If you’ve never been to England before… or Europe in general… you should be warned: eating out isn’t the same as it is in Canada.
Y’know how in Canada, when you go to a restaurant, you typically wait to be seated, and a waiter/waitress takes you to your seat, then gives you a menu, gives you a bit of time to choose, then comes back for your order, brings you your food, checks if you need anything/if everything is okay during the meal, then comes back and asks if the bill is together or separate… etc, etc…
Yeah, that’s not how it works in England. Well, it is in some places. But very rarely.
In England (most places), you go and pick your own table, get a menu from the bar, order at the bar and give them your table number, pay then, and go take your seat. Someone will bring your meal to you. And that’s that. In some cases, you will get table service, but you almost always get only one bill at the end and you have to split it amongst yourselves. If you’re paying by card separately, you have to tell the waiter/waitress how much you’re paying. It’s all very strange to me.
I must say though, England knows what it’s doing when it comes to Sunday dinners. On Sundays, pubs in England serve roast dinners. And/or carveries. Which is basically a buffet style roast dinner. They’re fantastic.
But anyway, this is a brief guide to some of my favourite places to eat in Nottingham. I haven’t been to a ton of places here yet, but these are a few of my favourites.
Annie’s Burger Shack
5 Broadway, Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1PR
This place is burger heaven. There’s over 30 choices of burgers, with meaty, veggie and vegan versions for every one, and you can choose between skinny, curly, sweet potato, or homemade Cajun fries, or wedges on the side. The portions are large and it’s reasonably priced – you’d pay the same, if not more, at Five Guys. And Annie’s even has its own ale which I quite enjoy. There’s also Annie’s Ocean State Tavern downstairs, a bar with board games and classic Nintendo.
17-19 Carlton St, Nottingham NG1 1NL
This place is one of the best spots for Spanish tapas in Nottingham. It’s incredibly hard to choose between all of the delicious choices on their menu, but the wait staff have been super helpful every time I’ve visited and I can’t say I’ve ever had anything less than scrumptious here.
Pitcher & Piano
4 High Pavement, Nottingham NG1 1HN
It is a chain, so it’s not technically anything special to Nottingham. But I had my very first Sunday dinner here, and it’s actually an old church converted into a restaurant. So it’s a unique spot. Beautiful, good food, with live music that Sunday afternoon, and I was able to say I went to church on Sunday. Although it didn’t quite feel right to be drinking beer in a church…
Hand & Heart
65-67 Derby Road, Nottingham NG1 5BA
This place was one of my first times in caves in Nottingham, so naturally, I loved the setting. It’s a kind of hole-in-the-wall spot, which actually used to be a brewery in the 1800s, then converted into a pub. It has caves at the rear and a conservatory upstairs, so really great setting, and I enjoyed a Sunday roast here too.
Ginza Japanese Teppan-Yaki
593-595 Mansfield Rd, Nottingham NG5 2FW
Other popular places which I have yet to check out for myself are: The Cods Scallops for “the best fish and chips in Nottingham”, Restaurant Sat Bains for fine Modern European dining (£££), Dino’s Wine Bar and Restaurant for everything from steak to pasta, and The Calcutta Club for Indian food.