Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Winchester
Hardens guides have spent 29 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 six-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. 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.
3. Kyoto Kitchen Japanese restaurant in Winchester 70 Parchment Street - SO23
Miff Kayum’s “beautiful” Japanese won stellar feedback this 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.”
4. 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!”
5. 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”.
6. 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 this 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.
7. 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” this year, if perhaps “rather expensive”.
8. 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.
9. The Ivy Winchester Brasserie British, Modern restaurant in Winchester 103-104 High Street - SO23
Another newish link in the London celeb haunt’s growing empire, this “busy and most attractive restaurant” (est. May 2018) attracts a typical mixture of feelings for the brand. Fans do see it as a “great addition to the Winchester High Street” and say it’s “hard not to have a good time”. Detractors feel “all the attention has gone on the décor” and that value is sorely lacking: “not as good as Côte and twice the price!”
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The Black Rat
The Chesil Rectory
The Avenue, Lainston House Hotel
Hotel du Vin & Bistro
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