A Local's Guide To Sheffield

As a recent graduate (I completed my university studies 18 months ago) I’ve been incredibly inspired by the This North Works podcast so far. Having decided to stick around in the North post-uni, it’s exciting to hear from a different business owner each week, learn how they established their company up here and how creative industries are flourishing across the North. A big thank you to Sophie for getting this important conversation started and for making my chilly commute on public transport far more enjoyable!

As I mentioned to Sophie when I got in touch with her to be a contributor; Sheffield is full of proud Northerners, so I truly think a travel guide all about this fantastic Yorkshire city is a perfect fit for This North Works. Our city centre is receiving a huge amount of investment at the moment and I imagine will continue to do so over the coming years so I am incredibly excited to see what becomes of the city.

I arrived in Sheffield over five years ago now for university and I like to think I’ve got to know Sheffield pretty well over that time, definitely helped by the fact my boyfriend is Sheffield born and bred. I hope this city guide comes in useful if you’ve got plans to visit in the near future or maybe it’ll even persuade you to come for a day trip.

Town Hall/Peace Gardens

Town Hall/Peace Gardens


My favourite thing about being a local in a city is that you really get to know the different areas. The below five areas are well worth checking out as they’ve all got a completely different feel:

Kelham Island

Over the past few years, Kelham Island has received a huge amount of investment and undergone a transformation from its manufacturing past, whilst retaining the charm of the old workshops and factories. Here you can find everything from a museum, galleries, breweries, a rock climbing centre, a recording studio, restaurants and pubs galore.

Ecclesall Road (or as us Sheffielders call it, Eccy Road)

A mile long road packed with restaurants, bars and shops incredibly popular with students and young professionals alike. On one side you have the beautiful Botanical Gardens and Endcliffe Park and to the other side, Sharrow Vale; a suburb containing some of my most favourite places to eat in the city.

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Abbeydale Road

If you’re a fan of independent bars, cafes, restaurants and shops I suggest exploring Abbeydale Road. It’s also a popular destination for antique lovers being the centre of Sheffield’s Antique Quarter. The city’s oldest cinema, Abbeydale Picture House, is also located slap bang in the middle of this area.


Yet another suburb full of fab independent businesses; my favourite being Five Rivers Coffee Co, a Vietnamese café boasting a floor seating area and serving the authentic Vietnamese egg coffee. If you’ve ever been to Vietnam or dream of going one day, you must pay them a visit.

City Centre

City centres are always where the majority of visitors spend their time and there is plenty to keep you occupied here. The Peace Gardens is a lovely place to relax and located pretty much next door to the beautiful Winter Garden; a green oasis in the city centre.

If you have an evening to spend in the centre, you’re truly spoilt for choice for things to do. The music scene is one of the best in the UK thanks to the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Def Leppard hailing from here. Fancy catching a gig? You’ve got the likes of the (legendary) Leadmill, Sheffield City Hall, O2 Academy, Plug and The Harley to check out. Alternatively, if the theatre is more what you’re after then it’s well worth taking a look to see what’s on at the Crucible and the Lyceum.


As you have probably guessed by now, I am a proper food lover and so I found it near on impossible to narrow down all my favourite Sheffield based cafes and restaurants. Instead, here’s a great big whopping list of independent eateries for you…

Great places for a coffee pit stop or quick lunch:

Steam Yard – amazing coffee, awesome cakes and an all-round super cool place.

The Grind – the best sausage rolls (they sell out quick so get there early!)

The Cabin – the perfect place to escape on a cold day, take in that smell of maple syrup as you step through the door and definitely order the waffles, they’re epic.

Five Rivers – no way was this Vietnamese cafe not going to make the favourites list.

Birdhouse – not quite coffee but we’re Brits; we all love tea and this is a tea experience like no other.

Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen

Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen

Chilled places to grab a bite to eat:

Twisted Burger – I own a Twisted Burger branded hoody, this is how much I love their burgers!

Satay Yo! Beer – probably my most frequently visited restaurant in Sheffield serving delicious Asian street food.

Porter Pizza – our favourite place in Sheffield for pizza, enough said.

Street Food Chef – an absolute Sheffield institution; solid Mexican food and the best churros going.

Tamper – the one place I always recommend to anyone in Sheffield, they serve amazing coffee too.   

Five Rivers Cafe

Five Rivers Cafe

Good ole’ proper restaurants:

Kias Pastaria – the best Italian restaurant in Sheffield (warning: you need to book in advance).

Nonnas – a close runner-up for our favourite Italian.

Broadfield – a great pub serving even greater pies.

Oisoi – this was where I went for my graduation meal and I absolutely loved it.

Ashoka – award winning Indian restaurant and if it’s good enough for Alex Turner, then it’s good enough for me!

Somewhere to enjoy a few bevvies:

The Gin Bar – a great option if you’re on Abbeydale Road in the evening and fancy a selection of 50 gins.

PUBLIC – now I haven’t been myself yet but this place looks and sounds amazing, an award winning underground bar serving beautiful cocktails.

Picture House Social – a regular drinking spot for us on weekends, grab a drink and have a game of table tennis.

Riverside/The Lescar – to round of this rather mammoth list, a couple of proper solid pubs. The Riverside is located in Kelham Island and The Lescar is in Sharrow Vale.


  1. Peddler Market – Kelham hosts this monthly street food market, take a look at their upcoming dates to catch this incredibly popular event.

  2. Tramlines – a fantastic three day music festival, get tickets for next year (19th-21st July 2019).

  3. Amphitheatre – enjoy a panoramic view across the city by heading up to the amphitheatre (located behind the train station).

  4. Peaks – got a few days here? Head out to the beautiful Peak District, we’re incredibly lucky to be just a 20 minute drive from this beautiful National Park.

  5. Cutlery Works – this incredible independent food hall is the largest of its kind in the North of England, it has literally just opened its doors and is yet another reason to visit Kelham Island.

Surprise View

Surprise View

And there we have it; a chunky city guide to this rather superb South Yorkshire city. I hope it comes in handy, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions; you can find me over on Instagram here and Twitter here. Alternatively, check out some of my other city guides on my blog here.

Thanks so much for reading,

Emily x