You never really miss something until it’s taken away and when lockdown happened and going out for a meal with friends or family was firmly taken off the menu for the best part of a year, we all really started to miss that feeling of enjoying a lazy brunch, a family Sunday carvery or a full-on romantic meal for two!
The hospitality industry was truly hit for six but now as it has reopened, once again we’re all discovering the simple pleasures of eating out and in Milton Keynes the restaurant and café scene has had something of a resurgence with new businesses starting up and old favourites back open and welcoming customers again.
So, we thought we’d give you a helping hand to discover more about the eating out scene in MK and then you can start planning your next visit:
HEAD FOR THE CENTRE
Like most places, heading to the city centre gives you a good choice of places to eat and drink. In MK, The Hub (just five minutes’ walk from the station) offers a fountained piazza with a mix of restaurants, bars and cafés around the edge. They have your family-favourite chains like Zizzi, Nando’s and Las Iguanas but they have some really good independents like the pan-Asian Banana Tree, DeRoka offering Mediterranean cuisine, the award-winning Maaya Indian Kitchen and Blossom Room for pre or post dinner cocktails.
At Xscape, you’ll find a mix of restaurants and takeaways perfect for that pre-cinema meal or a post-skiing calorie fix – we love Creams Café with their huge waffles, pancakes and doughnuts! And the well-known shopping areas of centre:mk and Midsummer Place have plenty of options to grab a quick something to eat in between shops with the likes of Yo Sushi, wagamama and Five Guys.
Independent restaurants need our support now more than ever and we’re not short of some really superb ‘indies’ in Milton Keynes. If you fancy an Indian, how about enjoying fining dining at Urban Dhaba in Central MK, or maybe if sushi is your thing then try out Asksaka in Wolverton and CMK. Fratelli’s in Fenny Stratford has a Turkish/Italian twist and does some of the best burgers around. Keeping to the Mediterranean theme, Ole Tapas Bar in Wolverton is amazing and not to be missed. For Chinese lovers, head to Taipan at 12th Street, they serve the best dim sum in MK. And these are just the tip of the independent iceberg!
Sometimes only pub grub will do – you just crave scampi and chips or a good pie! In MK we can cater for all needs. We have great family pubs like The Tree Trees in Bletchley (their carvery is amazing) through to gastro-style pubs like The Cross Keys in Woolstone. Maybe a leisurely meal and pint watching the world go by at The Black Horse, perched right on the Grand Union Canal. Or you could head to one of the oldest pubs in the area, The Swan Inn situated in the original Milton Keynes Village, with old beams and flagstone floors dating back to the 13th century.
Seeking out a good coffee and some yummy cake has become a badge of honour these days and again, Milton Keynes doesn’t disappoint. The best coffee is said to be served at Bogota Coffeehouse in The Hub; family-run they certainly now their coffee beans. For the best cake head to The Grumpy Cook in Loughton, homemade, a vast selection and a brilliant playpark nearby. The café at MK Gallery is independently run and again they serve really good coffee but also a really good selection of savoury bites and sweet treats. And if afternoon tea is on your radar, try Frosts Garden Centre or the Woburn Coffeehouse.
The surrounding market towns of Stony Stratford, Wolverton, Newport Pagnell, Woburn Sands and Woburn offer a plethora of dining opportunities. Venture out and explore these areas to discover quaint little tea shops, relaxed brasseries, traditional pubs and fining dining restaurants.
A FINAL PLEA…
One final ask, if you do book a table and can’t make it for whatever reason (and all restaurants understand that things happen) please, please – give them a quick call and let them know. No-shows, especially after lockdown, have the potential to cripple the hospitality industry… so if you want to continue eating out going forward, just pick up the phone.
Check our more information on the Eating Out scene in Milton Keynes