A busy market town with a thriving café scene, Bedford is also home to some excellent restaurants and regular markets. We’ve rounded up some of the town’s favourite spots to help you when you’re wondering where to eat in Bedford.
Head to our dedicated restaurants in Bedford page to find out more about the best places to eat in town.
One thing Bedford isn’t shy of is an excellent café. But there are a couple in particular that deserve a special mention. Located on Mill Street, Frescoes, as the name suggests, has a copy of a huge mural on the side of the building taken directly from the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It’s been done properly too; the owner reckons that the building will fall before the fresco begins to fade. The theme continues inside, where you’ll find an ever-changing art exhibition, along with excellent coffee and lunches.
Another must-visit café is Coffee With Art on the High Street. Inside it’s unlike anything you’ll have seen, as books are literally everywhere – the wall and staircase are made of books, plus there’s an ‘exploding’ library pouring out of the ceiling. The cakes and coffees are just as impressive, with beautiful presentation and plenty of food options for vegetarians.
If you want to grab a coffee and a quick bite on the go, head to La Piazza, which is around two miles from our Bedford (Priory Marina) hotel. As well as a sit-in café, they have a coffee window where you can order your panini and flat white to go, or if you are tempted, take a seat in the sun-dappled courtyard and relax with table service.
The Fancy Bakery, as the name intimates, takes its presentation and tastes very seriously indeed. On a good day, they have a dozen or so stacked cakes to choose from on the counter, all home-made and finger-licking good. The small, artisan café also does a mean range of hot and cold drinks to wash down your slab of cake, making this a favourite Bedford haunt for many.
If the words artisan, French and bakery make your palms sweaty – join the club. And then satisfy those cravings by taking a trip to Délices Bakery. Serving up everything from home-made croissants, to bread and cakes, they also have one of the best ranges of teas in town and a luxury hot chocolate if you’re feeling particularly decadent.
Limes of Bedford on Harpur Street might not be able to use words like artisan and gateau in their menu, but what they lack in fancy words, they make up for in bold, simple flavours. If you’re looking for a well-priced lunch including jacket potatoes, baguettes and salads all washed down with a piping hot coffee, this is the spot for you.
An original market town dating back more than 850 years, Bedford continues to have a strong market presence. Less than 10 minutes’ drive from our Priory Marina hotel, The Charter Market is held every Wednesday and Saturday in St. Paul’s Square, a tradition that stretches back to the 1500s.
Selling everything from clothes to farm-fresh produce, and toys to hot food, you can easily pick up a bargain or two, or simply soak up the busy atmosphere.
If you’re after something specific – Italian cheeses or dim sum, for example – then head to the Gourmet Food Market at Harpur Square every Thursday. With over 20 stalls and 50 traders, they serve up everything from ace takeaways to quality cooking products.
Held on the second and fourth Thursday of every month at the same location, the Bedford Farmers’ Market brings together everything from picked-that-day vegetables to locally sourced pork, beef, lamb and chicken. Plus, you’ll find free-range eggs, a wide range of plants and herbs and some fine local arts and crafts. Oh, and a quick word to the wise (and hungry!), don’t forget to check out the dedicated pork pie and chutney stands – the two go deliciously hand in hand.
Take your pick from any one of our three hotels in Bedford if you're interested in visiting this pretty riverside town. They're perfect for exploring Bedford's stunning green spaces, sampling its entertainment scene, and ticking off the town's top attractions.
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