From the cobbled lanes of its Old Town to its pedestrianised city centre and the country taverns of its surrounding villages, you don't have to go far in Swindon to find great restaurants. As an historic market town, food has been important in Swindon for centuries. It also boasts art galleries, theatres, shops and a popular Steam Museum which charts the town's heritage as home of the Great Western Railway. In addition, the chalk hills of the Wiltshire Downs are close by if you fancy a long walk to work up an appetite before exploring Swindon's restaurants, which range from noodle bars and curry houses to cosy English gastropubs. Browse the pages of Quandoo to learn more about what Swindon's restaurant scene has to offer.
There are plenty of restaurants in Swindon town centre catering to lovers of Asian cuisine, including several which offer a choice of exotic dining experiences under one roof. Expect varied menus, lavish buffets and interiors decked out with lanterns, carved screens and roomy, crimson-upholstered banquettes that make ideal seating for large parties or family outings. Familiar starters of spring rolls, onion rings and the like lead on to popular mains such as Kung Pao chicken, roast pork with plum sauce and crispy shredded beef. Non meat-eaters meanwhile can opt for a vegetarian stir fry or Szechuan-style bean curds. These establishments often come with well-stocked sushi bars offering a selection of nigiri (sushi on rice) and maki (wrapped in seaweed), as well as teppanyaki counters where you can watch your food being griddled.
Likewise, there's no lack of buzzing Swindon restaurants rustling up Indian cuisine, whether you want to snack on a plate of mixed kebabs or savour a signature dish such as a whole chicken cooked in a traditional Tandoori clay oven. Curries run the gamut from mild, creamy tikka passanda to hot, spicy pathia and perspiration-inducing vindaloo. Their handy central location makes these establishments a good option if you want to combine a meal out at one of Swindon's restaurants with a visit to the town's clubs, bars and nightspots.
The Old Town has several long-standing, family run Swindon restaurants offering authentic Italian cooking. The décor and ambience tends to be relaxed and low key, which is just the thing for light lunches and intimate, candle-lit evening dining. The menus are loaded with options for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. The former might plump for a steak in a rich, garlic ragu or fillet served Rossini-style with paté on toasted bread. For the latter, options include the likes of spaghetti with mushrooms and courgettes or a risotto with asparagus and porcini mushrooms. Just remember to leave enough room for a dessert of pancakes, ice cream or meringues served with a fiery glass of grappa or strega.
Furthermore, Swindon is great for restaurants that specialise in pub favourites and classic home-grown dishes. Whether you want to grab a bite in the town centre or head to more rural surroundings, there are lots of places breathing new life into traditional fare such as steak and kidney pudding, sausages and mash, fish and chips and liver and bacon. Loving preparation, fresh herbs and seasonally changing ingredients ensure that these crowd-pleasing perennials are as tasty as they are wholesome. And who can resist a summer pudding bursting with locally picked berries or a selection of homemade crumbles?