Best for hungry shoppers
Located in the West Quay shopping centre, this branch of Carluccio’s is the ideal place for lunch or dinner after indulging in some retail therapy. Or as it’s only a short walk to the ODEON, the restaurant is also convenient for film buffs. With a two-course daytime menu available for under £13, you can enjoy good classic Italian food on a budget. An impressive choice of vegan and vegetarian dishes is nice to see too.
Address: West Quay Shopping Centre, Southampton SO15 1QF
For sample menu and reservations: www.carluccios.com/restaurant/southampton
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Best for brasserie dining
Some of the best restaurants in Southampton are situated on Oxford Street, and this cosmopolitan brasserie with its modern menu serves up exquisite English, French and Italian dishes, all using the best of ingredients. Visit on a special occasion and enjoy an intimate meal in relaxed surroundings. There’s even outside tables for an al fresco experience when the weather is fine.
Address: 33-34 Oxford Street, Southampton SO14 3DS
For sample menu and reservations: www.theoxfordbrasserie.co.uk
Best for a Sunday roast
It’s no great surprise to learn that this 18th-century pub, a Vintage Inn, was built on the site of a cowherd’s house, though you may be pleasantly delighted by charming décor inside. The menu is equally as inviting, serving traditional pub grub, including Sunday roast and seasonal pies every Wednesday. Look out too for the Weekend Treat menu — enjoy two courses and a bottle of wine for just £44 a couple. Southampton Common is on the doorstep.
Address: The Common, Southampton SO15 7NN
For sample menu and reservations: www.vintageinn.co.uk/restaurants/south-east/thecowherdssouthampton
Best for something different
Authentic Mauritian street food is the order of the day at Lakaz Maman, a fantastic relaxed restaurant owned by 2012 MasterChef winner Shelina Permalloo. The name means ‘Mum’s House’ in Shelina’s native Mauritian Creole, so expect plenty of homely dishes, approved by her mother, on the menu. Catering for dairy-free, gluten-free, halal, vegan and vegetarian diets, you’ll find a choice of traditional curries, sunshine salads and island wraps. Or pop in for breakfast.
Address: 22 Bedford Place, Southampton SO15 2DB
For sample menu and reservations: www.lakazmaman.com
Best for carnivores
It’s not only the fantastically cooked chargrilled steaks that get the thumbs up at this Oxford Street restaurant, the service and ambience are highly rated too — you’re sure to enjoy an evening out eating contemporary Galician food. A choice of Hampshire rib-eye, sirloin, fillet, T-bone and rump steaks will please meat eaters — large cuts are available for two to share — and there’s also a substantial menu for gluten-free diets.
Address: 29 Oxford Street, Southampton S014 3DJ
For sample menu and reservations: www.carnicero.co.uk
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Best for a light bite
The Pig in the Wall
The Pig in the Wall offers a relaxed deli-dining experience, where you can enjoy Piggy Bits, sour dough toasties, salads or wholesome large plates, such as a Hampshire cured meats board or a warm homemade quiche. Open until 8pm, the food is simple yet satisfying. Residents at the hotel who want a more formal dinner can be chauffeured by Land Rover to its sister hotel and restaurant, The Pig, in the nearby New Forest.
Address: 8 Western Esplanade, Southampton SO14 2AZ
For sample menu and reservations: www.thepighotel.com/in-the-wall
Best for a pre-show meal
Close to Southampton’s pretty Palmerston Park, Popsi's is also only a few minutes’ walk from the Guildhall and the excellent Mayflower Theatre, so perfect for a meal before or after a show. This award-winning pizzeria boasts a large selection of pizzas toppings, including plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, and a mouth-watering selection of desserts.
Address: 80 Bedford Place, Southampton SO15 2DF
For sample menu and reservations: www.popsis.co.uk/
Best for a relaxed vibe
Diners can enjoy good food, and perhaps a glass of fine wine, while listening to live music at Marco's Bar-Ristorante-Cicchetti, previously called Simons Bar Kitchen, an eatery on Southampton’s Oxford Street close to the historic docks. Choose from a value-for-money lunch and early evening set menu, or perhaps a main, such as a sirloin steak or pan-fried seabass, from the dinner choices. Cicchetti (Venetian small dishes) are available to share too, with a special offer on weekday lunchtime dishes.
Address: 35-36 Oxford Street, Southampton SO14 3DS
Best for traditional tapas
If you’re a fan of traditional Spanish tapas, love the country’s wine and enjoy dining in a typical Spanish setting, then head to La Regata, an authentic restaurant that’s been in the heart of the Southampton waterfront for 22 years. Favourites such as tortilla, patatas bravas, albondigas, pescado frito and pimientos de padron are all on the menu, and can be washed down with a glass of rioja or tempranillo. What’s not to like?
Address: Town Quay, Southampton SO14 2AR
For sample menu and reservations: www.laregata.co.uk
Best for a social soirées
All Bar One
It’s easy to work up an appetite while shopping, so when you need to refuel, and have a rest, pop into All Bar One. The stylish city bar is a great venue for meeting friends and catching over a light lunch or a few sharing plates. A date night, or mate night, menu offers a value-for-money two-course treat for £10. Or enjoy bottomless bubbles and brunch on a Sunday.
Address: West Quay, Southampton SO15 1QE
For sample menu and reservations: www.allbarone.co.uk/national-search/south-east/all-bar-one-southampton
Best for lunch on the go
If you'd rather grab a box to takeaway for a picnic in the park then head to Mexican street food takeaway Mexifun for scrumptious nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and more, with plenty of sauces, salsas and sides to choose from. Or you could go straight to the dessert section for tequila lime cheesecake or churros, perfect washed down with colouful Mexican soft drink Jarritos, available in a range of flavours, including mango, guava, mandarin, and pineapple.
Address: 121 East Street, Southampton, SQ14 3HD
For menu: mexifun.co.uk/home
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