The Full Monty: Sheffield Bucket List
From the finest food and drink to jaw-dropping views and outdoor events, we round up some of the best experiences the steel city has to offer in our Sheffield Bucket List. let us know how you’re getting on in your quest by slinging us a tag @exposedmagsheff.
Try Henderson’s Relish
During your time here you might hear it referred to as “Hendo’s” or simply “Relish”. But this famous sauce had been made in Sheff since the 1880s and is a very important part of local culinary culture; it’s even inspired poems, artwork, songs, and more than a few questionable tattoos. Gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan-friendly and rated so much by Sean Bean that he’d get it delivered around the world when filming for long periods abroad. Your Sheffield experience isn’t complete until you’ve given it a go.
Visit the theatre
Sheffield is a proud home to the largest theatre complex outside of London, comprising three superb venues beneath the Sheffield Theatres umbrella: the Crucible, Lyceum and Studio. From star-studded Shakespearean epics to modern musicals, and comedies to hard-hitting social realism – all is very much catered for here. Elsewhere in the city you’ll find Theatre Deli, the city’s favourite fringe theatre and hub for artistic performance. Have a browse of what’s on and see what takes your fancy.
sheffieldtheatres.co.uk // theatredeli.co.uk
Sunset at Bole Hills
Tucked away at the back of student-friendly suburb Crookes is a true gem of a chill spot in Bole Hills, a local park boasting one of the finest sunset views in Sheffield. Top tip: grab a rug, some scran from Five Star Chippy, a bottle of something interesting and watch the sun go down over the Loxley and Rivelin valleys. Just Loveleh.
Reach new heights
Did you know that Sheffield’s considered the climbing capital of the UK? Now you do. Opened in 1991 as the UK’s first dedicated indoor climbing centre, The Foundry is a top class facility that welcomes aspiring climbers of all abilities. There are also student discounts on memberships and entry fees available.
Grab a slice of the action at Napoli Centro
We’re blessed to have many fantastic wood-fired/coal-fired/stonebaked offerings here, so believe us when we say this one was a toughie. But after some careful consideration, and an unhealthy amount of takeaways, we’ve got to hand it to Napoli Centro for their incredibly authentic Neapolitan pizza selection, topped with the finest ingredients imported from Campania and cooked in under 90 seconds at 500 degrees, resulting in a fresh, puffy slice of carb heaven. Get involved.
Fill up at a food hall
Situated in the up-and-coming Castlegate area of the city, Kommune is home to mouthwatering variety of food traders serving throughout the day and into the evening. There’s also an art gallery, retail traders and a well-stocked bar to keep you entertained. Whereas, over in the Neepsend part of the city, you’ve got Cutlery Works to whet your appetite – one of the largest food halls in the north of England serving a range of dishes from sushi to poutine. Elsewhere you’ve got the recently opened Sheffield Plate, an exciting new food and music venue in Orchard Square showcasing six local independent food traders serving worldwide cuisine.
@kommune_ch // @cutleryworks // @sheffieldplate
Get yer shuffle on
A recent addition to the ‘Crystal Maze for hipsters’ that is Picture House Social, Shuffle Shack is the city’s only dedicated shuffleboard bar. Inside the disco-themed joint you’ll find four full-size shuffleboard ‘decks’, a bar serving old school classic cocktails (think Sex on the Beach and Miami Vice’s – holiday vibes), as well as a range of American beers, arcade machines, a fussball table and amazing artwork splashed across the walls courtesy of local artistic geometrist Rob Lee.
Hit the Lanes
Combining late-night bowling with pool, darts, cocktails, street food, mini-golf, ping-pong, retro arcade games and more – the Moor’s Lane 7 has plenty to keep you entertained, whether you’re looking for a fun afternoon or an alternative night out. Perfect for groups or a date night, round up some competition and get booked in now!
