Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Winchester
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Winchester restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 22 restaurants in Winchester and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Winchester restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Winchester Restaurants
1. Rick Stein Fish & seafood restaurant in Winchester 7 High Street - SO23
“For Winchester, pretty darn good” seems a fair assessment of this city-centre seven-year-old, which wins a good amount of praise for its “excellent” fish and seafood, “friendly and helpful service, and an atmosphere that’s lively and fun, without being noisy” (“a bit like an upmarket canteen”). Reviews are not consistent enough, however, for a more gushing endorsement: some dishes are judged “a bit run of the mill” and it can be “hard to correlate the experience with the price level”.
2. Kyoto Kitchen Japanese restaurant in Winchester 70 Parchment Street - SO23
Miff Kayum’s “beautiful” Japanese won stellar feedback last year for its “incredibly good” cuisine, ranging from sushi to “stunning” sashimi (of a “butter-like consistency”) and tempura (“as good as those I’ve had in Kyoto”). “The care and attention that goes into the entire dining experience is second to none.”
3. Palm Pan Asia Pan-Asian restaurant in Winchester 166-167 High St - SO23
2019 Review: “As good as being there – from someone who lived there”, is one reporter’s verdict on this “impressive pan-Asian gourmet experience, that builds on classic Thai dishes with interesting taste combinations”.
4. Gandhi Restaurant Indian restaurant in Winchester 163-164 High St - SO23
“Amazingly consistent food” meets “slick service” at this “cramped” and “noisy” (yet relatively classy) family restaurant. Chef Amnart Ubonrat’s “great Indian dishes” include “surprising and delicious options (e.g. ox cheeks)”, but even if you stick to more usual suspects you “can’t go wrong”.
5. The Black Rat British, Modern restaurant in Winchester 88 Chesil St - SO23
After over a decade in action, this “atmospheric” gastropub just on the fringes of the town centre “continues to produce some of the most innovative food” in these parts: “interesting ingredients are used to create balanced and intriguing flavours in dishes clearly made with love and care”. Expansion may be afoot, as owner David Nicholson recently submitted plans for a new kitchen and two new dining areas.
6. The Chesil Rectory British, Modern restaurant in Winchester 1 Chesil St - S023
“Flavoursome twenty first century food pleasantly served in an attractive fifteenth century room is a combination hard to beat” at this “exceptional” medieval building, with its “very amusing” sloped floor and surprisingly successful “bold décor”…but “mind your head!”
7. The Avenue, Lainston House Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Winchester Woodman Ln - SO21
“A classical set-up with comfy armchairs and a roaring fire, tea served with sandwiches, scones, jam, cream and cakes – this picturesque country house hotel takes us plebs all back to a bygone age” and is very highly recommended for afternoon tea. Feedback on more ambitious fare in its plush dining room was a little more up-and-down last year and relatively limited, coinciding with the departure of highly rated exec chef Andrew Birch after only two years. His replacement, Phil Yeomans, returns after leaving as head chef in 2014.
8. Wykeham Arms British, Modern restaurant in Winchester 75 Kingsgate St - SO23
Disused desks from the town’s famous boarding school nowadays support drinkers’ pints at this “very atmospheric” old inn near the cathedral – “an exceptional town pub” that’s in recent times become part of the Fuller’s chain. Food has been up and down in the past, but was nothing less than “competent” last year, if perhaps “rather expensive”.
9. The Old Vine British, Modern restaurant in Winchester 8 Great Minster Street - SO23
2017 Review: This beamed 18th-century inn, near the cathedral, makes a cosy place for a local real ale; the food elicited scant commentary this year, though one reporter claimed that the bar snacks compared favourably to the dining room’s bistro-style fare.
10. Hotel du Vin & Bistro French restaurant in Winchester Southgate Street - SO23
“The garden’s a joy in summer” at the original HdV, founded 25 years ago in a gorgeous Georgian house – but there’s a persistent feeling that it fails to live up to its attractive setting or extensive cellar, with diners too often “disappointed” by their bistro fare. The chain, which now numbers 19 boutique hotels, has been sold twice in the last 10 years.
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