Nottingham’s Coolest Places To Eat – The Quirky, The Queer And The Quaint!

Great Nottingham Restaurants A Bit On The Quirky Side

Are you a sucker for the unconventional? Like to eat your pizza with flamenco’s and leafy palms? Want your chicken balls delivered on roller skates? Fear not. Amongst the throngs of great Nottingham restaurants, we’re not short of a few quirky eateries and the standard of food in the coolest venues is definitely worth shedding your well-earned cash for.

The Nottingham food scene is thriving right now and we’re here to tell you about all the best places to eat in Nottingham with that quirky, alternative feel or just some added extra va va voom. Keep reading!

Nottingham Street Food Club

New kid on the block, Nottingham Street Food Club is like a lazy-susan of all the best dishes you might conjur up in your brain from around the world. A rotating roster of independants chalking up their latest inventions on their serving hatches, from burgers to bao buns, sticky chicken to sushi. Place your order, find a comfy pew on an old Chesterfield armchair and wait for a tattoo’ed chef to shout your name from his window. No passport needed.

WHAT : Street food and cocktails. Try the spicy buttermilk chicken!

WHERE : Upstairs at the back of Victoria INTU Centre.

WHEN : Only Friday, Saturday, Sunday unfortunately.

Notts street food - places to eat Nottingham
best fried chicken in nottingham


Some people in Nottingham like to eat their dinner on a chair, others prefer a swing. A swing forces your core to engage and in turn helps you digest your food better – I just made that up, a swing just looks swanky on instagram!

If you’re cool with being gawked at by people in the street (darn full length windows) who are simply just jealous of your swaying behaviour, then you’re in for a clean eating version of Britain’s signature dish – the curry.

WHAT : Healthy homecooked Indian food without the ladles of ghee.

WHERE : Stoney Street, Hockley

WHEN : Perfect for brunch or a light lunch

Mowgli - a quirky cool place to eat in Nottingham for India street food


Zaap – what happens to your senses when you walk in to Nottingham’s funkiest Thai restaurant. The open kitchen and brightly decorated seating area give you plenty to feast your eyes on until your food arrives. Seating in railway carriages and Tuk Tuks with neon galore, it’s obvious why this place is a favourite with families – all the fun and all the flavour too. A Bangkok street market would struggle to produce more hustle and bustle.

WHAT : Noodles, dim-sum, basically any type of Thai streetfood.

WHERE : Bromley Place, just off Maid Marian Way

WHEN : Anytime you feel like holing up in a tuktuk with family & friends!

zaap, nottingham - one of the coolest places to eat with kids
zaap in Nottingham is one of the quirkiest eateries there is in the city
thai street food at zaap in Nottingham - best place to eat
zaap nottingham

The Hockley Arts Club

Vintage old school glamour is the name of the game at the Hockley Arts Club. It’s a hidden bar but Nottingham’s worst kept secret – beauty like this was never going to remain underground! These were the old managerial offices of Nottingham’s Lace Industry and never has a potted palm looked more at home. 

Table service is standard in the Blue Rooms, even if you’re just nipping in for a cheeky mid-week cocktail, making you feel luxurious from head to toe. Not resting on their cocktail-laurels though, their seasonal menu has been spread all over instagram – especially their epic Sunday Dinners.

WHAT : Fresh local grub presented beautifully in enchanting surroundings. The 3 course Prix-Fixe for £14.95 is a masterpiece.

WHERE : Carlton Street, Hockley

WHEN : Tues-Thurs 5-10pm, all day Friday & Weekends.

Das Kino

Maybe Das Kino means ‘to cancel out’ in German? I like to think having a game of ping-pong after a big phat pizza goes some way to offset the calorie count, therefore Das Kino is a guilt-free zone. A great excuse to skip the gym.

Neon signs and flaky paint are the backdrop to your excellent sourdough base, with fun and games as your soundtrack. Casual and quirky with a large dollop of cool. (Das Kino does in fact mean cinema in German)

WHAT : Sourdough pizza  – try the Slumdog Millionaire for something a bit different.

WHERE : 22 Fletcher Gate.

WHEN : When only a pizza will do (it IS one of Nottingham’s finest pizza joints). 2-4-1 Tuesdays on pizza, gin and cocktails.