Occu…pie yourself at Notty House
As all self-respecting northerners should, the people of Sheffield go proper potty for their pie. Nothing says home comforts like some golden flaky crust drowned in gravy and generous lashings of Henderson’s Relish. As such, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to traditional pubs knocking out tasty pie and mash classics. In terms of local stature, however, the Nottingham House towers above the rest, having consistently warmed the bellies of locals and students for donkey’s years now. Whilst keeping it traditional, variety is also the name of the game: there’s an impressive choice of fillings ranging from steak and ale to chicken, bacon and mozzarella, as well as both veggie and vegan options.
Have a brew at Steam Yard
Nestled away in a picturesque courtyard off Division Street, this popular café is a charming spot serving up some of the best coffee and doughnuts you’ll find up north. It’s that good people love to shout about it, and it recently became the most instagrammed independent coffee shop in the UK. We’d also highly recommend Albies, Tamper, Marmadukes (I and II), Hygge and Ambulo for getting your caffeinated kicks in the city centre/
@steamyard // @albiessheffield // @hyggesheffield // @marmadukescafe // @weareambulo
Hit the streets
Dotted in and around the city centre you’ll find some incredible street art from renowned artists such as Pleghm, Jo Peel, Kid Acne, Faunographic, Pete McKee and many, many more. In fact, there are literally hundreds dotted around the gaff. Luckily, streetartsheffield.com have done a good job of mapping over 250 locations and allowing you to browse each one by area. God bless ‘em
SOAK UP SOME CULTURE…
Sheffield has a thriving arts scene and is home to a number of superb museums and art galleries. Here a few of our favourites dotted in and around the city centre….
Based in the heart of the city and free for all, this popular spot offers a rotating selection of exhibitions showcasing art, craft and design.
Sheffield’s international contemporary art space is a cultural sanctuary in the centre of town. The space prides itself in connecting people to art and inspiring new thinking and debate.
National Videogame Museum
Console enthusiasts can bone up on some gaming history at the NVM – The UK’s national cultural centre for videogames. Play games from yesteryear right through to exploring the cutting edge technology seen in the industry today.
Weston Park Museum
The largest museum in Sheff is set within the grounds of Weston Park. Find out more about the city’s social history alongside a number of permanent exhibitions. It’s free entry but donations are encouraged!
Based on Surrey Street and taking up the top floor of the historic Sheffield Central Library, Graves has been home to Sheffield’s visual art collection since 1934. Today it hosts art from JMW Turner, Pierre Bonnard, Grayson Perry, Bridget Riley, Phlegm, and plenty more.
S1 Artspace is a non-profit artist-led art space that presents an annual programme of exhibitions and events. While you’re there, you can take in the Sheffield staple that is the recently renovated Park Hill estate and grab a brew at the wonderful South Street Kitchen overlooking the city centre.
Sample a Peddler
One of the biggest regular events on the city’s social calendar is Peddler Night Market. The event takes place on the first weekend of every month at 92 Burton Road – an events and warehouse space bang in the middle of Kelham Island. Head down to the next instalment (1st-2nd October) and enjoy live music, art, cocktails and a truly enviable selection of street food from around the world.
Bag a bargain
If you’re looking for new threads at affordable prices, you’ll find some of the finest vintage clothing stores up north in the town centre. Within a short walk of each other you’ll find Freshman’s (Carver Street), Vulgar (Division Street), Glass Onion and Thrifty Store (Castlegate) – head down for a browse and you might find something special.
@freshmansvintagestore // @vulgarshop // @glassonion.sheffield // @thriftystoresheffield
Brunch at Tamper
A strong café scene means brunch spots are aplenty around here, but Arundel Street’s Tamper Coffee is something of a Steel City Mecca for early munching – that good, in fact, it’s been lauded as one of the best breakfast spots in country by the Guardian and Waitrose Good Food Magazine. There’s also a picturesque courtyard for some al fresco action on sunny days.
