This week marks seven years since I sat down to write my first blog post. Little did I know that I would still be sat here typing away on my laptop, creating content on this corner of the blogosphere seven years on. So to celebrate, I want to share seven of my favourite places to eat out in Cheltenham. Please note that there are many more I also enjoy visiting, so it was difficult narrowing it down to just seven. I want to give you a broad idea of the many different types of cuisine you can enjoy across the town, whatever the budget or occasion. Some of these are also great date night locations – in case you’re stuck for somewhere to take your other half this Valentines Day!
I’m a massive foodie. From fine dining to a Big Mac from McDonalds, I love how social dining out can be. Perhaps one of the many reasons I love Italian culture so much. For Italians, their social activities usually start around the dinner table. Gatherings with my friends now revolve around food and drink, so when I’m looking for where to eat out in Cheltenham I feel spoilt for choice. Of course, I also love cooking. I’ve actually decided to become vegetarian for the month of February – is ‘Veguary’ a thing? Anyway, I digress. This year I’d like to show more support towards local independent restaurants, including the seven dining spots in this post. Whether you live in or around the Cotswolds, or have travelled from afar, take note and pay a visit next time you’re looking for somewhere to dine…
The Bottle of Sauce
It was a tough decision between this place and The Tavern, but ultimately I could only choose one. Dan and I had our second date at The Bottle of Sauce – our first of many burger date nights – so the place holds fond memories for me. For cool, industrial vibes – this place is the one. Burger choices may be limited, but this isn’t a problem when they are this good. Sometimes you can’t go wrong with a plain and simple cheese burger and side of fries. And if you visit on a Monday, you’ll get 50% off too!
I was never a huge fan of Indian cuisine – until I experienced Pundits. The Indian restaurant based on the corner of the Suffolks, between Bath Road and Montpellier, truly won me over last year. You may remember my blog post on our unforgettable experience last year, and since then I’ve recommended the place to so many friends, family members and colleagues. Not only are the staff so welcoming, but the food is out of this world. Quality dining on a budget – however, you’ll probably want to order everything so you may need to extend that budget slightly…
I’m not vegan, however, I could be tempted. My friend took me to local vegan hot spot Lilith’s last weekend and I’m hooked. I haven’t been able to get this strawberry and cream cake out of my mind, it was heavenly! From the moment we stepped through the door, the service from the staff was 10/10. Perhaps the most friendliest service I’ve experienced from a cafe in Cheltenham. I almost felt like I could have been back in Brighton, with the uber cool decor and greenery. We have needed something like this in town for a long time, so if you’re looking for chilled vibes, great coffee and quality food (whether you’re vegan or not) – there’s nowhere I’d recommend more.
If you’re looking for the best pizza in Cheltenham, look no further. Yes, this may be a big statement to make and there are several other dining spots who also do a great pizza, I haven’t found anywhere in the UK that compares with Fat Toni’s. You heard me. Of course it could never beat those I’ve experienced in Italy and New York, but it comes pretty close. I’ve written about my love for this place on the blog before, so this may not be a huge shocker to you. Perhaps the largest pizza I’ve eaten in the Cotswolds, it rivals all the large chains and offers a broad range of toppings to choose from. They cater for vegans, vegetarians and can produce flour-less pizzas for those who have intolerance’s! Whilst it’s probably not the cheapest pizza on the street, you won’t find anything else like it locally.
This Italian restaurant holds fond memories for me. I’ve celebrated birthdays and other special occasions in this local haunt, and I wouldn’t recommend anywhere else for authentic Italian cuisine. Well-loved by many locals, Gianni’s has been offering generous servings of quality food for almost 25 years. The pasta dishes are my go-to every time. Whilst I may not have any photos of the food to share with you in this post, please believe me when I tell you that this is the perfect date night location. I tend to enjoy my dining experience here so much that I don’t remember ever taking a moment to document my food and drink! For those on a budget and a love of Italy, Gianni’s will make you swoon for sure.
This award-winning Japanese kitchen has won the hearts of many locals. Whether it’s sushi or a Katsu curry that you’re craving, Kibou caters for all. Slightly more on the pricey side of the budget, but again, somewhere special to dine out. It was my restaurant of choice last year for birthday celebrations with friends, and the staff even surprised me with a pudding! It’s always booked up on weekends so it’s worth making an advanced booking – particularly if there are a few of you.
The Fire Station
If it’s a night of cocktails or brunch that you’re after, this place is your go-to in Cheltenham. Also great for date nights, The Fire Station’s bottomless brunch is probably what it’s best known for locally. It’s relaxed vibes make it a great weekend hangout spot, from day to night. Their espresso martini’s are particularly delicious. Perhaps not for those on a budget, but if you’re looking for somewhere nice to catch up with friends on a Saturday morning then make sure you book a table.