Chester Cathedral | © Japiot/WikiCommons
9 February 2017
Situated in northwest England, Chester is a charming, historic walled city. The old city features a great shopping district called the Rows, with covered arcades and half-timbre buildings, plus there numerous delectable dining options located throughout the city, with something for every budget and every taste. The Culture Trip has put together a list of some of the must try restaurants.
The Bluebell Café At Barrowmore
Cafe, Restaurant, British, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
Established in 1920, Barrowmore is a charity with a long history. It’s a beautiful area of 85 acres of verdant land brimming with flora and fauna, plus there is a lovely café that offers volunteers a chance to learn both work and life skills. The Bluebell Café is a wonderful pit stop to nourish your body before or after strolling the grounds. Procuring the freshest ingredients available, from local sources whenever possible, the café serves up classic breakfast fare like bacon, sausage, eggs and baked goods like croissants and tea cakes. For the lunch crowd, there are soups, sandwiches and daily specials.
The Brewery Tap
Pub, Pub Grub, British, $$$
Tucked inside the historic Gamul House, the local brewery Spitting Feathers’ pub, The Brewery Tap, is the place to go for some great brews and tasty snacks. The goal of this pub is to offer guests ‘the widest selection of the best cask ales,’ which means they not only feature their own creations but also those from outside sources, local whenever possible. The award-winning brews are complemented by the incredible dishes served, all of which are made with the freshest seasonal, local ingredients and free from artificial additives. The ever-changing menu might offer recipes such as grilled mackerel with new potatoes, capers and parsley butter and boiled ox tongue with mashed potatoes and pickled walnuts.
The Chef’s Table
It’s is all about local ingredients at The Chef’s Table. Working with local purveyors, the culinary team procures nothing but the best seasonal offerings, giving discerning diners a true taste of the area. Within an intimate setting, complete with artwork by local artists adorning the walls, guests can visit for a laid-back, casual cup of coffee, tea or lunch during the day or savoury seasonal dishes at night. Recent highlights include the duck breast, leg and liver with purple broccoli, spiced pineapple, whiskey, passionfruit, turnip and vanilla and the comforting pork ramen.
The Chef’s Table, 4 Music Hall Passage, Chester, Cheshire, UK, +44 1244 403040
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
If tasty traditional Italian fare is what you’re craving, then be sure to visit this restaurant. Offering an array of choices La Fattoria is sure to have something on the menu for every palate. Presenting an atmosphere with warm woods, bricks, and rich colors, the décor creates a warm, inviting place in which to feast upon recipes such as tagliatelle al funghi with ham, cream, onions and mushroom sauce; gnocchi alla paplina with tomato, basil and a touch of cream; and the bistecca al pepe nero, which is a sirloin steak with black pepper and a choice of brandy sauce or garlic-cream sauce.
Restaurant, Bar, Deli, European, British, Vegan, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, $$$
Owned and operated by brothers Ben and Joe Wright, Joseph Benjamin is an award-winning venue, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner on varying days. The relaxing restaurant features an unpretentious atmosphere perfect for savouring its dishes emphasizing local and seasonal produce. The culinary team, headed by Chef Joe, creates seasonal dishes described as ‘modern British-European’, with current offerings including chargrilled broccoli with halloumi, chickpeas and tahini yoghurt dressing, pickled herring with celeriac rémoulade, apple and rye bread; and JB’s juicy steak burger topped with mature cheddar, salad and relish all on a brioche bun and a side of chips. You’ll also find a carefully selected wine list.
Situated in the heart of Chester on Northgate Street, Marmalade is a delightful café. A friendly place with a great atmosphere enhanced by music, it’s a wonderful locale to meet up with friends to enjoy a good conversation and an array of tasty eats made from local ingredients. If you’re visiting for breakfast, the menu has options like breakfast sandwiches, the classic full English, and a veggie breakfast. As for lunch, you’ll find sandwiches like the beef pastrami sandwich, goat’s cheese and red pepper panini, and croque monsieur, plus a variety of jacket potatoes, salads and soups. And you mustn’t leave without trying something sweet, past highlights have included vanilla cheesecake, raspberry cheesecake, and coffee-walnut cake, to name but a few.
Marmalade, 67 Northgate St, Chester, Cheshire, UK, +44 1244 314565
Moules A Go-Go
Restaurant, Bistro, Seafood, $$$
Specialising in Welsh mussels, Moules A Go-Go is an absolute must. The Belgian-inspired restaurant must be doing something right as they’ve been welcoming guests since 1999. Open seven days a week, the menu features, of course, mussels prepared in a variety of ways, including the Anglesey with cream, leeks and bacon, the Classique with cream, white wine, garlic, celery and onion; and Goan Curry with Indian spices and coconut milk, don’t forget to add on some skinny fries or chunky cut chips. For those wanting something else, Moules A Go-Go is much more than mussels, you’ll also find steaks, fish such as beer-battered haddock and a burger.
Simon Radley At The Chester Grosvenor
Restaurant, European, British, Vegetarian, Gluten-free
A recipient of a coveted Michelin star, which it has retained since 1990, Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor is a multi-award winning fine-dining gem that also has four AA rosettes. A dining experience you are sure to remember, Simon Radley offers an elegant and sophisticated interior perfect for celebrating a special occasion. While the menus change frequently to offer on the best ingredients available, the sample menu featuring items such as loup de mer, which is line-caught sea bass with burnt cauliflower, sweet clams, smokey citrus and fennel, and the venison with cocoa noodle, liver ganache, game saveloy and Alsace rashers will give you an idea of what will be in store for you. The restaurant also offers a vegetarian tasting menu, ensuring that many palates will be satisfied.
Sticky Walnut has received numerous accolades and awards since its inception. In addition to its modern European cuisine, Sticky Walnut is also known for it friendly, relaxed atmosphere and its cosy, rustic environment. Focusing on seasonal ingredients, Sticky Walnut’s menu does change often. You might find such deliciousness as cashel blue arancini with creamed spinach, port-poached pears and toasted walnuts and the chateaubriand for two with green beans, honey roasted carrots, truffle and parmesan chips.
Sticky Walnut, 11 Charles St., Hoole, Chester, Cheshire, UK, +44 1244 400400
Upstairs At The Grill
Bar, Restaurant, British, Steakhouse, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Located in Chester City Centre, Upstairs At The Grill is a multi-award winning steakhouse and speakeasy bar perfect for a classy night out on the town. A modern interior space awaits guests looking to feast upon dry age beef, which is locally sourced, and sip a cocktail or glass of wine from the extensive drinks menu. The food menu has several starters, including French onion soup and stilton soufflé, succulent steak, of course, plus other delectable entrées such as pan-fried sea trout, Canadian lobster and New York-style savory cauliflower cheesecake. As for steaks, the sirloin and porterhouse are always winners.