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Five must-try Sunderland food dishes

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If you’re new to the North East, you might be surprised to learn that Sunderland is home to a few regional dishes that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the country. You might not have heard of some of them, and you may even struggle to spell a couple. But you can’t consider your time as a student here complete until you’ve tried these dishes and indulged in some local Sunderland food.

Watch as our students go on a Wearside culinary journey, and learn more about each dish below.


5 Sunderland food dishes


A bowl of panackelty

Panacalty, panaculty, panackerty, panaggie, panack… Mackems might not always agree on how to spell it, but they will agree that it is a well-loved, wholesome family meal. This casserole dish originated as a way to use up leftover ingredients from a Sunday dinner, but usually contains corned beef, potatoes, onions and carrots.

You will definitely find this around local restaurants and cafes in Sunderland and if you're feeling really adventurous you could try make it yourself... 


Cheesy chip pie

A piece of cheesy chip pie on a plate

Cheese… On chips… In a pie. It might sound like an odd combination, but Sunderland locals will swear by this Mackem creation. Cheesy chips on Wembley way were associated with Sunderland Football Club making it to Wembley stadium in London. You’ll more than likely come across cheesy chips on a night on the town, but a cheesy chip pie is a much rarer offering, and one you’ll wonder why hasn’t caught on elsewhere.

You'll most likely find a cheesy chip pie in one of the local takeaways around the city, a great shout after a night out or if you're feeling hungover and need some stodgy food.


Pease pudding and stottie

A plate with a stottie and a tub of pease pudding on

Don’t be fooled by the name – pease pudding isn’t a dessert. It’s a savoury dish, traditionally made from split yellow peas, water, salt and spices. To ‘stott’, in the North East, means to bounce, which is what this dense bread accompaniment should do if you drop it – hence the name stottie.

You'll find a stottie in any Greggs stores across the North-East and pease pudding in pretty much any supermarket. So no excuses in trying this one!

Saveloy dip

A saveloy dip sandwich on a plate

The ultimate Mackem indulgence. But what is a saveloy dip? In simple terms, it is a smoked sausage sandwich, but this being Sunderland food, it’s no ordinary sandwich. Fill it with stuffing, pease pudding and mustard, before dipping the whole thing in gravy. Good luck not making a mess.

North-East born butchers shop, Dicksons, is known for it's legendary saveloy dip, so make sure to pop in if you're passing by in Sunderland city centre.

Pink slice

A pink slice biscuit on a plate

A straightforward name for a straightforward treat, but one which is pretty much universally loved here on Wearside. Pink icing covering a slice of two layers of shortbread separated by jam. Simple to make, delicious to eat. A classic Sunderland food.

Grinder coffee just over the road from our City Campus, does a great pink slice if you fancy stretching your legs and supporting a small local business. 

Published: 4 December 2019