French cuisine, authentic Italian pizza, endless noodles, Turkish mezze, posh lunchtime subs and more – we’ve rounded up the best places to eat in Lancaster with all bases covered.
Places to eat in Lancaster
Some restaurant names conjure up feats of the imagination, they tantalise and tempt you – and others are just brilliantly matter-of-fact. Like Quite Simply French in Lancaster. Housed in a chic converted warehouse on the banks of the River Lune, Quite Simply French lives up to its name, delivering top-notch food, high-quality cocktails and an intimate and very romantic dining experience. It’s no surprise, then, to discover that it’s the top-ranked restaurant in Lancaster on TripAdvisor and one of our go-to favourites when splashing out.
Equally impressive is the Red Peppercorn on Moor Lane. With a global attitude towards dishes and tastes, they bring together British, European, South American and Far East flavours to create a menu that changes seasonally. Open Wednesday to Saturday for dinner, all of the dishes are prepared in smaller sharing plate sizes plus one of the best wine lists in Lancaster. Located near the city’s two theatres, this is our top pick for a pre-show meal.
On the other side of the road you’ll find Pizza Margherita. A mainstay in Lancaster’s culinary scene since the late 70s, this is the place to come for authentic, wood-fired pizza, glorious pasta dishes and fast, friendly service.
Butcher and Tonic on Church Street is a firm local favourite despite only being open a few years. As the name suggests, they focus on great cuts of meat and refreshing gin and tonics, with over 120 different combinations of gin and tonic on offer. There’s much more to the restaurant than just good meat (although their weekly steak night is a great place to start), with their menu spanning British classics, regular mid-week three-course dinner combos and their dessert menu which is possibly the star of the show.
Another restaurant that blurs the lines of a traditional outlet is Full House Noodle Bar on Common Garden Street near the St Nicholas Arcade. Upstairs you’ll find a busy, buzzing noodle bar packed with happy noodle slurpers while downstairs you can attempt to recreate the dish by picking up all the ingredients at their well-stocked oriental supermarket. Friendly and very well priced, it’s a real hidden gem in Lancaster.
Finally, Indian and spice fans should head to Babar Elephant on the northern banks of the River Lune and a short five-minute drive from our Lancaster hotel. The good-looking 17th-century restaurant features exposed brickwork and a 10-metre-high stained glass window which brilliantly illuminates the restaurant. The excellent food covers a mix of tried-and-tested classics plus in-house specials, all made using locally-sourced ingredients where possible and healthier grains and oil.
Sunbury Coffee House
Fresh, wholesome and entirely vegetarian (with plenty of vegan options), Whale Tail Cafe on Penny Street is a simple all-day cafe that makes the most of local and organic produce. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks, the food is routinely excellent and the service fast and friendly.
Channelling Lancaster’s rich history and culture, the Sunbury Coffee House on Sun Street is a wonderfully quaint and nostalgic café best-known for its wide range of tea, coffee, cakes and home-baked scones. Open daily for breakfast and lunch and until 8.30pm on Friday and Saturday evening when it becomes an early-evening bistro, they have a wide range of vegan food and also do several speciality takes on poutine, the cheese’n’gravy-dipped Canadian fries that are very, very moreish.
A little further down the street is the The Sun Cafe & Restaurant, a Mediterranean-themed outlet perfect for an up-market breakfast or lunch, with a scrumptious deli counter at the front in case you need to grab something on the go.
Caffeine-fiends will want to check out The Hall nearby on China Street. A coffee roaster and tea seller since 1837, they took over the impressive Priory Hall building in 2012, converting it into a chic coffee shop alive with the smell of freshly baked cakes and perfectly poured espresso.
Be it wraps, sandwiches, baguettes or a freshly-prepared salad, Moorish on Moor Lane has all your lunchtime needs covered. A distinctly up-market take on Subway, take your pick from a range of sub rolls (made with oregano and extra virgin olive oil) and dozens of fillings including fire-roasted red peppers, halloumi and pulled jack fruit to create your own 6” or 12” special.