I’m often asked why I don’t write reviews of restaurants in my home town Sheffield. The reason is that I know a lot of people who work in the local food industry personally and I don’t want to upset them, so by way of compromise, in this post I’m just going to accentuate the positive and list some of the things that I really, really like.
You’ll find all these places and many others on my Google map.
Full English Breakfast at The Hidden Gem, Bents Green, Ringinglow Rd, Sheffield S11 7TB, +44 114 262 0094, www.hiddengemcafe.co.uk
The Hidden Gem Full English comes with Moss Valley sausages, bacon chop, fried egg, black pudding, charred tomato, mushroom and their own baked beans, served with freshly-baked, toasted bread. All the ingredients they use are top notch but it’s the homemade black pud with that seam of confit belly pork running through the middle of it that wins it for me. This helps them beat off strong breakfast competition from Ceres and Jonty’s down at Hunter’s Bar.
Pancakes and Maple Syrup at Four Corners Canteen, 150 Abbeydale Rd, Sheffield S7 1FH, +44 114 250 0768
Slathered with butter with a bottle of syrup on the side, these pancakes come as the second less healthy part of the Big Sur breakfast, another strong contender for my favourite breakfast in Sheffield. I do my very best to avoid them but have to succumb every now and then!
Hot Roast Pork Sandwich from Béres, 151 Pinstone St, Sheffield S1 2HL, www.beresporkshop.co.uk
Not many people know that one of Sheffield’s most famous ‘delicacies’, the hot roast pork sandwich with all the trimmings (crackling, apple sauce, stuffing), was first introduced to the city by Mr. Béres, a Hungarian immigrant butcher fleeing the Russian invasion of his country in the 50s. Thank goodness he came here is all I can say. Many other places do a good one, Roney’s on Sharrowvale for instance, but you can only get your bun dipped in gravy at Béres. Or you can treat yourself and ask for a double dip.
Toasted Sandwiches at Braggazi’s, 224-226 Abbeydale Rd, Sheffield S7 1FL, +44 114 258 1483 www.bragazzis.co.uk
All the focaccia and sourdough sandwiches are killer here. You can have them cold but they’re best toasted. I loved this one with Fennel Salami, Emmental, Basil Pesto and Vine Tomatoes. I’m quite partial to their coffee as well. And their Sicilian lemons.
Chicken Flatbread at Shoot the Bull Rotisserie & Grill in Kommune, Castle House, Angel St, Sheffield S3 8LS, www.shootthebull.co.uk/rotisserie-grill
Maple-brined chicken with a waldorf salad made with lemon mayonnaise on a soft flatbread. Fresh, healthy and very tasty.
Sarmale at Sfinx, 539 Attercliffe Rd, Sheffield S9 3RA, +44 114 244 3123, www.sfinxrestaurant.co.uk
Sarmale are cabbage rolls stuffed with seasoned pork mince and vegetables, a Romanian take on Greek Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves). For me they are the tastiest dish in a great cuisine, and the Sfinx is the only place I know of where you can get them in Sheffield.
Fried Chicken at Yoki Social Table in Kommune, Castle House, Angel St, Sheffield S3 8LS, yoki-sheffield.business.site
I adore Korean food and this outfit are the only authentic purveyors in the city. Their fried chicken is dangerously moreish. Stay away.
Cod & Chips at Brenda’s, 2 Earl Way, Sheffield S1 4QA, +44 114 249 3035
For me this is the best chippy that I know of within striking distance of where I live. You can get a small cod and chips and a can of Vimto for a fiver. They’re only open at lunch times, never in the evening. Another fantastic shop is Hicks Street Fish & Chips where I had an amazing beer-battered cod with some excellent chips. I also like the Admiral and the Abbey Friar but I don’t have a car to get to them, so Brenda’s it usually is.
The Special at Kurdistan Charcoal Grill, 97-99 London Road, Sheffield S2 4LE
For a mere £12.50 you get five different kebabs, rice, salad, four sauces, naan and a bowl of lentil soup. Not only cheap but delicious as well, especially the soup and the lamb doused with their yogurt. So what if they got a zero rating from the environmental health inspectors. I’ve eaten there a dozen times and never had any problems. It’s a takeaway but they have a few tables and your food experience will be better if you eat in. Be warned they close at 9.
