In the quirky town of Leamington, creativity is the secret ingredient that elevates its dining experience. With a unique blend of eccentricity and refinement, the food here strikes the best balance between style and substance, offering a pleasurable ambience and delicious food. If you’re eager to explore Leamington’s dining scene but don’t know where to start, here are my top five favourite restaurants you should be running to:
1. Libertine Burger
Stepping into this 1950s-inspired diner setting, Libertine Burger is ideal for stressed students seeking a break. A perfect alternative to the classic Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Libertine Burger is superior in atmosphere and food. Whether you’re craving a satiating lunch or a laid-back dinner, Libertine Burger offers an array of beef, chicken, and vegan options, accompanied by a wide selection of sides. All meat cooked here is locally sourced from Leamington’s very own Aubrey Allen’s, a butcher’s shop selling some of the freshest cuts of meat in this town.
2. Fat Birds Café
In need of a hangover cure? Fat Birds Café specialise in brunch food, with an extensive menu catering to both sweet and savoury lovers. You can enjoy the breakfast menu until 3pm, so you’ll never be too late for a full English or a stack of pancakes. The cosy interior is reminiscent of grandma’s house, providing the perfect escape from your student accommodation.
3. The Larder
Nestled inside the Royal Pump Rooms, The Larder is your go-to spot for a mid-day coffee, a quick snack, or a light lunch. This trendy café has a wide selection of coffees, homemade pastries, and cakes. The carrot cake especially stands out as a fantastic choice in this underrated café. The Larder’s atmosphere provides an idyllic space for a well-deserved break, especially after spending a few hours studying in the nearby public library.
While there are numerous Mediterranean options in Leamington, Elma comes second to none. Dinner service is a particularly strong point for this restaurant, featuring a rustic interior and friendly staff. I strongly recommend ordering its generously portioned mixed grill, which is ideal for sharing. Paired with their finest house red, dinner at Elma’s is both sophisticated and good value for money.
If you’re a self-proclaimed foodie, Jomo is your go-to for an adventurous dining experience. As an Asian-fusion restaurant specialising in small plates, or tapas-style food, Jomo is the perfect spot for a memorable date night. Despite mainly offering seafood, they still serve vegetarian and meat options, so no one is left out. For seafood enthusiasts, however, I’d recommend the grilled octopus and kimchi, which sits on a bed of baba ghanoush. As unique as the food sounds, the ambience of the restaurant is stunning and tranquil, with intimate seating, and candle-lit lighting setting the mood. If you’re on the hunt for more traditional tapas food in Leamington, honourable mentions must go to Carisma and Tartine, all similarly priced and equally delicious.
While good food can be found anywhere, Leamington is at the epicentre. The town’s strength lies in its variety of trendy cafés and restaurants that cater to all types of people with different tastes. It is definitely worth the U1 bus trip.