Heading to Cheltenham and in search of a great place to eat? Having been born and bred in Cheltenham, I’m lucky enough to have eaten at most restaurants in town. In this guide, I’ve summarised all my favourite restaurants in Cheltenham so you can pick from the best spots.
Cheltenham has rather impressively become a bit of a foodie hub in recent years, and it continues to grow. Various restaurants and gastropubs have been popping up all over the Gloucestershire town, making it pretty difficult to choose where to go for lunch or dinner. While living in Cheltenham, it’s fair to say I’ve worked my way around most of the restaurants and have a good idea of which are the best to visit. Whether you’re in the mood for hearty English food, something a little more exotic, or more of a health-conscious, vegan meal, Cheltenham has it all. If you’re heading to Cheltenham Races, this list may be particularly helpful, but be sure to book ahead. Read on for my take on the best restaurants in Cheltenham.
The Nook on Five, The Quadrangle
Making its debut into Cheltenham as the town’s first rooftop restaurant, The Nook on Five boasts beautiful views over the spa town. It’s certainly my favourite restaurant in the town for views! Offering some fancy fare, it’s the perfect spot for an upmarket date night or a special occasion. Menus at The Nook change seasonally, and each dish is crafted using the best local ingredients for the freshest of meals. The scallops, beef shin and treacle pie with pomme puree and parmesan crumble that I had when I visited truly made The Nook a stronger contender for one of the best restaurants in Cheltenham.
The Coconut Tree, St. Paul’s Road
The Coconut Tree brings the delicious flavours of exotic Sri Lanka to Cheltenham. It’s one of my favourite places to visit on a Friday night with friends when we fancy some nice cocktails with dinner. Make sure you pick a Sriki-Tiki cocktail for a theatrical experience! With an enviable menu, there’s a choice of aromatic and flavourful meat and fish, as well as tons of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes. You can pick between tapas style dishes to try a little bit of everything, or larger plates. Even acclaimed food critic, Jay Rayner, gave The Coconut Tree his seal of approval – it’s for sure one of the best restaurants in Cheltenham. I recommend going with a group and ordering a little bit of everything. Just don’t forget the Cheesy Colombo – so so good!
Looking for somewhere to grab a drink before your meal? Here’s my guide to the best bars in Cheltenham.
MUSE Brasserie, St George’s Place
Undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Cheltenham, MUSE Brasserie serves delicious plates of European haute cuisine in the heart of the town. I used to live just around the corner from this wonderful restaurant and it was my go-to for a fancy meal. With a French theme throughout all of its carefully crafted dishes, each meal is prepared under the watchful eye of Chef Director, Frank Grillet. Enjoy delicious fusions of European and British flavours. Some of my favourite dishes include slow cooked beef cheek with fondant potato, and lemon thyme chicken tikka with pilau rice and poppadoms. Whatever you choose, you’ll leave happy.
Prithvi, Bath Road
If you’re looking for an upmarket Indian restaurant in Cheltenham, you have to visit Prithvi. Offering a truly memorable dining experience, Prithvi serves fine dining with South-Asian flavours. The service, interiors, and food is all exquisite here. I visited for a special birthday and absolutely loved the experience, and so did all of my friends too. One of the best restaurants in Cheltenham, there is great attention to detail throughout everything they create, from texture to flavours. Don’t miss the incredible dishes like monkfish masala with Keralan sauce, fresh king prawns with tomato and black mustard curry, and chicken breast curry with romanesco and shitake.
Fancy a decent curry? Check out my guide to the best Indian restaurants in Cheltenham.
Lumiere, Clarence Parade
Cheltenham’s newest Michelin starred restaurant, Lumiere is something pretty special. The finest of dining experiences in the town, Lumiere earned its star for good reason. I won’t forget my visit in a hurry. The restaurant serves top quality British food that’s delicious and pops with flavour. You can expect incredible presentation and a team that is knowledgable about every single ingredient. On your visit, try a six or nine course tasting menu so that you can try various dishes crafted by chef Jon Howe. It’s undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Cheltenham.
After Michelin starred cuisine? Check out my guide to the best Michelin star restaurants in the Cotswolds.
Purslane, Rodney Road
A popular independent restaurant in the heart of Cheltenham, Purslane is famous for its incredible seafood dishes. If you love seafood as much as me, chances are you will love it here too. The restaurant sources sustainably fished seafood from Britain, and combines it with local Cotswold ingredients to make delicious dishes. From traditional salt baking to barbecuing, you’ll make a menu choice you won’t regret. The friendly team will help you to find wine pairings that complement each flavour.
L’Artisan, Clarence Street
One of the best restaurants in Cheltenham offers an elegant European flair. L’Artisan serves up some of the most delicious French cuisine in the town, with authentic recipes from our pals across the Channel. Feast on fresh fish or fillet steak with bread, all paired with some incredible red wine. All dishes are presented beautifully and there’s a warm ambience that really puts dining at L’Artisan on the next level.
East India Cafe, Promenade
With an ethos that celebrates the idea of bringing home cooking into the restaurant, East India Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Cheltenham. The kitchen brings to life dishes from the British Raj era in Colonial India, bringing a twist on Indian classics. The restaurant has since gone on to win countless awards with its careful blend of ingredients. After a delicious tasting menu, you can hop next door to their Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar.
The Ox, Cambray Place
A real carnivore’s paradise, The Ox dishes up unparalleled steaks in Cheltenham. Visit feeling hungry – you can pick from tapas style dishes to charcuterie boards, and incredible steaks. Meat lovers will thoroughly enjoy the tasty fillet steaks which are cooked to perfection. There’s a hip cocktail bar to kick off your experience. Don’t miss the triple cooked chips and incredible béarnaise sauce to match.
There’s my pick of the best restaurants in Cheltenham. Are there any great restaurants I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below.