Last updated on March 31st, 2012 | Written By Anne Greaves
My favourite restaurants in Sheffield
Inside Sakushi restaurant.
Sheffield may not have the best restaurant scene in Yorkshire, but it’s improving year on year with places like Moran’s, Marco at Milano, Kitchen and Gusto garnering widespread praise. With a cosmopolitan population and thousands of students, Sheffield has plenty of options for dining out on good food from around the world without breaking the bank. Here’s my pick of the crop.
I first tried this Spanish canteen and tapas bar in 2011 after walking past a few times and being stopped in my tracks by the array of rustic bread, cured meat and home-made meringues in the window.
El Toro is on Newbould Lane in the heart of Broomhill, an area frequented by students and young professionals. It’s open from 8am most days so you could start with scrambled eggs, spend the day nibbling on tapas and drinking coffee, and finish up with a large glass of Rioja before toddling off to bed.
They also do take-out so if you’re in Broomhill at lunch time, you should treat yourself to a Manchego cheese and quince jelly sandwich. I think El Toro serves some of the best tapas in Sheffield with the Tortilla Espanola, Spanish meat platter and fried aubergine being my personal favourites.
Size wise El Toro is pretty dinky and booking is recommended, especially if you’re planning on visiting at the weekend or if you’re going for the early bird offer.
In the last couple of years Sheffield has seen a bit of an explosion in Japanese eateries, but I’m still very fond of Sakushi, the first sushi restaurant to open in Sheffield city centre. Tucked away on Campo Lane, Sakushi can be quiet, but they keep tempting new and repeat customers with a range of special offers and discounts for loyalty card holders.
Part of its charm is the stylish décor which is part Japan part champagne bar with black tables, white seats and cherry blossom around the kitchen hatch. Central to the whole experience is the conveyor belt which sends different coloured plates of sushi in a loop down the centre of the room.
Diners sit in booths on one side of the belt or at a long curved bench on the other and select plates as they pass by. At the end of the meal your bill is totted up according to how many plates you’ve eaten, each colour having a different price. If sushi isn’t your thing there’s an extensive menu of Japanese starters, noodles, rice dishes and bento boxes. Itadakimasu!
Many Sheffield residents were disappointed when the popular Gusto Italiano coffee shop and restaurant on Church Street closed down in 2011. The news that it was re-opening as an upscale bistro on Norfolk Row was met with mixed feelings from locals who enjoyed relaxing with a coffee and a paper in the old premises.
The ‘new’ Gusto is in a beautiful Georgian building just off Sheffield’s main shopping street, previously occupied by Molly’s Tea Rooms. Anyone who visited Molly’s will know what an amazing transformation has taken place inside.
You walk into a cosy area at the front of the restaurant with a brass-topped bar, a tempting dessert cabinet and a handful of seats before an archway leads you through to a small but airy dining room where rows of wine bottles and duck egg blue walls give a feeling of elegance. The food is pretty special too and totally different from the other Italians in the city centre which tend to be chain restaurants or ‘cheap and cheerful’.
As you’d expect the menu has plenty of pasta including a good selection of vegetarian options, but my heart was stolen by the juicy fillet steak and the icing on the cake (so to speak) is their deliciously boozy Rum Baba. A meal at Gusto isn’t cheap but I think it’s worth every penny. Table reservations are always recommended.
Another newcomer towards the end of 2011 was Efes, a Turkish restaurant on Glossop Road directly opposite the Swim Inn. I was persuaded to visit after I walked past on opening night and had a chat with an enthusiastic and somewhat flustered waiter who told me how much I’d enjoy the food.
Turns out he was right. Everything I’ve eaten at Efes has been delicious, from the complementary flatbreads to the lamb kleftiko and soft wheat rice. They do a great selection of meze dishes too with plenty of vegetarian options. And make sure you wash it all down with an Efes Pilsner for the full Turkish experience!
Photo credit: Guy Troullard
Browse the map and click on the pins to find the location of the places featured in this guide.