Barely a year old, this taqueria is in Kelham Island, a grimy industrial zone adjacent to Sheffield city centre. Set in a raw brick warehouse – colourfully decorated with urban art – it’s worlds away from downtown Oaxaca, but, after visiting Mexico, owner Joe Cribley is determined to imbue his taco menu with an authentic flavour. Hand-pressed corn tortillas are topped with gutsily seasoned, slow-cooked meats (spiced, shredded barbecued lamb; achiote paste-marinated pork), which you can wash down with margaritas. Two tacos from £6.
Special occasion, casual dining
A chic nook in the Krynkl shipping container development, chef Luke French’s Jöro is – both, in its hip, ultra-seasonal, Nordic-Japanese cooking and its ingredients – Sheffield’s most ambitious restaurant. You eat amid jars of fermenting produce, hip-hop pumping away as engaging staff fire a salvo of complimentary snacks at you (poached Scottish langoustine with spruce, a divine celeriac and brown butter broth), before wowing you with a succession of small plates of great creativity and depth. Plates from £5-£20.
Sheffield was the 19th century metalwork capital of the world. Today, Sellers Wheel, a former silversmiths’, creates an equally precious commodity: tremendous all-day brunches. At the weekend, local creatives flock to this brick-lined whitewashed space to gorge on Antipodean-style sweetcorn fritters and – co-owner John Perry hails from New Zealand – that Kiwi classic, mince on ciabatta with poached eggs and hollandaise. Dishes from £7.
This much-loved Indian restaurant has been a fixture on the Sheffield scene since 1967. In recent years, its compact dining room has been given a neat, Dishoom-style, Raj-era makeover (all wooden booths, vintage signs, shelves of decorative Indian groceries), while its food cleaves to tradition in the best possible way. Scintillatingly spiced seekh kebabs emerge from a charcoal-fired tandoor, while dishes, from a Parsi lentil curry to the ‘Viceroy’s keema’, are kaleidoscopic in their freshly-ground, sensitively spiced flavours. Leagues above the generic high street curry house. Mains from £10.
Cheap eats, kid-friendly, casual dining
In Sharrow Vale, Porter is flying the flag for wood-fired ovens and slow-proved dough, producing pizzas with puffy cornicione crusts and good leoparding (the delicious spots of char created by super-hot wood-fired ovens). Try the Kale Rider – pine nuts, cheddar, onion marmalade, crispy kale – or the Amore, with olives, fennel seed, salami and artichoke hearts. Pizza from £6.50.
Casual dining, kid-friendly, cheap eats
A communal food hall (housing permanent street food traders), is every UK city’s must-have, and Kommune – a vast, sleek transformation of Castle House – is a striking addition to that growing network. It’s home to branches of Sheffield indies such as Tamper and craft beer evangelists Hop Hideout. Food ranges from Pom Kitchen’s plant-powered dishes to ‘Korean soul food’ at Yori. There are two out-of-town outfits – Newcastle’s Fat Hippo slings next-level burgers and Marple’s Chaat Cart deals in South Indian food that will make you swoon. Dishes from £5.
Visiting a city is about hunting out its one-offs, which makes Sharrow Vale fishmonger, JH Mann, a must. At lunch (11am-3pm), choose your fish from the ice, add a side and owners Christian Szurko and Scott Mills will cook it for you there and then, using a small stove-top and fryer by the counter. The results – for instance, seared mackerel fillets, samphire and yellow lentil dhal – are delicious and good value. At the weekend, locals sit in the window and eat oysters and seafood platters, surrounded by the shop’s quirky bric-a-brac: ornamental fish, vintage crockery and antique cutlery. Dishes from around £10.
Casual dining, kid-friendly
The Millennium Gallery may seem an odd location for one of Sheffield’s hottest restaurants – public buildings rarely facilitate good food – but at Ambulo, gallery bosses have brought in the team from Sheffield’s coolest cocktail spot, Public, to turn its canteen into a bustling all-day diner. You can hang out over coffee at 9am or knock out negronis at 9pm, and, throughout, eat very good food. From filthy hits such as the Korean fried chicken crumpet to swanky dishes of roast hake with brown shrimp & XO noisette, the menu is fun, flexible and, at its top-end, downright fantastic. Dishes from £3.
At Elm, the focus is on organic and natural wine, which you can explore while enjoying platters of top-notch charcuterie, local cheeses and simple, well-executed, seasonal plates of, say, potato and wild garlic fritters with chilli jam or ricotta and asparagus ravioli. It is a place that, in every mouthful, is a testament to traditional technique and patient artisan skills. Plates from £5.50.
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly
At times, you need to head a little out of the city centre to eat well, to, in this case, the so-called Antiques Quarter on Abbeydale Road. For a working bakery, Forge is surprisingly natty. Its first-floor dining room is a handsome, Scandi-modern space; open late on pizza nights and for supper clubs. Downstairs, sun-trap seating spills out onto the road. As well as stellar pastel de nata, Forge dispenses upmarket soups, savoury tarts, grilled cheese sandwiches and tip-top brunch plates. Dishes from £5.
More UK city guides
Don't see your favourite Sheffield restaurant? Leave a comment below...
All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of 4th June 2019 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out of date information in this guide please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.