Eating out in Chester
If you want a break from self-catering you will find that you have plenty of choice in Chester and the surrounding area. This page contains our own experiences as well as comments and recommendations from our holiday cottage guests.
19 Handbridge, tel: 01244 683386
This Handbridge cafe makes a very handy stop off on the way in to or back from the city centre. As well as hot and cold drinks, yummy cakes and light meals they also provide internet access and free Wi-Fi.
"Lovely breakfast and kids made to feel very welcome" LT (August 2014).
"So friendly, lovely coffee." NS (April 2013).
22 City Walls, tel: 01244 347 007.
A small luxury hotel perched on the city walls overlooking the river Dee. The dining room and gardens are open to non-residents for brunch, light lunches and afternoon teas.
"Newly refurbished, very handsome, lovely treats, good coffee. Another perfect spot to rest in the garden in fine weather or by the fire in foul. Surprisingly reasonable." NS (April 2013).
20 Commonhall Street, Tel: 01244 319 225.
Reccommended by AM "Lovely!!" (October 2015).
49 Bridge Street Row, tel: 01244 323444.
Recommended by LMC for their "delicious gluten free sandwiches and muffins" (August 2013).
The Refectory Restaurant
Chester Cathedral, tel: 01244 324756.
The cathedral provides an atmospheric venue for a simple lunch or afternoon tea and is right in the city centre. Open 9.30 to 4.30 Monday to Saturday.
5 City Walls, tel. 01244 342938.
"Lovely afternoon teas." D & DT (February 2013).
Three Kings Tea Rooms
90-92 Lower Bridge Street, tel: 01244 317717.
This is a warm and welcoming English tea rooms offering classic cream teas, light lunches, all day breakfasts and roast lunch on a Sunday. The building dates back to the 17th century and has plenty of character which is enhanced by the staff in traditional black and white outfits. We enjoyed the breakfast and the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs - the portions were a sensible size, although the cakes that we had afterwards were probably about twice as big as we needed! On the whole we felt that it was good value for money and a pleasant experience that we'll definitely be repeating. (March 2013).
Holland and Barrett, 44 Foregate Street.
A wide choice of vegetarian and vegan food to take away including wraps, paninis, baguettes and burgers.
"We can recommend VBites for take away meals and light bites suitable for vegetarians and vegans." BB (November 2015).
33 Northgate Street, tel: 01244 325822.
Fresh fish, crispy batter and crunchy chips from what is possibly Chester's best fish and chip shop.
"Blackstock's fish and chips were delicious." KP (April 2015).
Bridge Street, tel: 01244 401 938.
One of a chain of modern Italian restaurants serving coffee, light lunches and a full evening menu. K. M. said "we loved the atmosphere and friendly staff in the Italian restaurant, Carluccios, and the good wine!" (December 2013).
71 Northgate Street, tel: 01244 400 014
Rustic French restaurant close to the city centre and recommended by VB (June 2013).
"We had an excellent meal at Chez Jules with friends. It is vegan friendly, nuch appreciated by this vegan" BB (November 2015).
"Chez Jules is my favourite restaurant" CG (May 2014).
Godstall Lane, tel: 01244 401869.
"Duttons was a good place to eat." KP (April 2015)
"Excellent food & atmosphere." JH (November 2012).
Eastgate, Tel: 01244 324024.
Situated in the heart of the city the hotel has a bar, a Brasserie and a Michelin star restaurant. The afternoon tea was recommended by PJ (March 2012).
The Groves, Tel: 01244 404000.
An authentic American barbeque restaurant overlooking the River Dee.
"Hickory Smoke house was good but book early as very busy" D. W. (November 2013).
Recommended by PJ (March 2012).
140 Northgate Street, tel: 01244 344295.
"Great coffee and food plus gorgeous atmosphere" B. & C. G. (September 2013).
"Excellent". D & DT ( February 2013).
"Lovely for coffee." JH (November 2012).
10-16 Brookdale Place, tel: 01244 322288.
"Indian take away is well worth an order - food was scrumptious and delivered promptly" wrote NP (september 2014).
Ethos Court, City Road, tel: 01244 325 88
"We had very good meals at the Coconut grove" L S (May 2014).
"Excellent curry" RC (October 2012).
63 Bridge Street, tel: 01244 401635.
Chester's latest French restaurant opened earlier in 2014 to positive reviews and at the time of writing it was ranked number one in the TripAdvisor list of Chester restaurants. It has a pleasant, unpretentious and cosy atmosphere and we received a warm welcome on our first visit (hopefully the first of many). We had a lovely meal which was also very reasonably priced. The restaurant is small so if you're planning a Friday or Saturday evening meal we'd suggest booking a table in advance to be sure of getting in.
"So friendly and good food at a reasonable price." F&SN (April 2015).
Recommended by MS (July 2014) and "strongly" recommended by BR (September 2014).