Quirky for its menu but on this list mostly for the va va voom. Understated  decor offsets the fabulous, if slightly bizarre, menu and you get to dine at one of the best restaurants in Nottingham. Toasted hay and burnt sugar may not sound like the most appetising course but trust me – whatever the menu reads, just say yes! Fermented turnip, hen of the woods and blackened garlic have never tasted so good. This is Nottingham’s finest version of dining, the end.

WHAT : Michelin style plates of passion and flavour that you’ll remember for a very long time.

WHERE : 192 Derby Road, a 5 minute walk outta town.

WHEN : For that special occasion, or if a 7 course taster menu is your standard lunch.

Peggy’s Skylight

Imagine a Jazz Club married a cinema and they made a baby. A really cool little venue in the heart of Hockley with the quirkiest of seating arrangements. 

Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and other ‘Jazz Greats’ toured the Middle East in the 1960’s and if Biography’s ever came in restaurant form then Peggy’s Skylight has nailed this era! A guess at Mr Armstrong’s daily lunches puts dishes like slow cooked lamb and pomegranates on the menu along with eastern spiced cakes and traditional flat breads. And, definitely one of the best places to eat in Nottingham if you like a soundtrack with your sauce.

Check out their website for future acts and events.

WHAT : Eastern flavours of the finest ingredients set to live music.

WHERE : 3 George Street, Hockley.

WHEN : Saturday afternoon tea with a helping of Jazz piano. Open Wednesday to Sunday, midday to midnight (5pm Sunday).

Peggy's Skylight, one of the coolest jazz clubs in nottingham
Peggy's Skylight - Jazz bar nottingham
quirky bar nottingham - Peggy's skylight

Six At Trent Bridge

One of the best places to eat in Nottingham with a vista, Six dishes up more than just posh nosh. You get dinner and a show from the most elevated dining table in the city!

Whilst world-class cricket plays out 6 floors below you, you can eat your gin-cured salmon with sunset views over half of Nottingham. And the decor is sleek, I think possibly they used Tony Stark’s interior designer. Cocktails are compulsory and must be sipped on the viewing deck!

Check ahead of time for the match schedule.

WHAT : Modern British dishes, but when there are only six to choose from you just know they’ve been perfected to the hilt!

WHERE : The best cricket ground in the world

WHEN : Those days you feel on top of the world and you want a table to give you that. 

More Quirky Cool Bars In Nottingham

So you’re not hungry but still want some cool bars to hang out in? Here’s our list of quirky or just uber-cool places…

  • Pitcher and Piano – set in a grand church. You can’t not be impressed.
  • The Alchemist – plenty of stuffed animals to keep you company and a good amount of cocktails that look like science experiments.
  • Lost Property – another hidden bar but this time in some of Nottingham’s infamous caves. (See hotel recommendation below)
  • Pepper Rocks – like you’re in a forest but there’s a bar!

Nottingham is a definite foodie city with plenty on offer for the palate and the eye’s – go on, give some of our funky venue’s a try, and do let us know what you think!

Incidentally, if you’re looking for a great boutique hotel in Nottingham check out the Nottingham Mercure website for a contemporary room in the perfect central location with its very own quirky bar deep in the underground caves – a rumour has it Robin Hood drank there too. Prices are very reasonable with a free breakfast, the location is great and the hotel has an undisputed history being the oldest in Nottingham and entertaining a number of famous guests like Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Taylor.

Click here for the best deals at the Mercure, Nottingham.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out my other posts about Nottingham for more local tips.

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The great foodie city of Nottingham has some fantastically cool places to eat and drink - from the quaint to the queer we have all the best restaurants and bars you should visit when you are next in Nottingham, England. #Nottingham #EastMidlands #England

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kerry Solomon says:

    I found this list just now approximately 2 weeks after we were there. That figures.
    Great city. I could live there.

  2. Jane Taylor says:

    Okay. I’ve lived in Nottingham for 30 years and it seems I’ve led a depressingly sheltered life when it comes to cool places to eat. To be fair, 30 years ago, you had the choice of Debenhams Cafe or Wimpy in the Broadmarsh. Even so…I need to get out more! That cinema baby place looks amazing! If they swapped Jazz for Country, I’d be there all hours!

    Fab list!

    1. Alex says:

      Now you’re talking – country would be so much better than jazz! *did I just say that out loud*

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