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    17 Food And Drink Spots You Must Visit In Reading

    It's only 25 minutes on the train from London, dontcha know.

    1. Café YOLK

    Café YOLK / Via Facebook: cafeyolk

    When I first moved to Reading I made it my priority to seek out the best place to head for brunch, and the popular consensus was that Café YOLK are responsible for serving up the best in town.

    They won South East regional Cafe/Bistro of the Year in The Food Awards England, probably in part thanks to their infamous fry-ups, and as their name might suggest, their incredible eggs. This is obviously the place to go for your eggs benny fix.

    2. Picnic

    Picnic / Via Twitter: @picnicfoods

    Lovingly known as “The Kings of Coffee Corner” (a title with extremely satisfying alliteration), Picnic is an adorable cafe that can be found by Reading’s Market Place. They serve up gorgeous coffees produced with ethically sourced arabica beans, alongside teas, smoothies and a tempting selection of locally baked cakes, which include gluten and dairy free options.

    You can eat in or take away any of their salad ‘picnic boxes’, which make an ideal lunch. The menu changes every Monday and there's always a tempting choice.

    3. Workhouse Coffee

    4. Tasting House

    Tasting House / Via Facebook: Tasting

    This is a great spot for an evening of sophisticated, educational drinking. It’s a shop, bar and private event space with a fantastic selection of over 200 wines from around the world, as well as delicious charcuterie and cheeses to snack on as you imbibe.

    I popped in with a date and we were able to enjoy the great variety of wines using the Enomatic – one of those cool machines that you slot a pre-paid card into to receive taster servings of the available wines for as little as 50p each. It makes it easier (and cheaper) to discover which wine is your favourite without drinking the bar dry and making a fool of yourself in front of your date!

    5. Manhattan Coffee Club

    6. Milk

    7. London Street Brasserie

    8. Coconut Bar & Kitchen

    Come2uStudio Coconut Bar & Kitchen Facebook / Via Facebook: coconutbarkitchen

    The experience you have at this hybrid bar and kitchen will depend on when you pay it a visit. During the week and at lunch times expect a laid back atmosphere where you can everything from Korean BiBimBap hot stone bowls to Chinese dim sum, Japanese gyoza and Thai curries. Where possible (and appropriate) the ingredients are all locally sourced.

    However, in the evenings and at weekends the atmosphere becomes electric, with DJs playing music as vibrant as the cocktails they serve. There are over 50 cocktails on the menu, some classic but many created in-house by the talented mixology team.

    9. Royal Tandoori

    Royal Tandoori / Via

    Reading has more than its fair share of Indian restaurants serving up all the nation’s favourite dishes, but Royal Tandoori sits higher on the quality spectrum, with its extensive menu of regional Indian dishes.

    Try the Jeera Chicken for your starter; tender pieces of chicken breast in a spiced sauce; before heading onto something a bit more saucy for your main course.

    10. The Lyndhurst

    The Lyndhurst / Via Facebook: lyndhurstreading

    The Lyndhurst can be found just on the outskirts of town, and I have it on good authority that it is a popular haunt of the hospital staff based around the corner. It’s no surprise, what with the great selection of beers and wines, and the intimate old school decor. The menu also has something to suit all tastes, including plenty of vegetarian dishes.

    The double duck scotch egg is heralded as a must order – I always think you can judge a pub on the quality of its scotch egg, and the same goes for their pub quiz, which this one hosts on Sunday nights.

    11. Pepe Sale

    Pepe Sale / Via

    Making their pasta fresh every morning, Pepe Sale offer Sardinian specialities which has seen them awarded the title of Best Italian Establishment in the South at the Food Awards England.

    With house specials including the weekend’s suckling pig dish and a beautifully creamy tiramisu, this is the perfect place to head if you want an authentic taste of Italy.

    12. Sushi Mania

    Fangyi Liu / Via

    Sushi is always pretty good, but when it’s served fresh, it’s incredible, and that’s exactly what it is at Sushi Mania. Served here is every variation of sushi and sashimi you could possibly want, and it’s all affordable as well as delicious. But it's not just sushi; it's also ramen bowls, crispy and hot gyoza, tempura and ribs. There is so much to enjoy that it's easy to go a bit crazy when you order, especially if you have eyes as big as my belly!

    13. Tutu's Ethiopian Table

    Tutu's Ethiopian Kitchen / Via Facebook: Ethiopiantable

    Tutu, the namesake of this Ethiopian restaurant found within the RISC Global Cafe, learnt to cook back in Ethiopia where her and her sisters were taught by her mother. She brought her cooking over to Reading in 1991 where she has since adapted her recipes a little to accommodate British tastes – but never straying too far from the genuine flavours of Ethiopian food.

    Her full Ethiopian menu is served for lunch and dinner 5 days a week, featuring a selection of meat and vegetarian stews served with Injera, a spongy like pancake perfect for scooping up the varied flavours of the stews.

    14. The Goring Grocer

    15. The Bosco Lounge

    The Bosco Lounge / Via Facebook: boscolounge

    Found in Woodley just down the road, the Bosco Lounge is part of a family of neighbourhood cafes and bars, all of which offer the same laid-back, comforting atmosphere – a great place for families and friends to relax with a coffee, slice of cake, brunch or bigger meal. There are full menus provided for vegans and gluten free folks – and not just a few dishes, either.

    Though this place is fantastic in summer, with its big bi-folding window, it's also perfect for winter nights, snuggled up with a board game or in book swap corner.

    16. The Boat House Deli & Cafe

    The Boat House / Via Facebook: SwanatStreatley

    On the banks of the Thames in Streatley, just outside of Reading, you’ll find this idyllic spot for relaxed lunches with stunning views. With its "Ferrari of coffee machines”, river-side walkers can stop off to refuel, as both muddy boots and pooches are welcome.

    The menu includes a delicious selection of freshly prepared kitchen salads, quiches and hearty sandwiches to eat in or take-away, and while the kitchen closes at 3pm, cakes, sandwiches and toasties are available until 5.30pm.

    17. The Pot Kiln

    The Pot Kiln / Via Facebook: potkiln

    Based in an area of outstanding natural beauty, The Pot Kiln is widely regarded as one of the best pubs in the country, let alone the Reading area. This country pub and game restaurant is run by Mike Robinson who also owns London’s Michelin-starred Harwood Arms.

    Naturally game is focus of the menu, with local free-range, organic and humanely reared wild game available – no surprise considering the restaurant has its own deer park, which just so happens to provide beautiful views over the Berkshire downs.

    I used to come to this pub a lot as a teenager, and have fond memories of the outdoor stone baked pizza nights which still happen, weather permitting. It’s easy to spend an entire day here enjoying drinks, food and the views, and you'll never feel like you’ve outstayed your welcome.