The Top 10 Restaurants In Derby, UK

Dinner Tables | © Unsplash/Pixabay
Dinner Tables | © Unsplash/Pixabay
Photo of Courtney Stanley
9 February 2017

Located in the center of England, Derby has the The Peak District around the corner and a beautiful cathedral and charming markets on its doorstep. It’s also got a solid dining scene, with everything from gourmet burgers to haute Indian cuisine. We pick the best 10 places for a pitstop.

The Exeter Arms

Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
The Exeter Arms is one of the top-rated pubs in the area. Set in an old building that’s full of character, it has a friendly and rustic feel. Sit down with a glass of authentic ale and relax in this pub, which has won Best Derby Pub for four years running. Try the Shepherdless Pie, a vegetarian version of the classic dish, or the British Tapas Board, which comes with small selections of traditional British dishes like sausage rolls, black pudding, pickled onions, and more. The menu is not huge, but the eclectic options show a wide range of skill in the kitchen.


Restaurant, British, $$$
Map View
Restaurant Zest, Sadler Gate
Restaurant Zest, Sadler Gate | © Ján Sokoly/Flickr
Located in the heart of the city, Zest serves fine British cuisine with generous portions and a relaxing atmosphere. The charming restaurant’s menu is updated frequently to provide the freshest, most seasonal food available. Enjoy a Guinea fowl breast, served with baby leeks and shiitake mushrooms, or a Scottish salmon fillet, served with lemon and thyme confit potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and purple stem broccoli.


Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Map View
Anoki is a favorite fine dining spot for locals. Located in the refurbished Old Picture Hall, Anoki Derby was the start of a successful chain of Indian restaurants; there are two other locations in the UK. Enjoy a decadent meal made with the finest ingredients and spices, from the classic chicken tikka to the more extravagant lamb Desi. The gilded vaulting of the venue, situated in the center of town, gives the restaurant an incredible atmosphere.

The Forge

Bar, Pub Grub, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Map View
The Forge Bar & Gourmet Grill, Sadler Gate
The Forge Bar & Gourmet Grill, Sadler Gate | © Unsplash/Pixabay
The Forge is a casual burger joint and bar with one of the city’s largest outdoor courtyards. The restaurant’s menu consists of more than 25 burgers made from 100 percent fresh local beef, served with a side dish and a scoop of The Forge’s house-made coleslaw. Try The Big Breakfast, a burger that comes topped with a sausage patty, thick bacon, a fried egg, and grilled mushrooms, or the Caribbean, a jerk-spiced chicken breast topped with onions and mixed peppers in a Caribbean sauce.


Restaurant, British, $$$
Map View
Table | © PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay
Masa is located in a charming, refurbished chapel that is more than 200 years old, and it has established a reputation as one of Derby’s most atmospheric fine dining restaurants. The restaurant was awarded two AA rosettes and is the current placeholder for Derby’s top restaurant. Masa is dedicated to made-from-scratch dishes filled with fresh, local ingredients. The menu changes frequently, but Masa is known for its bistro-cut rump of Derbyshire beef (served with haricot blanc purée, pressed potato, red cabbage, girolles, and madeira jus) and its blue cheese and red lentil Wellington (served with red wine poached pears, baby beetroot, walnuts, and chicory).

The Bookcafé

Cafe, British, Contemporary, $$$
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Coffee with a book
Coffee with a book | © miradeshazer/Pixabay
The quirky Bookcafé bar and restaurant is located in a Grade-2 listed Victorian bank. Established in 2000, the Bookcafé started as a bookshop in York, but it has been in its Derby location for more than ten years and now focuses on food and drink. Come to the Bookcafé to enjoy a glass of coffee or wine in a family-owned restaurant and shop, or try one of the café’s meals at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, serving a simple menu that ranges from artisan pizzas to sandwiches and burgers.

The Spice Lounge

Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Map View
Enjoy the flavors of Bangladeshi and Southern Asian dishes with a fresh twist at The Spice Lounge. The chefs have based their menu on authentic Asian dishes and the restaurant is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a new, spicy dish made with ingredients sourced from local vendors. The specialty dish is Jalpati: fresh chicken or lean lamb tikka pieces cooked in spicy jalfrezi and pathia sauces, green chilies, and red peppers.

The Brooklyn Social

Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Burger and a Beer
Burger and a Beer | © YankoPeyankov/Pixabay
The Brooklyn Social is a casual restaurant built from American bar and diner influences and specializing in rustic burgers, cocktails, and beer. The bar and restaurant’s location in a Grade-II listed building brings an innate charm and history to the dining space, which in turn is filled with bright, neon signs and vintage furniture.

The Wonky Table

Restaurant, European, $$$
Map View
The Wonky Table serves fresh dishes inspired by European bistros from its delightful and cosy location on Sadler Gate. The restaurant’s menu changes frequently to take advantage of seasonal ingredients, and vegetarians can celebrate, because The Wonky Table offers a monthly vegetarian evening. On the everyday menu try the gnudi; roast cauliflower, toasted almonds, lemon, and chili and caper dressing. Meat eaters will enjoy the haunch of venison steak marinated in juniper and thyme with roast pear and blackberry sauce.

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