Some of the city's best places to treat your taste buds
Red Hot World Buffet, The Cornerhouse, Trinity Square, 0115 958 9899, www.redhot-worldbuffet.com. The newly-opened biggest restaurant in Nottingham is a multi-cuisine buffet in the cavernous underground setting that was once The Works nightclub. Parmjit and Helen Daliwhal's Red Hot brand was launched in Nottingham a decade ago and this sets the seal on its expansion. Almost 40 chefs deliver curries, Chinese, Thai, Italian, American, Japanese and even traditional British carvery roasts. Extravagant decor, families welcome.
Aurora, 47 Stoney St, 0115 941 3816, aurorarestaurant.org Tucked away in a cosy basement room, Aurora has quickly become a must go to for Nottingham diners. The bistro-style menu eschews overly fancy – and expensive – in favour of sublime quality modern British cuisine. The result is a place that makes you feel like you're stepping out – even when your wallet tells you you're not.
The Cross Keys, 15 Byard Lane, 0115 941 7898, crosskeysnottingham.co.uk This was already one of the city centre's top boozers. But now with its eclectically decorated, Alice in Wonderland-esque upstairs room available several nights a week as a dining room, it has taken another step up.
Downstairs they've still got great ales on the bar, good food that ranges from pub to cafe, and sport on two televisions for people who want to watch sport without necessarily going to a "sport pub". All around, a class act.
The Dragon, 67 Long Row West, 0115 941 7080, the-dragon.co.uk This funky little pub has long been known for good, straightforward pub grub and a village-pub-in-the-city atmosphere. Now it has added another string to the bow – it's the new home of The Racing Room, a Scalextric racing track where you can race the little cars around a track that includes a model of Nottingham city centre.
Hartley's Coffee and Sandwich Bar, 21 Carlton Street, 0115 950 4877, hartleyscoffeeand sandwichbar.co.uk "The shop with the fake cow out front" is a recent addition to Hockley but seems to have already become a landmark. The cow helps, but so does friendly service and a selection of sandwiches and cake-y desserts that includes one of the city's best gluten-free selections.
The Larder on Goosegate, first floor, 16-22 Goosegate, 01159 500 111, thelarderongoosegate.co.uk Traditional British fare with modern flair, all set in an atmospheric first-floor dining room with plate windows overlooking Hockley. From the lesser-known cuts of beef to the locally sourced fish to the indulgent array of made-on-premises desserts, this is one of the city's most creative restaurants.
The Lincolnshire Poacher, 161-163 Mansfield Road, 0115 941 1584 Our friends at the Nottingham branch of the Campaign for Real Ale can't seem to go very long without giving the Poacher another award, and we're certainly not going to argue. With a magnificent whisky menu to go along with one of the best and most well-tended ale selections around, this place slakes any grown-up thirst. And with several homely rooms plus a comfy, tucked away beer garden, you get atmosphere with your pint or dram.
The Riverbank, Trent Bridge, 0115 986 7960, theriverbanknotts.co.uk Nestled at the edge of the city and within range of a Bridgford bar evening, the Riverbank offers great food and drink to go with a splendid view.
With a broad menu ranging from deli nibbles to quality pub grub to proper restaurant fare, the place does a quality job with all sorts. The rambling premises offers just as much variety with a big bar room, light and airy restaurant room, well-apportioned upstairs meetings and events room and in warmer months, one of the city's best beer gardens overlooking the Trent.
MemSaab, 12-14 Maid Marian Way, 0115 957 0009, mem-saab.co.uk A perennially popular spot, MemSaab serves higher-end modern Indian food in elegant surrounds.
Start off with a cocktail or wine from the well-stocked list, then tuck into a menu of foods prepared by chefs cherry-picked from some of the sub-continent's top kitchens.
Also be sure to check out the frequent special events such as food-and-wine pairing evenings.
Sinatra, 8-16 Chapel Quarter, 941 1050, sinatrarestaurant.com With its celebrity photo-slathered wall, its big Chapel Bar outdoor area and the bistro-bar feel that's somewhere between the continent and L.A., long-time city favourite Sinatra keeps moving along as a top place for drinks or a full evening out.
Now the kitchen has added something else to its repertoire – a Sunday roast and brunch. It's a bit traditional, but with just enough of that brunch element thrown in to make it that little bit something different.