Dining in Reading
With more than 250 different types of restaurants serving all kinds of food at various prices, Reading has more than enough to offer visitors.
The great majority of them can be found in the city centre, particularly in St. Mary's Butts and Kings Walk. Many popular chains are also based near the Oracle shopping centre along the riverside area. While it is not possible to list all these venues here, the following is a brief sampling of what Reading has to offer.
These restaurants are all within a stone's throw of central Reading.
1. Beijing Noodle House
Located on 13 West Street (tel. no. 958-8188) at the city centre, the Beijing Noodle House offers fast food at its finest. It boasts of genuine Chinese cuisine as well as various Southeast Asian delights. The service is extra sharp and orders are delivered in no time. Its decor is basic, but it's the food that reels the customers in, every day from 12 noon to 11:30 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays and from noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
2. The Cerise Restaurant and Bar
Located with the Forbury Hotel at the city centre (tel. no. 958-1234 or Free phone 0800 789 789), features exquisite five-star dining, with a wide array of the best international food in town. It is a favourite place of Reading's glitterati and corporate professionals. As befits its venue, the restaurant's decor is top flight and their restrooms have their own unique artworks.
3. Sweeney & Todd
Located on 10 Castle Street at the city centre (tel no. 958-6466), Sweeney & Todd is one of Reading's most popular restaurants and is renowned for its variety of delicious pies, ranging from the traditional to the new and innovative. While it started out as a small pie shop, Sweeney & Todd has evolved into a maze of whitewashed cellars and a spacious conservatory at the back. This restaurant also features a genuine ale bar. It is from Mondays to Saturdays until mid-evening.
4. The Gulshan
Located at 20-24 Station Hill right across the rail station (tel. no. 958-9914), The Gulshan may not have the best location around, since it is perched on a walkway beneath an office block, but visitors to Reading will be hard pressed to find the kind of mouth-watering Indian and Bengali dishes that this restaurant serves.
5. The Bina Tandoori
Located at 21 Prospect Street in Caversham (tel. no. 946-2115), sits above the river, a short 20-minute stroll from the city centre. The authentic Indian and Bengal food that they have to offer is more than worth the effort. Their food is great and service is outstanding. All female guests are even gifted with a lovely rose when they leave. The contemporary decor is highlighted by the restaurants signature deep blue grass. It is open every day from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
6. The Griffin
Located on 10-12 Church Road in Caversham (tel. no. 947-5018), The Griffin belongs to a chain of English pubs and is famous for its traditional pub food offerings, including fish, meat and vegetarian delights. It is open from Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m.
7. Loch Fyne
Located on Bear Wharf along Fobney Street, some 200 yards from the Oracle Centre (tel no. 918-5850), Loch Fyne is actually situated within the confines of an old brewery, which makes for great ambience. Their seafood dishes are par excellence, plus the view is superb as you enjoy the relaxing sight of small boats cruising down County lock. It is open from Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Located at 17-19 Valpy Street in the city centre, (tel. no. 950-4613), Chronicles is a cosy cellar restaurant that has a relaxing, laid-back atmosphere. They are known for their outstanding British cuisine, featuring both traditional and modern dishes. It is open from Monday to Friday, 12 noon to 10 p.m., on Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
9. Bel and the Dragon
Located on Blakes Lock, a mere stone's throw away from the city centre, Bel and the Dragon boasts of excellent and friendly crowds, a great atmosphere and reasonable prices.
10. Blue Cobra
Located on High Street in Theale, about four miles away from Reading via the A4 (tel. no. 930-4040), the Blue Cobra has won awards for its excellent cuisine, which consists of great contemporary dishes with a touch of Thailand, Bangladesh and South Asia. It is open from Monday to Saturday, 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.