Nottingham is home to much more than just Robin Hood and two extremely close football grounds! Home to a huge array of fantastic independent restaurants and eateries there is something to suit all tastes and all budgets. The culture here is so diverse that you can have a taste of many different types of cuisine on one single street. I wanted to let you know my six favourite dining spots in this amazing city to entice you to head over for the weekend and experience it for yourself.
Where to eat in Nottingham
Best restaurant for a date night in Nottingham
Cuzina – West Bridgford
This Greek restaurant situated just outside the city in the gorgeous area of West Bridgford offers up a delicious meze menu guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling. Cuzina (meaning ‘kitchen’ in Greek) specialises in small plates of food, the epitome of Greek cuisine, meaning you can try multiple dishes without feeling guilty!
The menu boasts spectacular dishes such as my personal favourites; Octopus with fava and lamb kleftico. The octopus melted like butter in my mouth, no need to chew, and came with a delicious yellow split pea puree. The lamb kleftico is a Greek staple. Slow cooked braised lamb in wine, onions and fresh garlic, you should definitely be ordering this when you visit.
If you like to share food and try new dishes, Cuzina is definitely the place to go.
Best restaurant for a takeout in Nottingham
Rikshaw Urban Indian
If you love Indian food, you will love this modern, vibrant takeaway. Opening in 2018 on the main road through Sherwood, it soon became my favourite takeaway in the city. Sherwood is a vibrant, creative, independent area in Nottingham and Rikshaws fits perfectly with the vibe. Bright, bold and exceptionally good value for money, two can easily dine for £30 with starter, main, rice and naan.
The menu showcases traditional recipes and cooking styles with a modern twist, focussing on the street food style that is so popular right now. This type of cuisine aims to ‘feed the body and comfort the soul’ and it does exactly that.
Stand out dishes for me include the samosa chaat; spicy potato pastries topped with chickpeas and drizzled with chutney and yoghurt, and Gol Gappe; small puffed hollow puri balls filled with chutney, yoghurt and an array of other ingredients. The spicy, crunchy parcels of joy should definitely be on your order.
Best Instagrammable restaurant in Nottingham
Hockley Arts Club
Possibly the prettiest bar in all of the east Midlands, Hockley Arts Club is situated down a nondescript alley in the heart of the city centre. Hockley (the area) is full of cool charity shops, quirky bars and independent shops and is a delight. The bar, set across 3 floors is well known in Nottingham for delicious cocktails and the most stunning top floor ever. The whole top bar is covered in cherry blossom making it worthy of an Instagram post. The menu changes frequently and I have been lucky to eat here a fair few times. Everything I have had has been of very high standard and beautifully presented.
The cocktail menu is reason enough to stop by, with some fun drinks combinations such as the ‘Twister’ a take on the classic ice lolly. Fruity, sweet and even topped with a mini twister lolly, what more could you want from a cocktail? Again the menu changes regularly so there will always be a new surprise for you to try.
Best restaurant for a mate date in Nottingham
Another restaurant situated down an unassuming alley in Nottingham, this is no hidden gem. Having opened in 2018 it burst on to the Nottingham restaurant scene with a bang. An independent Japanese restaurant, serving kushiyaki (poultry & non poultry items skewered and grilled) this is the place to go if you want an ever changing array of beautiful food. Decorated in the Japanese way of calming whites, there is no clutter, just tranquillity. Exposed beams and a resident waving oriental good luck cat greet you at the door and the dining area is light and bright, cosy and relaxed. The beef and black garlic mustard skewers are on the main menu and you should definitely give these a go. There is a rotating specials board with a selection of daily dishes but be quick, they will sell out! They also have a good selection of vegan and veggie dishes for you to sink your teeth in to.
Best pizza in Nottingham
Oscar & Rosie’s
Oscar & Rosie’s is my favourite pizza restaurant in Nottingham. Again another independent to pop up on my list of top 6, their ‘thing’ is that they use restaurant grade ingredients on pizza. There are no bulk bought sauces, everything is made on site and the meat used on their pizza is by award winning local butcher Johnny Pusztai. There is also a huge range of vegan options if you have ditched the meat, so don’t despair.
Having started out as a pop up restaurant in a sandwich shop, then at Das Kino (a cool bar in the city centre where you can drink beer and play ping pong), local lawyer Olly (the owner) eventually ditched the wig and set his sights on permanent residence. What started life as a pop up restaurant eventually made its home at its current location, Stoney Street in Hockley.
The menu is imaginative and would take you a month of Sundays to get through (a metre of pizza anyone?) and I would love to know how they come up with all the fun names for the dishes (anyone fancy a Frenchman?) but my favourite has to be the Tyrannosaurus Veg; a mix of roasted peppers, courgettes, mushrooms and caramelised onion. Delicious! They also have a full mac ‘n’ cheese menu which is proper fancy! I would never have thought to add Serrano ham and smoked paprika to mac ‘n’ cheese but it obviously works! Also they make a point of stating that all tips go directly to the staff, so make sure if you like it you leave a little something. The staff are so friendly and greet everyone like a regular even if it is your first visit. They also run a pizza academy for groups of 6-60, perfect for a hen do, corporate event or friendly get together. I did the course with a group of bloggers and we had such a fun afternoon getting covered in flour and eating all the toppings before they go to the pizza. Highly recommended.
Best vegan restaurant in Nottingham
No. 12 Hounds Gate
Named after its location, No. 12 Hounds Gate is well regarded as one of (if not THE) best Vegan café in Nottingham. Run by couple Lauren and Richie, No. 12 uses the best ingredients from mostly local sources and independent artisan producers to bring amazing vegan and veggie food to your plate. They were recently crowned ‘The Best Vegetarian Restaurant in the Midlands’ by the Midlands Food & Drink Awards and it isn’t hard to see why. The food is delicious and you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy it. For breakfast why not try the spiced pumpkin porridge (mmmmmm) and for lunch I would highly recommend a ‘build your own’ salad bowl. Just choose your grain, protein, veg and sauce and away you go. My personal favourite is the black and white quinoa, maple ‘bacon’ (made from rice paper), mushrooms and sticky balsamic. However you can also have pearl barley, southern style ‘chicken’, avocado or chilli and lime dressing along with other ingredients. There are so many combinations that you will never get bored, I promise. They also run tasting nights with eight to ten courses of vegan cuisine that is guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds and have you contemplating a fully plant based lifestyle!
Nottingham is home to so many amazing restaurants that you are guaranteed to find more than one you love in this truly eclectic city. From Korean to Afghani, Japanese to classic British and everything in between, you really won’t want to leave!
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