Every now and again, it’s nice to push the boat out and enjoy some of the finer things in life. In terms of food, award-winning restaurant Jöro offers some of the finest hyper-seasonal tasting menus you’ll find around this neck of the woods – pricey but more than worth it for the experience. For top-notch cocktails, you won’t get much better than Public, a former disused toilet renovated in resplendent fashion into an intimate speakeasy venue and named ‘best place to drink in the UK’ by Observer Food Monthly pre-lockdown. If you’re looking for somewhere which combines stunning seasonal dishes and drinks (specifically cocktails and wine) incredibly well, then Bench in Nether Edge is the friendly neighbourhood hangout spot for you.
jororestaurant.co.uk // publicpublic.co.uk // benchsheffield.co.uk
Eat, drink and shop on Abbeydale Road
A bustling artery of the city centre that has become a haven for independent food, drink and retail opportunities, head down to Abbeydale Road to indulge in its varied offering: bao buns and cocktails at Barrow Boy, late-night boogies and ping-pong at Picture House, the city’s coolest homeware and plants shop in Gravel Pit, enjoy a perfect Sunday roast at the Broady, try some authentic Italian grub at North Town, work your way through the beer list at Two Thirds Beer Co. That’s just a small taster from the smorgasbord of delights to be enjoyed!
barrowboybar.com // picture-house-social.co.uk // gravelpitshop.com // thebroadfield.co.uk // northtown.store
Grab a View
As your calves will soon discover, Sheff is a city of many, many hills. As well as developing the cardiovascular endurance of an Olympic athlete in no time, another benefit to the undulating terrain means your spoilt for view spots. Grab a few pals, maybe a couple of tinnies (be sure to recycle), and admire it in all its glory from the Amphitheatre behind the station, Norfolk Heritage Park, Meersbrook Park or Parkwood Springs.
Get cosy in a traditional pub
If Sheffield does one thing well, it’s ‘proper’ old-school pubs. We’d highly recommend a foaming pint of Guinness in the snug at Fagan’s, or an afternoon session in the Kennedy Room at The Grapes, or sticking a couple of tunes on the Rutland Arms jukebox, tucking into a pork pie and Pale Rider combo at The Fat Cat, sampling the latest offerings on cask at The Bath Hotel… we’ll let you discover the rest yourselves!
@Faganspub // @beerinthebath // @rutlandarms // @fatcatsheffield
Paddleboarding on the Don
What better way to explore the city and it’s historic industrial past than via the River Don on a paddleboard? DC Outdoors will teach you the basics at the Victoria Quays canal basin before you’re able to put your new skills to use with a journey along the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal. Book now at dcoutdoors.co.uk, and while you’re at it, browse all the other outdoorsy activities you can get stuck into, from kayaking and stream scrambling to abseiling and… erm… weaseling?
ORDERING FROM CITYGRAB
We’re all about supporting local businesses here in Sheffield, which is why just before lockdown, City Taxis set up a rival to the big takeaway delivery apps, called City Grab.
Offering better commission rates to the restaurants, bars, takeaways and shops that feature on the app means it’s full of places that you won’t find on Deliveroo, Just Eat etc. And because it uses the local taxi company rather than guys on bikes, they’ll travel that bit further to fulfil your culinary needs. So if your favourite Indian is 10 miles away, you’ll still be able to get it in decent time. They’ve every type of takeaway food you can think of plus you can even order milk, meat, booze, chocolate or do your weekly shop on there. Natch.
Below is a quick overview of some of the best dishes and places that feature on the app.
Beres Pork Sandwich
Anyone who loves a pork sandwich here in Sheffield will know all about Beres, a family business with oodles of heritage set up back in 1961. They’ve a number of outlets on grab, so there should be one close to you, meaning delivery fees are likely to be piddly.
Also try… Roses The Bakers, Made By Jonty, Tony’s Kitchen
Make No Bones
If you like your vegan food to come with a large dose of comfort, then Make No Bones is the business. Their burgers and crispy fries are legendary, and if you crave that Sunday lunch fix, they even do a vegan take on a roast beef dinner. Yum.
Also try… Vegged, True Vegan@The Old House, Icarus and Apollo
We’re blessed with an array of fine Mexican establishments here in the Steel City but our fave on City Grab is probably Taco Mex. Burritos, tostados, chimichangas, nachos, quesadillas plus loads of vegan options, gluten free alternatives, sides and salsas, they’ve literally got the whole enchilada.
