Winchester For Foodies is for those of us who like to plan trips around food and drink. Winchester really is a foodies paradise with a gaggle of great pub restaurants and the biggest Farmers Market in the UK brimming with high quality regional produce. Having a UK city break outside London for food lovers is really easy in ancient and compact Winchester. You can walk round the city centre with ease, burning off some of the calories.
This post will talk about the best restaurants to eat at for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When and where to find the amazing Farmer’s Market and which food shops to head to.
Places to eat breakfast in Winchester
We got a last minute room at The Wykeham Arms having ate here a year or so ago. It’s situated on a peaceful street right by the Cathedral. I had studied Winchester before our arrival and created An Awesome Day Trip To Winchester.
The pub itself is worn but has a great atmosphere and character to it. I love that we were greeted with a cozy fire first thing in the morning.
The breakfast here is very good with a simple menu of the classics. They do a well cooked English breakfast and the jam they serve is local and really yummy.
Other places to eat breakfast:
Forte Kitchen – Parchment Street – ‘rustic British food, from locally sourced produce, in a relaxed friendly environment. A secret haven away from the busy high street’. We ate there for lunch on our recent visit (see below). The food is really great. The room is upstairs and is very popular, so you may have to queue if you don’t get there early. Breakfast serving time starts at 8am during the week and 9am at weekends.
Rawberry – St Georges Street – ‘family owned & run Juice bar and Cafe based in the heart of Winchester. Our menu is 100% Vegetarian, with many Vegan and Gluten free choices’. This is a bright and modern restaurant with food that is colourful, healthy and anything but boring! Breakfast opens at 8.30 during the week, 9am on Saturdays, 10am on Sundays.
Food Markets in Winchester
Probably the main reason I describe Winchester for foodies is it’s incredible food markets. It has been featured on Rick Stein’s food programme (he has a restaurant on the High Street). There are over 80 producers attending twice monthly selling meat, game, goat meat, veal and buffalo meat, cheese, milk, cream, ice cream, honey, breads, cakes, fresh and smoked fish, a large variety of fruits and vegetables and apple juice.
You can approach many for samples as with all great food markets. Go hungry, before you know it you’ll be buying Focaccia bread and slices of Bakewell tarts to eat as you continue to peruse.
Our favourite place to grab a coffee is from the Flat Whites’ van, just off the High Street on Market Street.
The guys are really friendly for a chit chat, the coffee is super delicious and there is a selection of healthier treats to enjoy.
Head towards the Cathedral, where there are more wonderful stalls. Our favourites included this fabulous milk drinks from Tom Parker Dairies served in vintage glass bottles.
Places to eat lunch in Winchester
There are loads of great eateries in Winchester, you could turn off the High Street and find independent restaurants and cafés everywhere.
One of our favourites, however, is Forte Kitchen on Parchment Street. It is a bustling friendly room serving fabulous plates of high quality honest food.
Forte Kitchen makes incredible signature macarons. If you choose this lemon dessert you get to sample one on the side!
Other places to eat lunch:
Piecaramba – ‘we offer contemporary pie & mash for the modern age. We also sell comic books, graphic novels and so much more…’. The quality of the pies are outstanding and it’s a young at heart place to eat. The pies are given amusing names, but don’t be fooled they take their pies seriously. Gluten free, meat free and vegan options available. Opens at 11am all week.
Brassarie Blanc – ‘Our desire is to be French restaurants at their very best. Every brasserie feels authentic and as warm and welcoming as Maman Blanc’s home’. This is the place to enjoy perfectly executed French Classics in elegant surroundings. Tables start at 12. Found in Jewry Street.
Rick Stein – ‘our first to open outside of Cornwall. With a nod towards our coastal heritage, this restaurant brings the freshest fish, simply cooked to Winchester.’ It has a really bright dining room and you can not argue about the quality of the fish dishes – incredible! Open every day and found on the High Street.
Food shops in Winchester
As well as the Food Market there is a whole load of quality food shops in Winchester.
Our favourites include Chococo, an independent artisan chocolate company on the High Street. I’m a huge chocolate fan and these rank among my very favourite. They taste so incredibly fresh and have won a whole heap of rewards – and by the way – in between your Winchester visits, you can order them online!
Other food shops to visit:
Toscanaccio – They believe in… “Enoteca: A special type of local or regional wine shop that originated in Italy. The concept of an enoteca is primarily directed at giving visitors the possibility to taste their wines at a reasonable price and to give the option of buying them.” A great shop for wine tasting as they source high quality wines and deli produce from Italy incorporating many small producers. Find them on Parchment Street. (Closed on Mondays and Sundays in August).
Char – World Class Teas – ‘Working closely with growers, and importing directly wherever possible, savour the pleasure of the journey of tea and share in our passion for discovery and delight.’ We enjoyed taking my sons girlfriend Char round this tea shop. There are glass jars with samples for sniffing – the best way to chose tea I feel. Char bought some Breakfast and really loved it. Find it on the High Street.
Places for dinner in Winchester
There are so many great pub restaurants in Winchester but I have a few firm favourites.
The Black Rat is a homely restaurant and Inn converted from a pub. It received a Michelin star a year after opening. The welcome is very warm, the food adventurous and exciting and the cocktails lush.
You can find it on Chesil Street.
Inside it has kept it’s old world charm with nooks and crannies everywhere and it is comfortable and slightly quirky.
The dining room on the left is a little more lunchtime. Both rooms ooze charm and character.
They have a tremendous gin cocktail list which is very fashionable here in the UK. I went with Brockmans. Although my husband enjoyed ordering from their extensive and mixed wine list.
They have a forager and a kitchen garden which influences the menu regularly, (there is a sample menu on their website for you to get the idea).
They have some cool huts outside in the garden. They look quite romantic and the outdoors heaters make it comfortable in cooler months.
Another favourite is The Chesil Rectory. You can see our Sunday lunch review here. Also found on Chesil Street (unsurprisingly). It’s gorgeous inside, especially over the Christmas season as you can see in our review.
It’s a 600 year old Medieval house with beams, vintage chandeliers and beautiful botanical prints. For me, it’s the most romantic restaurant in Winchester. But on this visit we booked the Private Dining Room for a family get together.
Other places to eat dinner:
River Cottage Canteen – ‘Dine on the finest the season has to offer.’ Great for lunch but I like the cozy lighting in here for a dinner. It’s also by Abbey Mill Gardens for a romantic stroll through afterwards. Dinner starts 6pm Mon – Sat.
Lets stay in touch!
Other articles on Winchester
A Dinner And Stay At The King’s Head, Hursley – just outside Winchester.