Knowing Norwich: A Foodie’s Guide

Norwich – a beautiful part of the country renowned for its flat terrain and warren of interconnecting rivers and lakes. Littered within this rural setting are a number of metropolitan areas such as Norwich, Great Yarmouth & King’s Lynn. There are plenty of things to do there, whether you’re in search of food, culture or just a good time. Our new blog series explores the many facets of Norwich, approaching from a new direction with each post.

Today, we begin with the most polarising of topics – food. The list varies from Michelin-starred restaurants to unassuming fish and chip shops. To make things easier, we’ve sorted these fine culinary establishments into three categories – Top Notch, Mid-Range and Hidden Gems.

Top Notch 

  • Morston Hall – This traditional fine-dining experience comes with some delightfully well-designed guest rooms. Spending a long weekend here is an absolute treat as you fill up on some of the most exquisite food Norfolk has to offer then roll into your delightfully designed rooms. Dinner is served nightly from 8pm and costs £66 for the complete 4-course meal. It is extremely well deserving of its Michelin star as the food is of a particularly high standard. Sunday lunch is also available at £36 per head, for a 3-course meal. Bookings are recommended.
  • The Neptune – This charming 18th Century coaching inn, has also earned its hat-tip from the Michelin Man. Owner and Chef Kevin Mangeolles’ use of fresh, local produce is what marks this establishment out ahead of the crowd. On the pricey side with most main courses coming in at just under £30, but you get what you pay for in a place such as this. No stone is left unturned in pursuit of guest enjoyment, and Sunday lunch is also available. Again, bookings are recommended.
  • Roger Hickman’s Restaurant – Head chef and owner turns his attention to modern British fare. His incredible attention hasn’t gone unnoticed, winning Good Food Guide’s Regional Restaurant of the Year 2012. The restaurant is open from Tuesday through Saturday, and serves lunch from 12pm until 2.30pm. Dinner is served from 7pm through to 10pm. The restaurant is always busy so book in advance.

 

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Mid-Range 

  • Vine Thai – While every pub seems to churn out microwave-standard Thai food these days, The Vine sets itself apart in more ways than one. Not only is it the smallest pub in Norwich it also pumps out some of the finest Thai cuisine to grace the Norwich area. Thai chef and owner Phaowana Allen has a taste for delicately balanced flavours and puts them to good use. A cursory glance along the bar will also show a respectable set of ales and beers to accompany the food. Lunchtime deals are extremely well priced. Dinner here will cost just over a tenner for a main course. There’s also a 10% discount on all food ordered to take away. Due to its size table space is limited, phoning ahead cannot hurt. Expect to spend between £10-£15 on a main course.
  • Ambitions Restaurant – So many top chefs have graduated through the ranks of this restaurant. This is a student restaurant attached to the Great Yarmouth College. The fact that you are being fed by trainees lightens the load on the credit card, but make no mistake, you are getting the absolute best in terms of service and taste. Prices range between £12-£39. Open for lunch from Tuesday to Thursday and for dinner on Thursday nights during term time. As good a quality as you are likely to get in the area for a fraction of the cost.
  • The Mulberry – Riding the waves of the ‘gastropub’ craze, this twee establishment is ideal for anybody looking for good food in a relaxed environment. Seasonal menus keep the cooking fresh and vibrant. Breads and cakes are all baked on site, but it is their Sunday Roast where they truly earn their salt. Children are welcome, but perhaps not encouraged considering the lengthy list of ales and wines to sample. The honest fare won’t set you back an arm or a leg either, with the majority of main courses costing less than £20.

 

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Hidden Gems 

  • Grosvener Fish Bar – This fairly unassuming fish bar is growing in popularity and building quite a buzz about itself. Its stripped-back website mimics precisely how the actual restaurant does its business. No messing, just honest fish and chips. With prices at just over a fiver, there really is no room for complaint. Taking away to eat outside is an option, or you can take your meal downstairs to the cosy and lively basement.
  • Pinocchios – Stone baked to perfection, these pizzas are all available for under £10. If you fancy pushing the boat out a bit more you could try one of the other offerings on the a la carte menu. Nothing will set you back more than £15. The main draw for many in the area is one of the varieties of meal deals available. Be sure to check the website in advance to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.
  • Fish & Grill – Don’t judge a book by its cover. This restaurant may not look up to much, judging from its menu. Fairly standard options are done to perfection, however. Fish & Grill won’t be reinventing the wheel any time soon but they sure are making it taste pretty damn good and meals for under £10 can never be sniffed at.

 

Taking a weekend out to see the sites and taste the treats that Norfolk has to offer would be a fantastic idea. Set your own rules and go at your own pace by joining easyCar Club. You can borrow a vehicle from someone in your neighbourhood, and in the process help a neighbour out and save money. Who knows, your savings could be put to use re-fuelling at one of these nine fine establishments.