Nottingham's beautiful and historic city centre is peppered with a wide range of eclectic restaurants. High-end foodie destinations are well-represented – Restaurant Sat Bains got its second Michelin star in 2011 – but the city's dedication to great food can also be seen in artisan cafes and homely burger bars.

    There's a strong international feel here, with classic British fish and chip shops rubbing shoulders with east European grills and Greek meze restaurants. The focus is on fresh ingredients, sustainably sourced, and in keeping with Nottingham's industrial past, everything is made with pride in the craft. We've picked out the essential foodie experiences in Nottingham for you to enjoy.


    Restaurant Sat Bains

    Eat sensational food at a ground-breaking restaurant

    Restaurant Sat Bains has won 2 Michelin stars for its original and imaginative dining. You won't find à la carte menus here – instead, you choose between a 7-course or 10-course tasting menu, featuring dishes like veal sweetbread, Anjou pigeon and chocolate marquise. The restaurant's fresh herbs, salad leaves, and honey all come directly from the kitchen garden.

    The main restaurant was converted from a Victorian-era farm. Inside, choose a seat in Nucleus – the development kitchen – to watch the head chef talk you through your meal while it's prepared. It's a popular spot, so advanced booking is a must.

    Location: Lenton Ln, Nottingham NG7 2SA, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 9 am to 9.30 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 9.45 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)115 986 6566


    photo by Graham Hogg (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    No. Twelve

    Veggie-friendly food and homemade cakes

    No. Twelve is an award-winning cafe serving small plates of fresh, sustainable vegetarian and vegan food. The restaurant goes to extraordinary lengths to make everything plant-based, including taking years to develop vegan cheeses for their 'plant-cuterie board'. Even the beers, ciders, wines and spirits in the well-stocked bar are completely vegan.

    It's a great brunch spot – try the maple syrup French toast, or veggie full English breakfast with rice paper bacon – but the evening menu is equally inviting, featuring lemon and chive gnocchi and ras el hanout (Moroccan-spiced) terrine. The rustic exposed-brick interior is filled with trailing ivy and scrubbed wooden tables, along with an old piano that's used for live music at the weekends.

    Location: Eldon Chambers, Wheeler Gate, Nottingham NG1 2NS, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm, Friday–Saturday from 9 am to 10 pm, Sunday from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm (closed on Mondays)


    Annie's Burger Shack

    Satisfyingly chunky burgers in a quintessentially American eatery

    Get a little taste of the USA at Annie's Burger Shack, which serves Rhode Island-style burgers like the Bacon Cheddar, Yankee Brisket, and the Vermonter, all of which are available in vegetarian, vegan or beef versions. Other American classics on the menu include tater tots, curly fries and beer-battered onion rings, and Annie herself chooses the Real Ales that make up the drinks list.

    The pub occupies a beautiful building in the historic Lace Market. Its interior is decorated in classic diner-style with red and white checked tablecloths and sporting memorabilia displayed on the walls. Come at breakfast to stuff yourself with their blueberry pancakes and huevos rancheros.

    Location: 5 Broadway, Nottingham NG1 1PR, UK

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 8 am to 10.30 am and from noon to 11 pm, Friday–Saturday from 8 am to 10.30 am and from noon to midnight

    Phone: +44 (0)115 684 9944



    A mix of traditional and contemporary Indian food

    Nottingham's Maid Marian Way or 'Curry Mile' is famous for its Indian restaurants, but even in this prestigious company, MemSaab stands out. The menu is a blend of dishes from across India, with prawn curry from Goa, biryani from Lucknow and dal makhni (simmered black lentils with butter and cream) from Punjab, along with modern Indian dishes like the tandoori ostrich and venison kebab.

    The restaurant's design is equally a blend of the traditional and modern, showcasing handmade tribal tapestries and ornately carved woodwork alongside colourful contemporary Indian art. The glamorous setting makes it a popular date-night destination with locals.

    Location: 12-14 Maid Marian Way, Nottingham NG1 6HS, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)115 957 0009



    Funky cafe and bar with inventive drinks

    At CookieShake in Nottingham, you can try almost every imaginable milkshake flavour. The menu consists of more than 200 ice-cream shakes, flavoured with lemon curd, Eton mess, brandy snaps and vanilla cheesecake, to name just a few. Come in for a drink and be tempted by the menu of melting grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade cookies. 

    The inviting lounge area is fitted with comfy couches, with chess sets and board games stacked on the tables. At night, the cafe becomes a bar and the milkshakes are replaced with a staggering array of shots. Experiment with watermelon, toffee cheesecake or Pimm's-flavoured shots, or dare your friends to try the wasabi one.