Also try… Street Food Chef, Burrito Y Mas, Amigos Mexican Kitchen
Taxi Driver Curry at Ashoka
Smokey chicken tikka with garlic minced lamb and fresh green chillis, Ashoka’s Taxi Driver Curry is not only the most popular dish on their menu but one of the most popular curries anywhere in the city. A stylish, cosy restaurant on Ecclesall Road, they’re a mainstay of the City Grab experience and one you simply must sample for yourself.
Also try… Urban Choola, Colombo, Bambukat, The Bhaji Shop
If you like your kebabs to be served in a rustic high street restaurant rather than over the counter at 3 in the morning, Turkish food meisters Zeugma should be high up your bucket list. Their Iskender kebab (Charcoal grilled minced lamb) is a personal fave but really, theirs is a menu that keeps delivering.
Also try…Efes, Marmaris, Afats Grill
Download CityGrab at the App Store, Play Store or order online at CityGrab.co.uk.
Live the Island life
Odds are you’ll hear a lot about Kelham Island during your stay in Sheffield, and that’s because this former industrial area is today one of the city’s most exciting suburbs. Full of decent beer gardens, real ale pubs, quirky bars and an array of cafes and restaurants, it’s well worth a visit – whether you’re after a pint by the river at the Riverside, a cracking brunch at the Grind or tasty vegan food and cocktails at Church – House of Fun, it’s a part of the city well worth acquainting yourself with. Make sure you check out the free-entry Kelham Island museum for your industrial history kicks!
@riversidekelham // @templeof.fun //@grindcafesheffield // @kelhamislandmuseum
Go green at V OR V
Due to the exponential rise of impressive vegan/veggie eateries like V or V, a plant-based diet no longer means struggling for options when dining out. Fraternal duo Nick and Matt Burgess have firmly established their venue as one of the most exciting restaurants in the city, serving up an eclectic menu containing plenty of Asian and Middle-Eastern influences, seasoning and spices. The dishes are constantly changing, but the okra fries drizzled in a delicious coriander chutney are a popular staple. We’d highly recommend paying a visit – whether vegan, vegetarian or otherwise – to try something from their range of inventive, flavourful dishes.
Take a hike around the city
A perfect way to see picturesque sides of the city and burn a few calories while you’re at it, the Sheffield Round Walk takes hikers through suburbs and rural areas in a 15-mile loop that includes some beautiful sightseeing and spectacular countryside routes. Despite being a bit of grueller on the legs, it’s nicely signposted throughout and you can find the full route online.
Urban Caving in the Megatron
If kicking around in an old Victorian storm drain sounds like your idea of fun, Sheffield’s got just the thing for you! Joking aside, the legendary Megatron is part of a fabled network of subterranean waterways, which recently has been opened to urban caving tours by Sheaf and Porter River Trust with experienced guides and kit provided. It’s an experience not to be missed, but be prepared to get well and truly soaked in the process.
Head to sheafportertrust.org for the latest available dates.
Support the world’s first football club
Football means a huge deal around these parts. Sheffield is the home of the beautiful game, and consequently the world’s oldest club (Sheffield FC), official rulebook, ground (Sandygate – Hallam FC), professional stadium (Bramall Lane), pub team (Garrick FC) and football tournament (Youdan Trophy). So, if you’re struggling to decide whether to pledge your allegiance the red and white or blue and white of the city, we’d humbly suggest popping along to see either Sheffield FC or Hallam FC first – it’s cheaper, they’ll appreciate your money more and you can say you’ve experienced a true bit of footballing history in the process.
sheffieldfc.com // hallamfc.co.uk
Find some green space
Sheff is one of the greenest cities in the UK, with around 250 parks, woodlands and garden spaces. During stressful times nature can provide a positive impact on both mood and physical health, allowing for a bit of respite from the hustle and bustle of university life – not to mention a way to take a break from the onslaught of negative news arriving daily on our timelines these days. The Botanical Gardens, Devonshire Green and Endcliffe Park are three popular student hangouts to get you started with.
