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Find out why Bury St Edmunds is Suffolk’s Foodie Capital

Whether you love fine dining, great coffee or dishes from around the globe you’ll find it all in Bury St Edmunds town centre.  It’s certainly not hard to see – with a fantastic two-day Food & Drink Festival over the August Bank Holiday Sunday 27th and Monday 28th – why it’s the foodie capital of Suffolk and why the awards just keep on being bestowed on many of these brilliant places to eat and drink.

From somewhere for a café chat with friends to that much-coveted table for a special occasion – Bury St Edmunds has it all and everything in between. Looking for somewhere intimate and boutique? Lark on Angel Hill seats around 20 people and you’ll find seasonal, local ingredients across a selection of small plates which might include sherry cured chalk stream trout or Suffolk lamb sweetbread.  It’s no wonder that award-winning Chef Patron James Carn caught the eye of top food critic Jay Rayner within months of opening – having previously worked at Suffolk’s only Michelin-starred restaurant Pea Porridge in nearby Cannon Street.

Justin Sharp who owns Pea Porridge with his wife Jurga has retained his Michelin star since winning it for the first time in 2021.  Moorish influences from North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey will delight you with dishes such as Cabrito kid goat tagine or for a special treat the Cornish lobster cooked over the coals in ‘Grizzly’ charcoal oven (which needs to be booked in advance).

The Angel Hotel may be known for its Dickensian links but the food in The Eaterie is very much modern British – with a nod to its heritage with the steak and ale ‘Pickwick Pie.’ There’s certainly nothing Dickensian about the Sweet potato, coriander and ginger soup with Thai corn fritters – although you may find yourself saying ‘Please sir, may I have some more!’

The exterior of The Angel Hotel

As a near neighbour of both The Angel and Lark, multi-award winning 1921 is another establishment championing local produce with Chef Patron Zack Deakins at the helm. Mersea crab, Sutton Hoo chicken breast or Baron Bigod (from Bungay) and blueberry toastie might tempt you from the a la carte menu or choose the five or seven course tasting menu.

Maison Bleue has been wowing national names in restaurant reviewing and loved for its understated elegance, since almost before some of Bury St Edmunds’ top chefs had even picked up their first saucepan. Restaurateurs Pascal and Karine Canevet consistently achieve the highest accolades for their French modern fine dining and rounding off your meal with the Mont Blanc tartlet or Le Plateau de Fromages Francais is a real treat.

In Langton Place, you’ll find Procopio’s Pantry, a charming tea room that puts a delightful twist on tradition. Here, instead of jacket potatoes, you’ll be served with mouth-watering loaded wedges, and sweet treats for breakfast. This tea room aims to be a relaxing spot where customers can enjoy good company and even better food.

The exterior of Procopios Pantry

While three courses of fine dining often heralds a special occasion – there’s rarely an excuse needed for coffee, a quick light lunch or even afternoon tea and here again you’re spoilt for choice in Suffolk’s foodie capital.  Love Insta? You’ll be hard pushed to find a more gram worthy afternoon tea than behind the pink front door of Lotties Artisan Waffles and Coffee on Angel Hill. Don’t miss their beautiful pink hot chocolate.

Head to St Johns Street, famed for the number of independent businesses contributing to Bury’s eclectic mix, and you’ll find the family run and dog friendly Midgar Coffee where it’s all about strong coffee, tasty toasties and scrumptious home-baked treats.  Their miniature dachshund is called Otto!

Just a few doors away is Bay Tree Café where the freshly baked cheese scones are among the best in town.  Supporting local businesses is at the heart of what they do – sip a Butterworth’s artisan espresso while browsing a book from the ‘local author shelf’ upstairs.

Looking for something a little different and unique? Step into a realm of pure enchantment and embark on an unforgettable flavour voyage with Cookie Barista and their very popular Bubble Tea. As pioneers in bringing this delightful beverage to our town, they offer an extensive menu boasting classic milk teas, captivating taro, and invigorating matcha, all adorned with the decadent allure of brown sugar syrup and luscious tapioca pearls.

Round the corner in Risbygate Street pop in to Primal 8 health and wellbeing café – grab a chilled can of Hip Pop Kombucha with probiotic fermented cultures, no sweeteners and no added sugar to wash down one of their artisan bakes, which are gluten free and have no refined sugar – offering all the taste and guilt-free!

The exterior of Primal 8

Think Brunch, cocktails posh cheese toasties and a delicious salad selection and you’re probably thinking of Wright’s on Cornhill.  For a special evening look out for their occasional three course supper club too, but do make sure you book early.

