A senior foodies guide to Bradford

Situated as it is within the idyllic Yorkshire countryside, surrounded by rolling hills and timeless villages, Bradford has quickly become a favourite weekend getaway for a growing number of visitors across the country.

Most visit for the vibrant culture that the city is acquiring, others to visit its museums and historical landmarks, while others still may drop in to enjoy some shopping at its thriving new shopping centre at Broadway. For today, however, we’ll be looking in particular at Bradford’s vastly under-appreciated culinary scene. While Bradford may not boast some of the bigger and more extravagant names that larger cities may enjoy, that doesn’t mean that those with a highly refined palate can’t find something here to enjoy.

So, for all those mature food veterans reading, let’s delve into some of Bradford’s choicest selections.

The Castle Hotel

Found on the corner of Grattan Road, the Castle Hotel is an award-winning pub famed for its local selection of real ales. The building alone is worth looking into, with its neo-Gothic architecture making it very much resemble a castle that has been plonked in the middle of town.

The pub is not a gastro, so people looking for lunch or supper may want to consider an alternative venue. However, for those who enjoy a nice strong drink as part of their visit tor a city, few places come more recommended. As well as drinks, the pub also hosts live music every Friday, so if you’re here for a weekend visit be sure to drop by to enjoy the drinks and the tunes.

The Avenue Restaurant

People looking for some finer dining would be more than welcome to drop by the Avenue Restaurant and Bar, which forms part of the Great Victoria Hotel on Bridge Street. The Great Victoria is a high-class luxury hotel that exudes Victorian opulence, providing an extremely lavish setting for any meal of the day.

The restaurant maintains the hotel’s extremely demanding standards, offering a wide range of dishes tailored to a variety of tastes. All of its food is locally sourced from sellers in the area, while the menu itself draws from many international inspirations. As well as breakfast, lunch, and supper, the Avenue Restaurant and Bar also offers afternoon cream teas, and people going to the theatre that evening may want to consider one of their pre-show meals.

The venue is airy and well-lit, though some of the dining areas can be a little cramped due to the limited size of the restaurant. The staff is always on hand to lend assistance where needed.

Café Bell-a-Pizza

Italy is world renowned for its excellent cuisine, with people the world over celebrating their pastas, their cheeses, their gelato, their excellent wines, and their moreish pizzas. As such you’d probably not be at all surprised to find that Bradford’s own taste of Italy in Café Bell-a-Pizza.

The owners of Café Bell-a-Pizza are extremely proud of their work, so much so that customers can watch as their food is prepared in the ovens behind the counter. During warmer summer months, the folding doors are also opened wide, to give diners a bit more of a Continental street side dining experience.

The restaurant is level to the street, so access is easy for visitors of all mobilities. Access to the counter is provided by a wide central throughway between the tables, and the café is very well-lit both from the windows and the lights. As well as booths, there are also open tables available to be seated at.

International Restaurant

As one of the older and more established restaurants on this list, the International Restaurant has enjoyed a long and affectionate history with the town of Bradford. The restaurant first opened its doors in 1974, and has been in operation ever since. Those undertaking a food tour of Bradford would truly be selling themselves short if they didn’t step down Morley Street and pay a visit.

The International Restaurant specialises in South Asian cuisine, its menu offering a variety of kormas, dalls, baltis, and kebabs. You can expect something on offer for every dietary preference, whether it’s gluten free, vegan and vegetarian, to lactose intolerant. A more kid-friendly menu is also offered for the grandchildren.

Longstanding customers may also be pleased to hear that, even after all these years, the International Restaurant still offers some of the first dishes it served since it first opened.

The restaurant’s lighting can vary from bright to atmospheric, so those with poor eye sight or mobility may need to ask for assistance with seating. There are a mixture of free standing tables and chairs, and fixed booths. The staff are especially friendly and eager to help, so be sure to let them know if you require assistance.

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