THOUSANDS of food lovers descended on Sunderland last week as the city hosted its third Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant Week.

Dozens of restaurants, cafes and bars served up a selection of two and three course special deals to showcase the wide variety of food available across the city.

The nine day initiative was led by Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), and followed the first such week last September along with a second in March this year.

Diners were able to download a voucher from the BID website, entitling them to visit any of the eateries taking part and take advantage of the special deals which included two courses for £10 or three for £15.

Old favourites including Asiana at West Wear Street, Angelo’s at West Sunniside and Holmeside’s Café Purple were joined by a number of first timers, such as Doner Haus at High Street West, The Meat Up at Derwent Street and Marcellos at Albion Place.

More than 8000 diners took advantage of the deals during the event, and Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, was pleased with the response.

“We’ve definitely seen a year on year growth since our first Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant week, and our early indications are that all of the restaurants bars and cafes which took part had a rise in visitors,” she said.

“The aim of this event is to give people from Sunderland and further afield the chance to see the quality and selection of fine food we have here in the city, and once again we have been successful at attracting new people through the doors.

“Of course, we could not have achieved this without the support of the venues that signed up to take part, and this just proves how positive they feel the initiative is.

“I hope we can all build on another successful Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant Week and convert some of those new visitors into regular customers.”

For further information on Sunderland BID, visit the website: www.sunderlandbid.co.uk