Aubergine Dips at Narooz, 140 London Road, Sheffield S2 4LT, +44 114 255 5522
I come here when I’m desperate for an easy kebab and the Kurdistan Grill is shut. Narooz’s kebabs are quite average but I love their aubergine dips Kashkeh Bademjan (aubergine with yogurt) and Mirzaghasemmi (aubergine with eggs and garlic) as starters.
Mixed Seafood Lunch at J.H. Mann, 261 Sharrow Vale Road, Sheffield S11 8ZE, +44 114 268 2225
A slightly pricey fishmongers but oh god, they do the best seafood lunches. You’ll be hard pushed to eat fresher seafood in Sheffield which is usually a nono for me.
Beef Noodle Soup at Noodlesta, 192-194 Brook Hill, Sheffield S3 7HE, www.noodlesta.com
The ‘Braised Beef Pull Noodle’, aka beef noodle soup made with hand-pulled noodles, at Noodlesta is as authentic as any I’ve ever eaten on my trips to China. Hordes of Chinese students seem to agree.
Hot Pot at Golden Taste, 279 London Rd, Sheffield S2 4NF, www.xiangweiqing.co.uk
Definitely the best hotpot in town. You check off what you’d like on the tick box menu (maybe skip the meat) then cook it yourself in one of the two different stocks in the hotpot. The helpful staff are always happy to explain some of the more unusual items like the seaweed (order it).
Vinegared Cabbage at China Red, www.chinaredsheffield.com
I know, it doesn’t sound great but don’t knock it till you try it. My favourite out of many excellent dishes served at this completely authentic Sichuan restaurant. Other great dishes are the Kung Pao Chicken, Mapo Doufu, and for the more daring, an offal dish called Husband & Wife, or alternatively their delectable thinly sliced pig’s ear. Expect big flavours and lots of dried chillis, chilli oil and Sichuan peppers to scorch and numb you.
Thali at Hungry Buddha, Unit 2, Food Court, 77 The Moor, Sheffield S1 4PF, www.hungrybuddha.co.uk
Choose between the curries of the day, or have them all as I do. Nepalese Chicken Curry, Goat Curry, Yellow Gram & Cabbage, Aubergine & Potato, Rice, Dal, Homemade Chutneys and a Roti for a mere fiver. Lunch time only, get there early or they may run out.
Lamb Curries at Mangla, 149 Spital Hill, Sheffield S4 7LF, manglarestaurant-sheffield.co.uk
When it’s on form, which isn’t all the time, the Mangla does the best value curries in the city. The lamb on the bone, and anything else made with lamb, is considered very scoffable by me. They don’t sell beer but you can bring some in from the offy a few doors down.
The Pulled Pork Burrito at Street Food Chef, 98 Pinstone St, Sheffield S1 2HQ, www.streetfoodchef.co.uk
Too plain to photograph but oh so good, especially with extra avocado, sourcream and a cold beer. A must whenever I’m passing.
Pork pies from Waterall Brothers, 26/27 Moor Market, Sheffield S1 4PF, www.waterall.co.uk
Now that Kempka’s has closed to the public, this is the best pork pie in Sheffield that I know of.
Halloumi from Porter Brook Deli, 354 Sharrow Vale Rd, Sheffield S11 8QP, www.porterbrookdeli.co.uk
This is the best halloumi I’ve ever eaten, although for legal reasons it has to be called Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese (it’s made in Huddersfield). Sublime when grilled, perhaps with some psb. The deli also sells a fantastic Colston Bassett Stilton, which for me the is best example of Britain’s greatest cheese.
The donuts from Forge Bakehouse, 302 Abbeydale Rd, Sheffield S7 1FL, www.forgebakehouse.co.uk
A variety of flavours are on offer from traditional jam to vanilla cream and they’re all good (no pic sorry). Make sure you get them early, I’ve seen a group of Chinese students come in and buy the entire stock of twenty plus donuts in one go!
Ice Cream from Ikea, Sheffield Rd, Sheffield S9 2YL, www.ikea.com
Not an obvioius one I know but super soft ice cream, or Soft-Is as it’s known in Scandinavia, is very nostalgic for me as it was a special treat for me as a child when I visited my family in Norway during the summer holidays. Ideally it should be dusted with chocolate powder but this inferior Swedish version comes a good second. Have a hotdog first (another must) and finish off with this.
There’s more to be added but that’s it for now!
What are your favourite foods in Sheffield? 🙂