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The 17 best restaurants in Lincoln

Famous for its plum loaf, beer and pork sausages, the best restaurants in Lincoln deliver—and then some.

Written by
Lisa Harris
&
Kayleigh Watson
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This East Midlands city is a great foodie destination, with quaint cobbled streets and medieval buildings housing the best restaurants in Lincoln.

Uphill, find the Cathedral Quarter and all the major tourist sites, while downhill sits the city centre. The narrow, pedestrianised Steep Hill, which connects the two, and the elegant Brayford Wharf waterfront at the bottom of the town is where you'll find plenty of eateries.

Considering the town is famous for its pork sausages, Poacher cheese, plum loaf and beers, you can rest assured you won't go hungry here - but that doesn't mean Lincoln is short on variety either. Whether it's a sturdy steak, refined al a carte or something more adventurous, there are options aplenty. Which means that eating a whole lot of food is one of the very best things to do in Lincoln. Ready to taste your way through the local delicacies?

Best restaurants in Lincoln

The Jews House

What is it? A striking building on the aptly named Steep Hill, The Jews House is set over two floors with fireplaces, exposed walls and bread served in small hessian bags. Chefs Gavin Aitkenhead and Samantha Tomkins serve beautifully presented seasonal food as small plates or a full tasting menu. There are à la carte options, too.

Why go? For a romantic dinner for two or special family meal in one of the oldest stone houses in Britain.

Price: High-end.

The Old Bakery

What is it? Choose the tasting menu, à la carte or Sunday lunch in this converted Victorian bakery with a vaulted glass-ceilinged garden room. Chef Ivano de Serio gives the best seasonal ingredients an imaginative twist, such as poached red mullet with parsley mousse, guinea fowl risotto with crispy rocket, and hay slow-roasted Lincolnshire pork with minted pea panna cotta.

Why go? To treat yourself at the only restaurant in Lincoln with two AA Rosette awards.

Price: High-end

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The Bronze Pig

What is it? Chef Eamon Hunt was a ‘MasterChef’ contestant (and former joiner) who is putting his skills to use in this colourful restaurant with rooms. His menu changes with the seasons: try dishes like ras el hanout lamb, venison with chocolate and fig, char siu beef, and milk-fed Landrace pork belly.

Why go? For a special restaurant date in the historic uphill area of Lincoln.

Price: High-end

Located on Lincoln’s West Parade - a hub for a whole range of eateries - Kine’s unfussy abode is a home to one of the city’s hotspots for a tasty burger - aged Lincolnshire beef, if you please. Starting life as a burger pop-up, Kine was birthed from a love for locally sourced, fresh produce, the team have expanded their menu over the years to include crispy tempura and arancini, chimichurri pork belly and salt cod brandade (that’s fish cakes with wasabi). It’s a lively and experimental taste explosion. 

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Rising Café

What is it? A glass ceiling gives an inside-outside feel to this quirky community café where old signage, model planes, lamps and ladders decorate the walls. Rising Café is run by residents from the Betel centre, which helps people with addictions. Try the five-tier beef and mustard sandwich for a quick lunch or burgers, tapas and hot dogs for something hot.

Why go? For good food that does good in the community.

Price: Budget

Olivares

What is it? The completely wooden interior makes this place feel like a warm and welcoming Spanish taverna. The Majorcan owners serve local specialities, including tumbet baked courgettes and aubergines, raw cured sobrassada with toasted rustic bread and tablas of cheese. Set on the corner of Castle Hill, Olivares affords great views of Lincoln castle from its terrace and second floor.

Why go? For relaxed tapas with a view of the castle.

Price: Mid-range

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Bunty’s Tea Room

What is it? A family-run vintage tea room with mismatched china and elegantly tiered afternoon tea. Teapots are filled with Bunty’s special blend tea, best served with toasted crumpets, homemade sandwiches and fluffy sponge cakes.

Why go? For a nostalgic pit stop halfway up Steep Hill.