SP and HD wrote "A must eat: La P'tite France" ( May 2014).
"Very good service and menu de jour very reasonable, also a la carte" NH (April 2014).
Lower Bridge Street, tel: 01244 317330.
A traditional family friendly Italian restaurant with a wide choice of pizza, pasta and other italian dishes. Our children love it because of the way the chef throws the pizza dough around! La Fattoria is getting very popular and you may need to book ahead if you want to eat here on a Saturday night (May 2014).
Note that they also do pizzas to take away.
"Highly recommended, but if they want to have dinner must make reservation." EL (August 2014).
"La Fattoria was a lovely stop off - lovely food and the staff were so good with our 14mth old - they kept her entertained!" CA (November 2013).
"La Fattoria is a fantastic restaurant for young families/children." DR October 2013.
"We went several times - great food; efficient, friendly service - we started to be treated as regulars." DJ (May 2013).
Cuppin Street, tel: 01244 400887.
A Spanish tapas bar and restaurant. They do a children's tapas menu which our kids liked but we were less impressed with our seafood paella. The general idea of lots of small tapas dishes to share makes it quite sociable, but the quality of the food is nothing special. (May 2011).
Michael Caines at Abode
Grosvenor Road, tel: 01244 347000
This renowned chef has set up a restaurant on the top floor of the Abode hotel with a balcony overlooking the river and racecourse. The food is of a very high standard (with prices to match). "Great for lunch." RC (October 2012).
Pepper Street, tel: 01244 312123.
Popular Italian restaurant with a lively buzz and good food. There's a stylish bar where you can enjoy a drink whilst waiting for your table.
"Avoid, service very poor for tourist, however, they seem to make a fuss of the locals." SD (May 2013).
"Excellent" WN (July 2011).
St. John Street, tel: 01244 323 265
We've been a couple of times and found the service the opposite of 'Express'. Not to mention the last time we visited were told there'd be a 45 minute wait because they'd run out of pizza dough - not living up to their name on both counts! We went to La Fattoria instead - see above (2014).
"Had an enjoyable meal at PizzaExpress (which also offers a vegan option)." BB (November 2015).
140 Northgate Street.
A tiny tapas bar set up by the same people who run Joseph Benjamin, a well liked restaurant next door. They don't take bookings, so just turn up from 5pm onwards, any day of the week.
Recommended by RL (February 2014).
Lower Bridge Street, tel: 01244 400661.
Everything you would expect from a traditional Thai restaurant is on the extensive menu. Some of our dishes were a bit hotter than expected (and we are no strangers to spicy food) so we recommend that you check the heat before you order. We found the atmosphere cosy with good service. (October 2013).
"Ruan Orchid Thai restaurant was great" wrote MJ (February 2013).
4, Hoole Road, tel: 01244 342888
We enjoyed excellent Chinese food here and our children found plenty to suit their tastes too. It's probably too far to walk from Handbridge but it does have its own car park. We'd recommend booking, particularly at weekends (February 2011).
11 Charles Street, Hoole, tel. 01244 400400.
Recommended by S H-K: "small bistro, cosy and excellent food. Would highly recommend a visit." (February 2013).
Also recommended as 'excellent!" by BR (September 2014).
Top Taste Take away
16 Queens Park View, Handbridge.
"Pizzas are very good" JL (August 2014).
Watergate Street, tel: 01244 344883
They specialise in steaks although have a selection of other modern dishes too. Generally highly thought of and we enjoyed our meal. The narrow layout of the building means that we started with drinks in the upstairs bar where we made our menu choices (hence the name). When the food was ready we were taken downstairs to the small restaurant area. We recommend booking because it is small and very popular.
"Had a lovely meal at Upstairs at the Grill" WM (September 2013).
2 Hartington Street, Handbridge
Our nearest Chinese take away and fish and chip shop. Recommended for fish and chips by AM (October 2015).
14 Foregate Street, tel: 01244 344 481.
Recommended for their home delivery service and easy online ordering by VB (June 2013).
26 City Road, CH1 3AE, tel: 01244 325199.
"If you like American style food then go to Woody's. Fantastic burgers and pulled pork." JL from England (August 2014).
"We like eating out and were pleased to discover that every eatery we visited had high chairs. "
Miss J. from England, January 2006.
Hi-life and the Gourmet Society
Some restaurants in Chester also accept Hi-Life or Gourmet Society cards which allow members to enjoy 2 meals for the price of one. At the time of writing these include the Red House Restaurant, The Living Room, Zizzi and Moules a Go-go amongst others.
Hi-life membership costs around £50 a year and most of the participating restaurants are in North West England. Gourmet Club currently costs £43.50 and covers more of the UK. If you think you might benefit then visit their web sites at www.hi-life.co.uk and gourmetsociety.co.uk or call Hi-Life on 01253 608910 and the Gourmet Society on 0800 043 1978.