Review Summary

9.3 based on 140 reviews
  • Food

  • Value

  • Ambiance

  • Service

    Fantastic setting overlooking Derby Cathedral, authentic Italian food, great quirky building, friendly staff, a great dining experience.

    Yet again we had a superb meal at the European can't fault it.

    A fabulous evening with friends at the European. The staff are really nice and attentive and the food is excellent. We all had starters and mains and everybody was very pleased with the food. We also had two bottles of the chianti and this was excellent and good value. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

    Excellent cuisine, service, and environment.

    Best steak I have had in a long time.
    A wonderful night out not rushed and food was excellent will be going back.

    Really enjoyable meal as always, lovely food and surroundings.

    A wonderful family meal with our table in the window opposite the cathedral, as requested. Everything about it was great.
    I have tried other Italian restaurants but always go back to The European.

    We went for my sister's birthday, the second time we have visited and it didn't disappoint. The food was fabulous, service good very friendly.

    Very good service excellent food nice surroundings.

    3 of us went for this meal - all extremely pleased with the food and the size of the portions wasn't overly big so we didn't feel uncomfortably full afterward. Nice atmosphere.

    We are always very pleased with the food and service we get from the European Restaurant.

    The food was amazing and I love the Italian guy, he is so sweet! Superb service from him and the rest of the team. Would recommend.

    Service was good the owner sang to me and my friends it was a lovely experience. We all said we would go again.

    Excellent from start to finish. Highly recommend. I will be returning in the near future.

    Lovely quaint restaurant with delicious food.
    A nice quiet environment so was able to have a great chat.
    Service first class & able to have a break between courses.

    Everything about the evening was great apart from one thing - no alcohol-free lager. This is surprising for a city restaurant where almost everyone will have driven, that they couldn't stock just a few bottles of low - alcohol lager. If they manage to provide a wide range of wines at various prices then you'd think that keeping a few bottles of alcohol free lagers would be a simple task. I hope this feedback finds its way to the restaurant and they take note and provide just a small range of beverages to suit everyone.

    Always excellent which is why we keeping coming back. 5* for a lovely meal, first-class service, and an extra special ambience with the lit-up knife angel across the road.

    Quirky setting in a lovely old building. Delicious food at medium prices.

    I would highly recommend the European restaurant. It was a perfect evening.

    Excellent, our first time there and was pleasantly surprised. The food was delicious, as was the service. I will definitely go back there again.

    Fabulous atmosphere lovely staff, food well presented, a bit bland I had the salmon, very pricey for what we had, I will go again probably for the special deals.

    We went out for a 50th birthday celebration the food was fantastic the service was excellent good night will definitely go again.

    Another lovely meal. First visit for my friend, who loved it to, and felt it well worth struggling slightly with the stairs.

    Lovely restaurant. Excellent food and personable service. Would highly recommend

    Excellent traditional Italian food. Good value for money, friendly attentive staff, and welcoming environment. Would definitely recommend.

    We had the set lunch it was delicious, service fabulous will definitely go again.

    Have been several times and always a lovely meal. I had the salmon in a cream sauce - delicious. Service was a little slow but it was very busy & we were told that on arrival. This is a little gem in the town centre, would always recommend.

    Super meal.

    25 minutes before the food order was taken. Garlic mushrooms no garlic! Parfait starter is very small. Mains were excellent and pannacotta delicious.

    A pleasant restaurant with a good atmosphere.

    Another excellent meal and service.

    Excellent again!

    Absolutely delicious, wonderful restaurant.

    Excellent food and great service. Very cosy. Would recommend early dining menu

    Excellent food and excellent friendly service. Very enjoyable!

    Everything was most enjoyable.

    Lovely food and good service. 16th century building contributed to a very pleasant ambience. Can’t understand how we’ve not discovered this place before. We’ll definitely be returning.

    Fresh food , well presented.

    Excellent food and service and staff are very welcoming. We have been many times and can't fault it.

    The food was consistently tasty, adequately portioned and attractively presented. The rigatoni was especially nice. The service was attentive and friendly without being obtrusive. The setting is slightly unusual - upstairs in quite a tight area - and the decor plain. A slight disappointment was that GoDine gave us to understand that we would be able to have the Valentine's Day menu when it wasn't available. A small thing, though, cos the food was very good.

    Just as good as ever.

