Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Chester
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Chester restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 51 restaurants in Chester and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Chester restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Chester Restaurants
1. The Forge British, Modern restaurant in Chester Hotel Indigo, Grosvenor Park Road - CH1
Harwood Arms owner Mike Robinson opened this 70-seater restaurant in Chester's Hotel Indigo in May 2021; the kitchens cook over open flame using only British ingredients, with an emphasis on wild produce and sustainability. Chester local Curtis Tonge is head chef.
2. Simon Radley, The Chester Grosvenor British, Modern restaurant in Chester 56-58 Eastgate Street - CH1
Acclaimed by some conservative types as “the best dining experience in the north-west of England” – this much-accoladed dining room sits in the heart of an unusually grand city-centre hotel (well, it is owned by one of the UK’s wealthiest men, the Duke of Westminster) right next to Chester’s iconic Eastgate clock. Simon Radley has held a Michelin star here nigh-on since he joined in 1998, and his “awesome” cuisine, the “wonderful service” and the duke’s impressive cellar (with 700 bins) maintains this as one of the region’s culinary ‘heavy hitters’ if you are seeking an experience of traditional luxury and sophistication. “Huge bill” though. The hotel also provides “the best afternoon tea for miles” in its Arkle Bar & Lounge.
3. Sticky Walnut British, Modern restaurant in Chester 11 Charles St - CH2
Gary Usher’s increasingly famous Elite Bistros chain started with this “lovely neighbourhood bistro” in Hoole – although it’s “only small”, and it’s in what might seem like “an unlikely location”, being a low-key residential suburb of Chester, whose main claim to fame is that it’s not far from the railway station. The venue bears all the all-round formula that’s driven Gary’s success though: an “intimate” yet “bustling and lively” atmosphere; “warm, humorous service”; and “generous portions of very well-cooked food” from a “slightly unusual” menu that’s “very reasonably priced”.
4. 1539 British, Traditional restaurant in Chester The Racecourse - CH1
“With stunning views over Chester Racecourse” (“book early to be sure of a window table”), this well-established venue marries “fine wines and food” and, so long as you “don’t go on race days”, there are “usually quiet areas for those important business meetings”.
5. Moules A Go Go International restaurant in Chester 6-12 Cuppin Street - CH1
“A long-term favourite which has been going for decades” – in recent times now decamped to La Tasca's old digs from its original home in The Rows – it boasts “plush and trendy” décor; “the moules marinières are wonderful and there are nights dedicated to surf and turf or lobster”.
6. Upstairs at the Grill British, Modern restaurant in Chester 70 Watergate St - CH1
Good all-round ratings again (if on limited feedback) for this swish steakhouse and cocktail bar in the city-centre. It offers an unusually comprehensive range of cuts, with a variety of Aberdeen Angus and USDA options, plus a big selection of sides.
7. Joseph Benjamin British, Modern restaurant in Chester 140 Northgate Street - CH1
Joe & Ben Wright’s “reliable” bistro, close to the city walls, is noted for its “good pre-dinner drinks list (several different gins which slip down well)” and “warm and friendly” service. The pair also run a tapas bar next-door, Porta, which has spin-offs in Altrincham and, as of 2018, Salford.
8. La Brasserie, Chester Grosvenor British, Modern restaurant in Chester Eastgate - CH1
“Hotel brasseries don’t usually hold much appeal”, but this “big, slightly blingy, and certainly buzzing” operation provides an unusually high level of polish for a venue in a small provincial city. The food? – from a “fairly standard” menu some reporters feel results are “terrific”, but others say “while prices weren’t awful, I expected more from the place, so the bill felt like it was heavy without delivering”. Top Tip – “fabulous afternoon tea in beautiful surroundings”.
9. ABode Restaurant, ABode Hotels British, Modern restaurant in Chester Grosvener Rd - CH1
2017 Review: So far the exit of celeb chef Michael Caines, who has left the ABode Group to launch his own Devon hotel (Lympstone Manor) in February 2017, hasn’t hurt this “fifth-floor hotel-restaurant with pleasant views” of the town and racecourse; while still sometimes considered “expensive”, fans say that the “great, enthusiastic young team is cooking up a storm”.
10. Architect British, Modern restaurant in Chester 54 Nicholas Street - CH1
2017 Review: Fans “love all the rooms, love the outside, and have never been disappointed” at this pretty Georgian-era gastropub by Chester Racecourse. For a growing band of cynics, though, “the quality has gone down” of late – “they seem to be adopting a standard menu replicated across most of the Brunning & Price pub group”.
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