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Restaurants in Bury St Edmunds: 15 delicious places to go

PUBLISHED: 15:07 28 June 2018

Bury St Edmunds (c) Martin Pettitt, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Bury St Edmunds (c) Martin Pettitt, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Bury St Edmunds’ restaurant scene is thriving with exciting new venues each offering something different for you to try. In no particular order, we pick 15 of the best places to eat in this Suffolk market town

1) Pea Porridge, Cannon Street

Based in a 19th century former bakery, this independent restaurant boasts a menu befitting its distinctive name and location. In a relaxed, rustic atmosphere created by owners Justin and Jurga Sharp, take your pick of ever-changing, imaginative seasonal dishes made using the best local produce and supported by a wine list containing rare, natural reds and whites from trustworthy suppliers.

Must eat: Anything from the Bertha oven. Upon each of your visits you’ll find something different that has been cooked in this sustainable charcoal oven: veal, focaccia bread, lobster, octopus and venison heart are just a few of the options you should be sure to look out for.

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2) Maison Bleue, Churchgate Street

Frequently cited as one of the best fine dining experiences in the UK, you’ve no doubt heard about Pascal Canevet’s exquisite French cooking that blends traditional methods with innovative twists.

Professional front of house staff will warmly welcome you into an elegant, modern environment where the expert sommelier will be on hand to help you discover the ideal wine to pair with your meal.

Must eat: After enjoying any of Maison Bleue’s incredible seafood dishes, end your evening with a selection of French cheeses that are best accompanied by a glass of port or cognac.

3) Giggling Squid, Abbeygate Street

It’s only been open for a year, but the Giggling Squid has quickly gained a reputation for serving the town’s best Thai food in a quirky setting defined by its wooden décor and eye-catching bookcase.

Their tapas sets are cleverly named and reasonably priced, allowing you to sample as much of the hugely varied menu as you can possibly manage. If you can’t secure a table you need not miss out: an extensive takeaway menu includes many of the same home cooking-inspired dishes regulars have come to love.

Must eat: The salt and pepper squid is a staple of many visitors’ meals while any of the cocktails provide a refreshing contrast to the hottest dishes on offer.

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4) 1921, Angel Hill

Situated right next to an icon of the town – the world famous abbey – it is only fitting that each of 1921’s dishes are designed to reflect the local area. Whether it’s lamb from the Denham Estate or coffee from Butterworth and Son, you can be sure your produce hasn’t travelled far.

This theme continues into the design of the restaurant as features from the original building – notably gorgeous exposed beams – are combined with an uncomplicated modern renovation and artwork from local sources.

Must eat: The crab cannelloni could well be the highlight if you choose to indulge in the seven course tasting menu.

5) Francela, Angel Hill

If you’re looking to be taken care of on a birthday meal out then look no further than Francela: defined by passionate, knowledgeable staff serving fresh Mediterranean food, you’ll feel right at home in their simply designed restaurant.

Portions of popular dishes like the lamb guvec are generous so make sure you leave room for the star of the show…

Must eat: Baklava: a rich pastry dessert that is recommended by seemingly everybody who has ever tried it. This delectable, flaky dish will be enough to keep you coming back for more.

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6) Gastrono-me, Abbeygate Street

Previously based on St Johns Street - an area brimming with vibrant, independent stores - Gastrono-me is an excellent addition to this popular area.

At their previous location they served classic dishes from all over the world so you can expect more of this culinary variation after taking a walk around this historic part of the market town.

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7) The One Bull, Angel Hill

Best described as a dining pub, The One Bull’s food is of restaurant quality and will stand up next to the best the town has to offer. After recovering from a fire in the autumn of 2017, the town has one of its most popular eateries back.

Dishes are inspired by traditional pub grub but the use of locally-sourced ingredients elevates it well beyond expectations. Before being seated in the relaxed restaurant area, take a perch on the sofa and soak in the usual pub feel while enjoying a pint of craft beer brewed just down the road.

Must eat: The whitebait is some of the best in the county and the grazing boards are hard to resist yet it’s a staple of British life that gets our top recommendation – the good old-fashioned Sunday roast.

8) Voujon, Mustow Street

This Indian’s success has been based on a simple premise: consistently delivering outstanding food at very reasonable prices. Forhad Rouf’s team are frequently praised for their genuine, straightforward interpretations of traditional curry dishes, allowing the fresh ingredients to speak for themselves.