    Enjoyable meal, good value and lovely food.

    All round amazing!

    We enjoyed a birthday meal with incredible service, thank you!

    A friendly ambiance. Good service. Good food . Would visit again , and also recommend to others .

    A pleasant restaurant with a quirky waiter.

    As soon as you walk into this restaurant, the feel of the place tells you that you are in for something special and you wouldn’t be wrong.
    The staff are very friendly and make you feel very welcome from the off whilst the menu gives you a choice of food that would be suitable for everyone.
    The food was absolutely stunning, very very tasty and well cooked and in just the right proportion and, unusually for us, we had 3 courses because the food is that good.
    I would certainly recommend this restaurant and will certainly be returning.

    The meal was first class five stars and service was excellent five stars a brilliant place and you’re service is first class too I’ll recommend both to all my friends and family and all my customers too well done.

    We saw the deal for a two course lunch for £9.50 and thought it sounded good so we gave it a try, and we weren't disappointed. We arrived to a friendly welcome and were shown to our table. We ordered our drinks and were left to mull over the menu which had a good selection for each course. It didn't take long for the starters to arrive and they were beautifully presented and tasted lovely. The main was just as good, well presented and cooked well with a decent size portion of potatoes and veg to accompany it. It was a lovely relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant and the service is second to none. We would recommend the European to anyone and will definitely be going again.

    Genuine character as waiter, passion for the business and the food, which was top drawer. Fresh distinctive taste, oozing quality. Price more at the premium end, but worth it. Not disappointed. Have been going for several years and will continue to do so.

    Food, as usual, high standard.
    Good service

    Always excellent food but portions a little on the small side.

    The meals that we ordered where fine, well presented and without a long wait between courses. Our party sat in a window seat overlooking the cathedral, watching the rain come down. We will visit again in the near future.

    Perfectly cooked traditional Italian food, very good service and cosy environment. The high Hygiene rating (5) adds another star to the review for, the commitment in delivering safe food. Definitely recommended.

    Lovely food,really enjoyable and a nice ambience.

    Very quiet being early January but the food was very tasty, over £60 for two including wine is only average value.

    Excellent value, fabulous food and friendly service. Will definitely return and recommend to others.

    Lovely food, just the right sized portions. Gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce was delicious. Very good service. Nice atmosphere.

    I enjoyed my meal (Pollo Sofia, and Chocolate Cheesecake). My dining companion said that her pasta was "bland", although she did enjoy her ice-cream dessert.
    The service could have been a little more attentive.

    Very good as always, lovely food and great service

    Delightful restaurant, set in an old quirky building. Meal was excellent and the service very good. Always a pleasure to dine there.

    Very good food and enjoyed seeing chef who was genuinely intrested in making sure our meal was to our liking. Even good some cooking tips from him!

    Good food as usual. Service a little too slow.

    Very nice and relaxing place to eat my first time at the European, find the food and service very good.

    An excellent meal. The service was attentive and efficient.

    Splendid lunch - pleasant surroundings and good service

    Really good meal, we had the duck, sea bass and black spaghetti with seafood. And it was all lovely with excellent service. Very friendly. Will definitely be returning.

    Thoroughly enjoyable experience, welcoming.

    Excellent family night out. The service was superb and the food was top notch!

    Very good value lunch at the European restaurant

    Good food and setting. Slightly slow service which could be an issue if you were in any sort of a rush.

    I visited the restaurant on Friday 24th February in the evening and had a very nice table at the window. The food was excellent, my wife had a steak which was perfectly cooked and I had tortellini with an arrabiata sauce. This was delicious and was not too fiery! A lovely evening with great service.

    first visit but very impressed.

    Excellent value 3 course valentine meal. Food was exceptional, Lamb was tender, steak was equally so. Size of portions was good too, we didnt feel rushed and the whole night was worth the cost of £30 each.

    We had the early bird meal at the European, which we took as 2 starters and 2 main meals. We both had the mushroom starter, which was delicious, followed by me having the fish and my partner the chicken. The fish came in a creamy lemon sauce with crisp vegetables and the chicken was in a red wine sauce with crisp vegetables. We ordered a bottle of white wine with table water as well. At the end of the meal we both had a Baileys on ice, which was fabulous. We were made to feel really comfortable and there was no sense of being rushed. We will most definitely book there again. A very enjoyable evening.

