Southampton is only about 45 minutes from Southsea (my home) on the train, so over the last few months I’ve been quite a bit for various reasons (mostly dates, ahem) but a few weeks ago I was invited on a press trip for the day.

Food in Southampton

– Sausage roll at the Pig in the Wall

As a chance to see the city with someone who knew what they were doing, and paying, off I went. And the taste buds are definitely glad I did. I’ve added to my collection of great places to eat and drink in Southampton, fourfold. And I’ve totally fallen in love with the Dancing Man Brewery. LOVED. IT.

But first… coffee

Mettricks

Mettricks is a Southampton coffee chain, that’s spreading. I only recognised it because my friend had pointed it out to me as we drove through Beaulieu in the New Forest a few weeks before. I do love Pret a Manger, but I love a bit of local entrepreneurialism more.

We went to the one in Guildhall Place, and I’ll admit, drank gin and tonic instead of coffee thanks to the license and it being a rainy Tuesday afternoon. I have it on good authority from the aforementioned trusty friend that the coffee is good though, so you have options.

While away an afternoon…

Dancing Man Brewery

Eating in Southampton

Amazing place. I met the owner who was super passionate and very generous too. He just wants to make the best tasting beers possible. The amount of his own brewed beers he shifts every day is testament to that. He’d originally planned to sell the stuff out to local pubs, but it’s all getting drank by thirsty customers before it can even leave the premises.

The brewery is on site, meaning you can sup up while your next drink is being brewed. We had a little look at the brewery and then sat down for a beer tasting, followed by an epic platter of antipasti. From now on I plan to go here every time I go to Southampton. It was that good.

For your afternoon tea needs…

The Grand Café

The First Class Titanic passengers stayed here the night before they set sail – don’t let that put you off though. It’s a cool, old building with high ceilings and I guess the best way to describe it comes with the name, it’s grand, and a café. Not like a café cafe, but a great place for a few drinks. To be honest my fish and chips were pretty grim and I had to pick the 2cm thick batter off, but it still makes the list because the Afternoon Teas on the next table looked amazing. I’d go back just for that.

For a slap up evening feast…

7 Bone Burger Co

Where to eat in Southampton

– Not my photo, and most of the ones on their Facebook look grim because of the cheese, don’t judge! 

Went here for a… fourth date I think it was. It was a no to him, but a definite yes to the burgers. It’s an American style place with all the delicious fatty options you could want. I had a spicy burger with fries and sauce on the side. They’ve got a great cocktail menu, a kind of USA Austin / Williamsburg vibe and it’s a little out of the main part of the city, but totally worth it. If you’re driving it gives you all the more excuse to get stuck in with the milkshakes. More cheese please.

With beers for after….

The Rockstone

Just up the road from 7 Bone Burger Co, with all its hipster vibes and deliciousness, you’ll find the Rockhouse. They do burgers in here too, massive ones, but I haven’t yet indulged. What I have done is work my way through the selection of craft beers on the bar. Friendly bar staff, board games and a cool old pub relaxed vibe make this a great place for a weekday evening. I’ve never been on a weekend, but I’m sure that’s great fun too. Apparently they do an epic Sunday Lunch. Will try one day.

For a delicious deli lunch…

Pig in the Wall

Food in Southampton

I lurrrrve The Pig Restaurants. Is it sad that one of my goals for the year is to go to them all? No need to answer that question. I know. I’ve been to The Pig on the Beach and The Pig, in Studland and Brockenhurst respectively. Two more to go.

I just love how fancy yet friendly they are, like coming back home to your old manor house and everyone’s your friend and wants to feed you. In the summer they’re fresh and have lovely areas to sit and chill, and when the weather changes they’re cosy and soothing sat by the fire.

Anyway, I’ll stop. Basically The Pig in the Wall is a hotel, with a kind of coffee shop / deli downstairs. I had the sausage roll and quinoa, and a taste of about 5 different desserts. All first class. Go for it. Do it. And then the Dancing Man Brewery is conveniently located just round the corner.

Quick lunch / dinner after shopping…

Cabana

Southampton is home to the impressive West Quay shopping centre – a rabbit hole of spending. If, after you’ve explored all you can, you need a little energy refill, go to Cabana. It’s a Brazilian street food restaurant located in the shopping centre but looking out to the old walls of the city, so history and food are covered in one.

I had a chicken shish kebab thing and cheesey balls for starters, delicious. They’ve also got a nice range of Brazilian beers.

Where to eat in Southampton

So that’s it – my top recommendations for where to eat in Southampton. Sorry for the lack of photos. Feel the need to go back and eat at them all again for y’all.

Anway, which one sounds the best to you?

I ate at Grand Café, Pig in the Wall and the Dancing Man Brewery as part of the Southampton press trip I was on. Doesn’t affect what I have to say, no worries. Just means I actually got photos of those places rather than cracking out the camera on a date. Which would be super awkward don’t you think?

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