Dreaming of a wine bar? Prepare to be enchanted by an extensive and diverse collection of the finest wines sourced from every corner of the globe at The Wine Cellar and to elevate your indulgence, you can pair these with small delectable plates, which will enhance the flavour of the wine even more.

Just a few doors away from the Wine Cellar, you can enjoy a variety of authentic Greek food at Papaki’s Deli. Crafted by the creators of Cafe Kottani, this restaurant offers an enticing menu featuring Greek phyllo pies, meze plates, Greek salad, and delectable desserts like baklava, almond cookies, and kataifi. Whether you wish to dine in or bring Greece to your home table, the choice is yours. 

Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea you’ll find it at Really Rather Good on Abbeygate Street, overlooking Angel Hill. Fully licensed, dog friendly and with all cakes made on site (including gluten free and vegan choices) as well as scones baked daily – do look out for the award-winning Chocolate Guinness Cake.

Exterior of Really Rather Good

Directly opposite on the other corner of Abbeygate Street is No. 5 Angel Hill.  Described as a wine and coffee house you’ll find them listed in the 2023 Good Food Guide as a local gem.  Try the homemade sausage rolls or No. 5 bagels and they’re another of the many in Bury who also welcome dogs.

If you love Eastern and Asian cuisine then you won’t be disappointed by all that Bury St Edmunds has to offer.  Sakura is a Japanese restaurant in the 17th century, Grade 1 listed Cupola House in The Traverse. Wash your meal down with a sake or a bubble tea.

Mings Oriental on Abbeygate Street is a contemporary and high class Chinese fusion restaurant.  With light bites and Dim Sum served all day, the five spiced squid or minced prawn steamed dumplings will wow those who love seafood and the full main menu has Thai, Cantonese and Malaysian influences.

Just across the way is Giggling Squid with its vibrant décor, celebrating Thailand’s rich landscape and natural ingredients. With vegan and vegetarian options too, look out for dishes such One Bite Salmon or specialities like Chubby Cheek Pork.

Not quite as historic as the Cupola House but iconic to many in Bury St Edmunds is the former Andy’s Records building in St Johns Street – now home to The Olive Grove serving traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes.  Try the Spanakopita – a delicious vegetarian pie or perhaps the Kotsi Kleftico (slow cooked lamb shank).

The beautiful timber-framed and family run Rustico on Risbygate Street is stunning both visually and gastronomically for lovers of Italian food.  Enjoy traditional Italian hospitality with homemade pasta and wood fired pizza and don’t miss their special wine tasting evenings too.

If you love a curry then head down to Valley Connection on Churchgate Street.  As well as the many traditional favourites such as Korma, Bhuna or Madras look out for some tempting special dishes including the green Haryali Chicken Masala or the impressive selection of fresh fish dishes including Trout Bhuna or Salmon Tikka.

A short distance away you’ll find Queens Bar and Grill mixing smokehouse flavours with their farm to fork philosophy from the owner’s smallholding.  Enjoy the seasonal produce or test your appetite against the Big Eats Challenge – where if you clear the plate in 30 minutes you may not have to pay.

When you’re looking for a quintessential pub that offers everything from great food, fabulous hospitality and own-brewed beer, you’ll find it at The One Bull on Angel Hill. It may be Bury St Edmunds’ oldest pub but you’ll be bang up to date with the changing seasonal menu and award-winning wines.

The One Bull

Located on St Andrew’s Street, you will spot Vespers, a Belgian beer bar serving a selection of beers ranging from easy-drinking blonde beers to historic Trappist ales and even complex Lambic Gueuze beers. There’s a beer for everyone! With 15 draught taps and over 50 bottled beers, Vespers is a great beer experience. Perhaps for a quick, refreshing drink or an evening with friends and family to sample some of the best beers in the world.

Nestled on the ground floor at The Apex, The Coffee House boasts both indoor and outdoor seating, inviting you to relish daily delights prepared fresh from their on-site kitchen. Indulge in the finest locally roasted coffee, Fairtrade teas, and delectable treats like freshly baked pastries, seasonal salads, and artisan sandwiches crafted by Suffolk’s top independent makers.

Tempted?  Why not visit the Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival on Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August. It’s a free-admission two-day event, promising a weekend of foodie treats and chef displays as well as a host of family fun.  There’s a farmers’ market, fairground rides and everything from gins to granolas and beers to burgers in Suffolk’s foodie capital.

So, when it comes to food in Bury St Edmunds, we are spoiled for choice – don’t forget to check out our Food & Drink section for more delicious food recommendations.

Posted 9 months ago