Winter’s drawing in, so forget the salads and light bites – it’s time for some warm, filling, comfort food. Food blogger Ros Arksey selects five places to try in Sheffield for just that
The clocks have gone back, the evenings are drawing in earlier and there’s a chill in the air.
It’s at this time of year that we’re thinking about warming foods to comfort and cheer up the darker days. What hits the spot varies from going out for a classic warming pie, a tempting bowl of homemade soup, Sunday dinner with steaming hot gravy or a dish of curry with aromatic spices. These are all, in my opinion, feel-good foods that will lift your spirits and bring much-needed nourishment to body and soul in these colder months.
On that note, here are my recommendations of comfort food places to eat in Sheffield.
The Grind opened in 2010 in the heart of Kelham Island. It has an airy feel from the large windows that give a panoramic view of the street. The décor is rustic, fitting in with the historic industrial environment. They offer breakfast, lunch and snack options with gorgeous cakes, flapjacks and brownies.
As you walk in you are greeted by the appealing counter filled with imaginative and colourful salad selections like kale, walnut and sultana, Pea, mint and feta couscous and broccoli with feta and hazelnut.
The comfort food factor is offered in the form of their regularly changing menu up on the blackboard with homemade soup, hot dishes from lasagnes to stews and their signature ‘giant’ sausage rolls. Just these alone are worth coming to The Grind for. Not only are they the biggest that I have seen, they are packed full of delicious herby flavoured sausage meat. One of these with a selection of three salads (for under a tenner) is enough to brighten up any dull winter day.
The Grind, Cornwall Works, 3 Green Lane, Sheffield, S3 8SJ, grindcafe.co.uk
The American East Coast-style Anchorage Bar in West One in Sheffield city centre is the newest on this list, opening in August this year. It’s a place designed for comfort with warm tones and reclaimed wooden furniture. (The service is worth a mention, as it was excellent when I visited).
The Anchorage offers American craft beers and an extensive cocktail menu to help to bring a glow to your cheeks. Especially the Anchorage’s twist on a Bloody Mary made with Chipotle infused vodka, Sriracha hot sauce, Henderson’s Relish, tomato and an in-house spice mix.
The New York-influenced menu gives you comfort food in abundance with New England Chowder, mac ‘n’ cheese and 35 day aged beef going into their cheeseburgers. For Sunday lunch, the East coast-influenced choices include chicken with dumplings, potatoes, squash, popovers (similar to Yorkshire puddings) and gravy for £12. Who could resist that on a cold afternoon?
Anchorage Bar, Unit 3, West One, Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield, S1 4JB, www.anchoragebar.co.uk
Fusion Organic Café
Fusion Organic café at Butchers Works is a social enterprise, established in 2008 by the Ruskin Mill Trust with a focus on producing quality organic food using artisan methods. Due to their educational links, they also offer catering work experience to students at Freeman College.
The café has an informal and rustic feel inside with a bare brick interior and minimal décor. The crowd normally includes families, groups of friends as well as students and staff from Sheffield Hallam University, which is virtually next door.
The menu focuses on locally sourced, nutritious and ‘comforting’ homemade dishes with favourites like their delicious quiches, pasties, vibrant seasonal salad selection and soup. Prices are around £4 – £8.
The blackboard details the ‘Daily Fusion Specials’ where you can expect to see at least four types of quiche, six different salads and pastries like filo pastry parcel stuffed with feta, red pepper and beans. There’s plenty for veggies or vegans to choose from and there’s always a tempting selection of cakes displayed on the counter.
Fusion Organic Café, 74 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NS, academyofmakers.co.uk/fusion-cafe
The Old House
The Old House on Division Street has an indie style with a stripped wooden floor, exposed brickwork and kitsch memorabilia giving essences of an American bar combined with a traditional pub. There is a casual lounge/dining area with a mix of comfy seating and tables where you can enjoy a drink (they have good ales) and get a bite to eat.
The menu is predominately focused on home-cooked pub classics like ale-battered fish & chips, beefburgers, sausages with mash and ox cheek stew. They do Sunday roasts too with all the trimmings.
The Old House has a reputation for their in-house made pies (the ultimate comfort food). The fillings change regularly and the daily offerings are up on the blackboard. For pie purists, the pies have pastry sides and lids and come with mushy peas, chunky chips and gravy for £7.95. There’s always Henderson’s Relish available as the perfect pie condiment.
On Fridays you indulge in ‘Pie Friday’ where any pie (with peas) is a fiver.
The Old House, 113-117 Division Street, Sheffield, S3 7EB, www.theoldhousesheffield.com
Newcomer Couch (which opened this year) is located on Ecclesall Road; this is the second for the city as they also have a place on Campo Lane.
The café bar is decorated in a quirky and colourful style. Comfort is a strong theme with cosy armchairs in the window; sofas nestled in alcoves and rustic tables and chairs. This is the place to come for a relaxing coffee, something sweet (delectable cakes and brownies are lined up on the counter) or a more substantial meal.
The menu is eclectic with a choice of sandwiches, salads, and tapas selection with meatballs, Spanish tortilla and patatas bravas to heartier meal options such as pies, chilli, sausage and mash with onion gravy and homemade burgers. You can have lamb, chicken, beef or veggie and add a range of toppings (cheese, bacon, chilli…) and extras (Cajun sweet potato wedges, side salad and garlic bread…) to feed your appetite.
2 for 1 on burgers is available on Monday-Wednesday from 5pm and they do Sunday lunches.
Couch, 412-416 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 8PJ, couchstuff.co.uk/ecclesall-road
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Main image: Pie, chip, peas and gravy at The Old House
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