West Bridgford was once dubbed ‘Bread and Lard Island’ due to the belief that residents spent all their income on big houses and had to exist on paltry morsels.
Today’s population lead a far tastier lifestyle, dining out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, washed down by specialty coffee, craft beers, and cocktails around the town centre.
It’s the pavement cafe capital of Notts and when temperatures soar, so does the buzz on the town’s main strip, which is bursting with a mix of lively independents and well-known chains.
The football season has ended but 17,000 cricket fans will be descending on Trent Bridge for the World Cup from tomorrow, Friday May 31. They’re not all going to get a seat in Six, the ground’s swanky new restaurant and bar but luckily there’s an abundance of alternative eating and drinking places nearby.
We made it our mission to suss out the best places to scoff and quaff from dawn til dusk, from hearty breakfasts to set up you up for the day and satisfying lunches, to delicious homemade cakes and a decent pint of ale.
Get the day off to a good start with breakfast at Copper, a relaxed cafe bar, in the heart of the town centre.
There’s everything from a leisurely full English to a quick croissant, or wholesome Greek yoghurt with homemade granola, bananas and strawberries, all served until noon.
They’ve nailed eggs, with a whole raft of Benedict, Royale, Truffled and Colombian, the latter being scrambled eggs with tomato salsa and guacamole.
This being West Bridgford, there’s trendy sourdough everywhere, topped with smashed avocado, and Copper, on the main Central Avenue strip, is no different.
This hidden gem is renown for its mouth-watering cakes, but the quaint vintage-style teahouse is also a top spot for brekkie.
Tucked away in Abbey Road, it’s a short walk from main shopping street but well worth a detour.
Choose from a full English (meat and veggie), scrambled or poached eggs on toast, toasted fruit bread or a breakfast sandwich or baguette with two fillings from a choice of sausage, bacon, egg, mushrooms and tomatoes – all served at tables with lace tablecloths along with steaming pots of tea and dainty china teacups and sausages.
Coffee, cake and more
In minimalist Scandi-style surroundings, in Gordon Road, is Økende, the town’s first specialty coffee shop.
Now temperatures are heating up, coffee geeks can enjoy some liquid refreshment with a new range of summer-time drinks. Cool down with an iced flat white, a Japanese iced brew, espresso tonics and affogato – vanilla ice cream drowned a hot espresso. Perfect to wash down one of the yummy open sandwiches or cakes supplied by Nottingham’s Tough Mary’s Bakehouse.
Barista Jason Rowe is passionate about coffee while co-owner is Annie Stanford the brains behind the design at the dog-friendly spot. They enjoy chatting to customers, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation.
White Rabbit Teahouse
Cake lovers make a beeline for this pretty teahouse with wisteria around the window in Tudor Square. The delicious slabs of sticky toffee cake and Victoria sponge laden with fresh cream and strawberries score 10/10.
Afternoon tea is an elegant affair with a three-tierred platter of dainty finger sandwiches, homemade scones with jam and clotted cream, and cupcakes and traybakes decorated with fresh strawberries and blueberries, made even more special with a cheeky glass of fizz.
Or just stick to tea – there’s plenty of loose-leaf flavours to drink, from the classic English breakfast and Earl Grey to the more exotic orange blossom Oolong and rose and pomegranate.
Just one piece of advice – remember to take cash as the teahouse doesn’t accept card payments.
No 8 Delicatessen
There’s always plenty of delicious sandwiches, paninis and salads at the deli in Gordon Road. Eat in, takeaway or have a seat outside in the sunshine, at the front or in the hidden garden at the rear.
Select your bread (baguettes, ciabatta, soft rolls and sliced white and wholemeal) then choose fillings from the counter or one of the classic best-sellers, such as that marriage made in heaven of chorizo, cheddar, jalapeno and sweet chilli jam, or nipping at its heels, smoked salmon, cream cheese and avocado.
The salad selection is always on point with at least six interesting combinations made from fresh seasonal vegetables from The Fruit Basket, next door.
Some of the most popular are roasted cauliflower, sun dried tomato and dill; aubergine, pomegranate seeds and basil; and Gorgonzola, spinach and walnut.
If you’re hard pressed to get a seat outside the cafe, there’s plenty of space in the sun or under a shady tree in the adjacent park. And in the likelihood of a downpour, there’s a small indoor seating area for shelter.
The kiosk attracts hoards of customers who rave about the Italian coffee and great prices. A bacon cob and an Americano will set you back £4.05 and a slice of pizza is just £2.80.
Run by a trio of long-standing Italian friends, it’s a popular stop-off for meatball paninis, homemade lasagne and panzerotti, a pancake filled with spianch and ricotta.
