Licensed vegetarian restaurant and coffee shop. Features a daily changing evening menu. Music and entertainment on Sunday nights. Also runs an organic bakery next door making sourdough, wholemeal and rye breads as well as croissants, bakes, sourdough pizza and pastries some of which are vegan. Dinner reservation is advised. Open Tue-Sun 11:30-14:30, 18:00-23:00.

Venue map for The Waiting Room
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29 Reviews

First Review by hack_man


Points +169

26 Sep 2023

Typical old-fashioned vegetarian restaurant

Huge portion sizes but unfortunately the restaurant is aptly named because we were waiting a long time for food, even though it wasn't particularly busy!

Weirdly the allergens weren't listed on the menu so we didn't know what was vegan until we asked. A lot of the menu items were able to be veganised, but mostly by removing dairy items and not always with substitutions (e.g. no yoghurt on the biryani).

The food was very wholesome and veg-filled, but sometimes a bit stodgy and lacking in flavour. It reminded me of vegetarian restaurants from a couple of decades ago.

None of the best desserts were vegan - basically only the fruit based ones. It definitely felt like vegans were the second class citizens!

Nice vibes in the main restaurant though. We had sweet potato and lentil Bolognese (would have had goat cheese on it if not vegan) and mushroom biryani (with yoghurt omitted).

Pros: Big portions , Nice atmosphere to eat in

Cons: Slow service , Few substitutions for vegan versions , Stodgy food



Points +72

17 Sep 2023

Wholesome tasty food and a cosy atmosphere

Lovely flavourful wholesome food. A little on the pricey side which soon adds up if you’re in a group! Portion sizes are substantial though.
I did order a gluten free enchilada but they just removed the tortillas so it was just the chilli… so communication from staff wasn’t the best on that one.

Updated from previous review on 2023-09-17


Points +102

29 May 2023


Really enjoyed the food and the portions were massive! Food was expensive and vegan options were marked on the menu so was confused on what could be ordered.

Pros: Big portions

Cons: Pricey and vegan options not marked


08 Aug 2023

It's both astonishing and disappointing that after all these years and all these comments the owners still don't mark which dishes are vegan. I'm now in two minds about whether to go there at the weekend when in the area.


08 Aug 2023

I’ve just been tonight and the vegan options are marked (with the exception of the puddings on the blackboard but the waitress didn’t think any of those were vegan) the food was great and they’ve got an offer on for August 2 courses for £20 if you sign up to their mailing list!


Points +181

24 Apr 2023

Great for veggies, not so great for vegans!

Went with omni family who booked it thinking we'd have loads to choose from.
Turns out we had very limited vegan options. Seems a shame to have to ask what can be veganised in a veggie restaurant, we didn't feel particularly welcome with our question either. Staff explained that some of the items were pre-prepped so the cheese/butter was already cooked into the food so couldn't be veganised. One boring poached pear dessert and 2 ice cream flavours amongst a whole list of very tasty sounding vegetarian puds - pretty disappointing.
Everyone enjoyed the food we did order though, it all tasted very fresh and was very well cooked.

Pros: food was tasty

Cons: limited vegan options


Points +42

13 Apr 2023

Vegetarian, some vegan options.

Vegetarian restaurant with a few good vegan options. These are not marked as such on the menu but the staff are helpful and able to advise what can be made vegan. The portions are a good size (we shared & got a side dish and that was plenty for us). I was disappointed that there was only 1 vegan pudding option, and the only option to go with it was vegan ice cream. We enjoyed our meal but a few small changes would make it much more vegan friendly.

Pros: A few good vegan options, Good selection of beers & wines, Great cocktail bar next door!

Cons: Pricey, Vegan options not marked, Can get busy when events on


Points +24

24 Mar 2023

Enjoyed the food

We liked the food and the cleanliness. A shame vegan options aren’t specified but a lot of food can be (and was) adapted to us. Very strong food smell inside. Prices were reasonable.

Pros: Tasty food, Good size portions, Reasonable prices

Cons: No clear vegan options


Points +65

19 Feb 2022

Tasty home-cooked style food

Whilst the menu doesn’t specify any vegan options, plenty of their menu can be adapted. Out of four starters, three could be made vegan/were vegan (pâté, hummus, soup). For mains, two out of three could be vegan (mushroom, spinach and cashew biryani, and a mushroom bourguignon). They also had a puy lentil chilli served with a flat bread or rice. Kids loved it, and the biryani was absolutely delicious!

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Great/helpful service and staff, Delicious food, reasonably priced

Cons: Show which menu options can be vegan


Points +259

23 Oct 2021

Vegan options to be improved

Started off good, website had vegan options labelled but the website menu was different to the sit in menu. The sit in menu was not even labelled up with which dishes were vegan and neither was the dessert board so we had to ask every time. For a vegetarian place I would have thought they would be all over the vegan aspect of dietary requirements but this place wasn't and it wasn't as though the menus were unable to be changed it was just paper.

