We’re thoroughly enjoying sharing local foodie recommendations as part of The Great Taste of Cheltenham. The Visit Cheltenham team are picking up a few great tips too!

The first two articles in this series featured top tips for best bars in Cheltenham and best romantic restaurants in Cheltenham by local foodie, Alice.  This mouth-watering post has been written by none other than the original Cheltenham Foodie herself, Lou Smith, who has been sharing her love of our local eateries via her blog and drool-worthy photos on her Instagram account for over five years!

What Lou doesn’t know about the Cheltenham food and drink scene is, quite frankly, not worth knowing so get your stretchy trousers at the ready folks because we’ve asked Lou to share her top ten favourite places to eat in Cheltenham. Prepare to be inspired!

Cheltenham Foodie’s top ten spots in town

1. WoodKraft

If you’re looking for a great breakfast, brunch or lunch spot in town, look no further. This place has the most incredible menu, you will be hard pushed to choose a dish (I’m determined to make my way through the entire menu!), and when the food arrives on the most beautiful crockery, you’d be mad not to take a photo. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to leave a spot of food on my plate, everything is so delicious. No matter what you order, get yourself a side of the hash brown, you’ll thank me later.

2. Bar Padrõn

For so long, we didn’t have a Spanish restaurant in Cheltenham which was devastating. And then came along these guys in summer of 2019, and their hotly anticipated opening was a smash hit. I’m a regular in this place, it has to be my favourite place for dinner in town, the perfect place for a romantic date night, or a fun night out with friends. The food is delicious, the owner, Matt, is the friendliest person I know, and they have some incredible specials on the menu every day. I am obsessed with their salted almonds, and they’ll keep you going whilst you wait for the main event. Make sure you save a little bit of space for Churros, and wash your food down with a fresh glass (or jug!) of Sangria.

3. The Frogmill

Okay, so this place is just on the outskirts of Cheltenham, you do need to drive there, but it’s well worth the travel. It was refurbished a couple of years ago into a beautiful pub, gardens and wedding venue, and you can while away the summer afternoons, or cosy up inside during the cold winter months. This is my favourite roast dinner, and no matter what you’re eating, a side of the beef dripping mash is a must. They do have a hotel as well, and if you fancy a little night away from the hustle and bustle of town, you can book a Sunday night special to go alongside your roast!

4. The Bottle of Sauce

The main dilemma you’ll face when visiting this cool and quirky neighbourhood pub is whether to order a burger or a pizza (unless its brunch time of course – when the answer will always be chicken & waffles) and no matter which way you swing, you’re in for a treat. Its places like this that you can’t go wrong with a good old margarita pizza, (if the pizza is perfect, what more do you need?) but they have some fantastic vegan options on the menu too!

5. The Tavern

If you want some great quality, dirty food then look no further than The Tavern. Their chilled atmosphere, coupled with great cocktails make for a fabulous night out. And if you’re not eating out that much at the moment, they even do takeaway. Their burgers are incredible, they make the best Mac ‘N’ Cheese in Cheltenham, and if you’ve not tried “The French Dip” then you’ve not lived. Get down there sharpish and get it on your plate!

6. Simpsons Fish & Chips

A couple of years ago these guys were voted the UK’s No 1 fish and chip shop, and it’s easy to see why. Scrumptious, meaty fish (if you know what I mean) coupled with the perfectly crisp fish & chip shop chips make for the ideal meal. I’d highly recommend visiting the restaurant, but if you can’t make it over there, they do takeaway as well of course. If you love halloumi (and who on earth doesn’t) then make sure you get yourself a side of battered halloumi, it’s the perfect naughty treat.

7. Holee Cow

I don’t think I’ve seen a specials menu that beats the one at Holee Cow. This is a classic, simple burger joint, serving up incredible slabs of meats and sides, that help make Cheltenham’s food scene a place to be proud of. Their monthly specials are always filled to the brim with gooey delights, and I can’t resist their cheesy bacon fries. Plus, who doesn’t love a restaurant that serves up Mac ‘N’ Cheese balls… has anyone noticed yet that I’m a fan of cheese?

