Norwich’s Best Independent Eateries
Norwich. We may be smaller, more out of the way and less well known than a lot of other UK cities, but we are extremely special. Not only does our city centre boast a wide variety of well-known national brands and shops, but we are also blessed with a positive cornucopia of outstanding independent businesses, run by local people who have created some of the city’s most popular shopping, eating and social destinations. While it can always be tempting to nip into McDonald’s or Nandos when you’re enjoying a shopping trip with the girls or order your usual comfort grub at your favourite pub, it’s significantly more rewarding to find a place where the people running it show the care and attention that can only come from a local business owner. Not only will you be supporting someone’s dream but, 99% of the time, what you get served will be much more delicious. In this spirit, we have compiled 6 of our favourite independent Norwich eateries, run by local people who on a daily basis are serving out of this world cuisine to us lucky customers. Check them out below, and don’t forget to let us, and them, know how much you love what they do!
Amaretto – 16 St Georges Street
Amaretto Deli is a Spanish and Italian delicatessen situated a stone’s throw away from The Playhouse theatre and bar. This place is well known for serving delicious, homemade food with a different menu every day. Arrive past 12:30 pm and you’re likely to be waiting outside in the long queue, their food is that good! As well as the freshly cooked, daily dishes they also sell a variety of fresh food, pasta, conserves, baked goods – the list is endless! At least one of their homecooked to-go dishes will be suitable for vegetarians and vegans and the menu changes every single day, with dishes including spinach and ricotta ravioli, vegan broccoli soup and beef lasagna, to name but a few. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your foodie friend, they also offer a hamper building service, enabling you to build the ideal present for that special someone. All in all, this place has it all – food to suit every taste, an outstanding variety of products and above all, incredibly friendly staff. Definitely check them out!
Figbar – 23 St John Maddermarket
Do you have a sweet tooth? Us too, which is why when we found out about a place in Norwich that serves desserts and desserts only we really struggled to believe our luck! Run by husband and wife Jaime and Stephanie Garbutt, Figbar set out from the beginning to create a restaurant experience serving delicious and innovative desserts. They offer patrons plated desserts which are dishes designed by Executive Chef Jaime, offering a fine dining experience in the middle of the Norwich Lanes. Dishes are complex, featuring a number of separate dessert elements that all come together to deliver an exquisite complete dish. For those who are looking for something to go, they offer a wide range of baked goods available to be taken away and enjoyed at your leisure. For something a bit different but utterly delectable, visit Figbar.
Grosvenor Fish Bar – 28 Lower Goat Lane
At this stage, Grosvenor is as much a Norwich institution as Alan Partridge and Delia Smith. Touted by locals as the best fish and chips in the country, Grosvenor Fish Bar has made its name with consistently delicious food, as well as pushing the boundaries of what a fish and chip bar would normally do. Items on their menu include the Waco Taco – a spicy steamed cod wrap, and Looney Tooney – tuna steak in a roll with wasabi mayonnaise, a clear demonstration of their commitment to innovating and elevating their craft. Their food is always perfect – chips crispy, fish soft and flaky inside delicious, crackly batter – and the welcome is always warm, with staff and owners personally greeting customers in the queue, taking their order so that they don’t have to wait any longer than necessary. They’ve recently expanded to offer more seating due to their enormous popularity, so as you will inevitably be itching to go visit now, make sure you get there early to avoid the rush!
Cafe Pure – 13-15 St Georges Street
Originally located at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Cafe Pure is a charming local cafe selling a variety of lunch and snack foods always to an extremely high standard. Forced to vacate the unit they occupied at the hospital due to a rent hike, loyal customers were fearful that they would have to say goodbye to the beloved cafe. Now open on St Georges Street, the establishment continues to go from strength to strength. Another one where the queue is out the door almost every day, they serve paninis, sandwiches, baked goods and a variety of hot and cold drinks. Service is fast and extremely friendly, and their menu is diverse and a little bit different – BBQ pulled pork, jalapeno and cheese panini, anyone? They also run regular evening events with a variety of themes – vegan night and game night are two recent examples. If you’re looking for a casual dining experience with food that is second to none, give Cafe Pure a visit.
The Waffle House – 39 St Giles Street
Established in 1978, The Waffle House is a Norwich staple. Their mantra is to serve their customers only the best organic and free-range produce – as long as it’s on top of a waffle! In all seriousness, this place represents the pinnacle of Norwich’s independent food scene. Their menu includes both savoury and sweet offerings – a full English breakfast, complete with savoury waffle, is on offer in the mornings among other breakfast items, with a full lunch and dessert offering available later in the day. The service is outstanding, with all staff members proud to represent the restaurant and eager to ensure your experience is as good as it can be. They offer specials on a daily basis, and for those who aren’t too keen on waffles, a variety of starters and salads are also available. A short walk from Norwich market, The Waffle House is a great family destination. We would strongly suggest visiting if you’ve never been – it’s a uniquely Norwich experience!
Logans Sandwich Bar – 5 Swan Lane
Tucked away on Swan Lane in the heart of the Norwich Lanes, Logans is a sandwich bar with a difference. They pride themselves on their diverse menu that caters to all tastes and dietary requirements. They only use fresh produce and, perhaps the best part, your food is made right before your very eyes. Sandwiches at Logans are done properly – depending on the filling, you could get a baguette, panini or delicious thick cut bread. Alongside their colossal menu, they also have a daily specials board and serve jacket potatoes and salads alongside the sandwiches. Baked goods are on offer for those with a sweet tooth, along with a variety of hot and cold drinks. You can eat in or take away, but it’s highly encouraged to order or book ahead of time as the line can stretch out the door during peak times. One of Norwich’s best-kept secrets, we couldn’t get enough when we visited. Make sure you check them out!