Best Places To Eat In Lancashire
Updated: Jun 4
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If you know anything about English history, then you’ll know just how important the county of Lancashire has been in the development of the country. It’s seen its fair share of war, treachery, and witch trials, and is the oldest of the traditional English counties. As you can guess, there’s a lot to unpack during a trip to Lancashire. But if you’re not much of a history buff, and prefer the great outdoors, you’ll have no problem finding unique hiking trails, especially around the Forest of Bowland. And for all you food lovers out there, the county is famed for its fresh vegetables and produce, so you can imagine how popular the Lancashire restaurants are. Some of the best places to eat in Lancashire are hidden gems, which makes exploring the county even more fun.
There’s no shortage of places to go in Lancashire, and even on a dreary day, the views over the Lancastrian countryside are remarkable. From the Ribble Valley to the Fylde Coast and beyond, you’ll be spoiled for choice in terms of places to eat. But of course, you’ll want to make sure you find the best places to eat in Lancashire, which is why I’ve put together this list to help you plan your trip to this northern English gem.
Table of Contents
1. Fylde Coast
5. St Michael's
The Fylde Coast is a stretch of coastline in Lancashire that includes seaside towns such as Blackpool, Fleetwood, Lytham, and St Annes. It's a very popular part of England, and there are a lot of unique places to eat along the Fylde Coast, with everything from posh restaurants to more family friendly ones.
Lancaster is a beautiful historic city to visit in Lancashire, with plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from. And there’s a medieval castle to add to your itinerary too. We stopped at Cafe Dolce in the heart of the city centre for afternoon tea during our tour of the county. It’s a very modern two-storey independent cafe and coffee shop, serving breakfast, lunch, and drinks throughout the day. Their traditional afternoon tea is very popular with customers so we had to try it out.
The afternoon tea includes your choice of finger sandwiches, a variety of cakes and traybakes, and freshly prepared scones. When we visited they gave us extra cakes instead of scones, which were all very tasty so we didn’t mind. There's also a selection of teas to choose from. They seemed to be quite busy during our visit, so unfortunately we didn’t get any tea, but that didn’t take away from how nice all of the sandwiches and cakes were. To book an afternoon tea at Cafe Dolce, they require 24 hours notice and at the time of booking you can select the types of sandwiches you want. Check out Cafe Dolce if you’re ever in Lancaster for the day!
If you’ve come across my blog before, you’ll know how much I love Spain. It’s quite difficult to find an authentic Spanish restaurant in Lancashire, but I may have done just that. Bar Pintxos is located in the heart of Preston’s city centre, with a menu inspired by the Basque country in the north of Spain. The modern Spanish decor paired with the music and pintxos displayed along the bar give it a great atmosphere. If you’re not familiar with pintxos, they’re essentially small slices of bread with a topping, held together by a toothpick.
The menu doesn’t only have pintxos to choose from, although I would definitely recommend ordering a few for the table, especially if you’re visiting for drinks. The Jamon and Manchego cheese pintxos was a favourite of mine and very tasty. Bar Pintxos has a delicious selection of tapas dishes on the menu as well. If you love mushrooms, you’re going to want to try their stuffed mushrooms with brandy and garlic. The meatballs in a Moor-inspired sauce are very flavourful, as is the Huevos Rotos with chorizo - something I always love to order when in Spain. As long as you haven’t over faced yourself with your pintxos and tapas, a tasty dessert is a great way to end your meal. The Burnt Basque Cheesecake is a must-try, and has a slightly different taste and texture than the cheesecake you’re probably used to eating. You won’t find a better Spanish restaurant in Lancashire than Bar Pintxos, so book yourself a table and enjoy your surroundings (and food).
There are dessert houses, and then there’s Haute Dolci. They have several locations across the country, so I was really pleased to find out that they have one in Preston’s city centre. Haute Dolci is known for its luxurious desserts and lavish interiors. It’s an experience in itself to just sit here, let alone eat. There are so many sweet options on the menu, you’ll definitely be spoiled for choice. Everything is made to order in their open kitchen, so when I saw a waffle machine I knew what I had to order.
The “An Offer She Can’t Refuse” waffles consist of milk chocolate, strawberries, and vanilla gelato. The name says it all because you really can’t refuse this dessert. For you pancake lovers out there, try the “Ripe For The Taking!” stack which comes with bananas and caramelized hazelnuts. On the less sweet side of things, their toasties are pretty tasty and a great alternative for a savoury snack. If you still have room, the Fabulous Ferrero milkshake is well worth ordering. Haute Dolci is one of the best places to eat in Lancashire if you have a sweet tooth.
