Visiting for the Rugby World Cup, or simply passing through and looking for a place to refuel? Leicester is the place to go if you’re a fan of big cats and big nights out.
Home to rugby giants, the Leicester Tigers, Will Cooper finds the perfect place to enjoy a pint and a decent plate of food in this East Midland’s city in our handy guide.
Birmingham might have the balti, but Leicester has loads of excellent curry houses, ideal for a pre or post-match munch. Shivalli on Welford Road, specialises in vegetarian feasts, with more than 50 meat-free dishes on their menu – get there for the all-you-can-eat vegetarian lunch buffet and fill your boots with delicious food for a great price. Top tip: have a light breakfast to maximise your gorging capacity before you head to the game.
It’s not traditionally recognised as a pre-match treat, but everyone loves ice cream right?! Hopefully the sun will be out, but even if he hasn’t got his hat on it’s still worth heading to Gelato Village for a proper Italian gelataria experience. With a huge selection of flavours to choose from, be careful that you don’t spend too much time deciding (and drooling) over their cones that you miss kick-off.
3. The PUB
From the outside, you’d think this is a traditional English boozer, but you’d be wrong! The PUB puts a modern spin on a timeless classic and has been renovated in a contemporary style. In the old pedestrian area of New Walk, you’ll find plenty of English ales to quench your thirst, mostly from local breweries, plus a good selection of quality foreign imports. The knowledgeable bar staff are happy to help you choose your poison if you’re looking a bit overwhelmed by their extensive menu. The food menu is pretty solid too, perfect soaker for all those pints.
Founded by two Leicestershire locals with a passion for good beer, Steamin’ Billy Brewing Co. operates a handful of pubs and bars in and around Leicester. In all of them you’ll find locally-sourced produce, the majority of ales they serve are brewed by the company and The Western is a great spot for match-day (or none match-day) beers – in the know fans of football and rugby love this place.
Located in a former shoe factory, it’s a relaxed and informal but smart setting for food. It is one of Leicester’s best independent high-end restaurants and regularly receives a listing in the Michelin Guide. They pride themselves on not over complicating things – this holds for the ambiance and the food. The menu is full of recognisable modern British classics, from fish pie to popcorn panna cotta, cooked to perfection.
A favourite with Leicester Tigers fans due to its proximity to their rugby ground, the Rugby World Cup games are to be played at the larger Leicester City stadium (home to the city’s football club) so it’s not quite as close, but it’s still a good old fashioned East Midlands boozer where you’ll likely get some rugby chat with the locals. The selection of real ales, lagers and ciders is top notch too.
Going to any other games this Rugby World Cup? Check out our handy guides to some of the host cities:
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Our tips for 10 best places to eat and drink in London post-World Cup match.
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