Don’t be surprised to find a crowd of kids as the soft ice cream cones and Slush are big pull.
A great spot for catching up with friends and family who enjoy the social side of eating and sharing tapas. The menu del dia offers superb value, at £11.95 for flatbread strips, dips, two tapas and a side.
Served from noon, choose from small plates such as Moroccan lamb empanadillas, tiger prawns with a ginger, honey and chilli glaze, and patatas bravas.
The family-owned restaurant, in Bridgford Road, also caters for vegans and kids, and on Sundays a roast lunch is served with roasties, seasonal veg and Spanish cauliflower cheese. Our stomachs are rumbling just thinking about this.
If it’s a no frills lunch you’re after, the cheap and cheerful little cafe does a roaring trade in jacket spuds, cobs, paninis and salad boxes. Right opposite Trent Bridge, in Radcliffe Road, it’s perfect for quick, value-for-money scoff, to eat in or takeaway.
Hot and cold sandwiches are available as well as pasta and rice dishes. It’s worth bearing in mind that the cafe serves an all day breakfast – it’s not gourmet, but it is filling.
So new it hasn’t even opened yet but keep an eye out as it will be ready for business very soon. Locals might remember it as Crumbs sandwich bar but after a revamp it will become a Greek kebab restaurant and takeaway,
Gyros, souvlaki, and kofta and shish kebabs will be on the menu with halloumi as a veggie alternative. Spanakopita, moussaka, saganaki, and pastichio will also be served.
The restaurant will be licensed so customers will be able to have a bevvy too. Watch this space for the opening date.
Since springing up just over a year ago, Chao Chao has brought a brand new ethos to the oriental takeaway market. The food is super tasty – whether that’s the sticky, spicy Korean wings, the soft, squidgy bao buns with BBQ pork belly, or a bowl of ramen noodle soup with chilli beef meatballs that will leave your mouth singing.
Like the menu, the south east Asian takeaway (which has limited seating to eat-in) is fresh and modern with an open kitchen, where customers can see the chefs in action at Melton Road.
MSG – that nasty additive commonly used to enhance flavour – is conspicuous by its absence. No headaches, no palpitatons… just delicious, clean food.
It’s open from noon Thursday to Saturday. Can’t make that time? Opening time Sunday to Wednesday is 5pm.
West Bridgford has no shortage of Italian restaurants run by the big gunschains (Carluccio’s, Gusto and Pizza Express) but if you’re looking for somewhere with its own unique charm and character then Anton Sarricchio’s family-run eatery brings an authentic experience to Musters Road.
As well as a main menu, diners can choose to ‘Eat Like an Italian’ – a five-course experience of different dishes each time, starting with antipasto, such as cured meats and cheese, followed by pasta, a meat dish, dessert and a digestivo of Frangelico Liqueur and lime.
If you want food like ‘Nonna’ used to make, say ‘ciao’ to lasagne made to a Basilicata recipe, slow-cooked lamb shank with roast garlic and rosemary potatoes, and blood orange and olive oil cake.
Just a stone’s throw from Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, the restaurant has a special lunch-time menu for cricket fans during the World Cup.
Yumacha translates as ‘lets go and eat dim sum’ and the restaurant of the same name specialises in the bite-sized Chinese dumplings and much more besides such as bento boxes, and tapas size servings of street food-style bao buns, meaty favourites such as lemon chicken and sticky spare ribs, seafood dishes and noodles.
It is vegan-friendly and has gluten-free options too on separate menus. To wash it all down there’s an interesting cocktail list. Feeling brave? Go for Dragon’s Claw, a fiery mix of dark rum, cranberries, fresh raspberries, chilli and honey
An all-day venue, in Central Avenue, Yumacha also opens for brunch and afternoon tea.
Putting a modern twist on Greek food, Cuzina is one of West Bridgford’s most popular restaurants. Serving mezze/small plates/tapas (call them what you will) diners can indulge in sharing dishes in the laid-back, lively surroundings in Radcliffe Road.
Diners can look forward to spanakopita spring rolls, gemista (an ancient recipe of roasted stuffed vegetables) and giant king prawns in a bisque and tomato sauce with feta cheese.
Drinks, crafted with spirits and liqueurs from Greece and Cyprus, are as exciting as the food. Watermelon Margharita is deliciously refreshing, or for a potent pick-me-up try a Greek Coffee Martini, a caffeinated mix with honey whiskey, Amaretto and Kahula.
Said by many to be their favourite Indian restaurant in the area. Check out dishes not usually found at other Indian restaurants. Savour soft shell crab tempura and lamb shank Rojan Josh – some of the specialities to be found at Bombay Bridgford in Radcliffe Road.
