Restaurants in Southampton

Southampton's docks have long been a favoured destination for international travellers, and this global influence is evident in the diversity of its cuisine, which covers everything from traditional English meals to Indian, Spanish, Asian and other culinary influences. There's a restaurant that can satisfy even the most discriminating taste buds in Southampton.

Of course, at the top of the list of Southampton restaurants are fine dining venues such as the Atlantis Bar Restaurant, Tonic Bar & Kitchen and Bleu, one of the newest sensations in town.

The Atlantis Bar Restaurant is renowned for serving Southampton's prime culinary specialty -- fresh fish. The a la carte menu is filled with an extensive selection of different ways to cook, including serving it as the popular Bretonne fish soup. Another specialty of the house is Poole Oysters. Atlantis Bar Restaurant has a great atmosphere for enjoying delights from the deep, blue sea.

Tonic Bar & Kitchen is an ideal venue for a light lunch and, perhaps, a few perfectly mixed martinis. As far as cafes go, this one is a notch or two above the rest. They also have an outdoor terrace, which is an ideal spot for relaxing and watching the world go by. House specialties include seafood kebabs; tuna melt Panini and southern baby back ribs.

Bleu is the latest Grill and Wine Gallery in Southampton. The food is superb and the ambiance is light, exuding a homey feeling amid the modern and stylish decor. But this restaurant's main claim to fame is its exquisite wine gallery, where guests can select from an impressive collection of over 40 types of wine. These wines have all been carefully selected to enhance the dining experience, especially when served with meat and seafood meals.

Visiting vegetarians will also feel right at home in Bleu, which has a delectable array of vegetable-cantered dishes and complementary desserts such as bread and butter pudding and apple pancakes with caramel sauce.

If you're choice of dining venues leans towards the more laid back, the place to patronize is Radley’s Bar & Restaurant. Located on Oxford Street, Radley's exudes an informal air in a sophisticated setting. It's the perfect place for diners who want to dress in casual attire but still experience a classy culinary experience. The food is great and features a wide range of a la carte dishes. House specialties include Thai crab cakes and sweet chilli beef. And perhaps the most surprising thing about this restaurant is its prices. Rest assured that this meal will not break the bank.

For the more adventurous tourists who prefer unconventional dishes from different lands, Southampton has its share of slight different restaurants to counter what may sometimes seem like the same boring and predictable food. Here's a short list of the best such venues.

For starters, try out Los Marinos at the Canute's Pavilion. Their Spanish Tapas bar is superb and the perfect place for people who want to sample a wide array of small and exotic dishes. Tourists with discriminating palates will likely find something they truly enjoy here. House specialties include fish and seafood tapas. There's also a handful of delights for vegetarians, too.

Are you a fan of spicy Indian food? That's exactly what the Spice of India restaurant has to offer. Located on Commercial Road, this famous Indian restaurant has a rare and refreshing atmosphere that will make a tourist feel precisely that he is in another place. House specialties include a wide array of meat, curry, Balti and Dhansak dishes as well as a number of vegetarian delights.

Now, if you're in the mood for something truly different, try the unusual Asian cuisine at Gurkha Chef. Located on City Road, this one-of-a-kind restaurant features cuisine that is cooked the old Nepalese way -- on clay ovens. House specialties include chicken in yogurt (known as Agena Ko Kukhura) and the Kathmandu favourite, Dolkha Ko Raksi.

Vegetarians will have to be careful about where to eat in Southampton because there are not a lot of veggie-only restaurants in town. Their safest choice is to dine at some of the exotic restaurants or to go Indian or Thai. Two of your best choices are the Taste of Thailand or the Olive Tree Restaurant.

The Taste of Thailand has a wide array of veggie cuisine and many of the regular dishes as well for your meat-eating friends. This is actually one of the most fun restaurants in town, with live bands performing regularly at night.

Meanwhile, the Olive Tree Restaurant provides an explosion of Mediterranean food. Located on Oxford Street, the Olive Tree serves excellent veggie dishes cooked in a uniquely Mediterranean manner. Veggie meals are served with a generous dose of Virgin Olive Oil and Buffalo mozzarella.

Among the vegan cafes in town, Allsorts Psychic Cafe has to rank as one of the best. Located on Carlton Place, Allsorts has a wide array of vegan savouries as well as healthy teas and coffee.

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