When you’re wondering where to eat in Lincoln, why take chances? We’ve made life a little easier for you by boiling down a choice of over 300 restaurants into a list of local hot spots, favourites and guest recommendations to give you a reliable gastronomic guide on what and where to eat in Lincoln. We’ve covered all kinds of cuisines, as well as menus for every budget, so let’s see if we can tempt you.
In Lincoln, you can tuck into dishes that you’ll never forget. You just need to know where to look – or rather where to book. We’ve put together an entire page dedicated to some of the very best Lincoln restaurants, so if you want to know where to go for delicious dishes, talented chefs and authentic culinary experiences, have a look. You’ll find two tapas bars, some of the best pies going, a family-style trattoria, a curry house in the shadow of the castle, a cheese café, a Michelin-Guide restaurant and a gastropub that serves up the best steaks in the city.
If you’re just looking for somewhere to grab a coffee and a bite to eat, Lincoln’s café culture has got you covered. We’ll kick things off with Caffè Portico, where you’ll find the best salads in the city. The sandwiches are delicious too, coming in a wide range of tasty fillings. It’s not the most central of locations but we reckon that if it was on the high street, this place would be absolutely heaving. So, for the time being, enjoy its status as a hidden gem.
Rising Café is one of the coolest in Lincoln. It’s in a unique location, having set up shop in the Alive Church. On the inside, you can relax amidst its easy-going atmosphere and quirky decor and you’ll be spoilt for choice with desserts, cakes, fresh scones, loose-leaf teas, lovingly made coffees, as well as larger meals like burgers, quesadillas and afternoon tea.
Interiors don’t get much more colourful than Café Shanti. Shanti is the Nepalese word for peace, and it’s not just the café’s name that has drawn influence from that area of the world. It has an incredible menu of vegetarian and vegan foods inspired by Asian cuisines – the curries are particularly good. Just head down and see what you fancy, enjoy the friendly atmosphere and try not to grin too much when you see the bill.
Coffee Bobbins is a popular independent in the city. With a great location at the foot of Steep Hill, the interior is dominated by sewing-inspired decor; you’ll see loads of vintage machines on show, along with tables made out of old treadle bases. In terms of food and drink, their teas and coffees are top-notch, and they do delicious cakes and sandwiches made from locally sourced produce too.
Who can resist a bit of Italian ice cream? Bar Unico in St. Benedicts Square is the best in the city. It’s a family-run rosticceria, so you can expect outstanding service regardless of whether you’re going in for a quick coffee, a full lunch or a single scoop of gelato. It’s not the biggest of places and can fill up quickly at times, but take its popularity as proof that it’s worth checking out.
In terms of tearooms, take your pick from our top three in Lincoln. Margaret’s Tea Rooms has exquisite cakes and sandwiches, with a sublime selection of teas that are creatively blended by Sheffield’s revered Birdhouse Tea Company. For example, ‘Scotch Mist’ is a floral yet zesty blend of black tea, lavender, rose, grapefruit, bergamot and vanilla. We’ll be here all day if we tell you what’s in ‘Mucky Wellies’, ‘Yorkshire Rhubarb’ or ‘A Day at Whitby’; your best bet is to head down and give them a taste for yourself.
You can find the other two of our top three tearooms along Steep Hill. Pimento Tearooms serves up an eclectic range of foods, including goulash and moussaka. Our real favourites are their cheese on toast specials though. We’re not talking a simple chunk of cheddar on a slice of white here. Pimento’s toast is made from speciality tomato, walnut or rye bread, meanwhile, the toppings are even more creative – take blue stilton, pear and walnuts for example, or double Gloucester chilli cheese, tomato chutney and jalapeños.
Bunty’s Tea Room meanwhile is a popular family-run vintage café. They’ve got posh teapots, quirky china, homemade cakes and light lunches. There are certainly more gimmicky cafés in Lincoln to choose from, but people love Bunty’s simply because it arguably offers the best afternoon tea in the city.
If you fancy only the freshest of local produce, you’ll find Lincoln’s Farmers’ Market on the High Street every Friday from 9am to 4pm, as well as on Castle Hill on the third Saturday of each month. Stalls and traders tend to vary from market to market, but you’re bound to find cakes, treats, snacks, organic fruit and veg, along with top-class locally reared meat and lovingly made cheeses, jams and chutneys.
If you’re staying in the city during the festive season, then make sure you check out Lincoln Christmas Market. It’s one of the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe, with a quarter of a million visitors eating and drinking their way through the four-day event. Lincoln’s was actually the first Christmas market to ever be held in the UK, so the city’s got a reputation to maintain with every year that it’s on.
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