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Eating Out in Lancaster - Traditional Hotpot to Hot Spicy Curries

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The surrounding hills, valleys, and coastal areas keep Lancaster chefs supplied with super-fresh ingredients from local farming and fishing communities. The dining scene in Lancaster city centre includes long-established and much-loved neighbourhood restaurants. Whether it’s a quayside pub or a hip coffee shop, you can expect a high standard of food and a warm Lancastrian welcome.

Typical dishes


A classic casserole dish, Lancashire Hotpot is traditionally made with lamb. Other local delicacies include Morecambe Bay potted shrimps and Lune salmon. Don’t miss out on crumbly white Lancashire cheese.

Waterside pubs


Al-fresco dining by the shimmering waters of the canal, is a treat for Lancastrians and tourists alike. The Water Witch pub is set inside a converted stable block on the towpath, serving high-quality British and European dishes. Brightly painted narrowboats make for a cheerful aspect from the tables outside, and the brick interior offers a cosy retreat if the weather turns nasty. Another canal-side pub, The White Cross, serves generous meals at decent prices, using locally sourced ingredients. It’s a converted cotton warehouse with outdoor picnic tables on the water, where you can chose from 20 rotating ales.


  • The Water Witch, Canal Tow Path, Aldcliffe Lane, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1SU; Tel: +44 1524 63828; Website: The Water Witch

  • The White Cross, Quarry Road, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4XT; Tel: +44 1524 33999; Website: The White Cross


Asian restaurants


Alongside simple local eateries and well-known Northern English dishes, Lancaster also enjoys a diverse mix of Asian cuisines. Amid a range of reputable Chinese and Indian restaurants the real standout is the Sultan of Lancaster, renowned for its rich, filling Mughal-inspired flavors and distinctive setting inside a restored church, with high ceilings and carved decorations. Lancaster also has a couple of authentic Thai restaurants. Siam Balcony does a popular lunch deal. Dishes are suitably hot, sour, and spicy, and it’s a simple and unpretentious little space.


  • Sultan of Lancaster, Old Church, Brock Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1UU; Tel: +44 1524 61188; Website: Sultan of Lancaster

  • Siam Balcony, 6a Chapel Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1NZ; Tel: +44 1524 383889


Coffee shops and tea rooms


Lancaster does a good line in independent cafés and tea rooms, led by pioneering local business J. Atkinson & Co. There’s been a shop and coffee roasters on this site since the 18th century, which was thoroughly modernized by new owners in the 1990s. You can visit the retail outlet on China Street to stock up on quality coffee beans and teas from around the world, then eat savory delights at the restored Priory Hall next door. You might also want to try their hip Music Room on Sun Square - the outdoor tables create a continental vibe in Lancaster.


  • The Hall, 10-12 China Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1EX; Tel: +44 1524 65470; Website: The Hall

  • The Music Room, Sun Square, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1EW; Tel: +44 1524 65470; Website: The Music Room


Town centre favorites


Lancaster city centre is lined with busy local favorites that always dish up the goods. A family-run gastro-pub, the classy Borough occupies a well-placed Georgian townhouse with a beer garden. They have their own microbrewery, and the menu draws on ingredients from Lancashire farms to create hearty, imaginative dishes. You can also rely on the Whale Tail, which has been catering to vegetarians and vegans for years. It’s a groovy painted-stone café with a patio garden, and well-known for its generous portions.


  • The Borough, 3 Dalton Square, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1PP; Tel: +44 1524 64170; Website: The Borough

  • The Whale Tail, 78a Penny Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1XN; Tel: +44 1524 845133; Website: The Whale Tail