Wondering where to eat in Southampton? These are the cuisines to enjoy and the places to eat this summer. From Italian and Greek to Mexico and Thai, we’ve rounded up the best restaurants in Westquay that are giving us all the holiday food vibes!
From tacos to burritos, carnitas to enchiladas, who doesn’t love Mexican food? Thanks to its vibrant and fresh ingredients, like their famed assortment of chillies, beans and poblanos chili peppers, Mexican cuisine always leaves you suitably stuffed and a little flame-lipped.
Some of Mexico’s other delights include mole (pronounced mol-eh), a rich sauce perfect for accompanying things like enchiladas. It contains over 20 different ingredients including chilies, chocolate and nuts, and the widely-loved guacamole made with fresh avocados, diced tomatoes and onions, coriander, lime and chilli.
Try this at Wahaca: Carnitas tacos with slow-cooked confit pork shoulder, caramelised and served in corn tortillas with a green salsa
From pasta to pizza and everything in between, we’re all obsessed with Italian food and its simple yet bursting-with-flavour dishes. The Italian cuisine has it all…
How about something shareable like antipasto? It’s a mix of dry-cured meats like prosciutto and an assortment of cheese such as soft and nutty Gorgonzola. Or perhaps you’re after a meal straight out of Nonna’s kitchen like a rich Bolognese? (Perfect for scarpetta – the Italian word for scooping up your food with some bread!)
And thanks to the Italian’s love of endless courses, you can sit back and spend the afternoon tucking into everything – from the primo to the dolce and maybe even a little digestive con caffè!
Try this at L’Osteria: Caprese salad with tomatoes, Italian buffalo mozzarella and basil
Thanks to its sunny Mediterranean location, Greek food is full of high-quality fresh ingredients like tomatoes and olive oil, and an abundance of small fish like sardines. Of course, then there’s the much-loved Greek feta – also known as Greece’s white gold’ – which is everyone’s favourite salty, crumbly salad topper.
From the islands to the mainland, dinners tend to be long and slow in Greece, consisting of mezze platters – an assortment of food including dips like cool tzatziki, taramasalata and fava alongside raw veg, feta cheese and boiled eggs. Then there are mains like hearty moussaka (layers of aubergine, meat and potatoes) and souvlaki (which involves small pieces of meat like pork grilled on a skewer).
Try this at The Real Greek: Souvlaki wrap with homemade tzatziki, fresh tomatoes, red onion and sweet paprika
Brazilian cuisine is a fusion of flavours influenced by a variety of cuisines from around the globe, from Africa to Asia. They use a medley of dried spices like cumin and paprika and pair them with fresh ingredients like lime or coconut to bring a vibrant and complex taste to their dishes.
They favour root vegetables and fruits like mango, guava and açaí, and also have a deep love for slow-cooked meals. They often use a traditional open barbecue called a churrasco, which usually includes a generous offering of good quality, fatty meat like whole cuts of ribeye steak! One of their most-loved dishes is a feijoada – a hearty stew made with black beans and pork (everything from sausages to ribs) and served with rice.
Try this at Cabana: Feijoada (slow cooked pork, rib meat, beef and black bean stew, with Biro-Biro rice and traditional fixings of toasted farofa, potato matchsticks and an orange slice)
Thai cuisine is a celebration of lively and fragrant flavours! From aromatic spices like cloves, cinnamon and chillies to fresh ingredients like lemongrass and coconut milk, Thai food carefully balances four major tastes of sweet, spicy, sour and salty to create mouth-watering dishes.
As food is very much a social activity in Thailand, dinners often include a platter of meat and fish dishes alongside sides of noodles, rice and soup. Some of their much-loved food include a traditional Thai green curry called gang keo wan, a wonderous spicy shrimp soup called tom yum goong and the fried noodle dish of pad Thai, which is one of Thailand’s national dishes.
Chicken with cashew nuts
Try this at Thaikhun: Chicken with cashew nuts stir fry (crispy chicken with cashew nuts, onions, mushrooms, peppers with a roasted red chilli sauce and crispy chilli)
Famed for its comforting classics like clam chowder, apple pie and grits (kind of like porridge but made with boiled corn), alongside its supersized hamburgers, barbecue grills and ‘pizza pies’ (thick or thin crust, depending where you are) – when it comes to American food it’s definitely a case of go big or go home!
If New York’s your dream destination, then what better dish than the famous New York cheesecake, known for its rich and dense texture. Or if the deep south is more your vibe then Cajun/Creole-inspired jambalaya (one pot chicken, sausage, shrimp and rice) would definitely tantalise your tastebuds!
Try this at the Red Dog Saloon: Brisket chilli cheese sandwich with hickory smoked brisket topped with their signature beef chilli, jalapenos and Cheddar cheese