I *Heart* It Outdoors: Our Guide To The Best Independents Open For Eating And Dining Outside

Ask anyone you know what they’re most looking forward to and its spontaneity and catching up for a coffee or wine with friends.  And from April 12th, we are free to do exactly that, albeit outdoors.

We plan to eat all the cake, drink all the coffee and quaff all the wine (within social distancing, obvs) at the following independent venues.

Chutney Ivy

Enjoy delicious dishes from an authentic Indian menu with a Chutney Ivy twist from 12th April in their newly vamped outdoor dining area. The team are excited to offer a warm welcome back with their exceptional customer service to make you feel comfortable and safe whilst dining out!


The Bar & Grill 1573, one of the oldest buildings in England, serves fresh meals using only the best seasonal produce. As well as fine wines and champagne, with light bites and lunch and dinner available, 1573 offer luxury dining and the perfect place to stop for a treat after a heavy day shopping in the Highcross. Vegan and vegetarian options also available.

1573 will be opening April 12th from 12pm daily with a beautiful outdoor dining area, no bookings will be needed so you can just walk-in to be seated.

Gelato Village

Enjoy authentic Italian gelato in Leicester! Gelato Village are opening back up this April where you’ll be able to enjoy their coffee and award-winning gelato once again. With a wide range of flavours, you can enjoy a much-deserved treat after a hard day shopping. They are also operating a click & collect and delivery service so you can enjoy the delicious dessert from the comfort of your own garden.

Prana Café

The 100% vegan café is back with outdoor dining which means you can once again enjoy plant-based versions of all your favourite treats this Spring, so be sure to pop in and say hi! Personally, their showstopping cakes are always a fave! But don’t forget, Prana also offer a range of mouth-watering meals, including pizza, curries, and quinoa bowls!

Wygstons House

One of the city’s oldest buildings, Wygstons House is the perfect pitstop to meet your bubble for a catch up as lockdown starts to ease. With an amazing outdoor space, you can enjoy a classic pub meal with a cool drink all whilst being socially distanced, and best of all no booking required!

Leicester Coffee House 

Want to enjoy the lifting of lockdown restrictions with your pooch? Well, Leicester Coffee House is the perfect place to celebrate, with good quality, ethically sourced and locally roasted coffee as well as a range of treats to take home, LCH is a great place to treat yourself to an ‘on-the-go’ lunch.


The perfect pre or post shopping treat, Tamatanga’s food is all made from fresh local ingredients with no nasties or shortcuts making it authentic Indian food – fresh, fabulous, and flavoursome. No bookings are required, so you can show up and be seated straight away, and with Happy Hour cocktails between 12pm and 7pm it’s the perfect pick me up after months inside.

Five Fox Lane

Located in the original Brucciani (behind M&S), Five Fox Lane serve some old favourites including soda floats and iced buns, as well as some delicious breakfast and lunch options to help you start the day right! And if you’re in the mood for an early morning treat, get a free croissant with every coffee before 11AM. So, get down there and enjoy their outdoor dining with some lunchtime favourites.


Voted one of the best coffee shops in Leicester, Bru Coffee & Gelato is a must visit for all coffee lovers! With hand-made luxury gelato, and hand-crafted espresso-based drinks using their unique blend of 100% arabica, Bru is a must visit post-lockdown!

The Globe

Serving dine ales and food since 1720, The Globe is a classic British Public House with traditional Pub food and plenty of ales to choose from. From 12th April The Globe will be open with brand new outdoor furniture so you can eat comfortably, and no need to book either! There are also plant based options available for vegetarian/vegan customers, and as well as this, The Globe is making a conscious effort to become more environmentally friendly with their eco-friendly straws and napkins. What’s not to like?

Grays at LCB Depot

Based in Leicester Cultural Quarter, Grays Café has been serving up fresh food and award-winning coffee since 2013. Whether it’s breakfast, Lunch, snack time or the infamous Grays burger there’s something for everyone, and with their menu changing daily you’ll never be bored!

Every Friday & Saturday night they’ll be hosting socially distanced outdoor dining, serving their seasonal small plates, whilst their beer garden will be opening every Wednesday and Thursday so you can enjoy the nice weather with a cold drink! And not to forget, their legendary street food night is back! With a few Covid and safety changes, you can enjoy Grays #LastFriday street food night once again with vegan and veggie options available as well as live music to soothe the soul.

The Exchange Bar

Home to an excellent selection of craft ale, gin, wine, coffee and now food, The Exchange Bar is the perfect meeting place for you watch the world go by. Whether you’re feeling slightly peckish, or you’re craving American style pancakes, The Exchange Bar has everything you need to satisfy your craving post-lockdown.

Limited spaces are available, so booking is encouraged, to book email enquiries@theexchangebar.co.uk.

The Bottle Garden Bar

The Bottle Garden is perfect for lovers of good drinks, good décor and a good time, with a range of amazing cocktails – classics and new, it’s the perfect place to meet up with your girlfriends after lockdown. Along with a small but mighty food menu of sharing platters, anti-pasti and light bites, so you can top up on the drinks as well as the food!

With UK weather being unpredictable, Bottle Garden will not be taking bookings but you can just stop by as and when to see if there’s availability. However, inside bookings are now available from the end of May onwards.

St Martins Coffee Shop

From 15th April you can enjoy outdoor dining at St Martin’s Coffee Shop once again, if you can’t wait until then, they are currently offering takeaway tea, coffee, and food to keep you going until you can sit down and take a break in the heart of St Martin’s Square. The not so secret Crafty at St Martin’s will also be back serving outdoors from Thursday 15th so you can tuck into one of their tasty burgers and even better, no reservations required!

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