Norwich is the place to be if you like to mix fine dining with history and beautiful architecture, as the city’s restaurants offer everything from contemporary British cuisine, fish and chips in a 17th century property and French-British dishes in a former mill. The Culture Trip’s updated guide to Eating Out in Norwich will help you discover the very best cultural restaurants the city has to offer.
Exterior of the restaurant | Courtesy Grosvenor Fish Bar
A long-standing tradition in Norwich, the Grosvenor Fish Bar has been serving locals with classically British fish and chips for the past 90 years. Located in a historic listed building dating back to the 1700s, the restaurant has evolved over the years to extended its menu beyond just the usual fish shop fare and, following an impressive refurbishment of its premises, boasts a stylish interior that mixes contemporary elements like corrugated metal with rustic designs like sleek hardwood floors. Try a classic dish of battered haddock with chips or the more adventurous daily specials which include the Waco taco – steamed Mexican spiced cod in a taco with salad, sour cream, cheese and salsa.
Exterior of the restaurant Courtesy Grosvenor Fish Bar
The Assembly House
Restaurant, British, Soup, Vegetarian, $$$
Afternoon Tea | Courtesy Assembly House
The Assembly House , a beautiful Georgian Grade I listed mansion, is a multi-purpose venue and important Norwich cultural institution. The building plays an important role in the regeneration of the city as part of the Norwich 12 initiative, a project which promotes the city’s iconic heritage attractions. The site of many visual and performing arts events, the Assembly House is also home to a restaurant where guests can relax in Georgian grandeur while they dine on classic British fare, including the potted smoked mackerel starter with granary bread and cucumber pickle, and mains like Norfolk sausages with butter mash, local greens, onion jam and gravy.
Part of Cinema City, an art house cinema run by a local Norwich charity, The Dining Rooms is based in the heart of the city at the historical Suckling House, parts of which date back as far as the 16th century. While the property has been added to over the years and extensively refurbished since Cinema City took it over in 2007, the restaurant retains much original historical charm in its vaulted bays and panelled walls. The Dining Rooms’ menu is built around local produce and features British and European dishes like Blythburgh pork belly with scallop, black pudding and apricot, and the Cromer crab thermidor with bon bons, watercress and apple.
Located within a Grade II listed building that was formerly the site of the first public library in the United Kingdom, The Library is a perfect destination for any diners with an interest in history and architecture thanks to its grandiose high ceilings and original bookcases. Opened in 2006, the brasserie serves an eclectic menu where most food is cooked on an imported wood-fired grill with starters like smoked Scottish salmon with lemon, black pepper and brown bread with butter, and mains that include wood-grilled chicken breast with Lyonnais potatoes and a creamy Dijon mustard sauce.
The Exterior of the Restaurant | Courtesy Stoke Mill Contemporary Fine Dining
Located in the picturesque village of Stoke Holy Cross just four miles south of Norwich, Stoke Mill Contemporary Fine Dining is nestled on the banks of the River Tas in a mill built over 300 years ago that was formerly the first home of the Colman’s Mustard company, and though the property has recently undergone major renovations it still retains much of its original character. With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, chef Andrew Rudd offers contemporary cuisine with French and British influences, with menu highlights including the truffle-buttered duck liver parfait starter with brioche toast and plum chutney, and the charred fillet of steak main with local Girolle mushrooms, spinach and red wine jus.
The Exterior of the Restaurant Courtesy Stoke Mill Contemporary Fine Dining
Bishop’s Dining Room and Wine Bar
Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, British, European, Vegetarian, $$$
The Dining Rooms' Courtyard | Courtesy The Dining Rooms
Bishop’s Dining Room and Wine Bar is a cosy, intimate restaurant offering a fine dining experience in elegant surroundings at an affordable price. Situated on St Andrew’s Hill, a medieval lane that is one of Norwich’s oldest streets, Bishop’s features a classy interior with light wood floors, warm cream walls, crisp white linen tablecloths and beautiful chandeliers. Its dishes, which are prepared using local ingredients wherever possible, are designed to give guests a taste of Norfolk and features options like the seared breast of wood pigeon appetiser with celeriac puree, hazelnut and sweet onions, and the cod loin entrée with a tomato and fennel casserole and steamed clams – perfect when matched with a glass from Bishop’s extensive wine list.
The Dining Rooms’ Courtyard Courtesy The Dining Rooms
Restaurant, British, Vegetarian, European
Boasting an exclusive location in the beautiful, privately owned village of Framington Pigot just outside Norwich, Brasted’s is a multi-purpose venue acting as a catering and events company and boutique bed and breakfast hotel. Brasted’s restaurant, which has been awarded two AA Rosettes, is an elegant affair with a warm, inviting and rustic ambience augmented by wooden beams, exposed brick walls and subtle, romantic lighting. Brasted’s menu changes with the seasons and focuses on British fare with a contemporary European twist and includes dishes like the Framington free-range chicken breast with steamed langoustines, sautéed wild mushrooms, chive mash and a delicate chicken broth.
Offering a tempting and diverse menu focusing on Caribbean, French and Creole cuisine, Chez Denis is a perfect destination for any diner in Norwich craving something a bit out of the ordinary. The family-run restaurant first opened its doors in late 2012 and is tucked away in Norwich’s city centre in a beautiful property that also has six en suite guest rooms and two holiday apartments. Chez Denis is overseen by owner and chef Denis Rosembert, who honed his culinary skills in St Lucia and cooks up dishes like crayfish tails sautéed with lime and garlic butter then flambéed in St Lucian rum, and tender pork fillet marinated in jerk spices, served with a spicy sauce.
Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Gastropub, European, British, Wine, $$$
The Last Wine Bar and Restaurant first opened its doors in 1990 and resides in a building that formerly housed a 19th century shoe factory – hence the venue’s name being a nod to the shoe last, a tool used to form the shape of footwear. The popular, family-run restaurant is entered via a pretty courtyard and split into three distinctive areas – a vibrant bar and an intimate downstairs dining area which still retain original features from the building’s days as a shoe factory, and the spacious and modern main restaurant space. The Last’s modern British menu features fare like pan-fried sea bream main with celeriac, wild mushrooms and red wine jus.
The only restaurant in Norwich to be awarded the much-coveted three AA Rosettes despite only opening its doors in 2010, Roger Hickman’s is both a favourite of local diners and critics alike who have lavished it with praise and critical acclaim. Named after its chef and owner, who honed his craft working at the Michelin starred restaurant Adlard’s, Roger Hickman’s offers contemporary British cuisine such as the crab salad with cucumber, avocado and dill and the Norfolk quail leg and breast served with celeriac, apple and watercress. An extensive wine list complements the menu and makes Roger Hickman’s a truly fine dining experience.