Fancy Italian, French, Indian or maybe a good, old-fashioned British pie?
Let’s start with British cuisine first, and the London Street Brasserie. Almost 20 years old, the Michelin-guide restaurant is one of Reading’s finest, dishing up a salivating selection of prawns, caviar, turbot and prime meats, all prepared by their award winning chefs. It’s not cheap, but if you want to eat at a genuinely top restaurant – and one only a short walk from our Reading Central hotel on the River Kennet – this is the place for you.
Part shop, part restaurant and all dedicated to the pursuit of pies, Sweeney & Todd is another Reading institution. The 100-seater restaurant has been serving up flaky pastry and tasty fillings for over 30 years, or you can grab one of their 23 varieties of pies from their shop and eat it on the go.
A popular Argentinian steak chain, CAU Steak Restaurant in The Oracle is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, with steak – naturally – the speciality. They also do a mean Sunday roast, while their Bottomless Brunch is an excellent way to kickstart the weekend.
There are several excellent French restaurants in Reading. L’Ortolan is several miles south of the town centre, but is worth the trip, if only for its dedication to vegetables with not one but two veg-friendly menus. A Michelin-star affair, the menus are compact but packed with flavour, and the bill packs almost as much of a punch as the food.
Much cheaper, and more laid-back, but still distinctly French is the Valpy Street Bar & Bistro located on Valpy Street at the top end of Reading near Forbury Gardens. Start and finish the night with one of their renowned espresso martinis, while their menu is a mix of classic and modern dishes.
Moving further down the Mediterranean, Buon Appetito is a cosy Italian restaurant that ticks most boxes. Red checkered tablecloth? Tick. Moreish wood-fired pizzas? Tick. Romantic setting and faultless service? Tick again. It’s slightly out of the town centre loop, but the longer walk to Chatham Street is worth it for the dough balls alone.
Located in the heart of Reading on Bridge Street, Coconut Bar & Kitchen is a trendy fusion of food and drink that’s been open for four years. Choose your food from a menu spanning South East Asia, China and Japan or rock up to the busy bar and order from more than 50 cocktails. The buzzing atmosphere is as much of a draw as the food and drink, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
More reserved is Miah’s Garden of Gulab, a classy family-run Indian restaurant that’s been serving contemporary and traditional dishes since 1980. Based a mile out of town on Wokingham Road, the restaurant offers dine-in and takeaway and is regularly voted as one of the best Indian restaurants in the UK at the British Curry Awards.