Top 10 places to eat and drink in Southampton for cruise visitors

March 10, 2017 by  

Southampton is your gateway to the best food of the South of England; the chalk streams and vineyards of Hampshire, salads from the Isle of Wight and the artisan food producers of the New Forest. Here are some places to eat fresh and local in Southampton and the foods to look out for, especially if you’re visiting on a cruise. You may also like to read my article on Top 10 things to do in Southampton.

Top 10 places to eat in Southampton for cruise visitors

1 Mettricks: for coffee and brunch

Mettricks is a locally owned café, close to the cruise terminal, that’s on a mission to bring great coffee to Southampton. The decor is homely, with scrubbed pine tables and mismatched chairs and they work with many local suppliers for the best quality meat and bakery products.

Mettricks Coffee shop in Southampton Photo: Mettricks.com

Mettricks Coffee shop in Southampton Photo: Mettricks.com

If you’re on the hunt for free wifi, this is the place to settle down for an egg and crispy bacon sandwich or tea-time treat of home-made cake and coffee. We especially like the original cafe at 117 High Street, which stays open in the evening for cocktails, wine and real ales with light bites and bar snacks until 10pm.

Mettricks: Branches at 117 High Street, 2 East Bargate and opening soon at 1 Guildhall Place.

Mettricks Coffee shop in Southampton Photo: Mettricks.com

Mettricks Coffee shop in Southampton Photo: Mettricks.com

2 The Pig in the Wall: a stylish place to try local produce

The Pig in the Wall is a boutique hotel, set into the old city walls of Southampton, with a deli bar serving light dishes, homemade flatbreads and cakes from mid-morning to 10pm. As the name suggests, they specialize in charcuterie, with a fine selection of ‘piggy bits’ such as pork crackling and apple sauce or Honey Mustard Chipolatas. The decor is shabby chic with exposed brickwork, easy leather chairs and a touch of the potting shed. All the produce is all locally sourced with New Forest pork, Hampshire cheeses and Isle of Wight tomatoes on the menu. Their sister hotel, The Pig at Brockenhurst, is well known locally as a foodie stop and well worth the 30 min taxi ride, but best to book in advance.

The Pig in the Wall, West Esplanade, Southampton.

The Pig in the Wall in Southampton Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Pig in the Wall in Southampton Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

3 The Dancing Man: for real ale and pies

This micro-brewery, bar and restaurant is housed in The Wool House, an atmospheric medieval stone building that once stored wool on Southampton’s quayside. Behind the bar is the micro-brewery where around 20 different beers are brewed in rotation with seven on tap at any one time.

The Dancing Man Micro-Brewery in Southampton Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Dancing Man Micro-Brewery in Southampton Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Look out for the Pilgrim’s pale Ale and The Last Waltz, named after the song playing on the Titanic as it went down, as well as guest beers from other local breweries. The menu is deliciously British, with pies a specialty (served with buttery mash and greens) and a popular Sunday roast.

The Dancing Man, Town Quay, Southampton

The Dancing Man Micro-Brewery in Southampton Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Dancing Man Micro-Brewery in Southampton

4 The Grand Café: for an elegant afternoon tea

Around Southampton and the historic towns you may visit on your cruise excursions, you’ll find plenty of tea-rooms serving tea and cakes. If you want to take the oh-so-English ritual of afternoon tea up a notch, head for The Grand Café, originally the historic South Western Hotel, used by first class passengers on the Titanic. Afternoon tea is served from 2.30-5pm (book in advance) and you’ll be served at a table with an array of delicate sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and a selection of cakes. It’s a meal in itself, so you’d better miss out lunch to do it justice. If you’re visiting Beaulieu, another elegant afternoon tea stop is the luxurious Montagu Arms, for tea in the lounge or courtyard garden.

The Grand Café, Southwestern House, SO14 AHS, Afternoon tea £17.50

Afternoon tea at The Grand Cafe in Southampton Photo: Grand-cafe.co.uk

Afternoon tea at The Grand Cafe in Southampton Photo: Grand-cafe.co.uk

5 Oxford Street: Southampton’s Restaurant Quarter

If you want to find a selection of great restaurants all in one place, head for Southampton’s lively restaurant quarter in Oxford Street, just a 10 minute walk from the cruise terminal. At weekends and in the evening, the pedestrianized street has a buzzy atmosphere and you’ll also find good value lunch menus from many of the restaurants. We especially like the lively Oxford Brasserie serving a cosmopolitan menu using local produce, Olive Tree offering classic French bistro food, and the White Star Tavern, specializing in modern British cooking using local Hampshire produce.

