Here are the top six Leamington Spa dinner date spots that won’t break the bank

Coming from someone who is pretty much single

So, you invite the person you *really* like to a fancy dinner (just to show off a little bit) but by the time you’ve read through the menu, you suddenly realise neither of you have the sufficient funds for it. Well, that’s where this guide comes in.

Here is my list of all the pretty fancy yet affordable dinner dates you can finally take your crush/bf/gf on. In the name of journalism, I’ve scoured every corner of Leamington Spa and endeavoured to find all types of different cuisines – from Italian to Indian, Chinese to French, these restaurants have been happily tried and tested by me.

I’ve even scored them all out of 10 for three crucial categories- food, service and Instagramability.

1. Il Piccolinos 

My beautiful risotto!

Food: 9/10

Instagrammability: 8/10

Service: 7/10

This aesthetically pleasing, family-run Sicilian and Italian restaurant is a must visit. Located literally a minute from the Parish Church, Il Piccolinos offers a wide selection of pizza, pasta and my personal favourite: risotto.

I ordered their “Risotto con Gorgonzola, Speck e Noci” (£13) which was the best risotto I’ve ever tasted, and I promise that isn’t an exaggeration. Not only was the food to die for, but I also ordered an amazing Tequila Sunrise cocktail. Let’s just say it was a big step up from my regular Spoons pitchers.

The *ambiance* of the restaurant was also extremely Instagrammable, and the cute Italian decor made me feel like I was on a summer holiday, despite being stuck on Week four of Term one.

2. Five Rivers

A grand selection of biriyani, paneer and garlic naan

Food: 8/10

Instagrammability: 7/10

Service: 8/10

I absolutely adore Indian food (shoutout to my flatmates who always satisfy my paneer cravings by sharing their dinners with me), and I was on a mission to finally try some biryani for the first time. Much to my joy, I found both at Five Rivers, a fancy Indian restaurant literally just opposite Parish Church.

For around £15 per person, my paneer, biriyani and garlic naan were incredibly satisfying and filling – the portions were v.generous. The restaurant itself offered a slightly dark, mysterious atmosphere inside: with their tinted grey windows and moody black dining tables adorned with wine glasses, Five Rivers is certainly fancy enough to be romantic and most importantly, Instagrammable.

Finally, the service was certainly hospitable! Our waitress was extremely friendly, making us feel right at home.

3. Red Hot Mamma

Two massive pizzas and aesthetic neon lights

 Food: 8/10

Instagrammability: 8/10

Service: 6/10

This pretty pizzeria is definitely worth visiting. Situated in north Leam, it’s decorated with neon lights to create a cute, vibrant aesthetic for fine dining and of course, your Instagram stories.

I ordered the “Calabrese” pizza which was, simply put, delicious- but the real highlight was the portion sizes. The size of the pizza itself was extremely impressive, and I ended up taking a couple slices home for the next day’s lunch.

The only thing is that Red Hot Mamma does seem to be bit on the pricier side of restaurants (£13.50 for my single pizza), but honestly, that’s ok – their gargantuan portion sizes do make up for it, as sharing a pizza between two is definitely a viable option.

4. Kung Fu

My delicious salmon platter – plus the chicken skewers and eel rolls!

Food: 7/10

Instagrammability: 9/10

Service: 6/10

Everyone who knows me knows I live for Chinese and Japanese food. That’s where Kung Fu comes in- located in Regents Court just off the Parade, this beautiful restaurant offers both those cuisines.

I indulged myself by ordering their Salmon platter, along with some grilled eel, avocado rolls and chicken skewers. It was perfect for sharing, and I left feeling very satisfied – between the two of us, it was around £16 each!

But the true beauty of Kung Fu is the ambiance and vibe inside. It definitely looks like date-material – they have gorgeous pink flowers adorning their pillars, and delicate gold decorations/lighting to set the scene.

5. Bistrot Pierre

A fantastic three course meal (calamari, chicken and brownie) all for £15.95

Food: 8/10

Instagrammability: 8/10

Service: 7/10

This fancy French restaurant caught my attention because of it’s decorative interior and delightful menu. But what made my whole experience with them even better was their special offer in which you can either get a two-course meal for £13.95, or a three-course meal for £15.95- an amazingly valued opportunity, considering some mains at the restaurant cost £14 already.

Our garlic calamari and wild mushrooms on sourdough starters were delicious, as were our mains – the “Chicken Casseur” and “Thai Chicken Salad” (we replaced the chicken with grilled halloumi to make it vegetarian). To finish off our set three-course meal, we ordered their chocolate brownie and mango sorbet for dessert.

All the dishes were excellent, and so was the service – all our food came super quickly, along with a relaxed, friendly waiter who’s definitely worth mentioning. This is a great place to go to for a fancy yet affordable dinner date –  will definitely return.

6. Libertine Burger

My beef burger with Stilton, bacon and red onion jam – along with delicious spiced fries

Food: 7/10

Instagrammability: 7/10

Service: 7/10

Lastly, we have this great American-style burger restaurant located in north Leam – it’s pretty small but definitely Instagrammable, perfect for those wanting something a little more casual.

Their menu is packed with all sorts of burgers, and a whole assortment of fries. I ordered their #025 burger, but the spiced fries I ordered with it stole the show- they had this unique flavour about them that made the meal. There are also some pretty good veggie options too – there’s their trademark veggie Mac ‘n’ Cheese burger, which honestly sounds great. Altogether, the burger was £10, and the chips (which come separately) were another £3.50.

Then, there’s the whole atmosphere of the place – once again, it’s pretty Instagrammable with modern blue and red lights that hang low above the tables, giving the restaurant a vibey purple glow.

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