Public orders region's top restaurants

The search is on for the region's finest restaurants with the launch of this year's North East Restaurant Awards.

More than 500,000 voting cards will be distributed to hundreds of restaurants across the region, giving diners the chance to nominate their favourite restaurants in 14 categories voted for by the public.

The awards are organised by the Gourmet Society, who started the contest last year to promote the North East's culinary offerings.

Rob Collins of the Gourmet Society said: "This is the first time so many people in the North East have been given the chance to have their voices heard and put their favourite restaurant forward for one of the awards so it will be really interesting to find out what the punters themselves think.

"There is such a wealth of fantastic restaurants in the region and the North East Restaurant Awards aim to single out the very best both big and small. I hope that as many people as possible will go online and vote so that we can give the best restaurants the recognition that they deserve."

To vote, diners simply go online to and pick from 14 voting categories including Best Small Restaurant, Best Drinks List and Best Value for Money.

The two remaining categories are judged by industry experts with the ‘Restaurant of the year' being judged by local food critics from the likes of City Living magazine, The Journal, Evening Gazette and Evening Chronicle. As part of the judging process the panel secretly visited a shortlist of restaurants and rated them on a number of categories including ambience, presentation and service.

The closing date for voting is Friday 23 January and the winners will be announced at a ceremony taking place at the Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 10 February.

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