Fancy smashed avocado and organic eggs for breakfast, a wander around a street market for lunch and steak, pasta or curry for dinner? Then you’re in luck as the Reading food and drink scene covers all bases.
Places to eat in Reading
From bistros and bars to steakhouses and laid-back Italians, there’s plenty of Reading restaurants to suit whatever cuisine you fancy.
Blue Collar Street Food
With nearly 600 TripAdvisor reviews and a rating as near to five stars as you can get, Whittington’s Tea Barge is without a doubt one of the café highlights in Reading.
Located on a canal barge moored on the River Thames, Whittington’s is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday for late breakfasts, lunch and afternoon tea. They take their tea seriously, with dozens of loose tea options, as well as plenty of coffee varieties. You can also book out the barge and take a cruise down the Thames while indulging in a rich, freshly baked scone served with cream and homemade jam.
Balancing the needs of all caffeine addicts, C.U.P. Speciality Coffee & Tea is the place to go for high quality coffee and tea made with serious amounts of love. Located on St. Mary’s Butt in the centre of town, C.U.P. – which stands for Coffee Under Pressure – dish out some of the best flat whites, lattes and espressos in town and have a range of tea you’re unlikely to see elsewhere. Grab a slice of bougatsa if you can – the traditional Greek custard pie topped with dusty pastry is spectacular.
Café Yolk, as you’d hope, eggcedes eggspectations. Crack open the menu to find all manner of eggs – fried, poached, scrambled, omelettes; you name it, they do it. Factor in pancakes, milkshakes, burgers and a decent range of coffees and teas, and you have a real crowd pleaser. Be prepared to wait, however, especially during the weekend as the small café can get very busy.
Love coffee and cakes but gluten intolerant? Then you might be buying shares at Nibsy’s Coffee Shop. Everything – the cakes, sandwiches, wraps and even sausage rolls – is gluten-free, and they have a drool-worthy selection of more than 20 cakes, muffins and sweet treats.
Covering cakes, salads, sandwiches and coffee – four essential food groups as far as we’re concerned – Picnic Foods has rightly built up a devoted following in Reading. Their food is delicious and well priced, and they pride themselves on their ethically sourced Honduran coffee and range of Fairtrade teas.
Lastly, if you’re after the tastiest toastie or sandwich in town and a few tasty puns, look no further than the Shed Café. Their Cheezer Good sandwich is a winning mix of cheese, mustard, mayo and their own hot sauce while their Tuna Turner sandwich mixes jalapeños and red onion to good effect.
Running on the first and third Saturday of the month at The Cattle Market on Great Knollys Street, the Reading Farmers’ Market is a great place to kick-start the weekend. Running from 8.30am to midday, grab a fresh coffee and pastry from one of the stalls and check out some of the best local cheese, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. Getting there early will help you beat the crowd, and is super easy if you stay at our Caversham Bridge hotel as it’s a 20-minute stroll away.
An annual affair at Forbury Gardens, the Blue Collar Feastival is a three-week-long celebration of good food, good music and good people all lubricated by several bars. The Feastival features some of the region’s best food stalls, trucks and traders in a relaxed party atmosphere in one of Reading’s best central parks. It’s a winning combination. Alongside the annual feast, the Blue Collar Street Food Market runs every Wednesday in Market Place, offering up to 18 stalls spanning dozens of cuisines.
Launched in 2015, Chow Street Food Market is held every Friday 10am–4pm in Market Place, serving food from every corner of the globe including Mexican, Spanish, Greek, Caribbean and even Georgian.