Get us in your inbox

The EAT List

The 9 best restaurants in Chester

You’ll find a variety of classy outlets and unpretentious eateries among the best restaurants in Chester

Written by
Kelly Pigram

The small town of Chester was famously founded as a Roman fortress way back in the first century. It’s steeped in history, which you can explore by going for lunch at the seventeenth-century Bear & Billet – visiting an old pub is the best way to learn about a town, trust us. It's a must thing to do when in Chester. There’s British food everywhere here, but you’ll also find speciality coffee and excellent brunches. Here are the best restaurants and cafés to while away the hours in Chester.

Best Restaurants In Chester

1. Bear & Billet

Why go? For an old-school British pub feed.

This proper British pub first starting pouring pints back in 1664. It’s popular with locals who like to watch the game with an ale and home-cooked pub food (and sometimes a spooky story from the bartender). Staff are friendly and the food is hearty. The pub is just outside the city centre, right on the river so you can walk off your roast and drinks by the water. Mid-range.

2. Joseph Benjamin

Why go? For a pre-theatre meal of British small plates.

Joe and Ben Wright launched this cosy British joint in 2006. It started as a tiny restaurant with 14 covers, but then took over the space next door and has grown to be one of Chester’s best places for quality food and wine. It plates up Michelin-starred seasonal British food – try the baked cheese – in a very cute and cosy environment (greenery and cushions everywhere). It’s also a few minutes away from the Storyhouse theatre and offers a £10 pre-show meal deal. Mid-range.


3. Oddfellows Hotel

Why go? For an inventive afternoon tea.

This famously colourful boutique hotel does a stellar afternoon tea. Go for the classic finger sandwiches and scones with jam and delicious clotted cream but swap your cuppa for a tea-inspired cocktail. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, choose the savoury version where cakes are replaced with the likes of sliders, scotch eggs and pigs in blankets. Everything is served on a lovely three-tiered cake stand. That’s all that matters, really. High-end.

4. The Brewery Tap

Why go? For a pint of ale and some hearty, seasonal food.

This pub specialises in beer but its food is top-notch too. Meat and veggies are all sourced locally from the Cheshire region, and because it’s all seasonal and cooked according to what’s locally available, the menu changes every few days. Our recommendation? Start with the braised beef pie with red cabbage and thick, hand-cut chips, then finish with strawberries-and-cream ice cream from Cheshire Farm. Mid-range.


5. Sticky Walnut

Why go? For a fancy meal without the formal dress.

Popular local hangout the Sticky Walnut is intimate, yet eminently inviting. As you can see from the small shopfront exterior, this place isn't huge. But the upstairs and down are laid out neatly, so it feels more cosy than cramped. They serve up contemporary European fare, which come via small sharing plates or larger main meals. The smoked chicken is a sure-fire hit. Mid-range.

6. Jaunty Goat Coffee

Why go? For swish breakfasts and speciality coffee.

Jaunty Goat is famous in Chester for being one of the only, and best, places serving up speciality coffee to the masses of caffeine fans in the city. Come here at the weekend for a cup of joe and a simple, delicious brekky option like local mushrooms on toast, smoked haddock, or perfectly scrambled eggs. Finish off your meal with one of the cakes on display, and take away a bag of coffee beans so you can recreate the deliciousness at home. Budget.


7. Olive Tree Brasserie

Why go? For something different when you’ve had enough of pub food.

This Mediterranean joint is a welcome dining option among Chester’s many pubs that serve classic British food. The pubs are great, but sometimes you need a change of scene. The swish Olive Tree Brasserie specialises in Greek food and the owners often go back to their home country for research trips. Try the succulent chicken breast souvlaki or the tender lamb shoulder that’s served ‘falling off the bone’, then order baklava for dessert. Mid-range.

8. The Barista’s Coffee Co

Why go? For an unpretentious brunch when you want something simple.

This café in Chester is well-known for its coffee, but its real strength is the completely unpretentious atmosphere. The kitchen cooks up simple food for breakfast and lunch (toasties, pancakes, eggs on toast) served by friendly staff who won’t judge you should you be hungover and walk in wearing something resembling your pyjamas. Budget.


9. The Alchemist

Why go? For late-night drinks and dessert.

As a recent addition to the The Alchemist family (this one opened in July 2018), Chester's branch offers a periodic table of cocktails in decadent surrounds. Watch as themasters behind the bar throw together elaborate concoctions or try it out yourself at one of their regular masterclasses. Before you get too invested in the delightful drinks, be sure to line your stomach with the likes of katsu chicken or pan-fried duck. Alternatively, stop by the morning after a big one to soak up a hangover with their full English. Mid-range.

Discover Time Out Market: the best of the city under one roof

Planning a trip to Chester?

    You may also like
    You may also like