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Finbarr’s Restaurant

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MICHELIN
COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more

Ratings and reviews

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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

CUISINES
European, British
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
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meals, features
Travel safe during COVID-19
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What you can expect during your visit
  • Socially distanced dining tables
Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

Finbarr’s sits in an attractively converted farm building on the edge of the city and comes with a contented buzz. Menus offer plenty of choice and the...
Read more on MICHELIN Guide
Reviews (1,078)
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Traveler rating
678
244
97
32
22
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All reviews halibut millionaires shortbread fish cakes chicken salad haggis scotch egg wine list three courses service charge fine dining main course city centre waiting staff quality food plenty of choice bistro graduation
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The restaurant is in an old building a short cab ride from central Durham. The building is interesting, presumably once a farm house. Staff were pleasant and we were seated at a corner table. Although it was a Friday night the restaurant was quiet, albeit...on a cold and miserable night. Food was good - cheese soufflé was excellent and fish cakes and sea food risotto both good. Portions were generous and we didn’t manage desserts. I would eat here again.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This restaurant is a find. The food is simply delicious. They obviously use only the very best produce, and every course we ate was outstanding. The service was warm and attentive.

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 4, 2022 via mobile

Graduation dinner following our son's graduation. Food was just fairly average and not particularly special. Very poor vegetarian choices. Quality, choice and service do not justify the prices. Another restaurant with a 'discretionary ' 10% service charge, a practice I abhor but one that is...becoming increasingly commonMore

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 30, 2022

We visited as we wanted somewhere upmarket for graduation day. Sorry to say we were disappointed. The food is average at best, not bad, just not very good to justify the prices. However the main issue is, as one of our party was vegetarian, is...that there were two veggie options for starters and one had cheese and only one choice for the main course which also had cheese and egg. So poor for vegetarians and nothing for vegans. Really surprised given the increasing interest in such food and in a University city too.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 22, 2022 via mobile

This was a large business dinner so perhaps they did not put up their best show, but what I found here was quite uninspiring food, although not positively bad. A chicken with petit pois a la francaise was slightly stodgy. A starter with beetroot and...feta was OK, and so was an almond cake dessert. Service was decidedly grumpy.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 12, 2022

Along with myself, husband, eldest daughter and her partner, we took our youngest daughter to Finbarrs at her request for her 21st Birthday. We arrived and asked if we would like a drink first before being seated at the table. We had champagne in a...lovely seating area. We were then shown to our table in the quaint restaurant. We ordered our food before being seated. Did not have to wait long for starters to arrive. We all ordered something different and not one of us was disappointed. A nice break between courses. Then the main courses arrived. Again, all the mains were exceptional. Only a couple of our group had dessert and cheese, But again, beautiful. All the food was outstanding, as was the service. Couldn’t find fault with any thing. Even the bill was a nice surprise. Not nearly as expensive as we thought it might be. Would definitely return when we are in Durham.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 22, 2022 via mobile

My partner and I decided to try this restaurant for his 30th birthday but unfortunately we both left feeling underwhelmed. To start I had scallops and my partner had the haggis scotch egg. For £17.50 I got 3 tiny scallops and just felt for the...portion size and quality we were overcharged. For mains we had king prawns and halibut. Each costing in excess of £30... Once again for 5 king prawns I just felt that we were really over charged! The main issue we had was a combination of the atmosphere and seating. All the tables were so closely packed that staff clearing tables near us had their back (and butts) inches from our faces as we ate. We felt that the menu had a lot of passive aggressive messages including justifying the increase in their prices due to the cost of rent etc. For a 3 course meal (no wine) it cost us in excess of £160. Sadly we won't be returning as although the food tasted nice, the indifferent service and price means we won't be back.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 21, 2022

Just had an afternoon lunch with friends and extremely disappointed with my meal and poor service. Went off the set lunch menu,my steak was inedible. At no point during the meal was I asked if everything was ok,when my plate was cleared away with virtually...a full steak I asked the young girl waitress to tell the chef my steak was inedible,with so much fat I could not cut through it with a steak knife. On paying the bill I asked her for the chefs response to which she said he hadn’t replied. I was very unsatisfied with this response and poor customer service and will think twice about returningMore

