Readers pick their favourite pubs for good food, not to mention excellent craft beers and atmosphere. Tell us about your favourite foodie pub by adding a comment
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WINNING TIP: River Don Tavern, Eastoft, Lincs
If for whatever reason you wind up in the Isle of Axholme, take (ideally) a Sunday to visit the River Don, for a gorgeous meal in what feels like chef Gordon’s own dining room. It serves great alternatives to the Sunday roast (such as pear, stilton and walnut pie), as well beef, pork or turkey. In summer, the beer garden flowers beautifully and is bordered by apple trees. 01724 377005, riverdontavernandlodge.co.uk, mains from £5.95 yeowye
The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast
This is the best pub in Belfast, with a great menu. Really fresh salmon, steak, pies, pork – there’s something for everyone and good-sized portions. It also serves real ales and brilliant Guinness. The interior is stained glass, tiles and woodwork from the Victorian era and there are wooden booths seating eight, perfect for a cosy lunch, tea, pint or relaxing few hours. The staff are always lovely, and the rib-eye steak is amazing. It’s open late for food – till about 11pm, so you won’t go hungry – and has an interesting history. Dating from 1826, when it was called the Railway Tavern, it is now owned by the National Trust, which bought it from Bass in 1978.
028 9024 3187, nicholsonspubs.co.uk, mains from £7.95
The word drouthy is Scots for thirsty, and Drouthy’s pub, opposite the art college and smack bang in the middle of the vibrant Perth Road community, caters for all tastes, from craft beers to distinctive lagers to interesting gins. And it has a deliciously menu to go with all of these, making it one of the first places we think of going for an impromptu meal. The staff, ambience, beers, clientele and food make this place a must-do. Be sure to try the macaroni cheese with gruyère and red onions – it’s maccy cheese heaven.
01382 202187, drouthysdundee.co.uk, mains from £7.95
Maypole Inn, Long Preston, North Yorkshire
Just off the A65 as you enter the Yorkshire Dales national park, the Maypole Inn at Long Preston offers a warm welcome and a menu that is both traditional and inventive: tuck into a rich steak and ale pie, or try the deliciously moist chicken breast served with black pudding. The Hellifield sausages are made fresh in a neighbouring village.
01729 840219, maypole.co.uk, mains from £8.95
The 25 Mile, Cardigan, Ceredigion
Having a great idea for a pub that serves delicious local food helps if you’re in one of the country’s hot spots for fresh, tasty produce. The stylish 25 Mile in Cardigan has done just that, sourcing most of its food from within a drovers’ 25-mile radius, an area that encompasses Cardigan Bay and a coast with a favourable microclimate. Chef and co–owner Scott Davis delivers some of the tastiest food we’ve eaten.
01239 623 625, the25mile.com, mains from £14
The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington, Northamptonshire
The Saracen’s Head has been a finalist in the county’s food awards for a few years. Dodgy hunting prints slip tipsily in their frames and randomly mottled windows overlook beer-stained tables. The menu is short; there are no blackboards of endless specials. Opt for the pie of the day, honestly priced, for a lunchtime treat. Lift the crisp pastry lid and lose yourself in ale-scented gravy. You will lick your plate clean.
01604 770640, thesaracensatbrington.co.uk, mains from £7.95
The Ship, Dunwich, Suffolk
My partner and I discovered The Ship at Dunwich by chance after walking along the beach from Southwold. We thought having a dog with us might be problematic but we were welcomed. I ordered twice-baked stilton soufflé, followed by pan-fried sea bream, while my partner had Blythburgh pork terrine then Suffolk lamb. Barman Will couldn’t have been more helpful in telling us about the lost village. We’d definitely come again and might even stay a night, as dogs can stay too.
01728 648219, shipatdunwich.co.uk, mains from £11
The Tolcarne Inn, Newlyn, Cornwall
After a breezy walk along the promenade from Penzance we were met with a roaring log fire at the dog-friendly Tolcarne Inn, and Ben Tunnicliffe’s superb cooking. Being right next to Newlyn harbour it has excellent seafood. The menu changes daily and every dish I have tried has been exceptional. The roast fillet of hake, saffron, asparagus and crab risotto was divine.
01736 363074, tolcarneinn.co.uk, mains from £9.50
The White Horse, Overstrand, Norfolk
At the White Horse the menu shifts with the seasons but it’s always very good. Local fishermen drink and eat in the pub, and the fish is fresh and served fuss-free: battered or grilled, shrimp butter or squeeze of lemon.Chef Nathan Boon is ambitious and happy to plunder the finest Norfolk has to offer – Temple’s cheese, Hevingham pork, Cromer crab – but equally at home with a tonka bean foam.
01263 579237, whitehorseoverstrand.co.uk, mains from £11.50
The Thatch, Croyde, Devon
We like this place for its good-quality local products, live music and theme nights, and super friendly staff who always genuinely remember us when we pop in, even if it has been a number of months due to it being 300 miles from home. The sausage and mash (Glampigs sausages) is lovely, as is the Thatcher’s chicken made with local brie and the Banoffi pie is to die for.
01271 890349, thethatchcroyde.com, mains from £9.50
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