If you’ve never tried Staffordshire oatcakes, our local delicacy, this guide could well change your life. They’re just one of the many culinary options we want to tell you about. No matter what time of day, should you start feeling hungry we’re fairly certain there’ll be an eatery in here that’ll hit the spot in style.
Places to eat in Stafford
When it comes to eating out in Stafford, one particularly excellent option is The Swan Brasserie. It’s right in the heart of town on Greengate Street, a couple of doors down from The Ancient High House, the largest timber-framed town house in England. You can visit The Swan at any time of the day to grab something to eat. The breakfasts are brilliant, the express lunch menu lets you enjoy a flying visit, or you can book a table for an evening of finer dining in The Swan’s tasteful restaurant, sampling the diverse menu of delicious dishes. Having said all of that, our recommendation would be to visit on a Wednesday for steak night. For less than £30, two people can enjoy a couple of beautiful local Staffordshire steaks with all the trimmings, and a bottle of house wine.
If you’re craving something more continental, Vivere is among the best Italian restaurants in the county. You’ll find it on Foregate Street, just north of the town centre. Admittedly, it doesn’t look like much, especially after we’ve told you about The Swan Brasserie, but don’t judge a book by its cover; Vivere is home to some of the most authentic, delicious Italian food you’ll find for miles. Pasta, pizza, calzones; they’re all lovely, and the tiramisu is an absolute winner. Plus, when you’ve had your fill, our Stafford hotels are barely more than a five-minute drive away.
In these parts there’s a clique of top-class gastropubs called the Parogon Group. They rank among some of our favourite places to eat in Stoke-on-Trent, and grace the pages of our local guide to Crewe, too. One of the latest additions to the group is The Seven Stars in Brocton. It’s three or four miles out of Stafford Town Centre, on the road leading out to Cannock Chase – one of our top recommended activities in Stafford. Make the trip, it’s well worth the mileage. Ever since the restaurant has been refurbished, it can comfortably be considered among the most stylish in Stafford. It blends character features such as exposed beams and solid wood flooring with contemporary glass and tableware and a corking menu of modern yet distinctly British eating.
Looking for restaurants in Stafford is a tad tricky because much of the best eating in the region comes out of the kitchens of pubs. In our page dedicated to Stafford nightlife you’ll find a few of our favourite pubs, most of which offer excellent eating options, too. One option that easily ticks the boxes for both sections is The Dog and Doublet Inn on Sandon Road. The picture-perfect, large country pub is a beautifully decorated inside and out, has a great selection of drinks, and serves a menu of exceptional pub grub. Visit on a Sunday, and you can get three courses for £20 including one of the best roast dinners you’ll ever devour.
Cafés in Stafford
Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire. Staffordshire is the birthplace of the greatest food known to man: Staffordshire oatcakes. For the sorry souls who have yet to sample the deliciousness of a Staffordshire oatcake, this delicacy of the Potteries is like a savoury pancake made from oats, which you eat hot, wrapped – or stacked – with bacon, sausage, cheese, tomato, mushrooms, eggs, black pudding, basically as much and as many breakfast ingredients as you can manage. Oatcake shops are aplenty here in Stafford, but one of our favourites is Oatcakes & Milkshakes on the corner of Chapel Street, just past Stafford Market.
The name kind of gives the game away, doesn’t it? Oatcakes & Milkshakes is fantastic for oatcakes and milkshakes, although we wouldn’t recommend ordering both at the same time, not if you want to be able to move at some point in the foreseeable future. The oatcakes are fresh, fluffy and filled with your favourite fillings. Meanwhile, the milkshakes are delicious. They’re made using chocolate bars, biscuits, sweets and ice cream, so you can slurp on your favourite snack. Or, if you’re feeling brave, take on one of their mammoth ‘monster milkshakes’ that come with some incredibly creative garnishes – perfect for the instagram!
Another option, if you’re looking to satiate a sweet tooth, is the Little Dessert Shop on Mill Bank. They serve pretty much every kind of dessert you could be craving, including waffles, crepes, ice cream, cakes, milkshakes, sundaes and cookie dough. All in all, it’s a convenient location if you’re looking for somewhere to sit and chat and chomp on something sweet.
Moving on, if you want a cup of tea with the Queen, a slice of homemade cake with Prince Harry, or a mocha with Meghan Markle then make your way to Cup A Cha, Stafford’s one and only royal tea room. Get it? Royal-tea? Yeah, hilarious. Anyway, Cup A Cha does one of the best brews in town, their sarnies are sublime, and the decor is surreal – with lifesize cutouts of the Royal Family, perfect for snapping selfies.
In the shadow of St Mary’s, Grove Coffee House is comfortably one of the best cafés in Stafford. When the weather’s nice you can sit outside and enjoy a lovely view of the church. Inside, it’s a lovely rustic café with homemade food – try the homity pie – and excellent, friendly service. You can’t visit without sampling one of their scones – we’d argue they’re the best in the business.
Or, if you fancy a trip back in time, the Soup Kitchen is on the opposite side of St Mary’s. It’s the picturesque 16th-century black-and-white building covered in plants on Church Lane. The food’s all freshly cooked, the decor’s old fashioned in a good way, and the service is exemplary. As far as recommendations go, the lemon meringue pie is lighter than air, the steak and kidney pie is enormous, or – if you’re feeling less peckish – the toasties are glorious, and as you’d expect, you don’t call your café the soup kitchen without knowing how to knock up a decent bowl of the good stuff.
We’ll round things off with a very quick final word to the Bank House on Salter Street. It’s a San Francisco inspired restaurant open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The eating is excellent, but more specifically the Route 66 burger is the best you’ll eat all year.