Head for: Oxford Street, Southampton, SO14 3DA

Oxford Street, Southampton's restaurant quarter Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Oxford Street, Southampton’s restaurant quarter

You may also like to read my article on Top 10 things to do in Southampton for cruise visitors.

6 The Duke of Wellington: a traditional pub in the Old Town

If you’re looking for a cosy, traditional pub for some real ales and hearty home cooked food, try the Duke of Wellington, opposite The Tudor House in the heart of the Old Town. The timbered building dates back to the 13th century and has been a public house since 1494 when this was just a stone’s throw from the bustling town quay. They serve a wide selection of draught and real ales and on the menu you’ll find pub favorites such as fish and chips, steak and ploughman’s with ham or cheese, as well as options from the specials board and sandwiches at lunchtime. This is a good choice if you want to dip into traditional English pub culture.

The Duke of Wellington, 36 Bugle Street, Southampton

The Duke of Wellington Pub in Southampton Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Duke of Wellington Pub in Southampton Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

While you’re exploring Southampton and other parts of Hampshire and the New Forest, look out for the following local specialties.

7 Vineyards that produce Hampshire’s answer to Champagne

The chalk soil that characterizes much of Hampshire is ideal for wine growing and close to Southampton you’ll find some of England’s best-known wineries. The still and sparkling white and rosé wines feature on many restaurant menus, especially such as those made by Nyetimber and Hambledon that aim to rival the best champagne. Near Southampton you can visit the Three Choirs vineyard at Wickham (30 min taxi ride) where they have regular tours, daily tastings in the shop and you can also have lunch in their elegant restaurant.

The vineyards of Hampshire Photo by Thee Choirs Vineyard

The vineyards of Hampshire Photo by Thee Choirs Vineyard

8 Watercress: the crop of Hampshire’s rivers

One of the seasonal foods that Hampshire is renowned for is the peppery, green watercress, and a Watercress festival is held in the market town of Alresford every May. The watercress grows in beds that span the Itchen and Meon valleys, thriving in the clear water flowing over chalk beds. There’s even a steam train that runs from Alresford past the watercress farms, known as The Watercress Line, that was used in the 19th century to transport watercress to the markets in London. The watercress is available all year round, but look out for it on restaurant menus in the spring and summer when it’s at it’s best.

Watercress Photo: Healthaliciousness.com

Watercress Photo: Healthaliciousness.com

9 Isle of Wight tomatoes

With a mild climate and hours of sunshine, the Isle of Wight is known for its fresh produce such as asparagus, cherries, apricots and especially tomatoes. The island is just a short ferry ride from Southampton and can be visited in a day, but look out for the tomatoes and other produce on restaurant menus in Southampton. The glass houses and tomato growers like The Tomato Stall sell the sweet and flavorsome tomatoes through supermarkets, local delis and farm shops.

Isle of Wight tomatoes Photo: thetomatostall.co.uk

Isle of Wight tomatoes Photo: thetomatostall.co.uk

10 Ice Cream from the New Forest

Well you wouldn’t be on holiday, if you didn’t have an ice cream, would you? The local New Forest ice cream produced at Lymington is widely available in shops and cafés around Southampton. A few other artisan ice cream producers are worth looking out for while visiting attractions near Southampton; there’s a delicious selection at Sundae’s Child, who have an ice cream parlour in Romsey, and at Beaulieu chocolate studio in Beaulieu village.

Ice Cream at Sundae Child in Romsey Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Ice Cream at Sundae Child in Romsey Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

You may also like to read my article on Top 10 things to do in Southampton for cruise visitors.

More information to plan your visit to Southampton

More information for visitors is available from the Discover Southampton Website and the Visit Hampshire website.

Note: I originally wrote this article for a cruise website but it was never published so I am republishing it here, hoping that it will give some useful tips and advice for cruise visitors to Southampton.

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Top 10 things to eat in Southampton for cruise visitors

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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Comments

3 Comments on "Top 10 places to eat and drink in Southampton for cruise visitors"

  1. Hels on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 12:41 am 

    If the weather is good enough, Mettricks Coffee shop would be my absolute choice. Tables outside, casual environment, totally glass walls! If the coffee and food are good, even better!
    Hels´s last blog post ..Hazel Guggenheim, artist and tragic

  2. Heather Cowper on Thu, 16th Mar 2017 6:28 pm 

    @Hels Definitely a great choice!

  3. Matthew on Fri, 17th Mar 2017 3:09 pm 

    Wow! Looks like an awesome places to visit in Southampton. Thanks for sharing.

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