Sheffield Food Festival: 10 Sheffield food institutions

Bob Worm, managing director of Events Collective, rounds up ten of his favourite food spots in the Steel City.

When looking at new article features for this year’s Food Festival magazine, it struck me how the scene in Sheffield is constantly changing, but there are also numerous long-running businesses that have become almost institution-like.

I have put together a list, in no particular order of preference, to share some of my prime choices with you. It covers ten local businesses. All hard-working, long-established independents
that have received the nod for a variety of reasons. For some it’s simply the quality of the food, for others it’s the range and choice available on the menu, or it could be the added extras such as
the atmosphere, styling, staff, and people who frequent them.

This list is my choice based on selfish reasons, but as with all things food and drink in Sheffield, it’s a case of horses for courses and we will all have our favourites. If you haven’t tried any of the following, I’d highly recommend getting stuck in!

Two Steps Chip Shop
Arguably the best chippy in Sheffield. It may have changed hands, but it still looks exactly the same and does cracking fish and chips at a very fair price. The owners are nice chaps, too.

 Rafters Restaurant

A top-of-the-tree establishment and fine-dining at its very finest. Rafters are market leaders in connecting the culture of great food and wine with a relaxing atmosphere and impressive
layout. Their passion for engaging with their customers is a key aspect of what makes this place one of the best.

The Bhaji Shop

It has moved around a few times now: first Attercliffe, then Chesterfield Road, Neepsend, and now back to Heeley. Amazingly tasty, rustic curries and numerous healthy menu dish options – and as you can imagine, their onion bhajis are simply stunning.

Uncle Sam’s
The first American diner experience I had as a young boy, quickly enchanted by the cream cheese burger, walls covered with posters of US celebrities and the little train going around the track suspended from the ceiling. Still going strong for over 40 years – and long may that continue!

The longest-running kebab shop in Sheffield city centre, still working hard against the continuous redevelopment of more or less every building around them. If you’ve been going downtown in the city for a number of years, odds are you will have stumbled across Chubbys – famous for its sloppy cheese and late-night burgers.

Airy Fairy
A true Sheffield institution running for nearly 20 years now. Originally a coffee shop with holistic leanings, selling a variety of incense, crystals, candles, etc; the food menu of the cafe was later added to provide a simple but adventurous range of healthy homemade dishes. Despite being located in the middle of London Road’s urban jungle, it’s also got an enchanting little garden to relax and enjoy a sunny lunch in.

Yorkshire Bridge Inn
Situated on the edge of Ladybower, this traditional pub/restaurant offers a vast range of good value meals on their menu. Specials are always an option, but get snapped up quickly. The staff are very friendly, helpful, and despite the hearty nature of the mains, you’ll always feel tempted to order a pudding.

Street Food Chef

The festival’s longest-running street food trader and the one that pretty much kickstarted the scene here in Sheffield. The burritos at their venues on Arundel Street and Sharrow Vale Road never fail to impress and are simply amazing value for money. Time and time again it’s the go-to choice for me in need of a quick bite to eat in town.

Cafe Pie

Based at the end of South Road in Walkley, for some years now this has been a go-to spot for pie that never lets you down. Putting a lot of pride in quality ingredients and generous portion sizes, it’s the finest slice in the city in my opinion. They also offer good combo deals and it all goes perfectly with Hendo’s of course!

Another great foodie spot on London Road. This amazing Turkish restaurant is so good they now have two venues on the same road, situated within just two minutes of each other. It’s another proud independent business, same as all of my choices on here, and the level of craft and care that goes into their menu is evident after a visit. PS: make sure you go hungry because they serve up a real plateful!


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