In my opinion the food lacked taste, very high end priced and smaller portions than we expected. The pink grapefruit hummus was homemade hummus with two small pieces of bread and a slither of pink grapefruit, although they did offer us butter but we had to ask if they did a vegan version. The hummus needed more salt and lemon and the green pate we had also needed more flavouring.

Onto the mains, to say we were disappointed was an understatement, the vegan variety of enchiladas was a poor attempt to recreate the dish. Although it had slightly more flavour than the starter, it came with grated carrott and the hummus, two wraps toasted with the puy lentil middle.

There was no check-in to see how the meal was from staff either.

£70 for a meal for 2 with drinks and dissassisfaction with the whole experience was not to be expected at all after some reviews and their awards.

Due to all the above I would not recommend a visit here.

All they need to do is have better food and greater attention to detail for vegan substitutions like a vegan cashew cheese and vegan cream along with improving their passion for flavour and this place could be a real hit, the drinks were excellent and the cocktails went down a treat and the atmosphere was great also.

Pros: Cocktails , Atmosphere , Organic vegan beers

Cons: Expensive , Lack of tasty vegan options


15 Feb 2022

Visited ten years ago and wasnt inpressed - another try (im recently vegan) for Valentines meal - no effort made for valentines except a full valentines menu (three course meal was offered) was very expensive and forced to eat way more food than would normally! Food was just ok, one vegan and one vegetarian meal..dessert was three or four desserts (each) which was a complete waste! two glasses of wine and meal came to a staggering £98! honestly wasnt blown away by food or service! dirty cutelry not taken away, no side plates for sharing platter, not 100% sure if my food was vegan to be honest ! this place could be so much better!


Points +26

22 Oct 2021

Expensive and not great for Vegans

No food was labelled as vegan which is surprising for a vegetarian restaurant. No vegan cheese, poor vegan dessert options. Great for vegetarians though 🤣

Pros: Nice vibe/interior, Good selection of cocktails/drinks

Cons: Expensive for what is served, Not great vegan options, not even labelled!, Service was slow, had to chase drink orders


Points +199

12 Sep 2021

An institution!

Started coming here in the late 80s and early 90s - and delighted to find it's still going. Not been for 30 years but went last night as I was back in the area and it was still great.

Updated from previous review on 2021-09-12

Pros: Beautiful food., Atentive and polite staff., Great location.

Cons: A little on the pricey side., A few more vegan options would be good , Not clear on the menu what was or could be vegan


Points +167

19 Mar 2021

Cosy and delicious

Nice wholesome vegan options and a cosy atmosphere


Points +178

30 Dec 2019

Lovely but not great for vegans

It's lovely inside and the staff are nice. The food is good but the problem is for a vegetarian restaurant the number of vegan options is tiny. Almost everything contains cheese! They should provide vegan cheese!

Pros: Nice interior, Friendly staff, Alcohol is all vegetarian

Cons: Expensive, Not many vegan options


Points +34

23 Dec 2019

Cosy veg restaurant

Had the festive vegan dinner; lovely, but watch out for the portion size as it proved to be very filling. Simple decor and furnishings but a great atmosphere. Very helpful staff.

Pros: Veg and vegan only , Knowledgeable staff, Vegan beers

Cons: Limited menu on Sundays


Points +21615

22 Nov 2019

It sends my future into clearer dimensions

I've been coming here since the early 2000's and eventually tonight it became a five star Happy Cow dining venue. I've deleted my original review written about 6 years ago and cleaned the slate. Setting, atmosphere, lighting, staff, food, wine and company all excellent. The vegan options are superb. Only two main courses could not be modified as vegan. We started with antipasti and homemade pates and bread. The main courses we chose were both ridiculously delicious. A roasted lemon and aubergine chick pea tagine and a mushroom and spinach curry with cashew instead of feta. The Waiting Room is now a priority dining venue and up there with the best in the North East of England.

Pros: lively menu, Inventive meals, great atmosphere

Cons: Could be more vegan focussed


Points +1442

22 Nov 2019

A vegetarian establishment.

Fabulous restaurant. Always popular. Love it even more now their cool sister bar next door has opened.

Pros: Great atmosphere , Vegan options , Friendly

Cons: Vegan cheese please


Points +26

29 Dec 2018

Wonderful food!

Tried the goulash and the enchilada, both were delicious and really well cooked. The menu is small but varied, with some lovely desserts too.

We had four non-vegetarian guests who were all really impressed with the food and want to come back.

