My partner Josh and I absolutely love dining out, and although it probably takes up most of our budget after tours, day-trips and gigs, we show no signs of slowing down! If you’re foodies like us living in the UK (or maybe you want some international options?) have a gander down the list of our most enjoyed bars and restaurants of 2019. For your convenience, I’ve separated them into regions rather than giving them a score, and I’ve taken the liberty of recommending a favourite meal or drink for almost every destination. Most of my recommendations aren’t vegan or vegetarian, although you can definitely check the menus for healthier, more ethical or gluten-free alternatives. Please do!
Pepitos, Derby | 127 LONDON ROAD, DE1 2QN | Favourite dish: Pollo a la Limón. Josh’s favourite dish: Steak Rioja.
House of Darwin, Derby | 221 CHELLASTON ROAD, DE24 9EE | Favourite dish: Half Roast Chicken. Josh’s favourite dish: Shredded Duck Salad.
Stein Strasse, Derby | 23 WARDWICK, DE1 1HA | Favourite drink: Berlin Nights. Josh’s favourite drink: Captain Jager.
The Joiners Arms, Derby | 60 CHURCH ROAD, DE22 5JA | Favourite dish: Cajun Chicken Burger. Josh’s favourite dish: Rump Steak.
Mowgli Street Food, Nottingham | 1 STONEY STREET, NG1 1LG | Favourite dish: Mother Butter Chicken. Josh’s favourite dish: Gunpowder Chicken.
Penny Lane, Nottingham | 9 FLETCHER GATE, NG1 1QQ | Favourite drink: Calippo. Josh’s favourite drink: Gold Fashioned.
Hockley Arts Club, Nottingham | 20 CARLTON STREET, NG1 1NN | Favourite drink: Twister. Josh’s favourite drink: Godfather Part IV / Thistly Cross Cider.
The Alchemist, Nottingham | 11 KING STREET, NG1 2AY | Favourite drink: Wow Woo. Josh’s favourite drink: Zombie Apocalypse.
King Richard III Pub & Chophouse, Leicester | 70 HIGHCROSS STREET, LE1 4NN | Favourite dish: Pan Roasted Corn-Fed Chicken Breast. Josh’s favourite dish: Roast Top Cap of Rump.
Cucina Rustica, Birmingham | 24 LUDGATE HILL, B3 1DX | Favourite dish: Lasagne. Josh’s favourite dish: Spaghetti Carbonara.
The Punch Bowl, York| 7 STONEGATE, YO1 8AN | Favourite dish: Garlic Smothered Chicken & Chips. Josh’s favourite drink: Hawkes Urban Orchard Cider.
The Old White Swan, York | 80 GOODRAMGATE, YO1 7LF | Favourite dish: Chicken Tikka Masala. Josh’s favourite dish: 10oz Rib Eye Steak.
The House of Trembling Madness, York | 48 STONEGATE, YO1 8AS | Favourite drink: Thistly Cross Strawberry Cider. Josh’s favourite drink: Thistly Cross Whiskey-Cask Cider.
The York Roast Co., York | 78 LOW PETERGATE, YO1 7HZ | Favourite dish: Turkey Yorkypud Wrap. Josh’s favourite dish: Pork Yorkypud Wrap with Pork Scratchings.
Hickory’s Smokehouse, Chester | SOUTER’S LANE, CH1 1SD | A lovely Americanised restaurant near the River Dee, with outside seating to enjoy the sun.
The Laureate, Manchester | 55 BOOTH STREET, M15 6PQ | Favourite dish: 16oz Whole Free-Range Baby Spatchcock Chicken. Josh’s favourite dish: Smoked Trout.
The Dog & Parrot, Newcastle | 52 CLAYTON STREET, NE1 4EX | Josh and I loved the young vibe in here – if Mosh Nightclub had a restaurant, this would be it.
The Dispensary Coffee House, Newcastle | HEBER STREET, NE4 5TN | Favourite dish: Waffles & Chicken. Josh’s favourite dish: Maple-Syrup Pancakes with Ice-cream.
Murray’s Pub, Dublin | 33-4 O’CONNELL STREET, D01 | Go for the entertainment!!
Jameson Distillery, Dublin | BOW ST, SMITHFIELD, D07 | Favourite drink: Jamesons & Ginger Ale. Josh’s favourite drink: Jameson Distillery Edition. Blog post here.*
Le Ginestre, Italy | Hotel Nastro Azzurro, Piano di Sorrento, 80063 | Favourite dish: Consumme Constantine.
Race Club Roma, Italy | Rome, 00184 | Favourite drink: Rose cocktail. Josh’s favourite drink: Whiskey & amaretto cocktail.
Caffè Propaganda, Italy | Rome, 00184 | Favourite drink: Any (they have an everchanging menu, and when inbetween, they’ll make bespoke ones just for you!)
Rajski Vrt, Croatia | Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik, 20000 | Go for the lush greenery & atmosphere!
Route 66, Tenerife | Puerto Santiago, 38683 | Rock music and pretty fiery cocktails!
Restaurante Papillon, Tenerife | Teide National Park, 38300 | Favourite dish: Butternut Squash Soup.
It’s been lovely to write an account of the best places we went last year, and interesting to see how my tastes vary when I’m abroad and don’t have my creature comforts! Do let me know if you try any of these great places, and I’ll be sure to follow up next year.