120-jet Grand Cascade before your meal.

In town, Grannies Delicatessen has some of Northumberland’s best local produce, from traditional Craster smoked salmon to artisan cheeses. Don’t be put off by the crowded shopfront, as you can instead head downstairs to the basement for café seating. 


Another coastal fishing town, pretty Amble is known for fish and seafood eateries. Work up an appetite with a boat trip to the Coquet Island bird reserve, catch the waves at Amble Beach, or check out cooking demonstrations at the Harbour Village. Then head to foodie favourites like the harbourside Old Boathouse (award-winning seafood with fabulous views over the sea, sand dunes and estuary), or chic Sea and Soil (a seaside café with a contemporary flair). 

Looking for somewhere to stay nearby? Here’s our definitive list of places to stay in Northumberland.

Traditional fish and chips (Samuel tresch on Unsplash)


Seahouses is a little more touristy than other coastal villages. After all, it’s the point of departure for boat trips to the Farne Islands. But don’t be put off – it’s in the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is a lively market town which serves as a hub for the surrounding villages and hamlets. 

St Aiden’s Bistro is right on the seafront and has great views out towards the island and nearby Bamburgh Castle. Food is locally sourced and includes lots of fish and seafood. Book in advance, as it’s popular and only open Thursday to Sunday. 

Locals say this is one of the best places to get fish and chips in the country. Get takeaway from Lewis’ Fish Restaurant – the oldest joint in town – to eat on the seafront in time-honoured style, or head to Neptune Fish Restaurant for inside seating and homemade ice cream afterwards.

Fancy staying in Seahouses? Here’s where to pitch up your tent. Or check out our ultimate guide to camping in the North East.

Holy Island (Lindisfarne)

Lindisfarne Island is packed with places to eat, ranging from quirky cafés to traditional pubs, a fact that can lull the unwary visitor into a false sense of security. If you’re visiting at high season (i.e. any time between April and September), always make a reservation for dinner – there may be lots of places to eat here, but they fill up quickly.

The Ship Inn has Holy Island Gin and CAMRA-approved real ales, served alongside light lunch bites and more substantial evening meals. Like many Northumberland coast restaurants, there’s a focus on locally sourced seafood. In colder months there’s a crackling woodburner to keep you cosy. 

Pilgrim’s Coffee House and Roastery does a lovely (and ethically sourced) cup of the good stuff, plus a great selection of cakes. There are plenty of vegan options, plus a secluded garden to sit in. If you’d prefer to people-watch, drop by 1st Class Food for a spot of afternoon tea in the café’s outdoor seating area.


Have you worked up an appetite for visiting Northumberland? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Northumberland this summer.