The menu is a mix of original and traditional authentic dishes, spanning the Punjab in the north, Kerala in the south, Persia and Kashmir.
Choose from all the classics (balti to jalfrezi) or chef’s specials such as salmon kadhai and Nawabi kofta curry.
For something really different, visit on a Sunday for a roast with an Indian twist. Choose from fragrant roast lamb or chicken with spiced roast potatoes, vegetables, kheema Yorkshire pudding and masala or madras sauce.
Pubs and Bars
A hotspot for drinks, there’s a cocktail of the week. Currently An English Affair, made from Hendrick’s and the bar’s own English garden, it’s a twist on a Cuban Mojito. At £5 it’s a snip.
Even better on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, it’s £9 for any two two cocktails.
The unique, lively establishment, in Bridgford Road, is decked out with quirky decor making it stand out from the crowd.
The decent gin offering boasts a number of homemade infusions that you won’t find anywhere else, such as blueberry sherbet and strawberry and coriander.
Larwood and Voce
After a mini makeover earlier this year there’s been a few changes at the L&V in Fox Road. The gastro pub, in the shadow of Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, continues to serve a menu of British classics – but the bar recently underwent a £50,000 facelift to make it more appealing to drinkers.
Cocktails are being served for the first time – it’s not a huge list but there’s all the drinks you’d expect to see. And with a daily three-hour Happy Hour from 5-8pm, it’s the perfect excuse for an-after work drink with two cocktails for a tenner.
The bar area is more like a pub now, rather than a waiting room for diners, creating a comfortable vibe for supping a pint of hand-pulled ale or trying out the wide selection of gins.
Depending on the day of the week, the TV could be showing Sky Sports, there could be live music or a DJ, or it could be quiz night.
It’s hard to believe it but public houses were not permitted in West Bridgford until the 1930s, and even now there aren’t many for a town this size.
The Strat is one of those locals which seems like it has been there for decades in Stratford Road. But it was only 20 years ago that Nottingham’s Castle Rock Brewery opened the pub by adding an extension to a former pet shop, possibly becoming the vanguard for the town’s thriving food and drink scene as we know it today.
A popular haunt for sports fans, it has the feel of a proper old-school boozer rather than one of those trendy boozers.
There’s nothing unlucky about the 13 ale hand pumps, many of them serving the brewery’s Harvest Pale, limited edition Orange Crush, Sherwood Reserve stout and Guzzgog vegan beer, plus quality stuff such as Round Corner Brewing’s award-winning Gunmetal black lager.
When it comes to food, you can’t beat the Sunday roast or Tuesday’s pie and a pint night.
Brewhouse and Kitchen
Head to Trent Bridge, the one over the River Trent, not the cricket ground, for craft beers brewed right there in the pub’s very own micro brewery. Some of the beers go into dishes on the menu too.
This summer’s new menu features a range of low alcohol beers and a fresh tropical IPA, a bigger choice of wines and gins, and a new soft drink ‘Lemonaid’ so there’s something new for everyone.
Dogs are welcome, so are children. Overlooking the river, the beer garden is a pleasant spot for alfresco drinking on a sunny day.
Trent Bridge Inn
So what if it’s now a Wetherspoon’s? It’s still the ‘world famous’ Trent Bridge Inn or TBI to us locals.
You know what you’re getting (cheap food and beer) but with its landmark location on the corner of Radcliffe Road it couldn’t be better placed whether you’re at the cricket or working at Notts County Council’s HQ across the road.
Cricket fans might not know it but the TBI existed before the cricket ground and was instrumental in creating it back in the 19th century.
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Best for families
A spacious, dawn til dusk venue with plenty of room for manoeuvring buggies, no wonder it’s packed with mums and kids at certain times of the day.
In the relaxed surroundings in Central Avenue, little ones have their own menu with a mini full breakfast or pancakes, with berry sauce and banana. Brunch revolves around baked beans on toast, burgers, fish fingers, and sausages and chips. Every main comes with a pot of hummus with breadsticks and carrot sticks.
Infamously described by the Food Sleuth as “like a paediatrics department waiting room … only with a lot more snivelling and yowling,” don’t let that put you off as upstairs offers a safe haven if you want somewhere quieter.
West Bridgford’s newest opening is a child-friendly restaurant and bar offering all-day eating and drinking. There isn’t an abundance of places to eat and drink in Melton Road, so it’s sure to be a welcome addition.
There’s child-sized portions of grown-up dishes so youngsters can tuck into pizza, lasagne, fish and chips and mac ‘n’ cheese. Just keep their sticky mitts offer the plush upholstery…
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