With all the food options in Stratford, it can be overwhelming to know where the best places to eat are. Here is a comprehensive guide created by Grace Lester to help you get started (though this will probably not make any sense until you’re in Stratford).
**This is from the perspective of a vegetarian/vegan**
*There are a lot a lot of chain restaurants in Stratford that don’t seem like they might be chain restaurants at first, but then as we’ve travelled we realised they were. So if that bothers you, I’ve categorised everything into what is good and decent by whether it’s locally owned or a chain.*
Good, locally owned:
– Box Brownie: mostly a drink place but you can also get pastries and small, light meals.
– The Garden Cafe: on Sheep Street, really nice.
– RSC cafes: good and you get a discount.
– Trust cafes: good and you get a discount.
[This is us at Hall’s Croft]
– The Tea Room Inside Stratford Antiques Centre (yes that is the name): this is one of my favourite spots, it’s never busy and really, really charming, and the food and desserts are good. It’s right across from the bank.
– Four Teas: I hear nothing but good things about it. It’s a 40’s style tea room, very cute, and you get a discount.
– Chip shop by the RSC (Barnaby’s): it isn’t very glamorous, but it is authentic. I got the salt and vinegar chips, absolutely delicious. It’s cash only though, so come prepared.
– Zoo: a sushi shop. They also have a few pastries.
Decent, locally owned:
– Hobson’s: as far as ambience goes, it’s fantastic. The savoury food is pretty good, but the desserts and pastries are not. The hot chocolate is said to be the best in town.
– Huffkin’s: a bakery and cafe, really nice. I get a variety of pastries here, and they have never failed to be delightful.
– Hooray’s: a British ice cream and gelato bar, tons of flavours that change regularly, and always very good and interesting treats!
[Us at Hooray’s. Go and enjoy]
– Giggling Squid: Thai food, reasonable price. It doesn’t blow me out of the water, but it’s worth going to.
– Carluccio’s: Cait, one of the intern supervisors, loves Carluccio’s and will probably take you at least once. They have really good food, but it is a bit pricey.
– Steamhouse: a bagel place and has a lot of nice options.
– Zizzi’s: an Italian place. I got a vegan pizza there once, which was alright, but their non-vegan stuff might be better. I know previous interns went a lot and really enjoyed it.
– Cafe Nero: they are pretty standard in what they have to offer, reliable, and have quick service.
– Coffee #1: I only went once and got a little pastry, and it was really not great, but perhaps they have other things that are better.
– Costa: the British equivalent of Starbucks, actually quite good, but again, it won’t be the peak of your culinary experiences here.
– Cornish Bakery: Jennie, who spends a lot of time in Cornwall, says this is nothing like the real thing. That being said, it isn’t bad, and I believe they make everything fresh. Everyone approves of their Pastel de Nata.
– Boston Tea Party: good stuff.
– There is a tea room on the street just behind the Birthplace across from the National Dog Trust charity shop on Union Street. It looks really cute from the outside and the tea was lovely, but the food was rather pricey and not very good. Sorry I can’t remember the name of it.
[This is the interior of the tea room, if that helps]
– Next to that tea room there’s a sandwich shop that is quite good…also can’t recall the name.
– No. 37 Cafe: on Sheep Street. Good but not amazing.
– Amelia and Maren like a place called Havilands for its brie and cranberry sandwich. You might try there (if you like cheese and goodness).
– Patiserrie Valerie: I’ve never actually eaten here, but I’ve heard some negative things about it.
– El Greco: very good food, a bit pricey, and definitely worth going to. I’m not sure whether it’s a chain.
[Me at El Greco]
– The Old Thatch Tavern: from the outside it looks really cosy, and the menu looks good. I’ve never been, but I have ended up hearing a lot of bad things about it.
– Caffe Vineria: an Italian place on Wood Street is very fresh, locally owned, good quality.
– Vigour Cafe: by the American Fountain. It is okay. They say they serve a lot of healthy/alternative diet stuff but don’t seem to actually have a lot of options.
– There are a couple of cute candy stores. I think they are both chains, but they’re quite nice.
– The Food of Love: I’ve been twice. The food isn’t bad but not really good either.
– There are a couple of Indian places on High Street that are good.
[Now you can start planning what you’ll order with this menu for an Indian place. There are lots of menus posted outside, which is nice]
– The Dirty Duck: this is where we went for Thanksgiving. It has a nice ambience, good food, and the staff are really friendly.
– You should also go to a kebab place at least once while you are here. They are everywhere. They aren’t the most high end, but the food is good, and it’s a cool experience to have. There’s one on Greenhill Street that is open until “late” and never opens on time that has kept us entertained on our walks to and from the Trust.
– The produce at the weekly markets is quite nice. It won’t all be locally grown; in case you care, just ask. There’s also a farmer’s market twice a month.
– Morrison’s is the closest grocery store to where we are living; it’s just right across the street. I got the rewards card there, but it doesn’t actually make any difference (literally doesn’t offer any discounts), so I wouldn’t bother on that.
– I also go to Marks and Spencer a lot because it’s the closest grocery store to the Trust, so I’ll go on my lunch break and get something for dinner or just a nice snack.
Hopefully this will help you take advantage of the food options in Stratford while you’re here, without having to try everything.