Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

An ode to Leamington’s restaurants

As a self-proclaimed foodie, there is nothing more joyous than uncovering a new favourite restaurant right on your doorstep. As the COVID lockdowns restricted our contact and kept us in our houses, it was the restaurants in Leamington that kept a smile on my face. Inspired by the abundance of restaurants, I began to venture into new cuisines where I became introduced to a whole world of flavour. It is now what I have attributed as one of the most rewarding aspects of lockdown, and in that light, I am keen to share my favourite food finds in Leamington in the hope you too can immerse yourself into the comforting warmth of locally cooked food.

Hayashi offers an assortment of standout dishes

Out of all the diverse food that Leamington has to offer, the Hayashi Japanese Restaurant located on Warwick Street has to be my ultimate favourite. Since first ordering a takeaway there last year for a birthday, I have been obsessed. Granted, I was a little nervous about trying Asian food that I hadn’t found in a Tesco sushi meal deal or from the Wagamama’s down the road, but I haven’t looked back since.

Hayashi’s phenomenal sushi and small plates are packed with flavour and what made me first bitterly regret ever ordering something more adventurous. I have both ordered from the restaurant and dined in yet, the quality of the food hasn’t differed. The staff are proactive and exceptional in ensuring the best experience but that is the least of it. Hayashi offers an assortment of standout dishes that range from Japanese to Korean and there will always be something to take your preference.

Whilst I endeavour to get through the whole menu, the current standout dishes for me are the; Tataki beef, Spider roll, Rising Sun, Bulgogi and Spicy Pork Ramen. The Hayashi website is also really useful in providing pictures of all the dishes, so even if they are unfamiliar to you, you can get a good sense of the components and sizes. Be aware that it can end up a rather pricey meal, but it is entirely worth it for a special night out. However, if going on the weekends, I would recommend booking to avoid disappointment.

It is a heartwarming cafe that is a well-deserved visit

Another eatery that I would recommend in Leamington would be Bebas Modern Greek located on Warwick Street. As a small, quaint cafe, it is the perfect place for a quick afternoon lunch. I wandered in here trying to find some brunch and was immediately welcomed by their staff. I took the outside seating available at the back which was wonderful on a sunny day. The food is fresh with an entirely Greek style.

I ordered the Pork Souvlaki Gyros and I still have been craving them ever since. The meat was marinated and super succulent and, with warm seasoned chips, it made up a tasty meal.  The menu is also really accommodating for all food preferences, offering a range of vegan and gluten-free items. These mouthwatering dishes can be found on their Instagram as well if you need any more convincing.  The prices are fairly reasonable too and typical for a good lunch out. Be mindful, though, that the cafe is only open in the mornings until late afternoon. Overall, as a family bred cafe, inspired by generational cooking, it is a heartwarming cafe that is a well-deserved visit.

These are only two of many great places in Leamington and so, I would always recommend checking out what’s around. Many of the local places also host special events that are always fun to go to. For example, Tartine hosts a jazz night on the first Wednesday of every month that I am keen to go to next. So if you are looking for some inspiration or just a pick me up, going out to experience some new food around town is a sure thing to rely on.

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