    Location: 14 Upper Parliament St, Nottingham NG1 2AD, UK

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from 9 am to 1 am, Thursday–Saturday from 9 am to 2 am, Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)115 959 9717


    The Cod’s Scallops

    Award-winning chippie serving sustainable fish

    Locals have been raving about The Cod's Scallops since long before they became finalists at the National Fish & Chip Awards. Start by choosing your fish, which is fresh and MSC-certified sustainable. The menu varies depending on the day's catch, but as well as the standard haddock and cod you're likely to spot lobster, oysters and swordfish.

    Next, choose your cooking method, either fried in traditional beef dripping or baked with lemon and garlic. Besides traditional sides like mushy peas and battered onion rings, you can also enjoy steamed seasonal greens, Asian rice noodle salad, or black pudding fritters. Desserts like the seasonal fruit crumble or sticky toffee pudding will finish your meal with a bang.

    Location: 170 Bramcote Ln, Nottingham NG8 2QP, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from noon to 8.30 pm (closed from Sundays to Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)115 985 4107


    Happy Dough Lucky

    Authentic Neapolitan pizzas and comforting desserts

    The owners of Happy Dough Lucky spent time in Naples and around Italy perfecting their technique, and they take pizza very seriously. The dough is made with flour imported from mills in Naples and rested for at least 18 hours, and the fior di latte mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes are also sourced in Italy.

    Choose from a classic Margherita pizza made with basil and mozzarella, breakfast pizza topped with sausage and prosciutto, or spicy nduja pizza with extra chilli. The dessert menu is all Italian comfort food, with brownies, doughnuts and ten different flavours of homemade gelato with optional toppings.

    Location: The Lacehouse, 14 Broadway, Nottingham NG1 1PS, UK

    Open: Friday from noon to 3 am, Saturday–Thursday from noon to midnight

    Phone: +44 (0)7778 585803


    Yamas Meze and Tapas

    Casual Mediterranean-style dining

    Yamas Meze and Tapas serves food from across the Mediterranean, combining excellent Greek meze with Spanish tapas and Moroccan dishes. The menu of small plates makes it easy to mix and match between dishes like lamb dolmades, tabbouleh, chorizo flavoured with cider, deep-fried calamari, and Caprese salad.

    The owners are Greek, and the food is inspired by the family's home cooking and holidays spent in Cyprus. Since the place caters to Greek Orthodox eaters there are plenty of vegan choices, including an excellent chickpea stew and the classic Spanish patatas bravas. A solid drinks menu of lagers and IPAs is complemented by Greek beer brands like Mythos and glasses of ouzo.

    Location: 5 Thurland St, Nottingham NG1 3DR, UK

    Open: Monday–Tuesday from 5 pm to 10 pm, Wednesday–Sunday from noon to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1159 501000


    Heavenly Desserts

    It's all about dessert at this sleek cafe

    Heavenly Desserts is a cafe devoted to sweet treats, where locals with a sweet tooth like to satisfy their sugar cravings. Waffles and crepes fill nearly half the menu, with dozens of sauces and toppings to choose from like strawberries with Belgian chocolate, toffee sauce and banana gelato, and mango sorbet.

    Other luxurious offerings include a Belgian chocolate and raspberry torte with raspberry sorbet, Madagascan vanilla cheesecake, and a delicate genoise sponge flavoured with lemon and lime. Drinks are similarly indulgent, with fruit smoothies, hot chocolate, and mocktails like Raspberry Temptation and Citrus Pleasure. The cool interior and leather-lined booths are a great place to splurge on a lavish dessert.

    Location: 6 Angel Row, Nottingham NG1 6HL, UK

    Open: Daily from noon to midnight

    Phone: +44 (0)1158 377977



    Superb Balkan food and craft gin cocktails

    Juni is a classy gin joint on Low Pavement, which from the outside looks like a typical bar-cum-distillery. But venture inside and you'll find a restaurant serving artful eastern European cuisine. Their gin is distilled using juniper berries grown in Serbia, and the bar and restaurant continue the Balkan-inspired theme. Grilled kebabs and freshly baked flatbreads are served alongside plates of bigos (hunter’s stew), stuffed peppers, and cheese-filled filo pastry.

    Don't leave without tasting their signature gin and tonic made with cask-aged gin, or trying an Orchard Martini (made with raspberry and plum gin). The bar also has a gin lab where you can distil your own bespoke gin and infuse it with interesting ingredients like rhubarb, peppercorns or Siberian ginseng.

    Location: 8-10 Low Pavement, Nottingham NG1 7DL, UK

    Open: Daily from noon to 11 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1159 585780

    Victoria Hughes | Contributing Writer

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