The Waiting Room was established in 1985. We are a busy little restaurant with a warm, homely ambience, and we serve hugely satisfying dishes, invented and developed within our creative kitchen. Here’s some straightfoward information to help you plan your visit…


Waiting Room front dining

We are a relaxed and friendly place, with a wonderfully warm, bohemian atmosphere. Our light, airy front room has a comfortable, faded elegance with high ceilings and generous tables, while our livelier back room conservatory has a darker, punk-cabaret vibe and makes a good party room. This is where our regular live music and arts happenings take place on Sunday evenings. Both rooms usually fill up in the evening, especially at weekends, so booking is advised.


We cook with beautiful fresh vegetables, whole foods and organic dairy, changing our menu every season. We have created hundreds of wonderful dishes over a 30-year period. Most of our menus include new ideas whilst still trying to squeeze in big hitting favourites… by popular demand! We use a lot of slow cooking methods; stewing, roasting and baking to produce deeply satisfying and homely dishes. We also make our own bread, and lovely puddings.

We have never used a deep fat fryer, falafels or tofu.

Vegan and gluten-free options are always available.


Beer Label wide

We serve beautiful organic and biodynamic wines from around the world, incredible fruit wines from Skinningrove, and the world’s best gin – from Durham. We have a smashing selection of organic bottle-conditioned beers and even have our own excellent own-label (especially filtered) refreshing Pale Ale on draft, created especially for us by the Schoolhouse Brewery on Yarm Lane.

We often discover exciting new drinks by small producers, such as our current favourite – Duskins amazing pressed apple varieties. Our excellent coffee is fairer than Fair Trade – (of course it is) – and grown by women (!)

We also serve excellent tap water piped directly from the Kielder forest.


36326_OFM_595x595px-02 RUNNER UPWe’ve attracted regular awards and commendations over the years, being included in The Observer Food Magazine’s Best UK Restaurant category in at least five of the past ten years, and winning the Best Restaurant in the UK award from the Vegetarian Society.

We’ve also been awarded certificates of excellence by the Slow Food Movement, Stockton Fair Trade, and visitor review sites such as Trip Advisor.

We’ve been included in “Top 10” lists for The Telegraph, The Times, MSN and BBC Good Food.

And we even have a five-star rating for Food Hygiene (out of five!)

The judges who secretly visited The Waiting Room from the Vegetarian Society could not have been more full of praise. Here are some of their comments:

“The presentation of the meal was excellent, beautiful colours and just the right amount of garnish.”

“The highlight of the meal was the Feta Curry…it was unbelievably delicious.”

“The sharpness of the marmalade cheesecake was gorgeous…really unusual.”

“The atmosphere was very relaxed and welcoming.”

“My husband thought everything about the meal was perfect (high praise from an omnivore!)”

“The meal was delicious, the restaurant was interesting and fun, the pace was leisurely and good value for money – a lovely evening out.”

“A wonderful restaurant serving great food” – The BBC (Good Food Magazine)

Live Music & Events

The Waiting Room hosts regular gigs and arts events on a Sunday night, and – over the past ten years – we have welcomed some incredible artists, and put on gigs with hundreds of leftfield entertainers… including the likes of Stewart Lee, Martin Carthy, Josie Long, Dave Swarbrick, Thomas Truax, and Jeffrey Lewis.

Sunday nights have a different, even more casual vibe – with a shorter menu written to the blackboard, and a little bit of rock and roll chaos thrown into the mix. 

Our gigs are usually ticketed, taking place in the back room with cabaret-style seating and table service. Our more popular bookings have been known to sell out quickly, so keep an eye on our listings. And the front room is open as usual for diners… albeit with less choice and more noise! For full details of our live programme, check out the ‘Events’ section of the website.


The Waiting Room is twinned with Bom-Banes cafe, of Brighton. It was opened by our good friend Jane Bom-Bane, who has regularly performed at the Waiting Room with her millinery of mechanical hats and her harmonium, usually accompanied by the musical genius of Nick Pynn. Visit Bom-Bane’s for delicious Belgian-influenced food, mechanical tables and the warmest of welcomes. And say hello from us!


The Waiting Room is on Station Road, which leads to Eaglescliffe Station, just off Yarm Road (The A135). Yarm Road runs from Stockton town centre to Yarm High Street. If you’re travelling on the A66 between Middlesbrough and Darlington, take the Yarm Road turn off, and then travel towards Yarm, passing Preston Park on your left. Station Road is a right turn approximately 1/4 mile after Preston Park. Travelling from Yarm; Station Road is approximately two miles from Yarm High Street, turning left after The Sunnyside Hotel.


Street parking is available on Station Road, unrestricted in the evenings and on Sundays, but with a two-hour limit from 9am-5pm, Monday-Saturday. Following the re-opening of Eaglescliffe Station. we are talking to the Council about making time-limited parking available on nearby Dunottar Avenue again… watch this space!


We sold Waiting Room food at Glastonbury fesival in both 1996 and 2011 from our customised hook a duck stall, losing vast fortunes each time! (Despite being very busy.) Billy Bragg came back four times for our Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Curry. We’re still waiting for him to come and play at the restaurant though.






Weddings, Special Occasions and Party Bookings

Our back room can be booked for private parties for up to fifty people.

All enquiries are welcome.

Our New Venture

We have an exciting, big new venture happening soon. Check back/join our mailing list for our grand announcement.



Featured News

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The Waiting Room’s atmosphere and delicious homely food have attracted regular awards and commendations, including the last “Best Restaurant in The UK” that was awarded by the Vegetarian Society, and runner-up in The Observer’s Best UK Restaurant category in at least five of the last ten years.  We create and serve generous, satisfying dishes using beautiful slow […]

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Common Room our Waiting Room special brew

Our own-label beer, brewed and filtered especially for us by Schoolhouse Brewery on Yarm Lane, is going down a storm. Graham Gannaway brews a beautiful pale ale, reserving especially for us a batch that goes through a special filtering process. Rather than receiving the traditional fish filings, it passes through nine layers of paper to […]

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Luke’s new slow food restaurant for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

New for 2017, Luke and Emma have created a new community cafe art event and restaurant for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. THE SMELTERY has a Slow Food ethos, where vegetables are given high status and we create delicious slow-cooked dishes with a strong Waiting Room influence. Luke was commissioned to create the café as part of […]

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