From award-winning Indian curries and an eclectic mix of Asian food, to classic Italians and American diners, in Taunton you can treat yourself to a wide array of cuisines. If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Taunton, you’ve come to the right place.
Restaurants in Taunton
Let’s get things started with one of our absolute favourite places to eat in Taunton. Guddi & Gikki offer home-style Indian food – the feisty, fragrant, delicious kind of food that head chefs Manveena and Chandeep grew up on before moving to Taunton. It’s something that had been sorely missing from the area as, despite Britain’s curry culture, authenticity isn’t always available. So, having mastered their family recipes, Guddi & Gikki was born as a weekend street food stall. Within two years they’d become popular enough to give ‘the best curry in Somerset’ a permanent home on the high street. You will need to book in advance as this is one hot Indian restaurant. One thing you’ll notice from the menu is that, instead of the seemingly endless list of options you can find with other curry houses, Guddi & Gikki only offer four mains (beef, lamb, chicken and vegetarian), with the cooking style changing regularly. It’s a refreshingly simple approach to Indian cuisine with solid portions, stylish decor, and all at surprisingly good value.
Our other top pick for Indian restaurants in Taunton is Mint and Mustard. It’s not just us who enjoy their Keralan cuisine, these connoisseurs of the curry have been selected for the 2018 edition of the world-famous Michelin Restaurant Guide; the list of the best places to eat in the country. Mint and Mustard say that everything on the menu is born from the “Keralan philosophy of fresh, light and healthy food”; we say that it all tastes and looks incredible. Although, if you’re used to your curries coming out in a jiffy, then you might not appreciate their ‘slow food’ approach – each dish is cooked fresh every time, so it takes (a little) longer, but good things come to those who wait.
Guddi & Gikki
Bare Grills Smokehouse
Eat the Bird was only ever supposed to be a street food stand for festivals and markets, but it’s blown up to become Taunton’s riverside chicken cathedral. If we’re being honest, you only need to whisper the words ‘buttermilk chicken’ to get us weak at the knees; five syllables that get our taste buds tingling, and it’s always Eat the Bird’s that springs to mind. Pay them a visit and find out why.
We all know someone who has a serious love of red meat – you know… the kind of person who considers chicken and fish to be vegetables; the people whose nostrils alone will lead them to Bare Grills Smokehouse and its American-imported BBQ smokers and charcoal grills. They haven’t been around for very long – only a couple of years – but already Bare Grills have cooked up quite a reputation. The ‘BBQ tower’ is so ridiculous it’s hard to put into words – try and imagine three plates crammed with two burgers, a full rack of ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken wings, corn on the cob, coleslaw, BBQ beans, french fries and onion rings; now imagine those three plates stacked above one another in a three-tiered cast-iron ‘tower’...yeah, it’s made to serve two, and then some.
If your stomach’s rumbling for Chinese food, and lots of it, Mei’s Buffet Restaurant is the one for you. Take your pick of dishes from China, Japan, Malaysia, India, Singapore and Thailand. It means that you can pile your plate sky high with sushi, curry, noodles (and pizza) – we’re not saying that all of that would taste good together, or look remotely appetising, but you can do it! Jokes aside, the food’s tasty, the price is very reasonable and you’re definitely not going to leave with an empty stomach.
A real hidden gem if you’re looking to eat out in Taunton is The Tropical Hut, where you can chow down on food from the Philippines and Indonesia. Everything on the menu is tasty, but we really just want to tell you about their ‘Boodle Fight’. We can’t really call it a dish because you don’t get plates or cutlery; instead, giant banana leaves are spread across the table before a magnificent medley of food comes out to fill them. Using just your fingers, you’re tasked with munching through chicken wings, squid, crab, Filipino sausage, pork knuckles (our faves), beef tapa, mussels and a mountain of rice. It’s made for a minimum of two people but it’ll certainly feed more; you have to see it to believe it. When there’s this amount of food involved, if you do fancy a ‘Boodle Fight’ The Tropical Hut ask if you give them fair warning and book in advance.
Taunton has a number of Italian restaurants that all deserve to be mentioned in our guide, particularly Little Italy which you can find tucked away in the Orchard Shopping Centre. But we’d prefer to focus on one that we, and a fair few of the locals, think is the best in the city: Ciao Amore. Just under 10 minutes’ drive from our Taunton Ruishton hotel, it’s a family-run restaurant, so (as you’ll see from the exterior) nothing’s too flash. They use simple recipes, great ingredients, and genuinely care for the quality of food that arrives at your table. The service is impeccable; the waiters know what they’re talking about and are happy to give you recommendations, plus the atmosphere is fantastic – don’t be surprised if there’s an impromptu sing-along; sometimes it feels as though we’ve been transported to the trattorias of Italy.
Then there are new kids on the block like Skewer House Taunton, the town’s first Madeiran restaurant that’s run and owned by partners Diogo and Nathan. They hail from the small Portuguese Island, and feeding hungry patrons with delicious ‘espetadas’ runs in the family, as Diogo’s mother and brother run their own Madeiran skewer restaurants in Essex. If you’re wondering, espetadas are the long metal swords that are used to skewer their sumptuous selection of meats, which are then chargrilled to perfection and hung from custom-made iron trees in the centre of your table.