My friends would tell you that I’m the type of person to spend too much money on food, and they would be right. I go to town almost every Saturday angling to try a new place, and this has led me to some weird and wonderful locations in Nottingham with a variety of food, drinks and vibes.
Picking five of the best lunches I’ve had this year could be a difficult task, but thankfully Google Maps and I have been inseparable, and I’ve scoured the app to find the places that wowed me the most. In no particular order, here they are:
Zaap Thai Street Food
Where is it? A five minute walk from Old Market Square.
What meal is it best suited for? Most likely a relaxed dinner with friends, a society, or before a theatre production, film or party, because of the very quick waiting time. (Depending on how busy it is, of course!)
What’s the atmosphere like? It’s very fun and brightly decorated! The staff are incredibly friendly – some places are weird with allergens, but Zaap Thai had no problems with me asking for the menu not once but twice and taking a little longer to order. Usually, it’s not super busy unless it’s maybe a Saturday night – but I’ve been early on a Saturday evening and it wasn’t busy at all!
Standout menu item? The Pad Prik Yourk (I have mine with tofu, but you can get a variety of options) – a protein of your choice stir fried with vegetables, peppers and black bean sauce.
Each tea has its own cute name and is very Instagrammable
Biscuit and Brew Teahouse
Where is it? Just off a side street from Marks and Spencer’s in the city centre, next to Effy.
What meal is it best suited for? Definitely a light lunch or an afternoon tea. There are a variety of sandwich options, pancakes, cakes and brunch/breakfast dishes that are available all day. The true star of the café, however, is the tea. (If the name didn’t already give you a hint!)
What’s the atmosphere like? It’s got a light, cute interior with flowers and cushions – very tea room in a tiny village-esque. As a warning, it’s quite a small place, so don’t go here with very large groups unless it’s confirmed that there’ll be room for you all. It’s family-run and the staff are very kind and welcoming!
Standout menu item? Any of the many different varieties of tea. They have tea practically every way you could ever want, including iced, decaffeinated and with milk and foam! Each tea has its own cute name and is very Instagrammable.
The Pudding Pantry
Where is it? There are two, one in Nottingham near the Victoria Centre, one on Beeston High Street. (I prefer the Beeston one!)
What meal is it best suited for? A brunch. I would say almost controversially that the brunches are better than the actual puddings! If you’re just going there for dessert though, go for dessert, because their pancakes are formidable. Make sure that you request a box to go!
What’s the atmosphere like? It can be quite busy, especially at the Nottingham location, so be warned that you may have to wait five minutes for a table or be seated quite near to someone else. The Beeston location, however, is usually less busy and there’s plenty of seating available. The décor is cute and simple, usually with a variety of cakes out on offer. There is also a very comprehensive menu, meaning that there’s usually something for everyone.
Standout menu item? If you can have it all, the loaded topped pancakes or the loaded hot chocolates. If you’re looking for something a little less heavy, they do a really great vegan breakfast (yes, I recommend this even if you are not vegan) and the vegan hash is a particular favourite of mine.
The brunches are better than the actual puddings!
T4 Nottingham: My favourite bubble tea place in Nottingham so far, I have probably ordered with them too many times to count! Any of their iced smoothies are the best to drink on a warm summer day or September evening, they’re open ‘til 9.30pm on weekends, and there are many options to choose from.
Doughnotts: You know I had to include this place! Doughnotts is a local institution, with shops in both Nottingham and Beeston. They do both donuts and drinks here, and of course are available both to eat in and to go. In my opinion, donuts from here are best shared with friends since the portion sizes are exceedingly generous! They’re also very fastidious about allergens and what is gluten-free/vegetarian/vegan – a great thing.
Twixy Business ?— Doughnotts (@Doughnotts) July 8, 2022
Dunked in Chocolate fudge, smothered in digestive biscuit, drizzled in Dark Chocolate, filled with Toffee and finished off with a Twix…
Chocolate, Caramel, Madness ? pic.twitter.com/ZAFGPPbqSc
In conclusion, I would recommend all of these places highly, but if none of them catch your attention, feel free to go out and make your own Nottingham list. (I promise I won’t be offended if Penny Lane is on there.)
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