In the gaps between deciphering the digital marketing jigsaw and wrestling with website code, I find my joy in one universal truth: food is life. From gourmet spreads to those naughty kebabs post a cocktail frenzy, let’s explore Portsmouth’s finest (and quirkiest) bites.
1. Delight: My Morning Lifeline
A whisper away from my workplace, Delight is the oasis that rescues many a weary morning soul. The vibe? It’s like your living room but with better coffee. Staff greet you like you’re the celeb who just popped in for a latte. And speaking of lattes, I regularly binge on them with a side of their devilishly good carrot cake or the intoxicating homemade baklava. Hungry for more? Dive in early, else by noon you’ll be battling the masses for a spot.
2. Lunch: A Tale of Two Moods
Depending on whether my waistband or My Fitness Pal is yelling louder, here’s where I venture:
- Positive Eats on Winter Road, Southsea: For the days I feign health-consciousness. They boast fruit juices that seem to have swallowed a rainbow and protein desserts that might just bench press you. My frequent sin? A bowl bursting with sticky rice, salmon, and oh, that bang bang cauliflower (which is a lot more innocent than it sounds).
- Angels Cafe: Tucked near Positive Eats, they dish out breakfast sandwiches that make you wonder if they’ve got an inside line to the baker heavens with their doorstop bread slices.
- Croxtons on Palmerston Road, Southsea: For days when the diet goes out the window. They have a selection of craft beers including their very own Croxtons Shant, and their food? From tantalising tacos to a Korean Chicken Burger that I’d gladly wage wars for, it’s a flavour carnival.
3. Lins Thai Cafe: Gastronomy on a Shoestring
Budget-friendly doesn’t mean compromising on taste. Lins Thai Cafe on Elm Grove offers arguably Portsmouth’s finest Thai cuisine. A frequent choice for my partner and me, our spread often includes prawn spring rolls, prawn tempura, thai fish cakes, beef gaeng penang, and prawn pad kee mao.
4. The Briny: Where Food Meets Flamboyance
For nights demanding a tad more pizzazz, The Briny on Clarence Esplanade is where you strut. Their offering is so gourmet, it’d make Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction nod in approval. With a menu as dynamic as Portsmouth’s weather, standouts remain the halibut, melt-in-the-mouth venison and a lamb rack that makes you wish sheep were endless.
5. Florios: An Italian Sojourn in Portsmouth
Nestled on High Street Old Portsmouth, Florios D’italia offers a slice (pun intended!) of Italy. Their pizzas? So authentic you’d swear the Colosseum was just around the corner. But the magic doesn’t end there. Their curated selection of imported Italian meats and groceries is the guardian angel for every home cook aiming for that bona fide Italian feast.
Portsmouth’s Endless Culinary Trail
The city’s edible delights don’t end here:
- The Indian Cottage: When I crave a taste of the east. Their garlic, chilli, and coriander naan is the stuff of legends, which I use to mop at a delicious lamb dhansak.
- Sant Yago: For child-free soirées. Their tapas? Heavenly. And those mushrooms could make even a fungi sceptic weep with joy.
- Efes: For nights when only meat from the bin spinning stick will do. Folks may rave about others, but here’s my tip: Follow the homemade chilli sauce.
Honourable mentions: Baffled Coffee, Southsea Coffee Co, Copnor Kitchen, O Sole Mio (the best house red you’ll ever have), The Merchant House, Huis Belgian Bar & Kitchen, Nicholsons, Haldi, The Hole in the Wall and Outside-In Food Court.
Finally, pouring one out for the fallen places that are no longer with us but should be – Rosie’s Vineyard, The Registry, Montparnasse. You are missed!