Here are the best restaurants in Southampton as decided, after much research, by me. There are some great places to eat in Southampton, in among all the chains the city is known for – you just need to know where to look.
Southampton is only about 45 minutes from Southsea (my home) on the train, and where my boyfriend is from, so over the last three years I’ve got to know it quite well.
This article will introduce you to the best restaurants in Southampton, and to the best foodie areas of the city. If you’re looking for somewhere different to eat in Southampton, then read on!
– Sausage roll at the Pig in the Wall
Best restaurants in Southampton
But first… coffee
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 Mettricks 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. The next day I went back for the coffee though, and can definitely recommend it.
I love the vibe at Mettricks, and the fact it’s a coffee shop serving booze, rather than the other way round. They also have a simple menu for hipster breakfast and lunch.
While away an afternoon…
2. Dancing Man Brewery
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.
Since first writing this post I’ve been to the Dancing Man Brewery a lot. The place just has a really cool vibe, lovely staff and some great beers on tap too. Also, lots of space to drink out the front.
For a slap up evening feast…
3. 7 Bone Burger Co
– 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.
7 Bone Burger Co is 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 also 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, in Portswood, but totally worth it.
And if you’re driving it gives you all the more excuse to get stuck in with the milkshakes. More cheese please.
I can guarantee you’ll enjoy the burger names too but I’ll leave you to discover them yourself.
With beers for after….
4. The Rockstone
Just up the road from 7 Bone Burger Co, with all its hipster vibes and deliciousness, you’ll find The Rockstone.
They do burgers in here too, massive ones, as in MASSSIVE. Also, there’s a great selection of craft beers on the bar too.
With friendly bar staff, board games and a cool old pub relaxed vibe, this is a great place for a weekday evening. Apparently they do an epic Sunday Lunch. Will try one day.
For a delicious deli lunch…
5. Pig in the Wall
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…
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.
The menu at Cabana is exactly the kinda food I like to eat – rice, meat, spice, cheese. So after wa-hey too much thought and poring over the menu, I committed to the chicken skewer with sweet potato fries and coconut slaw for main and the Chargrilled Spicy Malagueta Prawns as a starter.
The cocktail list is pretty spectacular too, and if you go at the right time, it’s 241. Take a look at this for example.
An energising take on the classic Negroni: Gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, topped with Guarana, (the Brasilian berry sparkling soda), and served on the rocks.”
For dessert I went for famous Nutella doughnuts. Little fried doughnuts, baked with Nutella inside and then served with a gooey bowl of Nutella to dip them into. Gawd they were heavenly, I decided to eat half as many with twice as much chocolate on. Yum.
READ MORE: Best Restaurants in Southsea
For something a bit different…
7. Lakaz Maman
Lakaz Maman serves authentic Mauritian street food, designed and created by 2012 MasterChef winner Shelina Permalloo. The name means ‘Mum’s House’ in Shelina’s native Mauritian Creole. Visit this Southampton restaurant and you can expect homely Mauritian dishes you didn’t know were missing from your life.
I did think it was a little on the expensive side here, but a nice place to go for a treat. Go midweek to avoid being squashed in on the tight fitting tables.
For cheap, cheerful, and easy…
8. Pho Vietnam
If you need a Vietnamese food hit, then try Pho Vietnam in Portswood, Southampton. They do reall good and authentic Vietnamese food here – expect spring rolls, pho soup, fresh salads and some tasty meats. You can get a banquet here for a great price – especially at lunch time.
For that pad thai hit…
9. Mango Thai Tapas
Another Portswood hit, Mango Thai Tapas is one of my favourite restaurants in Southampton. There’s a private area round the back if you want a more romantic evening, or if you’re just with a bunch of friends or family, then make yourself at home at the front of the restaurant.
They do some good deals here, if you keep an eye on the special days of the week. I always end up spending quite a bit as there are just so many delicious things to try on the menu.
Where to eat in Southampton
- 1. Mettricks, Southampton
- 2. Dancing Man Brewery, Southampton
- 3. 7 Bone Burger Co
- 4. The Rockstone
- 5. Pig in the Wall
- 6. Cabana
- 7. Lakaz Maman
- 8. Pho Vietnam
- 9. Mango Thai Tapas
So that’s it – my top recommendations for the best restaurants in Southampton. Feel the need to go back and eat at them all again for y’all.
Anyway, which one sounds the best to you?