As pandemic restrictions lift and life begins to go back to normal, the tourism and food service industries are re-emerging. The River Dee is once again beginning to buzz with locals and out-of-town visitors exploring Chester’s historic attractions, shopping hubs, and restaurants. Exploring and shopping in the city of Chester will make anyone ravenous, so here is a list of 13 restaurants, bars, and cafés to revitalise hungry visitors. Some of these establishments offer lodging, and some are landmarks themselves!
Dining in Chester
**Not all are located directly on the river, we have included some locations in easy reach of the river, or worth a mention.
The Boathouse and Riverside Rooms
If you want to enjoy a quaint and cozy evening, look no further than The Boathouse. The restaurant is in close proximity to many historical sites such as the Chester Walls and Zoo, and the Groves. Indulge in a classic English meal and either a delicious cocktail or a local cask ale. The food menu offers many gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options while the extensive wine and spirits list are sure to wet anyone’s palate. You can relax with your meal on the floating beer garden that overlooks the Dee in warm weather or inside near a roaring fire on chilly nights.
Need accommodations? The Boathouse has you covered there, too. It offers cosy rooms with nautical décor that is inspired by the River Dee, which some rooms have a scenic view of. Event spaces and catering are also offered.
This newly renovated and beloved café that is located in the Groves promenade is steeped in history. Previously owned by two prominent boat-building families, the restaurant was also renamed to honour that ancestry. The Moorings offers classic English breakfast and lunch items as well as a delicious Sunday Roast menu.
Accommodations are also offered here with a master suite that has a rooftop terrace. Enjoy a morning coffee or tea while listening the to the river flow. The Moorings is under an hour away from Liverpool and the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. You will find that it is also walking distance from the historic Rows.
Get saucy on the Groves promenade with this authentic American restaurant that brings the Deep South to Chester. The mouth-watering menu includes classics from the Southern states, like chicken and waffles, fried pickles, and Memphis-style baby back ribs. The owners have made frequent and dedicated trips to the southern States to perfect their menu.
This sports bar also hosts immensely popular late-night watch parties for American football.
Upscale but inviting, Piccolino Chester is sure to maximize your love for Italian cuisine. Their robust menus offer classic dishes made with fresh, high-quality ingredients that are sourced both locally and globally. There are options for all diets and the wine/spirits list is sure to pair with your meal perfectly.
The Church Sports Bar
This bar has upscale vibes without the upscale prices. It offers classic but delicious bar food and holds Race Day events that have their own special menu. A new feature at the Church is the Terrace Bar; it seats up to 100 people and can be enjoyed all year round because it is heated. The Terrace has a Bellini bar where guests can get the light cocktail as well as some bottled beers without going to the main bar. Additionally, The Church offers mixology classes for groups 10 and larger so you can learn to make your favourite cocktails!
Note that this establishment has a smart-casual dress code.
What is better than exploring and visiting historic landmarks? Eating and staying in them! Enjoy a delicious lunch in this restaurant/hotel that is located inside the Roman walls and have a nightcap in the secret garden behind it before retiring for the evening. The menu is versatile with many gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan choices. Spend the night in apartments created in the Roman Vault and amphitheatre.
The Oakfield at the Chester Zoo
After seeing and learning about all of the animals at the zoo, replenish yourself at the historic Oakfield restaurant. Located at the centre of the zoo, it is newly renovated and family friendly. The classic but mouth-watering menu has locally sourced ingredients and an impressive drinks list. While you eat, take in the beautiful views of the zoo and learn of its long and educational history.
Backford Belles Ice Cream
Ready for dessert? This family-owned creamery is the perfect way to break from a tour around the Chester landmarks or to end a meal at one the establishments mentioned in this list. Enjoy a cone with a few scoops of the creamy goodness that is made from the milk of the family’s own jersey cows— and have fun spotting the animals with the little ones between bites. There is indoor and outdoor seating as well as a playground for kids to play off some of that sugar!
Chester Cathedral Refectory
Enjoy a coffee and a teacake while you transport yourself to the 13th century. Imagine sitting with the Benedictine monks, eating and listening to another reading from Scriptures. Learn about the Cathedral’s long history and treat yourself to some of the delectable baked goods on the menu.
Vin Santo Wine Bar
Have a glass of delicious wine in Chester’s historic 13th century crypt cellars on Watergate Street. This atmospheric bar offers a refined list of wines and spirits and pairs them expertly with a menu of small plates. Found your favourite drink, have you? Purchase a bottle for your own collection right there in the bar or online!
Indulge you sweet and savoury tooth at the same time at this fantastic creperie. This family-owned café has been in business since 2004 and has spread both nationally and internationally. Their delicious menu offers options for all kinds of diets, as they have meat and dairy-free ingredients. Crepeaffaire focuses on its imprint on the environment, but that does not take away from the deliciousness of its recipes for crepes, pancakes, and waffles.
Come to this plant-based restaurant on the Rows to wind down after a tour of the city. Their menu features meat and dairy substitutes that don’t disappoint in flavour! Their creative cocktails will top your Chester visit for sure.
ExSqueeze Me Greengrocer and Juice Bar
This 100% green juice bar opened in 2017 and is sure to rejuvenate you after shopping or touring. Their first initiative is to serve delicious juices and smoothies with daily made cold-pressed juices and smoothies made from locally sources fruits and vegetables. Their second is to harm the planet as little as possible. Their company van is fully electric, their electricity is 100% renewable, and the majority of their appliances and furniture are used and refurbished.
To say that the last year and a half has been difficult is an understatement. Now that the public is starting to open back up, celebrate the businesses that have survived. But do so smartly. Make sure to check the websites of the hotels, attractions, and restaurants that you plan to visit for their health guidelines and adhere to them. Now go explore Chester and the River Dee, and imbibe in some good food and drinks for the whole family!
To say that the last year and a half has been difficult is an understatement. Now that the public is starting to open back up, celebrate the businesses that have survived.
Getting Around Chester
Being an old city, Chester does have its limitations during busy seasons. Chester park & ride is a great option for day trippers, whilst parking in Chester should be planned ahead of time if you are visiting during peak season and events. Our taxis are available around the city and can be booked from your hotel or location.
Make sure to check the websites of the hotels, attractions, and restaurants that you plan to visit for their guidelines and adhere to them. Now go explore Chester and the River Dee, and enjoy some good food and drinks for the whole family!
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