    I have been here a couple of times now, and its great food, served well, and where you are allowed time to chat, without interruption. Thanks again!

    Amazing restaurant with amazing food. Friendly staff. Intimate restaurant. Keep returning and never disappointed with the European.

    Food was amazing at the European!

    Even though heavy traffic was causing all the guests to arrive late, the staff coped admirably. The food and wine were superb and the service excellent.

    Food was very average at the European. Service poor, waitress wouldn't look you in the eye and even after she'd written down the order still had to come back and double check. Not good value for money

    The room was a little cold. The food excellent but I feel the portion size (Veg) was a bit on the small side for the main meal. Would definately go again.

    We have not been to the European for over a year and it wad lovely to return food still as good as ever and Jacko's singing still amazing cannot fault the place always welcoming!

    Excellent food which was also different from the norm.

    We really enjoyed our lunchtime experience. The service was good and staff were friendly. Would highly recommend it.

    Good service and good food. at the European!

    I haven't been here for a while but was reminded of how good the European is. Excellent meal, three courses, great wine and attentive staff. Thanks

    A very good dinner at The European, enjoyed with friends. All of us agreed that the early evening menu at £11.50 for 2 courses was excellent value for money. Also very attentive, professional service. The Abruso wine was excellent!

    We were a party of 15 and were seated in our own room which helped create a great atmosphere. The food and service were excellent at The European and everyone agreed that we would return for future team meals here!

    An excellent place, serving lovely food at competitive prices.

    The European Restaurant has a lovely atmosphere, fantastic food and excellent service. We have eaten here many times and have never been disappointed.

    Great value, lovely food! Highly recommend.

    The food was absolutely superb, two pasta dishes and two meat dishes all with loads of flavour. Nice friendly service, best Italian in Derby.

    Very good food in simple surroundings with an attentive waiter. The view of the Cathedral is a bonus! Would recommend The European without hesitation.

    Menu was simple but full of good choices, food was very good, well cooked and ample portion size with efficient service. Atmosphere was flat though and even though service was efficient it was just that.

    It was a really nice meal and atmosphere could of had a few more potatoes.

    Excellent meal all round at the European, will definitely be going again!

    Food was very good. Service was quick until the end when they forgot to come and take our payment. A minor error in the light of the very good meals all four of our party had!

    The meal was very nice!

    Food was decidedly average with the exception of my Stilton brûlée which was really good. For us the room was a bit to bright making the candles pointless. Service was friendly but a bit rushed as was the pace of the meal. I have had good food and a good time here before so wouldn't want to put anyone off from trying it but for a special occasion (Valentine's) I was disappointed.

    I enjoyed the whole meal at The European from starter to main to dessert and the service was excellent also!

    The European is a lovely little restaurant, friendly staff, delicious food, would recommend and return!

    The restaurant was first-class and I would certainly recommend to friends and colleagues. I would definitely visit again with clients/customers.

    Service and food was excellent!

    Loved it! We will return very soon.

    A last minute change of venue due to a gas leak meant The European being a replacement substitute, but certainly not 2nd class in quality, style and service. From the delicious sauce with fillet steak to the green spaghetti in the seafood main, all perfectly cooked and presented with panache.

    Thoroughly recommended!

    The European is a lovely venue for sharing a meal with loved ones and friends. Service was excellent and friendly. Food was of high standards and very enjoyable. The atmosphere was just perfect. It was probably a bit too expensive but I would still go again. Really pleasant and enjoyable experience!

    Food absolutely fantastic, steak cooked to perfection! Highly recommend The European Restaurant......

    Great welcome food cooked to order at the European Restaurant, fantastic setting, really enjoyed the whole experience!

    Visited The European Restaurant for my Wife's birthday. We have lived in Derby for many years and did not even know that this gem was here! The food was excellent although a little pricey. We will revisit but for an earlier set menu. The A La Carte is ideal for a special celebration as you do expect to pay more for that, the atmosphere was quiet, relaxing and intimate. My wife and I loved it!

    Good food at the European and friendly service. Had early bird meal which was good value!

    I love this restaurant! The food is delicious and freshly prepared and the lunchtime deal is difficult to beat. The house wine is perfectly acceptable and you would find it difficult to beat Giancarlo's service and cheerfulness - he's been there almost 25 years, so he knows what customers like!