8. Prithvi

If you’re looking for somewhere special, to get dressed up for an occasion, then Prithvi is the place to go. It’s a wonder this place doesn’t yet have a Michelin star; the presentation, atmosphere, service and of course food most certainly deserves it! It’s a really small restaurant (you will need to book in advance) offering an Indian tasting menu, paired with wines if you wish, and it really is an experience that everyone in town should get to have at least once! I can’t recommend a dish here as it’s a tasting menu which regularly changes, but I urge anyone that hasn’t been to get on the wait list as soon as possible.

9. Gianni’s

Traditional Italian pasta your scene? Then this is the place for you. This little, family-run establishment is a Cheltenham legend, they serve up giant bowls of proper Italian pasta (no pizzas here) and it would be amazing if you managed to leave here without a takeaway box of your dinner for the next night! But it’s not just about quantity, the pasta is the only authentic place you’ll find in the town, and you can’t go wrong with a great bowl of carbonara or bolognese.

10. The King’s Arms Prestbury

A recent addition to my top 10 places in town, The King’s Arms at Prestbury has undergone a huge refurbishment in the past couple of years, turning it into one of the best gastro-pubs in town. Their food is spot on if you’re craving some great pub grub with an upmarket twist, but the best part about the place is their outdoor al fresco dining. They have transformed three garden sheds into the perfect little private dining spaces for up to six people, with cosy heating, blankets and beautiful décor. Make sure you call ahead to book yourself in to the best private dining space in town.

Parting words by Lou - It’s hard to write a top 10 in Cheltenham, as we’re blessed with so many incredible places! I could go on for much longer than this, but these are just a snippet of my favourites. I have to mention, I’m not a huge fan of Japanese food, hence why it’s not appeared much on this list, but if you’re looking for somewhere to go head over to the newly relocated KIBOU Japanese Kitchen & Bar, often at the top of the towns restaurant Trip Advisor list, stunning interior and (I’ve heard) food from heaven.

More recommendations by local foodies coming soon. Watch this space!


For more food and drink inspiration check out The Great Taste of Cheltenham.

Click here for a comprehensive list of... 

Restaurants and Gastro Pubs in Cheltenham

Guide Book Recommended Restaurants in Cheltenham

Award-Winning Restaurants in Cheltenham

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WoodKraft Cheltenham
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Bar Padron

Bar Padron is an authentic Spanish tapas bar, serving delicious dishes from across Spain. Head chef, Roberto Sanchez, is from Malaga, and has 15 years experience serving the very best of Spanish food, using delicious Spanish ingredients.

The Tavern
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Known as Cheltenham's friendliest pub. You can expect delicious seasonal food, a lively atmosphere, regular live music and a bar team to be reckoned with. For years, The Tavern has remained a local favourite as the place to eat, drink, and celebrate.

Prithvi
Indian
Prithvi Cheltenham - award winning food

Recently relocated back to Bath Road after a period at No.38 Evesham Road, Prithvi offers fine dining with South-Asian flavours with a memorable dining experience.

Holee Cow
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Holee Cow

Our burgers are all made with West Country Gloucestershire beef and served in freshly toasted brioche buns. They're a true thing of beauty.

KIBOU Japanese Kitchen & Bar
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Delicious food on offer at KIBOU Cheltenham

KIBOU is a Japanese hot kitchen, ramen and sushi bar. Inspired by the nostalgia of Tokyo’s bustling backstreets, it’s a laid back, eclectic, day-to-night eating and drinking den that fuses canteen-style dining with the golden age of Japanese whisky, sake and cocktail seduction.

Gianni's Ristorante
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Gianni's Ristorante

Mario and Head Italian Chef Vito welcome you to Gianni, a small corner of Italy in the heart of Cheltenham with their authentic Italian dishes. Enjoy freshly prepared Italian cuisine in a friendly and relaxed environment as a romantic couple or for a group celebration.

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