The best Leicestershire restaurants and other eateries we’ve tried during 2022

Us foodies really are spoiled for choice in Leicester and Leicestershire. We’ve got everything from traditional cafes serving up a cracking full English to fine dining restaurants providing the perfect spot to celebrate special occasions.

There’s eateries serving food from around the world, with Greek, Argentinian, Italian, Indian and Caribbean among the cuisines you can enjoy. And of course, Leicestershire is home to Michelin-starred restaurant, John’s House, with another Michelin-starred venue, Hambleton Hall, just over the border in Rutland.

With so much choice, it can be hard deciding where to go for your next meal out. So, with that in mind, we’ve taken a look back over all the food reviews we carried out in 2022 to compile the list below, which is our pick of places to try. These places – listed in the order in which we visited them – impressed us so much that we gave them a top score of 5/5:

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The Radmoor, Loughborough College

Our main courses at The Radmoor
Our main courses at The Radmoor
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed February

When it comes to value for money, The Radmoor is hard to beat. We were lucky enough to benefit from a ‘buy one get one free’ deal, but even at the usual price of £10.50 for three courses, this is incredible value, especially given the quality of the food.

The Radmoor Restaurant enables diners to enjoy a meal prepared and served by catering and hospitality students working towards a variety of qualifications, under the guidance of a professional hospitality team. The restaurant is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday, and also opens for themed evenings on a Thursday.

The food was excellent in terms of both taste and presentation. We tried starters of cauliflower velouté and confit tomatoes, mozzarella and borage, main courses of roast loin of pork and a cod and herb fishcake, and desserts of fruit delice with berry coulis and profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce.

Read the full review here.

Rustic Kitchen and Deli, Mountsorrel

My full English at Rustic Kitchen and Deli
My full English at Rustic Kitchen and Deli
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed February

Rustic Kitchen was set up during the first lockdown, in early 2020, by experienced chefs Lee Harding and Tom Bower. The business started in Tom’s former wedding catering unit in Tur Langton, from where they sold an array of local and British food products, as well as offering grazing boxes, doughnuts on ‘Doughnut Saturdays’ and their popular ‘fakeaways’ where they produced their version of classic dishes from high street giants.

The cafe gives customers the chance to sit and relax while enjoying Rustic Kitchen’s food. I had the RKD full English, and it was superb.

It featured a wonderfully flavoursome Lincolnshire sausage, along with two lovely thick rashers of dry cured bacon. I enjoyed the buttery-tasting roasted field mushroom and the roasted half tomato, which had been nicely seasoned, as well as the fried egg, which was nice and runny when I cut into its golden yolk.

The clearly homemade baked beans were delicious, and I think I detected a kick of chilli, which I liked. I really enjoyed the hash brown and the toast served with lovely Marmite butter.

Read the full review here.

Nama-Stay for Dinner, delivery service

We tried a thali from Nama-Stay For Dinner
We tried a thali from Nama-Stay For Dinner
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed April

Nama-Stay For Dinner is a family-run food delivery business, offering authentic Indian meals, with a weekly-changing menu. It was started in December 2020 by Sapna Trehan-Pattani.

According to Sapna, who is Punjabi, she cooked her family meals from the age of around 12 or 13, and has always been passionate about showcasing her heritage through the use of fresh and quality ingredients coupled with freshly ground homemade spice blends to bring out the best in a dish.

We chose the thali option – which gives you the chance to pick five dishes per person – one of which must be a starter, plus a type of bread. Your chosen dishes are also served with rice.

For my starter, from a choice of seven, I chose the paneer tikki kathi roll. For mains, from a choice of five, I opted for butter chicken, homestyle masala lamb, tadka daal and Bombay aloo, along with a garlic naan.

My husband Simon picked a starter of chilli chicken and mains of homestyle masala lamb, tadka daal, paneer tikka masala and Bombay aloo, plus a bhatura from the bread selection.

We thought it was a superb meal, full of delicious fresh flavours. Yes, you do have to heat it up yourself (for a few minutes in the microwave!) but all the hard work has been done already – clearly by someone who has great understanding of, and passion for, the type of food she is cooking.

Read the full review here.

Maurizio’s Italian Pizza and Pasta, Leicester

Maurizio's is one of the shortlisted restaurants
Pizzas at Maurizio’s
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed April

Maurizio’s Italian Pizza and Pasta opened in March in the Belvoir Street unit formerly occupied by both Haycock and Tailbar, and Youngs Cameras before that. Maurizio’s traditional Neopolitan pizzas were already known to foodies across the city, as the business had previously operated out of a smaller restaurant in Cyril Street, off Narborough Road.

All ingredients come from Italy, right down to the salt. Maurizio makes his own dough, using four types of flour, including an ancient grain – which come from different Italian regions.

We were impressed by the Maurizio pizza – which had an unusual topping of tomato sauce, pistachios, salami Milano, brie, pesto, truffle relish and mozzarella, and the pizza of the month, with a white base topped with cherry tomatoes, porchetta, smoked scamorza cheese and gorgonzola.

We also thought the restaurant had a lovely feel to it, from the rustic look to the warm atmosphere created by the friendly staff.

Read the full review here.

Tap and Run, Upper Broughton

We tried Sunday lunch at The Tap and Run
We tried Sunday lunch at The Tap and Run earlier this year
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed May

This pub, which had previously been named by The Times as one of Britain’s top 30 places to visit for a Sunday lunch, wowed us with its Sunday roast – including the delicious Nottinghamshire rump of beef and slow roasted pork loin.

