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Take time, unwind, indulge and relax. Enjoy a light lunch in the Award Winning restaurants and cafe's or liquid lunch in the many trendy bars or traditional Real Ale pubs.
You can download the Derby Eating Out Guide 2007 to carry around in your pocket whilst you are visiting Derby or copies are available from the Derby Tourist Information Centre in the Market Place, telephone +44 (0) 1332 255802.
Derby is a Fairtrade City and a growing number of cafes and restaurants serve Fairtrade tea and coffee and other products. Look out for the Fairtrade logo.
In the centre
Masa Restaurant, The Old Chapel, Brook Street, +44(0) 1332 203345. Probably one of the best restaurants in the East Midlands, set in a beautifully converted grade II listed Wesleyan Chapel. Menu is modern British with a contemporary twist. Awarded two AA Rosettes in recognition of the high quality food. Scallops with risotto was absolutely exquisite.
Bennetts in Iron Gate is a good quality household and china shop with a cafes and bistro. Both provide a good place to eat or chill out during shop hours.
Soul Restaurant, Green Lane, Modern British with a delicatessen. They serve from early morning through to evening meals. Most of the produce is sourced direct from very good farms in Derbyshire and is cooked to perfection by the team of chefs. Really great atmosphere especially when they have Jazz and Accoustic bands on thursday nights and do a set meal deal. Walls are adorned with work by local artists that changes every two months. Very busy at weekends, so much so that they are opening another floor of seating.
Cactus Cafe, Blacksmiths Yard, Sadler Gate is an excellent mexican restaurant. They offer a huge variety of dishes and cocktails as well a great value party menu. The party menu which includes a starter and main from around £6 is also available to any number of diners on Monday and Tuesday nights.
There are several restaurants near the railway station
El Toro is just round the corner on London Road, towards the Royal Stuart Hotel. There is a good tapas menu and main courses as well and it would take several visits to try all the options. The atmosphere is good without being noisy. 2 people ate well for £35.
The Shalimar, Midland Road, is an Indian Restaurant with a deservedly high reputation.
Masala Art is next door and boasts a listing in Hardens Guide.
Pepitos on London Road is Mexican.
Anoki next to Pepitos is has very fine indian food, comfortable seats and good service.
In or near Friar Gate
Le Bistrot Pierre, Friar Gate. Modern with a French angle. Formerly one of the Pierre Victoire branded privately-owned restaurants. Good value, especially for lunch or the theatre special (order before 7 pm) which is a fixed price of 12 pounds for 2 courses. Special events on midweek evenings each month. Usually full and can be a bit noisy but good atmosphere.
Tonic on Friar Gate has now cloaed and been replaced by a re-located Fat Cat..
Zest, off Friar Gate. Good reputation, it took 5 attempts to get a table. Fixed menu at lunch time and 6-7 pm weekdays - now only 9 pounds for 2 courses. Main menu - starters 5-8 pounds, Mains 13-22, Sweets 6, overall £50+ for 2. Very good standard with nice staff. A small restaurant so can be noisy if there is a big party but is usually quite quiet. Music is Jazz / Sinatra kind of style.
Zizzi, Friar Gate. Pasta and Pizza. Main courses £6 upwards, say £20 for 2 all in. Good value and good atmosphere if rather noisy.
In the suburbs
Ember Inns are the brand of the Mitchell & Butlers brewery. The Markeaton on Kedleston Road has a big seating area outside, a good pub atmosphere and the food is good value with quick service. The Broadway on Duffield Road is in the same chain with more space inside but slower service.
Darleys, Waterfront, Darley Abbey Mill, Darley Abbey (01332) 364987. An excellent restaurant, a bit out of the city centre in Darley Abbey. Quite expensive but it is well worth it. Very attentive service, starters around £7.50, mains £15-20, sweets £6.50 in 2007, around the same price as Zest.
The Mallard, just off the A5111 ring road south of the centre, near City Hospital. One of the reliably above average Beefeater Chain. Atmospheric in the alcoves, less so in the main room. Good value, main courses around £7-8 upwards, overall £22+ for 2. Menu updated and improved in mid 2006, with a variety of good-value menus and Nectar points. Refurbished in October 2006 and now reopened with screens round most of the tables.
The Great Northern, 1 mile North of Mickleover on Station Road has recently been upgraded throughout. The food is inventive, main courses from 7 to 12 pounds. There is Bitburger Lite and reliably excellent coffee.
Out of town
Coopers Arms, Weston on Trent about 5 miles out near the A50 south of Derby. Very old traditional pub with dining rooms. Excellent carvery and other dishes around 8-10 pounds for a main course (One couldn’t eat any more). No bedrooms.
The Mundy Arms, Mackworth. Old pub about 4 miles out next to motel-style Premier Travel Lodge. Deservedly popular, expect to wait even when dining midweek. Menu is good standard, mixture of styles, prices about 7 pounds upward. Sometimes there is a pianist on a Friday night.
Rose and Crown on the Derby-Mansfield Road at the traffic lights where the road to West Hallam and Ilkeston goes off. Team of staff worked very well, were truthful about expected waiting time and beat their own estimate - a rarity. Food was good.
The Hanging Gate at Belper is open all day good food even though its one of a chain. Its in the country on the Ashbourne Road towards Turnditch.
The Fox and Hounds in Coxbench has converted from a no-smoking pub to a restaurant a bit pricey but nice. Please look at the comments for an update.
The New Inn just north of Milford on the A6 has starters at 5 pounds, mains 9-15. Run by Italian couple, generally good food, nice atmosphere, service good.
Coach and Horses at Fenney Bentley north of Ashbourne, best of breed alcohol-free beer (Bitburger Lite) plus good menu and welcome. Car park a little small since dining room extended so go early.