Bournemouth offers a great variety of venues when it comes to eating out. There is great cuisine diversity, covering British to Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian, which means it’s easy to find food locally to suit any palette.
SHORT WALK FROM AUB
Just a 15–minute walk from the university is Conto Lounge, a popular bar offering a wide range of food, at reasonable prices with a variety of lunchtime offers. Conto Lounge also has partner lounges: Ludo in Southbourne, Circo in Westbourne and Arcado in Christchurch.
Staying relatively close to Uni, there are many restaurants in the Charminster area. There’s a Lebanese restaurant, Retro, American-themed Starz with its foot-long hot dog, American pancakes, and Ben and Jerry’s milkshakes.
Nippon Inn, a quaint little Japanese restaurant, serving a number of small cheap dishes, is the perfect place to meet with friends and get a great selection of food at a bargain price.
It is also home to many Greek and middle eastern restaurants, including Bedouin, which doubles up as an outdoor shisha bar.
If you’re looking for dinner and a film, you can head down to the newly opened BH2 Leisure Complex. As well as a state-of-the-art, 10 screen multiplex ODEON cinema, the complex gives you the choice of 13 different restaurants to take your pick of.
Restaurant chains include ASK Italian, Five Guys, Nando’s, Pizza Express, T.G.I Fridays and Prezzo – giving you a whole host of options to choose from. The BH2 Complex is located in Exeter Crescent. You can also visit popular favourites including The Stable, Turtle Bay and Franco Manca.
In the town centre, Sixty Million Postcards is a very popular place for student events and burgers and South Coast Roast is a great place to get coffee. For a great roast, head to the Goat and Tricycle. There are Brewery experiences at inventive brewpub Brewhouse & Kitchen and some great independent spots like Mexican restaurant, Ojo Rojo.
For vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs, Mad Cucumber Vegan Lounge has some great options.
DINNER WITH A SEA VIEW
Aruba, restaurant by day, club by night, has a prime location at the town end of pier. Moving further along is West Beach, a small seafood restaurant, right on the promenade. It’s perfect for grabbing a quick bite while visiting the beach.
Following the beach down to Boscombe pier and again on the promenade is Urban Reef, which has a fully exposed seating area, to which the staff bring out blankets as the chillier evenings come around.
SHOPS AND MARKETS
Bournemouth town centre has an array of shops to pick some nibbles! There is a Co-op a few minutes’ walk from Halls, a large Asda next to the train station, and Tesco and Lidl in the town.
If you’re looking for sustainable shopping, Almond&Co is a store dedicated to reducing the use of single-use plastic. You can bring your own bags, jars and containers and stock up on essentials such as oil, rice, pasta, flour, milk, grains and coffee at the dispensing points. They also sell organic loose fruit and vegetables as well as locally baked bread and cakes.
Weekly bargains can be found at Boscombe’s Thursday and Saturday markets, open from 9.00 to 17.00. Lining the pedestrian area of Christchurch Road you’ll find stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, meat and fish and clothing and handbags.
The Wimborne Market is every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and has artisanal products, bric-a-brac, memorabilia and more.
One of the highlights of winter in Bournemouth is the annual Alpine Market. Every December, small wooden huts selling gifts and Christmas decorations line the town centre square, and a two-storey Alpine bar is erected.
Indulge with a hog roast or traditional bratwurst from the street food stalls, then wash it all down with a mulled wine or tankard of beer. There’s not a more festive way to see in the Christmas break.