Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Nottingham
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Nottingham restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 96 restaurants in Nottingham and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Nottingham restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Nottingham Restaurants
1. Hart’s Kitchen British, Modern restaurant in Nottingham Standard Hill, Park Row - NG1
“Culinary standards are being maintained, but the smaller new venue is a little less inviting” is the near-universal ‘take’ on Tim Hart’s “downsized” modern brasserie, which has left its seminal 1990s quarters (Jonathan Meades was a big fan, back in the day) to be incorporated into the former bar of his nearby hotel, near the Castle: “the entrance is unprepossessing and surroundings somewhat cramped, but the food’s fine”.
2. Restaurant Sat Bains British, Modern restaurant in Nottingham Lenton Lane - NG7
Sat Bains’s “special” cuisine “doesn’t miss a beat” at his much-acclaimed foodie Xanadu, which remains one of the country’s foremost culinary destinations. “Much is made of the bizarre location” – a converted motel amidst flyovers, “on the fringe of an industrial estate at the edge of the city” – “but once inside, you are cocooned in luxury” (including, if you stay, in the “quite reasonably priced bedrooms”). Both seven-course and ten-course tasting options are “hugely inventive and utterly brilliant with a superb matching wine flight”. The “chef’s table is an exceptional experience” and many regular diners also report “experiential touches like a tour of the busy kitchen after dinner with a signed menu”. “Top waiting staff too: friendly and knowledgeable, but more importantly, keen”.
3. Alchemilla British, Modern restaurant in Nottingham 192 Derby Road - NG7
“A great addition to the city’s food scene, whose food is getting better and better” – Alex Bond’s “restored Georgian stables” on the Park Estate (a little way outside the city-centre) opened in summer 2017 and his “amazing and very creative” approach and “modish” design makes it Nottingham’s hottest rising culinary star of the moment. You can eat from either a five-, seven- or ten-course tasting menu (everyone at the table should have the same option) and results are “exceptional”.
4. The Cumin Indian restaurant in Nottingham 62-64 Maid Marian Way - NG1
“Freshly cooked food to a high standard” and “really excellent service from Monika and Sunny” make the Anand family’s Punjabi specialist stand out from the crowd on Nottingham’s ‘Madras Mile’ of curryhouses.
5. Iberico Spanish restaurant in Nottingham The Shire Hall, High Pavement - NG1
“Amid the hustle and bustle of Nottingham Lace Market”, this “go-to” cellar in a historic building elicits real raves for its “London-quality tapas” and “lively” atmosphere. A “cheaper and cheerful” no-reservation sibling, on Carlton St, is also a hit.
6. La Rock French restaurant in Sandiacre 4 Bridge Street - NG10
“Very good food” allied to “friendly and efficient service” wins considerable praise this year for chef-owner Nick Gillespie’s accomplished venue. It’s a rustic, brick-lined space with bare wooden tables in a rather offbeat location, close to the M1-A52 junction, but a “special occasion go-to” for its fans.
7. 200 Degrees Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Nottingham Heston Hs, Meadow Lane - NG2
“Coffee that packs a punch and plenty of good food options” set the tone at this “simply fab” indie coffee shop, now the HQ of a national group with 10 shops and five barista schools in the Midlands, the North and Cardiff. The name derives from the Centigrade temperature at which they roast coffee (slightly lower than most rivals) and the Fahrenheit temperature at which they serve it.
8. Zaap Thai restaurant in Nottingham Unit B, Bromley Place - NG1
“The smells, the sounds, the buzzy atmosphere” that transport you (via tuk-tuk) to Bangkok – “it’s all wonderful” at this outpost of a Leeds-based group, and so convincing that “I honestly believe this is how street food is in Thailand”.
9. World Service British, Modern restaurant in Nottingham Newdigate Hs, Castlegate - NG1
“A stalwart of the Nottingham restaurant scene” near the castle, whose “clubby setting” owes much to the intriguing seventeenth century building and courtyard garden which it shares with The Nottingham Club. Its ambitious contemporary cuisine has always tended to divide opinion – exceptional to its fans but “somewhat overpriced and bland” to its foes (with the latter a bit more in evidence this year).
10. MemSaab Indian restaurant in Nottingham 12-14 Maid Marian Way - NG1
“Nottingham’s best Indian” and the most-commented-on restaurant in the city centre: Amita Sawhney’s “buzzy, friendly and efficient” fixture continues to inspire nothing but praise for producing “wonderfully flavoursome, yet refined, dishes time and time again”. Is it “the attention to detail and woman’s touch seemingly so apparent in the meet and greet, presentation… even down to the Molton Brown in the toilets?”. “I’ve eaten at many Indian restaurants all over the world, including renowned Michelin-starred ones in London. This is right up there, and at a decent price”.
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