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The 15 best restaurants in Lincoln

In a city famous for its pork sausages, Poacher cheese and beers, Lincoln's restaurants have mores surprises in store.

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.

Visitors can rest assured they won't go hungry here, considering the town is famous for its pork sausages, Poacher cheese, plum loaf and beers - 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

1. 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 in gorgeous four- or six-course menus. 

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

Price: High-end.

The Old Bakery

2. The Old Bakery

What is it? Choose the tasting menu, à la carte or Sunday lunch at The Old Bakery, a converted Victorian bakery with a vaulted glass-ceilinged garden room. Chef Phil Cooke gives the best seasonal ingredients an imaginative twist, and every penny goes to improving education and training at Lincoln College.

Why go? To treat yourself to local flavours in a stunning setting at the region's only not-for-profit restaurant

Price: High-end

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The Bronze Pig

3. The Bronze Pig

What is it? The menu at the fabulously named Bronze Pig changes with the seasons, but the quality is remarkably consistent. Be sure to book ahead and get ready to embrace the boar.

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

Price: High-end

Rising Café

4. 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 fabulous BLT for a quick lunch, or devour a burger (or two).

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

Price: Budget

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Olivares

5. Olivares

What is it? The wooden interior makes this place feel like a warm and welcoming Spanish taverna. The Majorcan owners serve some of the best tapas going, with all the classics and a few special local quirks. Set on the corner of Castle Hill, Olivares affords excellent views of Lincoln Castle from its terrace and second floor.

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

Price: Mid-range

Bunty’s Tea Room

6. 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

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7. Café Zoot

A fine dining experience in Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter, Café Zoot is certainly popular. First established in 2000, the restaurant has expanded in size and menu over the years, covering plenty of ground without sacrificing quality at any turn. Plus, if you’re a fan of a substantial breakfast, their intercontinental variety is well worth a tasting. 

Olé Olé

8. Olé Olé

What is it? This family-run tapas restaurant has all the classics (patatas bravas, croquetas, tortillas, etc), daily specials, and an impressive range of paella. There’s a set menu for groups, which saves you from 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

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Brown’s Pie Shop

9. Brown’s Pie Shop

What is it? Lawrence of Arabia once lived in this seventeenth-century building. Brown’s Pie Shop 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.

The Cheese Society

10. The Cheese Society

What is it? This is as exclusive as cheese gets. The Cheese Society only seats 16, 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. Don't forget to stock up from the shop before you go.

Why go? To fulfil your fromage fantasies.

Price: Mid-range

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11. Huckleberry's Bar & Grill

Cooking with smoke, spice and passion, Huckleberry’s Bar and Grill is a favourite of Lincoln’s meat lovers. With an aim to deliver an authentic American experience, they source the finest meat available. Delicious standouts include 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.

La Trattoria da Vincenzo

12. La Trattoria da Vincenzo

What is it? A friendly little Italian restaurant serving 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

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Shanti Vegan

13. Shanti Vegan

What is it? Shanti is a brightly coloured hang-out, with tables crammed together and good, straightforward vegan food. Daily specials and popular regulars include dhal, rice and naan, chickpea and spinach Kadala curry and rosti.

Why go? For an easy-going vegan lunch.

Price: Budget

14. MaCh Restaurant

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 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 Shaslik or their Sajon Special, whilst their aubergine curry offers a left-field option for their vegetarian guests. MaCh’s presentation is also inspired; bhajis in a glass jar? Who’d have thought?

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Thailand No 1
Photograph: Elpeeko Ltd. Lincoln

15. Thailand No 1

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 yam 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 local Thai restaurant on Bailgate.

Price: Mid-range

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