Food always plays a big part in every vacation we take. When deciding where to eat, we often go on recommendations from locals and other travelers, but it also regularly occurs that we become so hungry that we absolutely must stop at the very next place we find, regardless of where or what it is. The funniest thing is discovering at the end of a trip that it’s actually one of these spontaneously-chosen places that has ended up being our favorite, which is exactly what happened to us in Bath. So here I have for you six tasty places to eat in Bath, England – both the places we visited on recommendations from others and our “hidden gem”.
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House
Visiting Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House is sort of a right of passage for travelers in Bath. The restaurant is located inside one of the oldest homes in Bath which has been converted into both a museum and restaurant. (Visiting the museum is free for diners.) Sally Lunn’s offers both a lunch and dinner menu, but what they are most famous for is their Sally Lunn Bun – a light, either sweet or savory, brioche bun. I chose the Cinnamon Sugar Bun and it was delicious. Cory went with the chocolate cake which also looked delectable. (But I can’t tell you for certain because he wouldn’t share a bite!)
One thing to keep in mind, given its central location in the city and its popularity with tourists, Sally Lunn’s is not the place to go if you’re wanting a quiet, leisurely meal with excellent service. It is busy, the tables are crowded close to each other, and service is spotty. But if what you’re looking for is a tasty meal in a unique atmosphere (we ate in the Jane Austen room), then I wouldn’t skip this one!
Address: 4 North Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX
Martini Italian Restaurant
Martini Restaurant, a family run establishment, was recommended to us by the owners of the bed and breakfast we stayed at. We ate at Martini our first night in Bath and I was so impressed with every aspect right from the get-go. When we entered the restaurant, we were greeted with big smiles from the bartender, the host, and our waiter. Talk about a warm welcome! The restaurant is large, taking up two store fronts, but it still retains an old world, romantic ambiance just perfect for a long Italian meal.
As for the food, this is no Olive Garden – their Italian is very authentic. Everything on the menu looks good, to be honest, so choosing what to order isn’t easy. When I saw their Eggplant Parmesan was only offered as an appetizer, our waiter was willing to work with me to make it substantial enough for a real dinner meal without making me feel like I was being difficult. I seriously can’t speak highly enough of everyone working at Martini. This is a very popular place, so the earlier you go, the better!
Address: 8-9 George Street, Bath BA1 2EH
If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, you are in luck in Bath – there are sweet shops around every corner. The hardest part is choosing what you’re in the mood for and then deciding where to get it. Cory and I passed Fudge Kitchen twice before we finally broke down and went inside. The people working there were a hoot! We had a great time talking to them and watching them make the fudge right in front of us.
Then it was time to make the biggest decision we made all day, which flavor to try. I don’t mean to get all dramatic here, but this was serious business. After much deliberation, we decided on the Chocolate Mocha Swirl. (When in doubt, always choose something with at least two flavors.) Holy fudge heaven – we ate the whole thing in one sitting
and then went back for more. If we ever go back, I think I’d try their White Chocolate Raspberry or the Butterscotch. I’m pretty confident that there are no wrong choices here.
Address: 10 Abbey Street, Bath BA1 1LY
Marlborough Tavern is a gastro pub just around the corner from the Royal Crescent. This was one of those restaurants that was ultimately chosen out of necessity, but ended up surprising us with how good it was. The building from the outside isn’t much to speak of, but the inside of the pub is cozy and charming. We chose a table in the front area away from the bar so we could have a little more privacy.
The food at Marlborough Tavern was excellent – they certainly don’t skimp on flavor! Cory ordered fish and chips and practically licked the plate after he was done. The fish wasn’t too greasy and had just the right amount of seasoning. I ordered the Spicy Chickpea Burger, which had a little Indian-flavored kick to it. With veggie and beanie burgers, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose – this one was a winner! With its location just a bit outside the city center, you’ll get your food a little faster and your service a little sweeter.
Victoria Pub & Kitchen
Victoria Pub & Kitchen was the little “hidden gem” we found in Bath. And hidden it is. It is located quite a bit outside of the city center, requiring at least a half mile walk. If you’re staying in the center of Bath, do I recommend you make the journey out this way? Not really. But if you decide to stay where we did, Hawkins of Bath Hotel, definitely stop in here for a bite or a pint. Prices are reasonable, the food is incredible (Try the Brie and Bacon Sandwich. It is melt-in-your-mouth delicious!), and the company was hard to beat.
This was the first place we ate after arriving in Bath. We were ravenous and unwilling to continue walking half a mile to the city, so we stopped here. I knew from before we even walked in that we were going to have a good time. While I was attempting to take a photo of the restaurant from the outside, I saw two men waving and making faces at me in the front window. After we went inside, we walked over to have a good laugh with them about it and ended up sitting at the adjacent table and talking to them for a good hour or more. I was so amazed by the friendliness of everyone in Bath! It’s quite different than what I’ve become accustomed to in London. Both Cory and I left Bath saying that that meal spent exchanging stories with two retired locals was our favorite from the whole trip.
Address: Upper Bristol Road, Bath BA1 3AT
The Tasting Room
Last, but not least, if you’re in the mood for drinks or tapas, you’ve got to try out The Tasting Room. The lower level of the restaurant is a wine shop, but up the stairs is a pretty bar and cafe overlooking the street below. We chose this place because it was three o’clock in the afternoon and we were looking for somewhere to get a small meal before we caught our train back to London. (And I am really glad we did because our train ended up being delayed by two hours!)
At the time of day that we went, it was quiet and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We sat in The Tasting Room for over an hour just talking about the trip and eating our mini meals. I ordered the Roasted Mozzarella, Tomato and Lentil Salad and I only wish there’d been more of it. I have been on a semi-vegetarian kick lately, and I was pleased that this place offered quite a few meat-free options. Also, if you’re a wine drinker, this is the place to hit. They have an extensive, quality-tested wine list and pride themselves on offering only the best to customers.
Address: 6 Green Street, Bath BA1 2 JY
So, are you hungry yet? These six places aren’t the only great places to eat in Bath, obviously, but they’re ones I can personally attest to their tastiness and ease on the budget. I believe the most we paid for any individual meal during the trip was £12. Most were in the £6-10 range with the fudge running £5 a block. Eating well without draining your wallet – I’d call that a success!
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