Local guides

Where to eat in Sheffield
Published 10 May 2023

Credit: Bench

Recently, Sheffield has been enjoying a well-deserved moment in the spotlight with the success of the musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge, a love song to the steel city with music and lyrics by Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley. Following a short London run at the National Theatre earlier this year, it will open in the West End in February 2024. But Sheffielders have long known what a cool place their city is - for music, art and, importantly, food.

For starters, Sheffield is not short of cafés. For a little bit of Italy in the city head for Abbeydale Road and Bragazzi’s. Run by brothers Matteo and Dino, folk travel miles for their espresso and sandwiches loaded with DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese and charcuterie, and for the seductive deli. Just up the road at Forge Bakehouse everything is made from scratch and the counter is laden with bread, pastries and savouries – pop upstairs for brunch. Bang in the centre of town is Australian-run Tamper, where the coffee is exceptional and they take ‘avo on toast’ to another level.

Credit: Tamper

At Elm on Glossop Road enjoy great coffee and ‘banging bagels’ early in the week, graduating to ‘Friday Socials’ with small plates and occasional natural wine tastings. A couple of miles away in leafy Nether Edge, Bench is a stylish neighbourhood bar/bistro with communal tables serving small plates (smoked pork jowl or agretti with preserved lemon and salsa rossa) alongside cocktails, natural wine and beer.

Tonco, tucked away in trendy Sharrow Vale has a warm, slightly scruffy vibe (bags of flour and pasta on shelves, mismatching furniture) but the food from the open kitchen (think Carlin pea ravioli with oyster mushrooms and kohlrabi or Jerusalem artichoke and Beenleigh Blue cheese croquettes) is focussed and super-seasonal. Down in Hillsborough the Orange Bird, a bijou, buzzy place offers up modern South African food cooked over a Braai. Head for Kelham Island, (a dark and edgy industrial quarter back in the day), where thanks to careful regeneration you can eat widely and well here, whether relaxed fine dining at Juke & Loe at the Milestone, a darkly stylish old boozer, or an outstanding vegetarian and vegan offer at V OR V. Housed in a former steel mill, Domo celebrates its Sardinian roots with the likes of slow cooked octopus, potato dumplings filled with pecorino and wild mushroom aranchini.

Credit: Domo

Round the corner at Neepsend Lane the old Rutland Cutlery Works has undergone a major renovation and is now a 300-cover food hall and home to 14 restaurants and three bars across some 14,000 square feet – it’s touted as the biggest food hall in Northern England. Just along the way in a cluster of converted shipping containers is Joro, where Luke French serves up five, eight and ten-course tasting menus, often different every day and based on what’s seasonal, available and takes his fancy. Make a night of it with a swish room at House of Joro, a stone’s throw from the restaurant.

In the ‘burbs, Crookes is student land and you’ll find endless places to eat, but seek out No Name, a tiny front room of a place where chef Thomas Samworth sends out startlingly good dishes from a kitchen the size of two old-fashioned telephone boxes. At the opposite end of the scale (in terms of sophistication) is Rafters, the long-established fine dining restaurant which has weathered every storm possible since 1994. With Alistair Myers and chef Tom Lawson now at the helm, and a cracking four or six-course menu they’re looking future-proofed.

Credit: Rafters

100 years ago, J H Mann Fishmongers started life in Hillsborough. Fast forward to May 2021 and they opened Native, a fish and seafood restaurant on Gibraltar Street. It’s as far from the sea as you can get but everything is briny-fresh - treat yourself to tempura fried whole soft-shell crab served with Devon white crab meat, Katsu sauce and Tonkasu scraps or just good old fish and chips.

Not in Sheffield but only a dozen miles away and well worth the spectacular drive over the moors is The Round Building, the RIBA-award-winning David Mellor cutlery factory in Hathersage. Settle into the Riverside Café in the Design Museum for a reviving plate of Persian Chicken or the ‘Ultimate Reuben’ when you’ve spent way more than you intended on irresistible kitchen classics in the stylish shop.