HAIL THE ALE
With 4.7 times more breweries per capita than Greater London, Sheffield can claim to be a major force on the British brewing scene. From your traditional real ale stalwarts such as The Fat Cat, Shakespeares, Kelham Island Tavern and Rutland Arms, to your craft beer havens such as The Beer Engine, Bar Stewards, Sheffield Tap, Industry Tap, Dead Donkey and Triple Point Brewery, you’re more than well catered for when the time calls for an interesting pint or two.
A haven for independent businesses, on Sharrow Vale Road you’ll find the likes of Pete McKee’s art shop, Seven Hills Bakery, J.H Mann fishmongers, Porter Book Shop and some great Sheffield pubs such as the Porter Cottage down here, not to mention much-loved eateries like the Greedy Greek Deli and Porter Pizza. Tucked behind this stretch of road you’ll also find Dyson Place, another inviting hub of food and retail local businesses which you can read about in greater detail over on page 73. For a comprehensive list of our many wonderful independents and where to find them, head to independent-sheffield.co.uk.
A mere 20-minutes drive (or train journey) from the city centre will find you entering the Peak District – the first ever national park in the United Kingdom and covering a space of almost 1,500km2. Expect plenty of quaint villages to explore, while some of the best scenic walking routes in the whole country are available to find at visitpeakdistrict.co.uk.
Get out and about
Don’t stay hidden in the Student Union all term – explore! Even though the village-like feel of the city centre may give the impression of this being a fairly compact place, there are plenty of brilliant areas dotted around and only a short walk or taxi journey away – Ecclesall Road, Abbeydale Road, Heeley, Meersbrook, Broomhill, Crookes, Walkey, Sharrow Vale Road – all boasting their own selection of pubs, bars, restaurants, shops and parks. A short trip out to find places like Picture House Social or take in the sunset with a pint at the Brother’s Arms in Heeley is well worth it.
Go Wild Swimming
As you might guess, being the only major UK city with a national park within its boundaries comes with plenty of perks. None more so than being home to some stunning wild swimming spots – perfect for taking a cooling dip during the warmer months, and for some hardy souls even when it’s nippy outside! Popular spots include Slippery Stones, Chatsworth and Rivelin – there’s even a Facebook group ‘SOUP’ (Sheffield Outdoor Plungers) who share info on swimming, dipping and plunge spots. PS: Always go with company and ensure you’re fully clued up on how to wild swim safely beforehand. There’s plenty of advice online.
Gig and Rave
Live music lies at the very heart of the city’s culture. From the big-hitters like The Leadmill, Corp and the Foundry to the smaller capacity gems like Delicious Clam, Sidney&Matilda, Record Junkee and The Washington, there’s an array of places to enjoy gigs throughout the week. There’s plenty of quality rave spots dotted around the city centre too, and you’ll find some of the best DJ sets at popular underground nightclub venues such as Hope Works, Dryad Works, Fewer Than One and the legendary Tuesday Club taking place at the Students’ Union each month.
Sup and scran at Heist Brewery
This Neepsend Lane venue provides a perfect hangout boasting shuffleboard tables, an arcade complete with 2p machines and grabbers, TV screens showing alternative sports and a projector screen for some Tony Hawk’s action on the Playstation. If that wasn’t enough, top burger joint Slap and Pickle have made the venue their new permanent home and the bar offers a massive 30 different lines of beer, giving them the most lines and biggest selection of draught beer in Sheffield. You’ll also find Sheff-based doughnut merchants Ritual onsite and serving up some truly sumptuous offerings with flavours ranging from peanut butter and jelly to chilli and mango.
Have a spec–taco–ular time at Pina
Take it from us, Pina didn’t become the city’s favourite Mexican-inspired taqueria and late-night chill spot without good reason: their food and drinks menus are consistently top-notch. The signature tacos are what hungry punters come for, an explosion of vibrant flavours wrapped in corn tortillas perfect for mixing, matching and sharing – a nice reflection of the fun, social side of Mexican street food.. Plenty of tasty vegan options are on-hand too, perfect when washed down with a cold Pacifico or two…