Sadly, the pub, owned by England and Nottinghamshire cricketers Stuart Broad and Harry Gurney, was devastated by fire earlier in June this year and is currently closed. We had such an enjoyable meal there though, that we couldn’t leave it off this list.

The good news is, work is well underway and the pub is due to re-open in spring 2023. I can’t wait to revisit The Tap and Run once the doors re-open, and recommend you add it to your list of places to try in the future.

Read the full review here.

Tamalada, Quorn

Our Latin American feast at Tamalada
Our Latin American feast at Tamalada
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed July

Aiming to provide an authentic taste of Latin America, Tamalada’s kitchen is headed up by Peruvian head chef William Ortiz, who started his career working in his family’s restaurant in his home country and then honed his skills at a series of top London restaurants including The Savoy, The Dorchester, The Berkeley and The Landmark.

We opted for small plates of gambas con ajillo – a prawn dish with garlic, that ever-present Latin American favourite, nachos, plus main dishes of gaucho steak and xinxim, a Brazilian curry dish.

The dishes were beautifully presented, and tasted wonderful. The gambas included just three prawns, but they were large, juicy and dripping with garlic chilli butter and red chilli sauce, which had an incredible flavour. Tamalada’s nachos were tasty and satisfying, with crisp tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, pico de gallo tomato salsa, jalapenos as well as soured cream and guacamole.

The gaucho steak was superb. Our knives cut through it like butter and the meat was flavoursome and incredibly succulent. The classic Brazilian dish xinxim, which was nutty, spicy and sweet with a creamy sauce containing tender chunks of chicken and a scattering of crayfish.

We finished with banana empanadas, which featured crisp pastry giving way to a rich banana filling. Combined with the sweet dulce de leche (caramel) sauce, it rounded off the meal beautifully.

Read the full review here.

The Copt Oak, Markfield

Cajun chicken and rump steak
Cajun chicken and rump steak
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed October

The Copt Oak, in Whitwick Road, re-opened in June this year after a big refurbishment. I’d been to have a sneak peek at the £500,000 makeover and was impressed, so when I noticed that a three-course lunch was available for £16, I decided to head back to the pub and give it a try.

Well, it proved to be a tasty bargain. Starters included garlic bruschetta, prosciutto ham bruschetta, breaded garlic mushrooms and soup of the day – which was a lovely thick mushroom soup when we visited.

For mains, we had Cajun chicken which was delicious, thanks to the welcome warming flavour of the Cajun spices in which the butterflied chicken breast had been marinated, and a rump steak, which was cooked as requested.

We rounded off our meal with a decadent melt in the middle chocolate pudding and a generous portion of ice cream, with scoops of good quality Belgian chocolate, strawberries and cream and vanilla pod ice creams.

Service was friendly and prompt, despite a sudden influx of customers about half way throughout our visit.

Read the full review here.

Knight and Garter, Leicester

Inside the restaurant at the Knight and Garter
Inside the restaurant at the Knight and Garter
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed October

We visited this award-winning Leicester pub to try out its Leicester Restaurant Week offering. Knight and Garter was one of a number of locations offering great deals to entice diners to visit the city centre.

The ‘Taste of the Knight’ menu cost £20 for three courses, and included starters such as the plant-based duck bao bun and chicken satay wings which we tried. The bao bun was seriously good, with the ‘fake’ duck being a very good substitute for the real deal, and the chicken satay wings were tender and tasty.

For mains, we had chicken Milanese and mushroom pappardelle. Both meals were of a generous size, and as with the starters, offered a pleasing blend of flavours and textures. We recoked the pappardelle was the stand-out dish.

We finished our meal with mini apple filled beignets (essentially a tiny French doughnut) and a slice of mascarpone and vanilla cheesecake. Both were top notch.

We left the Knight and Garter feeling incredibly full but also incredibly satisfied. The food was delicious, the surroundings were lovely and we received friendly and efficient service from the manager, who also demonstrated a good knowledge of the menu.

The Restaurant Week deal is no longer available, but I’d highly recommend a visit to this gem of a restaurant. Read the full review here.

Beardsley’s Tea Room, Rearsby

Our afternoon tea at Beardsley's Tea Room
Our afternoon tea at Beardsley’s Tea Room
(Image: Becky Jones)

Reviewed December

Our visit to Beardsley’s Tea Room in December was a delicious way to get into the festive spirit. We tried the festive afternoon tea, served on a pretty tiered cake stand, decorated with a trio of mini baubles.

We enjoyed the selection of finger sandwiches, with fillings of egg mayonnaise and watercress, turkey with cranberry sauce, ham with English mustard and cheese with caramelised onion chutney. There were also tasty savoury pastries of stuffing and cranberry roll and a superb fig and goat’s cheese parcel.

There were some incredible treats among the layer of cakes and bakes, including a wonderful satsuma sponge cakes with a bitter orange curd at the centre of the moist sponge. We also enjoyed the cherry Bakewell slice, tasty little mince pie and excellent fruit scones, served warmed and topped with clotted cream and jam.

We thought that Beardsley’s had the warmth and charm of Grandma’s house, with an added dash of panache. Service was excellent from the friendly team.

Read the full review here.

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