First of all, I have to say that I am very Italian when it comes to coffee. I like short espressos and dark roasted beans.
After two years living in Nottingham, here are my favourites:
Located in a hidden alley in the city centre, this place is charming inside and offers a big variety of coffees from around the world. I tasted a few of them and my favourite is from Papua New Guinea. My girlfriend prefers the Peru feminino.
I also recommend the muffin. It is not homemade, but it is pretty good.
2) Ugly bread
Coffee is not their speciality, but they do it pretty well! The place is full of delicious bread, therefore, I would recommend them if you intend to drink coffee after lunch.
Unfortunately, they recently change to a more light roasted coffee, which is a deal breaker for me.
3) 200 degrees
I like the fact they tell the clients the roast of each blend available. In general, they lean towards lighter roasts, but they have some darker options.
Also, there are some places that I expected to drink a better coffee and got disappointed. Here they are:
1) All classic chains
Costa, Nero and Starbucks. The last is the better between them, but not good enough to worth a visit.
2) Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant
The coffee is just average, what is not acceptable for a place "proud of being Italian".
Some facebook lists included Wired as one of the best coffees in Nottingham. I gave it a try and do not recommend! Very light roast, very acid coffee.
There are some interesting options for those who like light roasted coffee (more fruity and acid). My suggestions are Outpost (in the Lace Market) and The Specialty Coffee Shop (at Friar Lane).
British are not well-known for their appreciation for food, but with some effort it is possible to finding really nice options in Nottingham.
Located in the not-very-attractive West End Arcade, this place is a hidden jewel in Nottingham! They only serve crepes but the options for fillings (sweets and savoury) are very good (not like the traditional fillings for cobs and jacket potatoes) and very well executed. Being honest: their crepes are better than all crepes I had in Paris. Moreover, it is a very charming place.
It is also worth noting the quality of the coffee (single espresso). One of the best in the city. I have to return to try the sweet crepe with ice cream and a shot of espresso :)
It is a small shop in the city centre, with space for about 10 clients. Their specialities are the "sloppy sandwiches" (that kind of sandwich with so many filling that it overflows the bread and spread all over the plate). They are called "Sloppy Joes". My favourite is the "Black and Blue", with blue cheese and mushrooms.
The Greek and the Halloumi salads are also very good! With olive oil and lemon instead of dressings...
In my opinion, the down side are the meat+rice dishes. Not even close to the flavour of the sandwiches.
Definitively, the best British food I have ever eaten. The menu is not only seasonal but depends on the availability of the ingredients in the market, hence, hard to predict. However, the two main course I tried were brilliant! I had a course based on duck (duck meat served in three different ways) and my girlfriend had another based on pork (coincidently, also served in three different ways). Both tasty and that kind of dish that would be really difficult to make at home.
I will definitively come back.
An Italian menu full of interesting choices and, as far as I have tried, all very well executed. Two important "details": the pasta is really fresh and there is no hot spices without previous notice. The first restaurant in Nottingham with a decent house wine.
Also, the music is brilliant!
A very competent Turkish restaurant. Every time I went I was very pleased by their lamb dishes. I tried several of them already and was never disappointed. The restaurant is very nicely decorated but not too posh and the staff is very kind. In the end, if you ask for coffee and desert, you will get some fruits and pieces of Turkish delight. It is not easy to end the meal :)
I am not a big wine connoisseur, but the house red wine is very pleasant and for a really good price. I do recommend it!
A hidden gem in the middle of the city centre, by the Old Market square. Read more about it here.
Disappointment assumes some expectation beforehand, that is why I am not including here ALL the restaurants that disappointed me, but only those from where I was expecting something good.
So far, the list is: Jamie's Oliver Italian (nothing special) and Picollino (the quality is below the price) .