    Good food, good atmosphere, so relaxing

    Totally awesome!! Fantastic value for money, fantastic staff, fantastic restaurant, totally recommended 10/10.

    We had our works Christmas meal night at The European. Parsnip & Maple soup delicious , Turkey, Chicken & salmon mains great. However my husband had the Beef fillet Medallions coooked medium rare & said it was the best beef he had ever had. Christmas pudding was yummy too.

    Good selection of meals and drinks. All our food was tasted excellent and the house wine was perfect. Very nice and unhurried.

    Very attentive service and quite good food was spoiled by excessive costs for extras.

    We were celebrating a birthday with some friends & had a lovely meal with nice Italian flavours, good service lovely Prosecco in nice surroundings. 2 in our party were Gluten free and were catered for so all round a good night. This restaurant is consistently good.

    Lovely table by the window overlooking the cathedral. Food was excellent and great value. Highly recommended European Restaurant.

    We went for the pre-theatre early evening deal, lovely old building and nice restaurant room, lovely old chap that waited at our table. Food quite good, I had mushroom piazziola for starters, I didn't realise this was pasta so ended up having pasta for maim as well. All 4 of us then had dessert, my tiramisu was nice but not fab, my friend's sticky toffee pudding was the best I've ever tasted and my daughter had vanilla ice cream with espresso coffee poured over, which was also delicious.

    The best gluten free pasta in Derbyshire! You will not be disappointed.

    My family & I love this place - We cannot recommend it highly enough.

    Becoming a regular.


    Friendly helpful staff, a good value pre theatre menu with nice sized portions. Will definitely go again and have already recommended it to friends.

    This is becoming a favourite.

    I think we will be going again.

    Excellent meal. Very relaxed atmosphere. We did have to wait for a while to get seated. Our meal was booked for 8pm. We were not shown to our table until 8.30 with no apologies for the delay.

    Lovely little place. The staff where really sweet and the food was delicious. Thanks.

    The portions were rather small and there wasn't enough vegetables.

    The meal was excellent in every respect - as always at The European.

    Very pleasant meal though a little limited in choice for vegetarians. Good value with £10.50 menu.

    A very nice Italian-run restaturant. The food is wonderful!

    The best food I have had in Derby. I think it is run by an italian family and you can tell.

    Good food, wonderful eating area, not too crowded but value for money let this restaurant down.

    Walked passed here so many times and never ventured in, glad we did! The four of us sat in the window and loved everything about it, really felt welcome and the food was fantastic.

6pm - 10pm
12pm - 2pm and 6pm - 10pm
12pm - 2pm and 6pm - 10pm
12pm - 2pm and 6pm - 10pm
12pm - 2pm and 6pm - 10pm
12pm - 2pm and 6pm - 10pm
  • Ranked #4 of 226
  • Avg. main course: £14
  • 0.2 miles from Derby
  • Italian

We say…

Situated in one of the most pleasant areas of Derby on Iron Gate, opposite the Derby Cathedral, is The European Restaurant and Bistro. Situated on the second floor of one of the Cathedral Quarter’s most beautiful old buildings, 

The restaurant offers guests a choice of two dining experiences; formal or informal. The addition of the casual bistro-style dining room allows diners to suit their dining to their mood. The bistro is fashioned with French and Italian living in mind; contemporary but with a twist as the vibrant red and monochrome colour scheme helps to create a lively atmosphere. The main restaurant is classic and chic with a muted colour palette, multi-coloured chairs, crisp white linen and a quirky stained glass window.

A delicious Continental menu is on offer featuring classics from across Europe. You can expect to find dishes such as spaghetti del bucaniere with mussels, white wine and diced tomatoes, duck breast with a rich wild berry jus, and specials such as pan-seared lamb loin with a port and rosemary sauce with sun-blushed tomatoes on the a la carte menu. 

This delightful restaurant in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter is perfect for wining and dining, any time of day. It is more than capable of catering for large parties, as well as providing an intimate and welcoming atmosphere for couples and smaller groups. If you’re looking for something special, The European Restaurant in Derby ticks all the boxes.

last updated: 16 Sep 2019

last updated: 16 Sep 2019

last updated: 16 Sep 2019

last updated: 16 Sep 2019

last updated: 08 Jun 2018

last updated: 16 Sep 2019
22 Iron Gate, Derby, DE1 3GP
01332 368 732