Bury St Edmunds’ food scene punches well above the town’s weight. Perhaps it has something to do with Suffolk’s excellent local produce and the town’s historic market, but Bury St Edmunds has an elite pool of excellent chefs cooking up some of the best food in the country.
Places to eat in Bury St Edmunds
We know we’re not supposed to pick favourites, but Maison Bleue is the best restaurant in Bury St Edmunds. We’re not the only ones with a soft spot for this sublime French eatery. It’s been named among the top 10 fine dining restaurants in the UK. Everything about it screams style and sophistication, from the location in the long shadow of St Edmundsbury Cathedral to the perfectly plated, peng-beyond-belief cuisine. It’s not cheap, and you know you have to book in advance, but it’s one of the best restaurants in Britain.
If your mouth is watering for some meze, make your way to Francela on Angel Hill. It’s a beautiful bistro-style Mediterranean restaurant, which enjoys an excellent location near many of our favourite activities in Bury St Edmunds, including the magnificent Abbey Gardens. Portions are big, and the food is authentic, fresh and delicious. It’s a winner.
Alternatively, make your way a little further around Angel Hill to 1921, a two AA Rosette restaurant, which also graces the pages of the Michelin Guide and is widely considered one of the best places to eat in Suffolk. It almost goes without saying that the food is incredible. Expect a refined menu of exciting and beautiful dishes using only the best of British and local produce. What really sets 1921 apart is the service; it’s exemplary, allowing you to savour your meal up until the moment you need something, when they appear like an apparition at your side.
Time for one of those “hidden gems” people always happen to be talking about. Pea Porridge is a ridiculously good neighbourhood restaurant tucked away on Cannon Street, next door to the Old Cannon Brewery. It’s housed in two adjoining cottages, which date back to the early 19th century. The decor is charming, with characterful tables and exposed brickwork. The food utilises excellent ingredients like game and octopus and tastes incredible without being pretentious. It’s also walking-talking proof that you don’t have to skimp on portion size to plate food prettily. And considering everything we’ve just said, the prices are more than reasonable.
A couple of other honourable mentions: Mings Oriental is a delicious Chinese fusion restaurant on Abbeygate, where you can get everything from dim sum to Cantonese duck. The food is authentic and made fresh, and the restaurant is clean and stylish. Lastly, if you’re craving curry, visit Voujon Indian Cuisine. The 10-minute walk from our Bury St Edmunds hotel takes you through the Abbey Gardens to this cathedral of spice and everything nice.
As tends to be the case with picturesque, historic towns such as Bury St Edmunds, there is a wealth of excellent cafes for you to visit for daytime deliciousness and beautifully made beverages. Baileys 2 is among the best. You’ll find it on Whiting Street. In terms of tea, coffee, cakes and dishes, it scores highly across the board. It’s an excellent all-rounder to kick-start our cafe recommendations.
Cafe Kottani in the Butter Market is another popular choice. It serves a mighty-tasty menu of Greek and Mediterranean food and has a proclivity for keeping it healthy. So no need to feel guilty for treating yourself to a trip to Cafe Kottani. It’s healthy, delicious, enjoys a great location and the service is exemplary.
The Bay Tree Cafe on St John’s Street doesn’t draw heaps of attention to itself, but in terms of homemade breakfast, brunch and lunch food, few can rival its excellent menu of eats. The sausage rolls are massive and oh-so tasty. The full English is also one of the best in Bury St Edmunds. Prices are good, and the staff are friendly.
Coffee aficionados should make their way to Guat’s Up on Guildhall Street. It’s an easy-going independent cafe that serves truly excellent coffee, as well as loose-leaf teas and a small menu of tasty treats. Walk past when the door’s open and the aroma of arabica is in the air, and you’ll find it hard not to turn around and call in for a quick cuppa.