Pros: Great value for money and high quality food


Points +50

19 Nov 2018

My favourite restaurant

The waiting room was one one of the reasons I turned veggie years ago, it was the place where I realised food wasn’t boring (I used to be a very picky eater)
Since then I’ve turned vegan and the waiting room has still got plenty of options for me.
Taken plenty of my none veggie friends and they’ve also loved the food.

Pros: Great food, Lovely atmosphere , Good drinks

Cons: not open on a Monday (my day off)


Points +43

01 Sep 2018

Bloody Lovely!

Beautifully quaint restaurant, I went with my vegetarian mum and omni grandad.
The staff members were lovely and made it very clear about what was vegan and what could be made vegan.
My mother and I both had a vegan starter and main, whilst my grandad ate vegetarian. He was quite sceptical about not feeling full and he even went as far as saying he would probably be hungry half an hour later - I can assure you this was not the case! We were all stuffed 3 hours later after eating here!
Portion sizes are generous and extremely tasty, if you're ever in Yarm I definitely recommend. But do book in advance - it got very busy so it's best to be safe than sorry!

Pros: Lovely staff, Great tasting food and very filling, Generous portions

Cons: There aren't really any other than -, Book in advance to avoid disappointment!


Points +88

14 Jul 2018

Been here once...

They have a few vegan and gluten free options though it’s mainly a vegetarian place. Was nice food though wish they had more choice as I wasn’t overly enthused about the vegan options available on the day I went.


Points +95

09 Aug 2017

Nice food, lovely staff.

Came here for a meal with my family. They're not veggie but enjoyed it anyway!

Pros: Cute decor , Friendly Staff, Nice food

Cons: Not exceptionally spacious


Points +131

25 Jun 2017

Korm-a-ing back for more!

I visited yesterday with my niece, her partner and my husband, on my niece's recommendation.
From the two vegan main meal options on the lunchtime menu I chose a korma with nut koftas and rice - it was absolutely delicious, well presented and a good sized portion. It was a mild curry, as you'd expect from a korma, with great flavour and the odd burst of extra spicyness from a carroty-salady bit on top! My niece chose a vegan loaf with sweet onion gravy, her partner went for a nutty biryani and my husband had an omelette; all were good I'm told. We were given also given a bowl of salad and a bowl of roasted potatoes with sesame seeds for the table, the potatoes were lovely but I can't speak for the salad as I didn't add it to my curry.
There weren't any vegan options marked on the dessert menu but when I enquired, I was told there were 3 options. I went for the summer fruit pudding with vegan icecream, which was great - a good mix of tart berries and sweet vanilla icecream.
A nights I'm told there is sometimes live music and I'm guessing that there's a different menu at night (because of a conversation which I overheard. This place is well worth a visit and if you get an opportunity to try the Korma, go for it!

Pros: Great food


Points +1877

28 Dec 2015

Great local venue and restaurant

This restaurant has been on the scene for ages and it keeps improving. It's getting more and more vegan friendly - still more progress to make there - but it's located in a lovely building with two distinct spaces and a diverse menu. Staff are always attentive and extremely knowledgable and helpful. It's a super venue for large groups too and is popular.

Pros: Superb staff, Extensive menu, Lovely setting

Cons: Pricey-ish, Needs more vegan items


Points +27

24 Jun 2015

Superb Restaurant

The Waiting Room is a local restaurant for me serving vegetarian and vegan food and drinks. The menu changes with the seasons so you will always be able to choose something different every time you visit. The restaurant also has live performances on a Sunday evening that can range from music to poetry readings.

Pros: Vegan Menu, Many Options, Great Staff


Points +2868

08 Mar 2015


When you eat in the Waiting Room, you feel like you're in someone's front room, it's really cosy and familiar - it's a nice place for a casual lunch, but also good for a special occasion in the evening. It's quite a small menu, usually with two or three tempting vegan options. The portion sizes are good, the staff are really accommodating and friendly, and it's generally a really nice place to be.

Peter McNeil

Points +18

30 Nov 2014

Loved It.

Had the spinach curry and it was gorgeous

Pros: Good Food , Good Price, Good People


Points +16

31 Jul 2014

Wonderful Food

We had a delicious lunch here. The vegan red pepper smoked paprika chickpea goulash was amazing. One of us had the spicy chilli enchilada and he found it filling and very tasty. Very friendly service.
Highly recommend The Waiting Room.


Points +72

24 Mar 2013

Lovely meal

Went here planning on having a cup of tea and the food looked so amazing we ended up having something off menu (so it was vegan) and had chick oea and lentil chill with rice, a lovely salad and sesame coated potatoes. Despite being early on in the day the place was still packed. Absolutely lovely food.. We will definitely go back.

Pros: Lovely food, Accommodating staff, Nice atmosphere

Cons: none

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