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From Pub Lunches to Candlelit Tapas - Where to Eat in Chester

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The classic English breakfast and Sunday afternoon roast are still honored staples in the cafés and pubs of Chester. But local palates have broadened in recent years, and you'll find steaming bowls of fresh mussels, tapas platters, and ultra-modern Asian fusion dishes on Chester's menus. Most restaurants are concentrated around the historic city centre and riverside, but the suburb of Hoole has fashionable little bistros too.

Typical dishes


The county of Cheshire is famous for its crumbly cheese, while Chester Pudding is a fruity Victorian dessert. You can try other northwestern specialties like lamb hotpot and that essential British supper, fish and chips.

Chester city centre


Cobbled streets, Tudor period buildings, and ancient city walls make central Chester a romantic setting for dining out. Down a picturesque passage near the cathedral is The Chef's Table, with its ever-changing menu of seasonal, locally sourced produce. Brunch options like fresh fruit smoothies and porridge with organic honey will fill you up for a day out, while dinner options favor choice meats and vegetables from the surrounding Cheshire countryside. At The Blue Bell, an atmospheric 15th-century inn, you'll find the intimate, candlelit tapas joint El Gato Negro. The food is sizzling, colourful, modern Catalonian-style; the setting is medieval England.


  • The Chef's Table, Music Hall Passage, Chester CH1 2EU; Tel: +44 1244 403040; Website: The Chef's Table

  • El Gato Negro at The Blue Bell, 65 Northgate Street, Chester CH1 2HQ; Tel: +44 1244 401014; Website: El Gato Negro at The Blue Bell


Chester's canal quarter


Chester's former industrial waterways have recently been gentrified as a commercial and cultural district. Strolling between renovated mills and warehouses you'll find Artichoke, a cozy canalside café, bar, and bistro. It's an ideal rest stop for a hearty English breakfast or a leisurely roast dinner on a Sunday afternoon. The area's old granary wharf is now home to Barton Rouge, a grand curry house where you can sample South Indian and Himalayan specialties. The space is big enough that you can even book a private dining room with a prime waterfront view.


  • Artichoke Café Bar Bistro, The Steam Mill, Steam Mill Street, Canal Quarter, Chester CH3 5AN; Tel: +44 1244 329229; Website: Artichoke Café Bar Bistro

  • Barton Rouge, 1-4 Granary Wharf, Steam Mill St, Chester CH3 5AN; Tel: +44 1244 323590; Website: Barton Rouge




The Chester suburb of Hoole has seen a low-key boom in high-quality dining, as talented chefs open smaller independent bistros on quiet streets outside the city centre. At Gary Usher's stickywalnut, you'll get gourmet home cooking. Lunch and dinner options range from fresh-baked focaccia to personalized twists on British favorites like braised lamb and flamed mackerel. It's a popular spot, so consider booking ahead. Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has put his name to a steakhouse at the local Doubletree by Hilton, which is perfect for a prime cut of beef before or after an afternoon at the races.


  • stickywalnut, 11 Charles Street, Hoole, Chester CH2 3AZ; Tel: +44 1244 400400; Website: stickywalnut

  • MPW Steakhouse Bar & Grill Chester, DoubleTree by Hilton Chester, Warrington Road, Chester CH2 3PD; Tel: + 44 1244 408830; Website: MPW Steakhouse Bar & Grill Chester


The Cheshire countryside


Chester is surrounded by the rolling greenery of Cheshire and the Welsh border region. On even the shortest drive out of town you'll find country pubs and restaurants that offer satisfying meals in picturesque surroundings. Michael Caines Restaurant offers fine dining and an impressive wine list, plus a commanding view over Chester Racecourse (you'll need to book well ahead on race days). A little further out is The Chester Fields, where you can fill up with gourmet pub food on a winter afternoon, or dine in the garden on a summer evening.