9 bars and restaurants that opened in Norwich in 2019
PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:24 16 December 2019
From The Gem of Norwich serving Turkish food to Benoli owned by a MasterChef finalist, the bar and restaurant scene in the city has continued to grow over the last twelve months.
1. Voodoo Daddy's Showroom
7A Timber Hill, NR1 3JZ
Bermuda Bob's Rum Shack underwent a refurbishment in September and reopened as a sports and pizza bar called Voodoo Daddy's Showroom, with TV screens and arcade games such as Guitar Hero and Galactic Invader.
The pizza menu, with plenty of vegan options, includes a Ballpark Banger with pepperoni, hot dog, chillies, crispy onions and mustard, and a Duckie Chan with sesame, mock duck, onion, spinach, pickled chillies, coriander, mango, pineapple and habanero drizzle.
It is the sister venue of Gonzo's Tea Room in London Street, owned by Mike and Brad Baxter, and they also host live music and comedy nights upstairs.
2. The Bay Seafood Bar, Jarrold
London St, NR2 1JF
Those saddened by the loss of Loch Fyne from St Giles Street during the summer didn't have long to wait to get their seafood fix once more as nearby Jarrold department store opened a seafood and wine bar on the second floor in October.
Among the items on the menu include freshly cured salmon, taster boards, main dishes, from fish pie to lobster bisque and, for those looking to splash out, a caviar menu with different types to choose from including Oscietra, Sevruga and Beluga.
They also serve their own-label coffee, tea and breakfasts during the morning and serve seafood from midday.
3. The Gem of Norwich
2-6 Thorpe Road, NR1 1RY
A family-run Turkish restaurant opened in the former home of the Prezzo restaurant in November, just in time for Christmas party season.
It is owned by Cemal Alby and he also has branches in Loughton in Essex, Maidstone in Kent and his original Gem opened in Islington in 1999.
The restaurant serves a range of hot and cold mezzes, including hummus, halloumi and falafel, alongside meat dishes such as chicken or lamb shish, lamb cutlets and a mixed barbecue.
Chapel Field North, NR2 1NY
Harry's opened its doors in Chapelfield Gardens in late October in the former home of Pedro's Mexican Cantina, which shut in April this year after 30 years in business, under the same ownership.
They claim to serve "the best burgers this side of New York City" and options include the Dirty Harry, with the patty alongside bacon jam, nacho cheese and crispy onions, and Harry Clucks, with buttermilk paprika chicken breast, avocado and bacon.
The burgers come with chips, but you can upgrade to sweet potato, dirty or truffle fries for £2, and there is also six vegan options and a range of sides.
5. The Kimchi
4A Brigg Street, NR2 1QN
The Kimchi is owned by couple Jung Hee Park and Bong Ha Kim who both grew up in South Korea and wanted to bring the food they love to Norwich and there have been queues down the street to get in since they opened in October.
Mr Kim is the chef at the restaurant and met Ms Park whilst they were both studying in Australia and he was at the prestigious William Angliss Cookery College.
Dishes include barbecue beef, chicken and pork all served on a sizzling dish, bibim-bap, which is a traditional healthy meal with rice, different vegetables and a fried egg, and also their own KFC Korean Fried Chicken, with a choice of sweet chilli or garlic soy sauce.
6. The Strangers Tavern
16 Charing Cross, NR2 4AL
Our newest opening on the list, The Strangers Tavern opened in the former home of the Mash Tun earlier in December and has 12 keg beers, four real ales and over 100 spirits behind the bar.
There is also a range of cocktails to choose from, including a Pornstar Martini, Strawberry Bellini, Caribbean Mule and Pineapple Rum Old Fashioned.
The name is a nod to its proximity to Strangers' Hall and the city's historic links to Belgian refugees who arrived in the 16th century and the new manager is Michael Falgate, who was born and bred in Norwich.
7. Door Eighteen
18 Charing Cross, NR2 4AL
A new cocktail bar, located where The Gin Palace used to be, with industrial decor and boasting one of the largest range of spirits in Norwich.
The speakeasy style watering hole, academy and distillery are the brainchild of founder and former director of Bullards gin Craig Allison and former Bullards distiller Rory Smith.
Alongside local beers, gins and rums, the vibrant cocktail menu includes a Pineapple Express, inspired by the film, with a hemp-based rum and served in a pineapple, and an Apricot Fizz, with honey vodka, apricot liqueur and prosecco.
5 Orford St, NR1 3LE
Benoli opened in July this year, following the closure of Presto in March, and is owned by Oliver Boon who was a finalist on MasterChef The Professional in 2012.
The restaurant serves simple, rustic Italian food with a focus on quality ingredients and has a causal feel, with customers able to pop-in for a coffee in the day or glass of wine at night.
Authentic dishes on the menu include spiced ricotta tortelloni, pumpkin, sage butter and pecorino and braised beef cheek, smoked polenta, artichoke, cavolo nero and walnut pesto.
9. Wild Thyme
Labour in Vain Yard, NR2 1JD
Whilst Wild Thyme is not a new opening, it was back in business in February this year after a devastating fire at the neighbouring Rainbow Whole Foods shop in April 2018, which caused extensive smoke damage to the restaurant.
The vegetarian and vegan cafe is still top of its game, with an ethos of tasty and honest cooking using fresh and consciously sourced produce.
Their popular breakfasts include a vegan full English, complete with grilled smoked tofu and sweet potato wedges, and a sweet potato and kimchi hash and their seasonal main menu features an Indian spiced black bean burger and creamy leek, pumpkin, mushroom and roasted garlic gnocchi.