If you love naval history, traditional seasides and a thriving commercial centre, you'll easily feel at home Portsmouth. The city has a great dining scene with different hotspots offering their own unique atmosphere and crowd. From buzzing student eateries with pocket-friendly menus through to lavish French venues with rose-covered roof terraces and award-winning chefs, there's something to please everyone.
If you love the glamour and buzz of a modern marina head to Gunwharf in Old Portsmouth or Port Solent just at the end of Eastern Road. Both marinas are beautifully designed and home to large numbers of luxurious yachts. You'll find a great range of shops, bars and restaurants in Portsmouth's marinas, with plenty of clientele throughout the day and night. The variety of Portsmouth restaurants here is very good - from Brazilian rodizio through to authentic Indian. Look out too for some excellent gastropubs with seasonal menus and stylish decor. The crowd here tends to include marina dwellers, families and couples who are keen to enjoy fine dining and cocktails in a beautiful, relaxing location with great service.
Restaurants in Portsmouth city centre can be found around the main shopping area of Commercial Road and down towards Southsea. The city centre is always lively and buzzing with its large array of retailers and late night opening hours mean that there are always people around. It's a great location to enjoy a brunch or snack - many of the restaurants in Portsmouth have a daytime menu offering things such as a tea and cake, coffee and panini or lunchtime light bites; ideal for recharging after some serious retail therapy!
If you are looking for a romantic meal for two or a special venue for a family celebration, there are some lovely independent restaurants in Portsmouth's Old quarter. This historic area is packed with history and beautiful pastel-painted houses. On the southernmost tip of the island, you will see English Heritage signs everywhere and hints of a seafaring, rowdy past where press gangs roamed the pubs to look for drunks and where Nelson sailed out of port to the Battle of Trafalgar. Stand by Spice Island to see the ships, boats and ferries sailing in and out of Port and admire the Spinnaker tower and the illuminated front of Gunwharf Quays. In Old Portsmouth the restaurants tend to be independent, small and very exclusive. You will find superb French, English and Italian venues which are regularly frequented by those in the know, and which boast fine cuisine and award-winning chefs. The wine lists are also wonderful at Old Portsmouth restaurants - many customers here have sophisticated tastes which the proprietors are more than happy to satisfy! This area is also lovely to stroll around after your meal, and if you go in the day you can visit Portsmouth Dockyard and see historic ships including Victory and the Mary Rose Museum.
If you are looking for a great night out, then Southsea is well worth investigating. This part of Portsmouth has restaurants which are lively, diverse and often very well priced in order to meet student budgets. You'll find many great Indian, Chinese and South Asian restaurants as well as vegetarian, vegan and raw cafes. Look out for cosy and comfortable gastropubs serving everything from the classic pie and chips through to moules marinière and perfect steaks. Southsea has its own famous music venue and theatre and is close to other key music, comedy and entertainment venues in this part of Portsmouth. Restaurants can often get very busy just before theatre productions or live music shows begin so it's well worth booking in advance if you are looking to eat at a busy time of day. Remember that you can book up to 2 hours in advance with Quandoo and avoid having to queue!
If you go out for drinks, entertainment or even a stroll along Southsea seafront of an evening, don't forget that you can also simply enjoy a delicious pudding, perhaps with a dessert wine or an evening drink at some of the Portsmouth restaurants and cafes that cater for passing visitors. Look out for pudding clubs and other themed pop-ups or special menus, especially in busier areas with lots of footfall such as Albert Road and Palmerstone Road. These are a great way to mix up your dining experience. Why not enjoy your main meal at one of the lively Portsmouth restaurants in Gunwharf Quays, enjoy a walk along the seafront to see the illuminations, and then treat yourself to a slice of cake or a dessert at a late-night cafe in Southsea? Many venues will also have entertainment such as live music to really provide a memorable evening. Just remember to share your reviews and experiences with the dining community at Quandoo - your feedback will help your fellow diners make great decisions when they next decide to visit the best restaurants in Portsmouth!