Restaurants near Sunderland Empire

This is a question that pops up in our Facebook group time and time again so I thought I would collate all of the recommendations that have been posted in there into one easy-to-read post. Prices and info checked in January 2023. Please check with venues direct for the most up to date info, esp prices which can fluctuate. 

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire

Booking in advance is recommended. 

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I will share a google map at the bottom of this post with all of the restaurant locations or you can download a copy straight to your phone here. 

As always, thanks to everyone who takes the time to post recommendations and answer questions in our North East Days Out Facebook group. It's much appreciated. 

First, let's take a look at some of the key shows visiting Sunderland Empire this year (ad - these are affiliate links)....... 

Upcoming Shows at Sunderland Empire - Our Top Picks 

Sunderland Empire: Where to Park / Public Transport 

We always park at St Mary's Sunderland which has 480 spaces across four floors and is just across the road from the Empire (around a 5 minute walk). It is open 24 hours a day so no worrying about rushing back. Find out more here. 

If travelling by public transport, Sunderland Train Station is a 10 minute walk from the theatre.

If you travel by Metro, you can travel free of charge 2 hours before and 2 hours after a performance when you show your theatre ticket. The closest Metro station is Sunderland or Park Lane (both around a 7 minute walk from the theatre). 

Lots of buses pass the theatre including 3,11,12, 24, 53, 77a, 88, 91, 139, 159, 453 (check current timetables before heading out as these are subject to change). 

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire

(all of these have recommended in our Facebook Group)

Pizza al Teatro at Sunderland Empire 

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire - Pizza al Teatro

Sunderland Empire now has it's own on-site pizzeria. You can book ahead online or they accept walk ins if there is space. Kids meals are a bargain at two courses for £6.95 and the main menu features pizzas/salads at reasonable prices. Find out more and check out the menu here. 

Apertif Bar & Kitchen 

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire - Aperftif Bar & Kitchen

This Italian restaurant is located next door to the theatre and receives excellent reviews commenting on delicious food and good service.

They offer reasonably priced pizza and pasta and half portions of pizza (+chips) or pasta are available for £4.90 for kids. Bargain! Their homemade chips look lush. Find out more and book here. 

The Engine Room 

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire  - The Engine Room Sunderland

The Engine Room is just a few doors along from the Empire and another place which received multiple recommendations. Children's meals are available from £5 and the main menu features a mix of small and large plates.

Meals here are on the pricier side (£15-£19 for a main) but it does receive good reviews. Find out more and book here. 

My Delhi 

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire  - My Delhi Sunderland

My Delhi Sunderland is around a 10 minute walk from the Empire. I haven't been to this branch myself but have visited their Newcastle branch which was fantastic. Kids meals are available for £7.95 and include mini curries alongside traditional kids favourites. 

The main menu features roadside curries and Tandoori street food. Find out more and book here. 

Mexico 70 

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire  - Mexico 70

Mexico 70 is just across the road from the Empire and our personal favourite (read a full review here). Expect freshly prepared tacos, nachos, tequila and tunes. They offer regular deals including taco tuesdays (3 tacos for £9.99). Find out more and book here. 

Spent Grain 

Restaurants near Sunderland Empire  - Spent Grain

Spent Grain is an 8 minute walk from the Empire. They offer an excellent value early evening menu Wed-Sat 5pm-7pm (2 courses for £18) with a tempting selection of seasonal dishes.

I couldn't find a dedicated kids menu (someone has mentioned they are available on request) and think this option is probably best for adults / dining with older kids and teens. Find out more and book here. 

Asiana Fusion Restaurant 

This restaurant is a 9 minute walk from the Empire and takes inspiration from the finest Pan Asian cuisine with panoramic views of the River Wear. Last orders for their early evening menu is 6:30pm (daily exc. Saturday) and includes a selection of main courses with rice from £11.50. Find out more and book here. 

No2 Church Lane 

No2 Church Lane Pre-theatre burger

This restaurant is located just next to the Empire and is known for their burgers and decent vegan / veggie offering. Expect to pay £10 for a classic burger and kids meals are available for £7.50 (there is a kids vegan burger on the menu which is good to see). Find out more and book here. 

The Rabbit Sunderland 

The Rabbit Sunderland

Again, the Rabbit is located just next to the Empire. One of Sunderland's largest (if not the largest) bars set across three floors, the menu includes kids meals for £5.50 and a range of paninis, burgers, wraps, loaded fries and pub classics at reasonable prices. Find out more and book here. 


A few people have messaged to say that Motiraj is an excellent option for a pre/post theatre curry. Located just across the road from the Empire, there are plenty of traditional options including a special meal deal for £14.95 (starter, main, rice and coffee or ice cream). Find out more and book here. 

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The Best Restaurants near Sunderland Empire


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