February 18, 2015, by International students

Dietary requirements: where to find specialist foods in Nottingham

When you arrive in a new city or country there are many things that can be hard to adjust to. Among all these new challenges, one thing you may be concerned about is how to maintain a special diet in an unfamiliar environment. It can be difficult to know where to find foods that fit your dietary requirements – if you’re living in university halls, this food may not be readily available, while if you’re cooking for yourself you may worry about finding everything you need in local shops and supermarkets.

As food is such a central part of daily life this can be daunting, but in Nottingham you’ll quickly find that you can easily get your hands on food that suits your needs, both on and off campus. Nottingham is a culturally rich and diverse city, friendly to many types of different dietary requirements, so there are plenty of options available to you. Whether you’re searching for kosher, halal, gluten-free or vegan, your needs will be easily met here.

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We asked some of our students with special dietary requirements for tips on the best places to find your food essentials.

“Nottingham is a great place to be if you want kosher food!” – Jessie Mayer, JSoc

Many of Nottingham’s students eat a kosher diet, therefore there are an array of options. On campus, Portland Baguette Bar has a kosher deli serving reasonably priced kosher food within your £5.10 meal card limit. The SU shop also sells kosher sandwiches and microwavable kosher meals. Off campus, many supermarkets stock kosher food in their world food aisle – Castle Bridge Road Sainsbury’s offers a wide range. Another option is to speak to the UoN Jewish Chaplains or the Nottingham Chabad Rabbi, who can arrange for kosher meat to be imported from London.

Those looking for halal meat will easily find it in the Lenton area – Tesco Express on Ilkeston Road offers a halal section and there are several halal shops and butchers in the Radford and Lenton area, such as the Halal Meat Centre on Radford Road. When it comes to eating out there is a selection of halal restaurants in the city centre, including Nada Budaya Malaysian restaurant, and Marrakesh, which specialises in Moroccan cuisine. Alternatively, hungryhouse.co.uk  has information on various halal takeaways.

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When it comes to ‘free from’ foods you will find a large variety in Nottingham, as most supermarkets cater to special diets. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and M&S all offer gluten-free and dairy-free sections. The Victoria Centre in the city has a large Tesco and a Waitrose while there is a Tesco Extra in Beeston. Alternatively, in Lenton you’ll find two Sainsbury’s Locals and a Tesco Express, all of which offer ‘free from’ ranges.

To stay gluten-free whilst eating out, most chain restaurants in the city centre offer gluten-free menus, and many smaller restaurants and cafes are also happy to accommodate you. For more information on living gluten-free in Nottingham, visit the UoN Coeliac Society’s website.

“My biggest tip would be not to rely on food labelled gluten-free – check the ingredients on ‘normal’ food and you’ll find options you’d never have considered.” – Bethany Miles, Coeliac Society president

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The city has plenty to offer vegetarians and vegans, with several restaurants and cafes aimed specifically at those on a meat-free diet. In the city centre, Beccy’s Global Kitchen and Alley Café Bar come highly recommended, as do Café Roya and Flying Goose Café in Beeston. Most chain restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan options, including ASK, Las Iguanas, Nando’s and Wagamama. If you prefer to cook at home, the Natural Food Company on Mansfield Road sells specialist products for vegetarians and vegans, as well as for those with gluten intolerance.

In addition to the variety of bars in the city, tee-total students will enjoy Sobar, an alcohol-free bar and restaurant in the centre of Nottingham, which hosts regular events and can be hired as a venue.

For more advice and to meet other students with dietary needs, why not join a university society? The Coeliac Society offers advice on the best restaurants, takeaways and on-the-go meals, while the Vegetarian and Vegan Society organises events at restaurants and cafes, as well as cooking classes. To sign up to a society visit the Students’ Union website.

Posted in FoodNottingham city