Price: Mid-range

A fine dining experience in Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter, Café Zoot is certainly popular. First established in 2000, the restaurant has expanded over the years in size and menu, now boasting a range of European dishes, tapas and small plates as well as a handful of British classics, whilst their al-a-carte menu takes guests down a more refined route with belly pork and caramelised apple, dauphinoise chicken breast and sea bass risotto combo. Plus if you’re a fan of a strong breakfast, their intercontinental variety is well worth a tasting. 

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Olé Olé

What is it? This family-run tapas restaurant has all the classics (patatas bravas, croquetas, tortilla etc) as well as daily specials and an impressive range of paella. There’s a set menu for groups, which saves you arguing over meatballs. Owners Amador and Alison Abruneiras make you feel immediately at home.

Why go? For a fun night out with family or friends.

Price: Mid-range

Brown’s Pie Shop

What is it? Lawrence of Arabia once lived in this seventeenth-century building. Brown’s is now run by Danny Gill, who has cooked at Le Manoir, Roussillon and was a ‘Great British Menu’ finalist. Expect pie of the day, sausage and mash and sticky toffee or steamed jam roly-poly pudding.

Why go? For pies and more at a family-run Lincolnshire institution.

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The Cheese Society

What is it? This is as exclusive as cheese gets. This modest deli only seats 12 and you can't make reservations, so if you want a look-in, you'd be best visiting off-peak. But boy is it worth it. The bacon mac 'n' (blue) cheese is a must-try, as is the Godminster cheddar on Lincolnshire plum bread. Don't forget to stock up from the shop before you go.

Why go? To fulfill your fromage fantasies.

Price: Mid-range

Cooking with smoke, spice and passion, Huckleberry’s Bar and Grill is a favourite of Lincolns’ meat lovers. With an aim to deliver an authentic American experience, they source the finest meat available, from St. Louis-cut ribs to Boston pulled pork. With an obvious prioritisation of steak plates, those wanting a change from beef will be pleased to hear of the Kansas City chicken (“so good Dorothy left Oz for it”) and their Cajun salmon fillet. If you can handle some heat, be sure to tick it off your list.

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La Trattoria da Vincenzo

What is it? A friendly little Italian restaurant serving up pasta and pizza from Puglian chef Vincenzo Tragni. Try his regional speciality of handmade strascinati pasta with meatballs or prawns, or fresh pasta with artichokes, capers and sage. Vincenzo bakes fresh bread every day, and all pizzas are made to order. There’s outdoor seating, too.

Why go? For authentic cooked-from-scratch Italian favourites.

Price: Mid-range

Shanti Vegan

What is it? Indian-inspired Shanti restaurant is a brightly coloured hang-out, with tables crammed in together and good, straightforward vegan food. There are daily specials and popular regulars like dhal, rice and naan, chickpea and spinach kadala curry and rosti. Try the Shanti banana ketchup with a side of fries.

Why go? For an easy-going vegan lunch.

Price: Budget

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Stokes at the Collection

What is it? Get a real taste of the city with the Lincolnshire afternoon tea, including pork haslet sandwiches, plum bread, Poacher cheese and a pot of Stokes Gold Medal tea, or go for homemade sandwiches or sweet and savoury crêpes for lunch. There’s a live music brunch every Sunday, with and waffles, pancakes and bagels to eat.

Why go? For a proper cuppa during your visit to Lincoln’s art and archaeology museum, The Collection.

Price: Mid-range

Founded in 2010 by Mav and Charlotte (who combined the start of their names to create the restaurant’s name), MaCh is a passionate, family run establishment located in North Greetwell serving high quality Indian food in a stylish setting. Their tandoori barbequed chicken is a strong staple of their classic curry dishes including Shashlik or their Sajon Special, whilst their aubergine curry offers a left-field option for their vegetarians guests. MaCh’s presentation is also inspired; bhajis in a glass jar? Who’d have thought.

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What is it? This pretty Thai restaurant has light interiors, carved decorations and flowers on the tables. There’s a classic Thai menu of tom yum soup, pad Thai and green curries, as well as chef’s specialities including phed pad subprarot roast duck with pineapple, pla lad prik crispy sea bass and gai maa now lemon chicken.

Why go? To experience a locals’ Thai restaurant on Bailgate.

Price: Mid-range

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