The restaurant is spacious and sleekly presented, creating a high-end atmosphere. Despite the premium feel, the final bill will come as a welcome surprise to your wallet.

Must eat: It may be a little hot for some people’s taste buds but the king prawn dansak is a winner every time.

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9) Ben’s, Churchgate Street

Owner Ben Hutton is so committed to ensuring the provenance of his restaurant’s produce that he breeds his own livestock to supplement produce from other local sources and provide meat for ‘Ben’s Bangers’ and other tasty recipes.

His restaurant has the appropriate modern country design to suit this ‘Farm to Fork’ approach, providing the perfect setting to enjoy the literal fruits of Ben’s labour.

Must eat: When Ben’s rare breed Oxford Sandy and Black pigs provide enough meat, you won’t get a more locally sourced meal than the pressed pork shoulder.

10) Casa, Risbygate Street

When the sun is out and you’re sitting in Casa del Mar’s airy conservatory tucking into chorizo squid or paprika calamari, it’s the closest you’ll get to a real Mediterranean meal out – albeit with some Middle Eastern and Brazilian influences thrown in.

With so many authentic and diverse tapas options to choose from, you may prefer to simply ask the informed, attentive staff to bring you a selection of the best they have to offer – you won’t be disappointed.

Must eat: It might not be Mediterranean but the Middle Eastern platter – including homemade babaganoush and smoky pepper ratatouille – provides ample variety for your first visit.

11) Edmunds, Out Risbygate

Something of a hidden gem, Edmunds is part of West Suffolk College and entirely run by students learning their craft in the hospitality industry. Despite being at the beginning of their careers, the food they prepare rivals the most well-renowned chefs in the area.

To challenge the students and aid their development, theme nights are hosted every Thursday during term time with a different, carefully considered menu for each game night, St Patricks Day celebration or pudding club.

Must eat: The regular menu changes monthly so it’s tricky to pin down one single dish. To really support emerging local talent, we recommend the combination of Edmunds’ fine dining followed by a performance by the college’s Conservatoire of Entertainment Arts.

12) Ming’s Oriental, Abbeygate Street

Set over two floors in the centre of town, Ming’s offers authentic Chinese cuisine with the owner and chef’s personal touch himself defining your time in the comfortable, modern establishment.

After preparing your perfectly presented Japanese chicken gyoza or teriyaki salmon fillets, Ming will likely come to your table to chat about your meal and ensure everything is of the very highest quality.

Must eat: The crispy five spiced squid is a hugely popular way to begin your time at Ming’s and a definite indication of the standard you can expect from the rest of your meal.

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13) The Angel Eaterie, Angel Hill

Based in the imposing, ivy-clad Angel Hotel, the Eaterie’s four award-winning chefs all bring something deliciously different to your table whether you’re looking for contemporary evening dining or a relaxed afternoon tea.

After eating in the private Green Room or the patchwork-furnished restaurant, delve down into the hotel’s vaults to discover the underground Wingspan Bar, a fascinating 12th century location carved out of the tunnels that snake under the town.

Must eat: Drizzled in squid ink aioli and garnished with coastal sea herbs, the chargrilled octopus starter looks simply stunning on your plate.

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14) The Bay Tree, St Johns Street

Another independent hit based on St Johns, this café-bistro serves freshly prepared paninis, pizzinis, burgers and other typical bistro dishes. Once the yellow entrance has enticed you in, you may find it full downstairs but extra upstairs seating will ensure you don’t go disappointed.

If you’re not in the mood for a full breakfast, lunch or afternoon eat, an enormous selection of homemade sweet and savoury baked goods are just waiting to be taken away.

Must eat: A sandwich may not be the most glamorous dish on offer, but the freshness of their bread makes their large selection a treat well beyond the usual lunchbox-filler.

15) Amigos, Brentgovel Street

The usual Mexican offerings - nachos, tortillas, burritos and chimichangas - are all available but Amigos somehow finds a way to put their own original stamp on such tried and tested dishes.

Set in a 1600s building with magnificent high ceilings, experience a unique blend of Latin American culture with 17th century British architecture. The atmosphere is as lively as you would expect, encouraging you to enjoy one of their excellent margaritas.

Must eat: Despite only opening in 2016, the beef steak fajita with refried beans often gets a mention as many patrons’ favourite. Don’t forget to put on your sombrero!

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