Mad Hatters Tea Room & Patisserie
What could be better than afternoon tea? Maybe afternoon tea served in a vintage tea shop named after a character from Alice in Wonderland! Mad Hatters Tea Shop & Patisserie is located in the village of Longton, which is only a short drive from Preston. The tea shop itself is beautifully decorated in pastel tones with lots of quirky decorations lining the walls, and a beautiful flower display hanging from the ceiling.
We came for their famous afternoon tea. I’ve had afternoon teas before, but they were nothing compared to this. You can expect massive scones with jam and cream, mouth watering pastries, and a delicious selection of finger sandwiches. And of course a pot of tea, or another hot drink of your choice. All of their food, even the scones, are made in their kitchen. You can tell everything is homemade because of the quality and taste. Don’t feel too overwhelmed, you can take whatever you don’t eat home with you. Mad Hatters Tea Shop is by far one of the best places to eat in Lancashire, especially if you like traditional eateries and quirky themes.
Origin Juice & Brew Bar
A short walk from Preston’s train station is a very intimate and cozy coffee shop called Origin Juice & Brew Bar. It’s a family-run business, and the mother and daughter duo make all of the pastries, sandwiches, and hot food on-site. Although it’s not the biggest menu out there, the items that are on it are made to perfection. I would recommend either their avocado toast, which you can add a poached egg to if you want, or their cinnamon toast, served with bananas and peanut butter. They also have a great smoothie selection available if you’re like me and aren’t a big coffee drinker. Origin seemed to be extremely popular with locals, which is always a good sign. So popular in fact, that we had to scramble to pick up some of their pastries before they ran out. Luckily, we managed to bring some home with us to snack on. Origin is a great breakfast spot in Preston if you want simple, homemade food that’s done right.
It can be difficult to find healthy places to eat while you’re travelling, but luckily Preston has Saladishy. It’s a healthy food restaurant located in the city centre, and all of their dishes are under 500 calories. You can even indulge in their pancake stack and feel guilt-free afterwards. They have quite a big menu selection, or you can build your own salad or poke bowl if you want, which is what I did. Add a fresh fruit smoothie or alcohol-free cocktail to your meal and you’ll be in heaven. With its bright pink outer entrance, it’s probably one of the most noticeable restaurants in Preston’s city centre, so you can’t miss it. And the interior is just as unique too.
Townhouse Coffee & Brew Bar
There’s nothing better than going out for brunch, and Townhouse Coffee & Brew Bar in the centre of Preston knows how to do it well. They have everything from bagels to smoothie bowls to more traditional brunch dishes like Eggs Benedict and pancakes. Since I have a bit of an obsession with pancakes, you can guess what my choice was. The pancakes are topped with fresh fruit and drizzled with your choice of maple syrup or chocolate sauce. If you’re feeling hungry, definitely order this. On the lighter side of things, an order of their avocado bruschetta will more than hit the spot. It’s all freshly prepared and you can taste that in each bite. For drinks, I’d recommend either one of their speciality coffee brews or a tasty fruit smoothie to top off an amazing brunch experience. And don’t forget to try a bite of their vegan brownies too!
Artisan Ribble Valley
If you’re driving around the Ribble Valley and happen to be near Whalley, you have to stop at Artisan Ribble Valley. This city-style restaurant in the middle of the countryside has a massive menu, and can seat 200 people. Their British and regionally inspired menu draws on local produce from all over Lancashire, so you can expect only the freshest ingredients being served. You’ll also find other global favourites such as pizzas and burgers on the menu. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options as well, so it’s a restaurant that’s suitable for everyone.
If you like seafood, I’d highly recommend starting with the scallops. I’m not a big lover of seafood, but these scallops were cooked to perfection and extremely tasty. If you want to stick with traditional British food, fish and chips or steak and ale pie are both great options for a main dish. Don’t leave Artisan Ribble Valley without trying one of their desserts either, mainly the Lemon & Yuzu Tart. This is one of the best restaurants in the Ribble Valley to dine at, for either lunch or dinner, so add it to your list if you’re touring around Lancashire!
The Ribble Valley is filled with picturesque, quaint villages nestled between rolling hills and farmland. One of these villages is Whalley, known for its independent shops, restaurants, and the famous 14th century Cistercian Abbey ruins. Just off of the main street is Deux Amis - the perfect place for brunch in Lancashire. Their French inspired menu has everything from traditional croissants to Croque Monsieur. But you can still find English brunch favourites like pancakes and Eggs Benedict on the menu as well.
