From trendy bars to stylish restaurants, and chic coffee houses to atmospheric cocktail bars, the city has seen a wide range of new businesses this year. Here's 11 of the best.
Three years after Italian restaurant Amore left the city centre, it returned in xxxx, in a prime spot above The Dun Cow pub in High Street West, next to the Empire Theatre.
The name's the same, but the new-look Bonded Warehouse in Low Street, Sunderland, opened in January after a 250,000 investment which gave it a live music space as well as room to eat and drink.
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Port of Call has been a successful business in Sunderland for some years now, so it's no surprise that the owners decided to open a new gin palace and pizzeria in North Terrace, Seaham,at Easter.
This place really hits the back of the net when it comes to being something different on the eating out scene. The former Chapmans jewellers in High Street West has a great underground club-meets-Day of the Dead vibe.
600,000 was spent transforming the basement of the Wearside Masonic Temple in Burdon Road into Indian restaurant Mumbai Silk, which opened in March. It also features Charlie's Bar, for those just wanting a drink.
This Mexican restaurant breathed new life into the former Varsity site in Green Terrace, Sunderland, which had stood empty for around a year after a number of reincarnations.
808 Bar & Kitchen opened in St Thomas Street, Sunderland, in August, describing itself as a cocktail bar for everyone who is curious about everything that is new and next in the world of mixology.
A successful crowd-funding campaign enabled Holmeside Coffee to relocate from its original home within Independent nightclub, on Holmeside, to the former Eden cafe at Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden.
More than 1.5million was ploughed into creating The Palm, four new venues under one roof, on the site of the established Liberty Brown bar and restaurant site on Hylton Riverside.
The former Thai Manor building in Foyle Street, Sunniside, had been empty for more than three years when it reopened as late night bar-restaurant The Manor Bar & Kitchen.
The city's smallest pub opened its doors in Sunniside in July. It holds just 38 people and can only have two beers on draught, but its quirky charm quickly made it popular with punters.