Now for no reason, a blog post about the greatest places to eat in Leicester based on my objectively-correct tastes. And objectively-correct as these tastes may be (and they are), I’ve not actually eaten at every restaurant, pub, and bar in Leicester, so if there’s anywhere that I don’t mention that deserves to be known, do post it in the comments. I’ve talked about the city before, but here I’m going to zero in on food and drink.
Curry Fever: winner of numerous past titles including ‘Best Indian restaurant in the midlands’ 2001-2002 and with a status in the ‘top thirty’ of BIBA 2004, this Indian restaurant wears its awards with pride (and also all over the front window). We discovered it whilst wandering down Belgrave Road looking for a non-vegetarian restaurant, and boy was our shameless cultural insensitivity rewarded.* This establishment has a huge selection of meat, seafood, and vegetarian curries, with diverse naan bread potential as well. I’ve been there three times now and the service has always been speedy and friendly. Students love curries, right? I’m pretty sure that’s an accurate stereotype. Go here.
Firebug: a bar that also serves good food during the day, this topaz in the centre of town is most famous for its selection of cocktails. It’s very hard to go back to the bitter, unfriendly taste of regular liquid after a Firebug cocktail. They also serve a generous Coke float, and the bar is filled with sci-fi memorabilia and old arcade game tables. Truly, it is a paradise.
The Old Horse: this wins its spot more for setting than the food being served, although the food is perfectly-tasty pub fare. The Old Horse makes the common pub decor choice of hanging many things from the ceiling, but ramped up to eleven — there are teapots, cups, swords, just tons of stuff hanging everywhere, and there’s a coffin near the entrance, the Blues Brothers hang out in the courtyard, the Tardis is in the garden, and several barn owls hang out in the underpass. It’s what the French call ‘eye candy’.
The Lansdowne: whether this is exclusive to Leicester or not is debatable as it is part of the Orange Tree brand, but there’s no denying that this is a classy, classy place to hang out. A vast selection of drinks and a chalkboard menu which is never anything short of gastrolicious, The Lansdowne is real easy. They also hold vintage clothes fairs and always have a tantalising and mysterious cake on the counter.
Those are my preferred places to eat that are exclusive to Leicester, but there are also plenty of excellent chains with branches in Leicester (chains with branches? What a stupid expression) including but not limited to Carluccio’s, Wagamama, and a grotesque number of Nando’s. Tell them Ricky sent ya!
* Note: cultural insensitivity is rarely rewarded with the discovery of superb Indian restaurants. I would not recommend such a lifestyle.