If you’re feeling a little bit adventurous, I’d recommend trying their Eggs Benedict with black pudding, which is a nice twist on a classic brunch dish. The smashed avocado with feta and poached eggs is very tasty, and is presented beautifully. It’s a good option if you’d like a healthy brunch. For me though, my favourite thing on the menu was the Croque Monsieur/Madame, which I added a side of bacon to. I haven’t had this since I visited Paris many years ago, so I was really happy to see this option. And it definitely didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was better than the one I had next to the Louvre. The little French flag on top was a nice added touch too. Deux Amis is now one of my favourite places to eat in Lancashire. The inviting decor and top quality food will have you wanting to stay there all day.
The Coach & Horses
Have you ever visited or stayed in a traditional Coaching House before? Located in Bolton-by-Bowland, a small village in the Ribble Valley, is the Coach & Horses. Not only is it a 5-star inn, it also boasts 2 Rosette Stones for culinary excellence. Although it’s recently been renovated, the interior is very traditional and elegant, with soft music adding to the dining experience. They’re open for lunch and dinner, with different menus on offer, including a sandwich menu at lunch. With everything being locally sourced and the head chef’s passion for food shining through, you’re in for an incredible dining experience.
We started things off with the winter vegetable soup, which was perfectly blended and just the right mix of flavours. Our mains were a pea risotto and the Skrei cod, which as you can see from the photos were beautifully presented. I couldn’t recommend either dish enough. To round things off we had the chocolate pave and the pressed apple terrine for dessert. Like the starter and mains, the desserts were faultless. It’s a fantastic place to eat in Lancashire and you'll definitely enjoy this unique rural location.
In the mood for drinks? Then you better head down to Clitheroe and stop by The Dispensary. It’s a very quirky bar, serving craft beer, cocktails, and delicious charcuterie boards to snack on while you socialize. It’s a relatively new bar in Clitheroe, so you may not have come across it yet if you haven’t been to the town in a while. The bar is very cozy, with a back room that has a stunning stone accent wall with a wood burning fire attached to it. You’ll also find lots of vintage items dotted around, many of which have been bought from local auctions.
I’d recommend trying out one of their classic cocktails and sitting next to the nice warm fireplace. They have a few charcuterie boards to choose from as well. We went with the cheeseboard which was great to nibble on. Yes, I know cheese boards are meant to be paired with wine, but I prefer cocktails. It’s a very unique place to eat and drink in Lancashire, and it’s only a stone's throw away from Clitheroe Castle too - bonus.
The Mad Hunter Restaurant
South African food isn’t something you’d associate with rural Lancashire. But The Mad Hunter Restaurant is bringing a little taste of Durban to the Wyre. This quirky restaurant is located in the picturesque village of St Michael’s, located between Blackpool and Preston. As soon as you walk through the doors you’re transported to South Africa. Everything from the music to the unique decor and textures brings the restaurant to life. We immediately knew that this was going to be one of the top restaurants in Lancashire. And we were lucky enough to pick a date when their new cocktail menu was out too. Now, let’s tuck into the menu, which is of course South African themed, but the chef puts his own twist on some of the more traditional dishes.
Many of the dishes have the option to order them as a small plate, which is great if you want to share. The African Pea Fritters are absolutely delicious, and are similar to a falafel but with a slightly different taste. We also tried the flat bread which came with various dips. The highlight of the meal for me was the Durban Chicken Bunny Chow, which was packed full of flavour with just the right amount of spice. It looks quite big but the bread is hollowed out so it’s not over facing. The Pork Ribs are perfectly cooked and fall off the bone, so if you’re a fan of ribs you won’t want to miss these. Another traditional dish is the Signature Trinchado, which is pork fillet medallions with mushrooms in a trinchado sauce. It’s extremely tasty and beautifully presented. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and like trying new things, they also have exotic meat on the menu which changes frequently. When we visited, the exotic meat of the day was crocodile.
Hopefully you have room for dessert, because the Malva Melk Tart, which is a combination of two traditional South African desserts, will have your mouth watering. I can never say no to dessert! The Mad Hunter Restaurant is certainly a hidden gem in Lancashire, and it’s one that I would gladly go back to when I’m next in the area. It’s without a doubt one of the best restaurants in Lancashire, especially if you’re a fan of unique menus.
Whether you’re exploring Burnley and the Ribble Valley, enjoying the sea along the Fylde Coast, or exploring the stunning countryside, there’s no shortage of fantastic places to eat in Lancashire. You’ll find everything from a traditional British menu to traditional tea rooms to more quirky restaurants in Lancashire. And if you love food as much as I do, then you’ll enjoy touring this part of the country even more.
Have you visited Lancashire before? There are plenty of hidden gems dotted around the county, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on what other restaurants or cafes I should visit next. And feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions too. Remember to follow my travels on Instagram for more travel inspiration!
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