Best places to eat in Norwich

In East Anglia’s medieval city you’ll find daringly modern food, from insect-garnished salads to haute cuisine barbecue crisps and mammoth breakfast toasties!

Norwich city centre and market stalls

Peek into the heritage, half-timbered buildings of Norwich and you may be surprised to discover cutting edge culinary delights. We've compiled a list of the top restaurants, bars and cafés where you can sample the best of local cuisine, from traditional pub fair and casual afternoon teas to fine dining with innovative flavour combinations, creative cocktails and dazzling desserts.

Benedicts
Special occasion

Exterior black painted frontage of Benedicts restaurant

Former Morston Hall head chef Richard Bainbridge combines comfort food and haute cuisine at his simple yet smart neighbourhood bistro that celebrates Norfolk produce. There’s a healthy dose of nostalgia about dishes like ‘Betty in the Hen House’ – a boned Norfolk quail stuffed with sausage and chutney – and Bainbridge’s sophisticated take on a traditional Sunday roast (a Great British Menu winner in 2015), plus a playful canapé of barbecue-flavoured crisps presented in a pine cone. The wine pairing with the six- or eight-course tasting menu is imaginative and may include a pinot blanc from the local Flint Vineyard. £29 for two courses. 

Rectangular raspberry and custard trifle topped with mint leaves

Farmyard 
Casual dining, special occasion

Farmyard’s neon-pink sign and striking blue-green frontage stand out on St Benedict’s Street, Norwich’s restaurant row. The interior of this bistro is just as arresting with a huge psychedelic mural and an open kitchen framed by a wall of enamelled white tiles. The menu highlights local produce, skillfully prepared in simple, seasonal dishes like pheasant, ham hock and foie gras terrine with home-made pickles and sourdough bread baked at the restaurant. Mains from £12. 

Roger Hickman 
Special occasion 

Table with cutlery, wine glasses and flowers in elegant restaurant

Roger Hickman’s Restaurant is where Norwich comes to celebrate. Ask for a table on the spacious ground floor of the split-level dining room for a culinary tour de force that might include loin and confit leg of rabbit with Iberico ham, pea purée and potato, and that’s just for starters. A great value lunch menu means you don’t have to save this for a special occasion. Two courses, £39. 

Hawthorn
Casual dining

Interior of Hawthorn bar counter with barman and drinks shakers

Working your way through barman Richard O’Brien’s list of original, complex (and strong) creations such as The Wolfpack made with tequila, kummel (caraway liqueur), grapefruit and orange sherbets, lime and smoked salt is like a Sherlock Holmes mystery. You don’t know how it’s going to end, but you know you’re going to have a lot of fun along the way. Cocktails £8.    

Warwick Street Social 
Casual dining, special occasion

Modern restaurant interior with large wooden table

Arrive early at this handsomely converted corner-site pub in Norwich’s upmarket ‘Golden Triangle’ neighbourhood for a well-made Aperol spritz in the buzzy ground-floor bar, then head upstairs for dishes such as chorizo-roasted sea trout with crispy fishcake and watercress velouté that features produce from the restaurant’s own farm. Mains from £14.50. 

Duo of beef fillets on a plate surrounded by sauces

Woolf & Social
Casual dining, cheap eat

Don’t panic. What appears to be a line of ants crawling across a bowl of poached pear and goat’s cheese is in fact... ants. Deep-fried until crunchy, earthy and zesty, try them with a pokey sloe gin and burnt orange negroni. If insects (including flying termites in season) aren’t your bag, go for the signature fried chicken with sriracha mayo. Small plates from £4. 

The Assembly House
Casual dining, special occasion, kid friendly

Exterior of Georgian 'Assembly House' brick building

The Assembly House is a gorgeous Grade-I listed Georgian building overseen by local celebrity chef Richard Hughes. Just along from M&S in Norwich’s city centre, it serves a splendid afternoon tea. Highlights include cheese, mustard and chive scones, Norfolk ham finger sandwiches and some stunning cakes and pastries. Afternoon tea £19.95.

  Three layers of afternoon tea canapes and sandwiches with cup of tea

Shiki
Casual dining, cheap eat

For some of the best Japanese food in the country, head to this contemporary Izayaka-style restaurant opposite the Cathedral. Here, you can watch the chefs preparing an array of sushi and sashimi, including grilled eel and cucumber temaki hand rolls and octopus nigiri. The ‘otsumami’ or sharing dishes include vegetarian options such as yasai age gyoza (deep-fried vegetable dumplings). Small plates from £3. 

The Library
Casual dining, kid friendly

Library interior with tables and chairs

Make sure you bring a healthy appetite to this impressive, converted Victorian library. The great value Sunday lunch is served in truly monolithic proportions: half a roast chicken comes with heaps of roasties, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding, two types of cabbage, carrots and a small lake of gravy. Ask for a table near the big open kitchen to see the chefs at work. Mains from £12.95.

Salmon fillet and salad on a plate

The Wine Press
Casual dining, special occasion

With its dark wood panelling and open fire, the private ‘snug’ at this 12th-century hotel located next to Norwich Cathedral is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner in historic surroundings. But there’s nothing antiquated about Gordon Ramsay-trained chef Marcin Pomierny’s food; scallops are paired with cod cheek, cucumber emulsion and dashi jelly, and maple-braised brisket comes with hazelnuts and chickweed. Mains from £27.   

