The birthplace of the famous Worcestershire sauce and, more recently, the home of the Foodie Festival and Fortnight, it makes sense that Worcester has a dining scene worth boasting about. We’ve lined up the city’s top culinary offerings, from contemporary British cuisine to mouth-watering Mediterranean fare.
Restaurant, American, $$$
Opened in late 2014 by local restaurateurs Arvin and Therese Gautama, Burgerworks is Worcester’s first-ever gourmet burger restaurant and boasts a range of juicy, handcrafted burgers made from locally sourced, ethical produce. Guests can build their own burgers from a choice of meats and toppings options like the ABC (avocado, dry-cured smoked back bacon, and Stilton) and the Mamma-Mia (buffalo mozzarella, tomato, and pesto) or choose one of Burgerworks’ signature creations like The Real Greek (a garlic and oregano-infused lamb burger topped with feta cheese, tzatziki, and Kalamata olives). Vegetarian-friendly options include halloumi or falafel burgers, and sides include sweet potato fries and onion rings.
A bistro and wine bar, The Olive Branch serves a delectable mix of Mediterranean treats, styled after the cuisines of Spain, Italy and Greece to name but a few. Start with a selection of the Olive Branch’s tapas-style dishes – patatas bravas, deep-fried halloumi and lamb kofta are just a few delicious examples – to share with friends before hearty mains like gnocchi with sautéed mushrooms, baby spinach, and pancetta in a creamy gorgonzola sauce or a classic paella with king prawns, chicken, chorizo, mussels, peppers, peas, and saffron-infused rice. Head downstairs to its gorgeously cozy wine bar for post-dinner drinks.
Inside Bolero Bar & Kitchen | Courtesy Bolero Bar & Kitchen
Opened in 2012 by local restaurateur Ilir Fazliu – who also owns No. 35 The Provenance, a sleek restaurant and wine bar, next door – Bolero Bar & Kitchen is an upscale-casual restaurant serving a mix of British and international fare. By day, specialty sandwiches and wraps are served alongside afternoon tea, while Bolero Bar & Kitchen’s evening menu features burgers, pasta, and steaks alongside sophisticated dishes like pan-seared black pearl scallops with garden pea risotto, smoked bacon lardons, and sage butter. Drinks include cocktails, specially selected wines, champagne, and cognac.
Often hailed as the best Italian restaurant in town, Galleria Italiana is the place to head in Worcester for your fix of pasta, pizzas, and other traditional fare. Head chef Cosimo de Marco’s menu features classic Italian meals like lasagne with beef and pork ragu and Sicilian-style pizza, while his south Puglia roots come out in seafood dishes like black linguine with mussels, king prawns and calamari in garlic, oregano and white wine sauce. To finish, Galleria Italiana offers house-made dessert specials like tiramisu and basil cheesecake and naturally there’s a fantastic wine list featuring plenty of Italian options.
Chesters’ specialty just might be its mix of modern and traditional Mexican dishes – think chimichangas, fajitas, and chile con carne alongside pasta – but its expansive menu has a dish for every diner, from pasta dishes with a spicy Mexican twist to Cajun-inspired fare like jambalaya. The restaurant also features a wide range of vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes like its sweet pepper and lentil tortilla basket. Split over two levels, Chesters’ cozy cellar-level dining room is perfect for a quiet meal while its lively street-level bar, where a range of South American beers are served alongside cocktails, tequila, and mezcal, is a must for post-dinner drinks.
Nestled in a cozy spot on one of Worcester’s most historic streets, just steps away from the Tudor House Museum, Singapore Restaurant’s motto is ‘little place, big taste’, and after one look at the menu this certainly rings true. Alongside plenty of classic Cantonese dishes – think familiar favorites like salt and pepper squid, Szechuan-style beef or roast duck with plum sauce – guests will also find a number of exotic Singaporean and Malaysian specialties like stir-fried crab with black pepper sauce and Malay sambal belacan with king prawn. Plenty of vegetarian dishes are served as well, from sweetcorn soup to deep-fried tofu, while Singapore Restaurant’s delectable desserts include the likes of New York vanilla cheesecake and lemon sorbet.
When owners Nick and Chrissy Hunt opened Saffrons Bistro in 1995, they wanted to give the city a different kind of dining experience – one centered on eclectic but unpretentious food crafted from locally sourced Worcestershire produce – and more than 20 years later, they’re still going strong. The menu is largely British and European in flavor, with dishes like slow roast beef and stout casserole with shallots, bacon lardons, and root vegetables or pan-roasted cod with crayfish risotto, tenderstem broccoli, and beurre blanc, while desserts include indulgent sticky toffee puddings and limoncello syllabubs. For drinks there’s wine, champagne cocktails, and a great selection of gin– in fact, budding gin aficionados can learn more about the liquor at one of Saffrons Bistro’s regular gin tasting evenings.
Located on the edges of the River Severn, The Old Rectifying House – a popular local haunt since opening its doors in 2004 – describes itself as a ‘blend of high caliber dining and laidback, sophisticated drinking’. A mix of creative and traditional dishes are served here, like pan-seared cod with micro coriander and a butternut squash and lentil salad or classic beer-battered haddock with chips and puree. On weekends, guests are treated to Sunday roast sharing specials including sirloin steak or slow-roasted pork belly, each with rosemary roasted potatoes, Chantenay carrots, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puddings, and gravy. And to wash it down – how about one of The Old Rectifying House’s craft cocktails or a local wine from Lovells Vineyard?
Ostlers at Number 1 has been around under different ownership for some time, but when current owner Ben Nelsey and head chef Richard Deim took the reins in 2014, they truly transformed the restaurant into a little slice of Europe in the heart of Worcester. Locally sourced produce abounds on Ostlers’ menu, with starters like duck liver paté with Pershore plum chutney and melba toast featured alongside mains like Herefordshire blade of beef with horseradish mash, kale, parsnip crisps, and jus. Desserts include cheeseboards and indulgent sweet treats like sticky spice apple cake with vanilla custard and toffee ice cream, while Ostlers’ concise but comprehensive wine list is bound to impress any budding oenophile.
Opened by lifelong friends Chrissy and Therese (who also own the aforementioned Saffrons Bistro and Burgerworks, respectively) in late 2014, G & Tea is a cozy little tearoom on historic Friar Street. Fourteen different types of loose leaf tea are served alongside sweet treats like banana bread, coffee and walnut cake, and strawberry tarts, while G & Tea’s savory options include breakfast fare like Scotch pancakes or buttered crumpets and lunch-friendly dishes including homemade quiche of the day, fresh salads, and hearty sandwiches. For those in need of something a little stronger than tea, check out G & Tea’s gin teapot cocktails like the Royal Jam with gin, lemon juice, local strawberry preserve, lavender bitters, and prosecco.