When visiting a city for the first time, it is exciting finding new places to eat and sampling different menus. If you’re like me, you’ll want to avoid the well-known chain restaurants and experience local cafes and eateries that you won’t find elsewhere.
When I visited Chester for the first time, I found myself really spoiled for choice when it came to meal time. Luckily I got to sample many of them, and managed to put together a quick hit-list for those of you heading that way. Here are some of my places to eat in Chester, covering different types of cuisine so you can easily find inspiration, no matter what your taste buds fancy.
Indian Cuisine: Koconut Grove
If you’re looking for a tasty, authentic curry in a modern styled restaurant, look no further than Koconut Grove. Inspired by South Indian flavours, Koconut Grove offers a wide variety of dishes that are a welcome change to the curries you would expect from a typical Indian takeaway. You will be well-looked after as the staff are knowledge about the food and will help to recommend dishes based on your personal tastes (and how spicy you can take your food!). Koconut Grove can be found at the opposite end of City Road to the train station, with unrestricted on-street parking available after 6pm for ease of parking.
Italian Cuisine: La Fattoria
This Italian restaurant is always extremely busy so it is advisable to pre-book a table. With it’s traditional Italian atmosphere, La Fattoria is a friendly restaurant where you will feel relaxed and at home, whether you are dining in a group or as a couple. The food is warming and filling, and you could easily spend a whole evening here. La Fattoria is located on Lower Bridge Street, just a short walk from the Grosvenor Shopping Centre.
Greek Cuisine: Olive Tree Brasserie
Another great option for when you are looking for places to eat in Chester is Olive Tree Brasserie. The interior of this restaurant is truly special with great attention to detail, including fairy lights, pipe ceiling lights and an olive tree. The food is traditional Greek – the Moussaka was beautiful and you must try the halloumi chips! Olive Tree Brasserie is situated up on the Rows on Watergate Street and is not the easiest to spot, but keep an eye out for the fairy lights covering the outside railings and you will find it.
Chinese Banquet: The Slowboat Restaurant
Whether you are visiting Chester as a group or couple, sometimes it’s a Chinese banquet that will hit the spot. The Slowboat offers all you can eat banquets on Friday and Saturday evening 5.30-10pm, and Sundays and Bank Holidays 12 noon – 9pm. This is a great option when you want to try lots of different dishes, and when you have a couple of hours to spare to make the most of it! Dishes are brought to your table and you can order as many as you can eat. The Slowboat can be found above the Iceland supermarket on the corner of Frodsham Street.
American Cuisine: Hickory’s Smokehouse
Hickory’s is the perfect choice if you enjoy American Deep South style barbeque food. Located by the River Dee, Hickory’s offers tasty dishes including wings, ribs, burgers and grills in a peaceful setting where you can look out towards the river. Accompany your meal with an American-style milkshake, they are delicious – trust me! There is also plenty of outside seating space if it’s a nice day.
High quality dining for a special occasion: Joseph Benjamin
If you are looking for a sophisticated, yet comfortable restaurant for a special occasion or well-deserved treat, Joseph Benjamin is ideal. Offering modern British cuisine with European influences, the menu changes frequently depending on seasonality and produce that is available. With only a small number of tables available, there is an intimate atmosphere that perfectly matches the fine quality of the dishes that are served. Pre-booking in advance is a must. Joseph Benjamin is located on Northgate Street. This is just up the road from Storyhouse so is also a great option for pre-theatre dining, as the evening kitchen is open from 5.30pm.
Breakfast / brunch: Atina Kitchen
Atina Kitchen is a small, cosy independent eatery in the centre of Chester that is perfect for a relaxing breakfast or brunch. Atina Kitchen offers a wide selection of brunch items such as eggs served to your preference, Full English breakfasts, French toast and salmon to name just a few. They even have one dish named ‘the hangover’ which may be apt for the morning after your night out in Chester! Atina Kitchen is situated on Foregate Street close to the Stop B bus station.
Light Lunch: Katie’s Tearooms
Katie’s Tearooms is a quaint and traditional tearoom located on Watergate Street. The tearoom is split over three floors, meaning you can access it via the rows as well as the ground floor. Being part of the rows adds to the old-fashioned feel of the tearooms, and is ideal if you want the historic Chester experience. Serving typical lunch menu items such as sandwiches, jacket potatoes and salads, you can enjoy simple homecooked food at reasonable prices.
As you can see, there is a lot of choice when it comes to places to eat in Chester, whatever the type of cuisine you want to try. And with new restaurants and cafes opening all the time, the difficulty will be deciding which one to choose!
Coffee & Cake: Beatons Tearooms
Located on Bell Tower Walk, Beatons Tearooms is a small but elegant tea and coffee shop tucked away next to Chester Cathedral. There is also a bookshop so you can browse and read to make the most of the peaceful atmosphere. Beatons is the perfect place for a quiet break from sightseeing or shopping and to relax with a cup of tea and slice of delicious cake. If you are a tea connoisseur, you will also be impressed with the wide range of loose teas available – why not try something new?
Dessert: Gino’s Gelato
For a mouth-watering dessert option, try Gino’s Gelato. Gino’s is a traditional Italian ice-cream parlour, complete with diner-style seating areas and a funky atmosphere. Choose from a variety of gelato flavours including strawberry, chocolate and tangy mango, which you can enjoy either in a pot or with a cone, or even as a waffle side. The staff are very generous with providing tasters before you buy, so don’t be afraid to ask for a sample of the different flavours available – especially if you are having trouble deciding! Gino’s Gelato is located on Music Hall Passage and has only been open for a few months, but is a great addition to Chester.
Are you heading to Chester? There’s more to do than just eat! Check out our guide on the 8 things you can’t miss during your visit to this gorgeous city.