If you have started university in Nottingham this year, you’re going to want to know where the best places to eat and drink (soft and alcoholic). We could fit more than 10 amazing restaurants and bars onto this list, as there is so much choice. However, we have put together a list of our favourite places to go in Nottingham and we recommend you try them out!
Annie’s Burger Shack
Where the modern burger is often about streamlined, meaty minimalism, US-born Anmarie Spaziano tops her New England burgers with some pretty crazy ingredients: grilled pineapple, peanut butter and raspberry jam, or Scottish square sausage. GF’s go-to is the simple German (sauerkraut, American mustard and currywurst sausage), washed down with a tipple from the Shack’s excellent selection of real ales and craft beers. Their burgers reflect the traditional way they were made over 20 years ago – they are made the authentic American way; fresh and seasoned to the grill, combined with a modern and ethically inclusive twist.
Penny Lane is Nottingham’s new seaside arcade bar and restaurant, and is 100% worth a visit. Whilst the retro games zone has flashing lights and neon vibes, the front area transports customers back to ‘gran’s living room’ with old fashioned tables, chairs and decor. The menu keeps with the theme of seaside favourites such as fish and chips, hot dogs and soft scoop ice creams. However, they also offer a wide range of other food from gyozas to Caesar salad. The cocktails are my favourite part, created by award winning Nottingham bartender David Langley, each one has a fun seaside twist. Jammy Dodgem is served with a biscuit, whilst 99 Problems But The Beach Ain’t One is served in a mini pink flamingo inflatable. You’d have to be mad not to try this out.
There are three Bunk locations around Nottingham, so you are sure to stumble across one (although they are in hidden locations so you have to keep your eyes peeled). Bunk is famous for their interesting pairing of cocktails and chicken wings. They often do a deal where you can get wings for ⅓ of the price and cocktails for £5.50 up until 10pm, so if you’re planning to go definitely make sure you’re there in time for this.
Hockley Arts Club
Hidden down an alley off Carlton Street, this cool three-storey venue has all your late-night cocktail needs covered. Working with the best local suppliers, the Hockley Arts Club uses the finest seasonal product to create delicious food. They can cater for anything from an express lunch, intimate dinner or larger private booking. The Hockley Arts Club works alongside some of the world’s finest drink producers to create a stunning selection of house alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. If cocktails aren’t your thing then be sure to try some of the best handpicked beers and wines from the fridge.
Oscar and Rosie’s
Oscar and Rosie’s is known for having the best pizza in Nottingham. Head to Hockley’s Stoney Street and settle in for a feast of 14-inch pizzas. The pizzas (all served on sheets of retro red and white checked paper), are sloppy with a crisp crust, so get your napkins at the ready. Go for the Cosmopolitan topped with serrano ham, peaches and fresh basil for a summer twist, or keep it classic with the Brooklyn Sausage Party with slices of Cobble Lane artisan pepperoni. If this doesn’t fill you up, swap your side salad for mac and cheese mixed with fresh ham hock and smoked mozzarella. Do not fret if you are a vegan, because there are plenty of options for you, so pop in for a slice of The Frenchman or Cheat Sweats.
Head to Outpost for the best cup of coffee in Nottingham. Make sure you get there early in the morning to grab a seat on the long wooden bench and for a chat to the baristas before the queues start growing. If the cafe is full inside, grab a blanket and snuggle up on the bench outside. The Outpost team is so passionate about coffee, and will give you advice on everything from the brew ratio to the best method.
Sustainability is hugely important for Outpost; all the coffee is bought directly from Brazil, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Colombia. Baristas go to each of these countries to meet the famers, visit the washing stations and try the coffee directly.
Nottingham Street Food Club
Check out the Nottingham Street Food Club to eat global. Open Friday to Sunday, upstairs in the Victoria Centre, NSFC is home to Homeboys and Smoqued, joined each week by the finest pop-ups such as Taste of Korea and Smiffy’s Smoke Shack. They aim to provide their customers with the very best independent street food from rotating street food vendors. There are so many options to choose from, there will be something to suit every palate.
Pun intended. Hidden in a cute basement off of Nottingham’s main shopping area, this takeaway and cafe provides elaborately-topped, handmade doughnuts. Creations such as the toffee-filled Billionaire or Old Skill will please customers of all ages. £2 each or 3 for £5.
Sexy Mamma Loves Spaghetti
Stumble across Sexy Mamma Loves Spaghetti down a cobbled street in Hockley, for a true Italian experience, in the heart of Nottingham. The daily changing menu is hand-written on a blackboard and expect simple yet hearty dishes such as the rich, juicy and tender beef ragu and the dense and creamy tiramisu.
This lively cafe-bar comes alive at 10am and stays open until the early hours of the following morning. There are 15 beers on tap and over 20 bottles to pick from the fridge. However, don’t get so distracted by the beer that you miss the food menus, printed on brown paper. Burgers here are of a superior nature (beef patties with streaky bacon, house ketchup and proper cheese slices) and indulgent sides like black pudding scotch eggs and mac ‘n’ cheese balls are great to nibble on with a pint.