The Iron House
Casual dining

Exterior of the Iron House restaurant with grey and pink wall design

Ask for a seat in the characterful double-height bar of this relaxed all-day restaurant with its exposed brick and beams and huge skylight, where you can look out on Norwich's cobbled lanes and sip a glass of wine. This is also favoured spot for breakfast; try the Colombian eggs with avocado and tomato salsa. Mains from £14.95 

Eggs Florentine on a plate

Les Garrigues
Casual dining

Collection of cheese wheels and bread

Brittany-born owner Damien Cabanis will guide you through the selection of wines he imports directly from small Languedoc vineyards for his smart and cosy deli and wine bar, which he dispenses from a row of eco-friendly stainless steel canisters (doing away with the need for glass bottles); served with high-quality artisan French cheese and charcuterie. Platters from £8.50.

The Fig Bar
Casual dining

Meringue tart against a brown background

One of just a handful of dessert-only restaurants in the country, Fig Bar is the creation of Marcus Wareing-trained pastry chef Jamie Garbutt whose dazzlingly original, flavour-juggling creations include the 'Harry Nilsson' that combines coconut panna cotta with yuzu curd, roasted Szechuan pineapple and kaffir lime ice cream. Desserts from £6.

Ten Bells
Casual dining

Gin lovers should head to this smartly modernised 18th-century pub that has its own working distillery, visible from the bar. Their own Bullards gin, made with spicy, fruity tonka beans, is served alongside more that 50 other brands as well as more than 100 whiskys. Book early for the pub's hugely popular distillery tours and tastings. Cocktails £8.

Rooftop Terrace
Casual dining

Lounge and bar area of the Rooftop Terrace

Request a seat on the heated terrace at Norwich's only rooftop restaurant for the best views of the city and cathedral, accompanied by a glass or two of fizz. Head inside to the blingy dining room for the all-embracing menu that includes everything from game terrine to Thai curry. Mains from £14. 

Cocktail glasses filled with different drinks

The Vine
Casual dining

The smallest pub in Norwich, rated by the Good Beer Guide for its selection of hand-pumped real ales, also serves some of the best Thai food in the city. Run by Thai-born landlady Aey Allen, the menu features authentic dishes such as larb – that's a salad made with minced pork, chilli, toasted ground rice, lime and coriander. Mains from £11.95.

Grosvenor Fish Bar
Casual dining, cheap eat, kid friendly

Exterior of the Grosvenor Fish Bar, with Christmas wreaths

They've been serving classic fish and chips here for nearly a century. Five years ago they decided to reinvent the traditional fish bar as a 'grotto' complete with Airstream caravan and a revitalised menu that includes spicy cod and salsa, Wako Tacos and a Loony Toony battered tuna steak roll with wasabi mayo. Fish and chips from £6.10.

Wild Thyme
Casual dining

This vegan and vegetarian café in the city centre is rustic yet refined with lots of bare brick, artfully distressed period furniture and a row of arched leaded windows. Open all day, the evening à la carte draws on global influences for dishes such as Moroccan-spiced pulled jackfruit with hummus, pesto-baked chickpeas, pickled carrot salad, chermoula and toasted wholemeal pitta. Mains from £9.25.

Brick Pizza
Cheap eat

Wood fired pizza with ham and cheese topping

This friendly pizzeria and bar, close to Norwich market, serves pizza made from scratch with Italian ingredients, topped with Italian and East Anglian produce and cooked in a wood-fired oven. Look out for the Emiliano made with mozzarella, Gorgonzola, porcini, rosemary and Norfolk ham. Pizza from £5.

Bishop's
Special occasion

Elegant restaurant window table with candelabras, looking out onto street

It doesn't get much more romantic than this 'informal' fine dining restaurant with its elegant white and grey colour scheme and glass chandeliers, hidden away on a cobbled side street in the city centre. Local produce features in dishes such as poached fillets of lemon sole, buttered spinach, Brancaster mussels, bacon and potato chowder. (£30.95 for a two-course meal.)


5 foodies places to try

Jarrold

The deli in the gleaming new food hall at Norwich’s iconic department store has just been doubled in size and now includes a wine and tapas bar where you can sample the extensive range of East Anglian produce before you buy.

Norwich Market

View over Norwich market with striped roof stalls

Norwich’s 900-year-old city centre market is the city’s go-to place for street food; try Cocina Mia’s Chilean empanadas filled with chicken, chorizo and sweet peppers. 

Timberhill Bakery

Sourdough loaves with different toppings

Visit this smart, independent bakery for wicked, grilled breakfast toasties made with their own chia and linseed bread, Norfolk free-range ham and cheddar. 

Kofra

Shop interior with coffee packets, wine and condiments on shelves

This hip coffee shop and wine bar is serious about caffeine, serving single-origin brews with expertise and care. They also host regular wine tasting events. 

Louis’ Deli

Selection of slices of cold meat, cheese, nuts and crackers on wooden board

This charming, backstreet deli stocks all things Norfolk including local saffron, charcuterie and cheese. They also cook a mean huevos rancheros and full English breakfast. 

Sliced cake with white icing, topped with summer fruits, on a cake stand

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Is there anywhere we've missed? Leave a comment below...       


All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of the March 2018 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out of date information in this guide please e-mail us at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com.

Comments, questions and tips

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Mandy McKenna's picture
Mandy McKenna
31st Mar, 2018
I love East 26 in Exchange St. http://www.easttwentysix.co.uk/menu/our-main-menu/ Lovely relaxed atmosphere, helpful staff and world music.
Alice Wakely's picture
Alice Wakely
31st Mar, 2018
Cupcake and Co, Upper St Giles. A delightful place to stop for a coffee break, with either fresh baked sausage rolls, or mouth watering cakes, (you can even get your morning porridge) best gluten free cakes in the city! Anne and her son, Jack are very friendly and welcoming.
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