A Darlington restaurant has been recognised as the best Italian restaurant with a national award this week.

Al Forno, located on Skinnergate, were presented with the Best Restaurant in the North East honour at the English Italian Awards 2023 on Sunday (October 8).

The restaurant's staff celebrated and posed with the award after facing stiff competition for the prize.

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An Al Forno spokesperson said: "We’ve only won Best Restaurant in The North East at The Italian Awards."

The venue first opened in 2012 and is split over three floors.

The restaurant is located on the ground and the 1st floor, while the basement hosts the Bar Forno Cocktail & Champagne Bar.

The business has proved a popular fixture of the town centre and its recognition at the awards has been met with praise by residents.

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Speaking on the win, one pleased resident said: "Absolutely deserved, huge congratulations to you all."

Another delighted resident said: "Great stuff, really well deserved and congratulations to you all."

Al Forno have said they are the oldest Italian restaurant in Darlington, and some of their staff have remained with them since their opening over a decade ago.

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The restaurant opens at 11:30am daily and has a range of menus including the new lunch and a la carte menu, as well as a children’s menu and Sunday lunch.

It was previously honoured at the English Italian awards in 2018, winning the 'best restaurant group in the country' award.

The eatery has three branches located in Darlington, Middlesbrough and Ingleby Barwick.