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed May 7, 2022

Not been here for a while but was not disappointed. 17 of us ate lunch today to celebrate mams 80th birthday. From start to finish finbars was fabulous. We were in the private dining room and were looked after expertly by the lovely Marc. Nothing...was a problem he was attentive without being intrusive and very patient with us all. Everyone agreed the food was first class and the English sparkling wine was a delight. Finbars you 'knocked it out of the park' Marc is an assest to your restaurant and your chefs deserve a huge round of applause . Thank you from us all .More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed March 24, 2022

Had a lovely meal here to celebrate our son’s engagement. Food and service excellent. They were visiting us for Christmas from their home in New York and were very impressed.

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed February 26, 2022 via mobile

Simply delicious From the moment we arrived we knew we were going to enjoy being here Professional and attentive staff who really cared about looking after us Good menu with something for everyone all of which was delicious especially the steaks and lime pie The...drinks were all reasonably priced as was the food All in all hard to fault and we certainly would recommend visiting this restaurant and without doubt we will be returning soonMore

Date of visit: February 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed February 5, 2022 via mobile

23 year anniversary. We came here on our 1st date. So many happy memories. Was ‘Bistro 21’ then but latterly’Finbarrs’ home. So lovely to be back after Covid restrictions. Staff all welcoming & especially helpful with partner’s allergies. Great menu including legendary cheese soufflé. Seafood...cocktail starter was enormous. Cod main course with mussels also beautifully cooked as was fillet steak. Dessert menu looked fabulous too but we were stuffed so rounded off with velvety Irish coffees. Couldn’t have been better.More

Date of visit: February 2022
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 29, 2022 via mobile

It's been a while since we last dined at this restaurant. Sadly our experience did not meet our expectations. The male member of staff who met us on arrival wasn't rude but certainly had a rather distant, peculiar manner. The food was delicious, and whilst...the waiting staff were friendly they were inexperienced in terms of a fine dining restaurant service. Our table was left cluttered with empty glasses and plates during and after our meal, which the restaurant manager acknowledged was not acceptable. The decor was tired and the toilets untidy. It's such a shame to see what was certainly one of the best restaurants in Durham "go down hill". Hopefully the management take on board the feedback we gave and Finbarr will once again be a place worthy of recommendationMore

Date of visit: January 2022
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 14, 2022 via mobile

Spent a lovely evening at the restaurant with my wife. The staff were very friendly, attentive and knowledgeable and the surroundings smart but rustic - although our table was too close to a radiator which was very hot but not unpleasant. The menu was quite...diverse and interesting. The spinach soufflé was well cooked and very pleasant but did not taste of spinach in any way- perhaps overpowered by the cheese? The crab stuffed ravioli was completely tasteless and a bit rubbery but saved by the rich lobster bisque which was unctuous if a little salty. The halibut appeared to have been cooked in oil - or at least finished in oil - and the top glaze of oil rather dominated - there was a similar oil taste to the chips which were simply too large in size for my liking. The pea purée seemed to be mashed up ‘mushy peas’ and did add a flavour punch. The rump steak was well cooked and generous in size and enjoyable. Overall we really enjoyed the experience but for some reason I was expecting more in the detail.More

Date of visit: January 2022
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Reviewed December 12, 2021 via mobile

A surprisingly quiet Friday lunchtime in this atmospheric restaurant. Good food at excellent prices in a rather out of the way location. The staff were meticulous about our dietary requirements and we had a memorable and delicious lunch.

Date of visit: October 2021
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
jordanpell
September 29, 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from KarenOT | Reviewed this property |
Grandad will love it, one in our party has mobility issues and she was fine. It isn't cheap, but then i didn't find it extortionately expensive either.
1
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hillzo
June 2, 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Skyeline | Reviewed this property |
Definitely
0
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HMB096
April 20, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from MadzTyler | Reviewed this property |
Definitely a vegan dish but don't remember anything else.
0
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Frequently Asked Questions about Finbarr’s Restaurant

Yes, Finbarr’s Restaurant is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

Finbarr’s Restaurant is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5