Despite having not lived in Cheltenham since my teens, I still consider it to be my home town. It is where I spent the greatest number of my school years and where the majority of my family, and many of my friends still live. Cheltenham is also a very handsome and elegant town, with no shortage of great places to eat out.
If you are from Cheltenham and looking for somewhere new to try, or simply visiting and looking for somewhere good to eat, here is a small selection of my favourite places to grab a bite in this vibrant town.
Situated in The Royal Well Place, this cool, gastro pub style eatery serves a mixture of American/British and Asian inspired food. From retro influenced spam fritters, to chilli jam, and very popular beef burgers, there is something on the menu to suit most tastes. The menu is reasonably priced, with burgers starting from £10 each and children and families are welcome.
Yo Sushi is exactly what it says on the tin. This popular chain of sushi restaurants has one situated in the centre of Cheltenham, and my experience of this branch is that it has great food and service. My favourites are the Katsu curry and Watermelon juice, whilst my daughter favours the seasonal desserts.
This small delicatessen is situated down a narrow stairway on Regent’s Street. Tricky to access with a pushchair, but not impossible, with help, I speak from experience. The staff are incredibly welcoming, and the Italian food is very tasty and budget friendly. The cakes are delicious and the coffee is good, though on a busy day, it can become a little cramped inside.
My family and I have been eating at this Chinese restaurant for as long as I can remember and it never disappoints. Its located in the centre of Cheltenham and although the interior is a little dated, the service is very warm and friendly. We always order crispy duck, Singapore noodles and crispy chicken, along with a number of other favourites.
I love this restaurant. Situated in Cheltenham’s lower high street, this restaurant has a laid back feel with long tables and benches, and a simple interior. It’s a great place to get food with friends before heading out for drinks or just to the nearby cinema. Equally, it’s also very family friendly, we have popped in for lunch with our children quite a few times, and have always been offered a high chair and colouring in for the children.
The food is super tasty, served quickly and reasonably priced. What more can you ask for?
The Thai Emerald is part of a small chain of restaurants, serving really tasty Thai food. When dining at any of the restaurants in this chain, you can expect a luxurious thai themed interior, with plenty of atmosphere.
The food is delicious and though not cheap, it’s not overly expensive either and the service is very good. Families are welcome, in fact, when we took our daughter there as a baby the waiters were happily wondering round the restaurant with her.
Though I have not visited this Indian restaurant myself, I have lost count of the times that it has been recommended to me by friends and family. The restaurant is Michelin guide listed and the menu offers an Indian fine dining experience. Koloshi is situated along the London Road just outside Charlton Kings and is top of my ‘would like to visit’ list of Cheltenham restaurants.
If you’re looking for fine dining, then this may be the place for you. Le Champignon Sauvage restaurant has amassed a wealth of accolades since it first opened its doors in 1987, including two Michelin stars and Decanter restaurant of the year. The seasonal french menu showcases the very best ingredients with a modern twist. Though the interior may not live up to the expectations of a 2 starred restaurant, the food is priced reasonably with the cheapest menu available from £32 for 3 courses from the set menu.
The Curious Cafe & Bistro
The Curious Cafe & Bistro is situated in Cheltenham’s trendy Leckhampton and is completely unassuming and homely. This bustling and popular cafe is the perfect place to stop for a full English breakfast, and is somewhere my friends and I like to visit to nurse weekend morning hangovers.
The portions are very generous and if having a breakfast, there are lots of options to choose from, including black pudding and hash browns, as well as vegetarian choices too. One word of warning, if you are in any way anal about your beans touching the rest of your food, then ask them to be served in a separate bowl. The standard portion seems to be half a tin!
Jane’s pantry are a small chain of bakers, founded in nearby Gloucester. Though this isn’t somewhere you would enjoy a meal out at, I still felt it was worthy of a mention, purely because of their delicious oozy cheese and onion pasties and unbelievably moist dripping cake. Quite simply the best I have ever tasted, though it’s fair to say you may gain 10 lbs from just one bite.
Though this chain of cafes may not be to everyone’s taste, I have visited the Cheltenham BTP and have always enjoyed the food and experienced good service. The staff always offer to take my drinks to the table, which is a godsend for anyone ordering food or drink in a cafe with a pushchair in tow. The marathon milkshake has become a new guilty pleasure of mine, as the name might suggest, it’s like drinking an ice cold snickers bar. They also offer a good range of herbal teas, karma being my personal favourite.
You’ll find Cheltenham’s BTP on Clarence Street, on the site of the old Belgian Monk pub, where I worked in my late teens, in case you’re wondering…
This list is far from exhaustive and I could have included so many more, like The Vine pub for some reasonably priced Thai food and a pint, or Eurasia for a no-frills curry, and The Hewlett or The Railway for good pub grub. But, I will leave it here, because I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.