Top 20 guide to Norwich for students

Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich Credit: Antony Kelly

Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich Credit: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Perfectly situated between coast and countryside, Norwich offers an abundance of affordable yet stylish options for students.

From vintage shopping to quirky bars and eateries there is always something new to be discovered.

1. Norwich Lanes

For a relatively small city Norwich has some pretty amazing shopping.

Practically all the major brands have shops here, as well as two sizeable shopping malls in the form of Castle Mall and Chapelfield. But for those looking for something a bit more alternative, Norwich Lanes is a haven of independent retailers, restaurants and culture located right in the city centre. Clothes, shoes, home ware, jewellers, even a DIY store can all be found here.

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2. Cinema City, 27 St Andrews Street

Technically this little gem is part of Norwich Lanes, but it is certainly deserving of its own special mention. Showing Hollywood blockbusters alongside opera and theatre screenings, Cinema City provides a cosier and more unique experience than big screen giants Vue and Odeon.

Norwich Lanes Credit: Denise Bradley

Norwich Lanes Credit: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant

3. The Bicycle Shop, 17 St Benedicts Street

Perched on St Benedicts Street is this bar/café, which serves delicious food (including vegetarian and vegan options) in a great atmosphere from breakfast until dinner. It did in fact serve as a bicycle sale and repair shop for 82 years and the history of the building is reflected in its choice of mismatched décor. Stay until well into the evening for its drinks and live music events.

4. Grosvenor Fish Bar, 28 Lower Goat Lane

Having operated as a fish and chip shop for 90 years, these guys know how to make great chips. In recent years they've expanded their menu to include more modern fare such as wraps and chicken bang bang, alongside many variations of their classic fish. There's also a large downstairs grotto-like seating area for those who want a more chilled dining vibe.

5. Norwich Market

A true icon of the Norwich high street. It's one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in the country, and while it certainly offers plenty of tradition there is such a mix of eclectic stalls to be found here, from Chilean food and a mushy peas stall to vintage clothes and a henna studio.

Frank Turner at the LCR Credit Jack Walsh

Frank Turner at the LCR Credit Jack Walsh - Credit: Archant

6. Bia Vegan Diner, Norwich Market (Row B, Stalls 54/55)

A market stall worth highlighting for its range of vegan dining options. Their food is inspired by that found in an old school American diner - think burgers and mac 'n' cheese - while being made from locally produced ingredients. Enjoy alongside a cold brew coffee or soda.

7. LCR, University of East Anglia

Part of the UEA Students' Union, this venue hosts a range of acts to cater to all tastes. Upcoming performers include Jorja Smith, Toots & The Maytals, and even contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race with tickets available for everyone, regardless of student status.

8. Café No. 33, 33 Exchange Street

No gimmicks here, just great coffee with homemade cakes (gluten free options are available) and brunches served all day. It's the ideal cosy café; perfect for those needing a tasty break from a day of shopping, having recently been expanded in order to cater for even more customers.

9. Soundclash Records

Having opened in 1991, Soundclash is the longest established independent record shop in Norwich. It stocks practically every musical genre you could think of – indie rock, hip hop, jungle, folk reggae – as well as allowing you to listen to the music in store before you buy. It's also the only place in the city centre where you can buy gig tickets for venues like the LCR and the Waterfront.

10. The Waffle House, 28 St Benedicts Street

The title is fairly self-explanatory but this St Giles Street eatery serves both sweet and savoury waffles at a reasonable price with an ever-changing specials board sure to appeal to everyone. It's also one of only two in the country, giving you even more of an excuse to make the most of it.

11. The Mischief, 8 Fye Bridge Street

Best for Tequila Tuesday's during term time. it's full of NUA and UEA so it's good as a meeting spot for the beginning of a night out. The drinks are cheap too and often have 2-for-1 deals.

Gonzo's Tea Room rooftop bar Credit: Neil Perry

Gonzo's Tea Room rooftop bar Credit: Neil Perry - Credit: Archant

12. Gonzo's Tea Room, 68 London Street

We love going here after drinks at The Mischief as the cocktails (my favourite is if you ask for a makeshift tequila sunrise) are cheap but strong. They do good events as well; the drag night was great and has a cosy atmosphere with all the neon lights and sofas.

13. Donnelli's Pizzeria, 17 Timber Hill

The pizzas are cooked on a wood fired oven which makes for a cosy atmosphere and while the pizzas are huge they are also super cheap so it makes for a nice group meal with all your housemates. They also have lunch time meal-deals for £6.00 which is great after short days at uni!

14. Finnie's Juice Bar, 19 Lower Goat Lane

Hidden gem found by housemate Brogan last year, huge slices of amazing pizza for about £2.00 and cute outdoor seating in a nice busy part of the centre, which is especially good after a night out as you won't be sitting in a stuffy hot room.

Bunbox at Norwich Market Credit: Denise Bradley

Bunbox at Norwich Market Credit: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant

15. The Bell Hotel, 5 Orford Hill

Favourite part of this place is that you can order from your phone so if you're feeling exceptionally shit you don't even have to speak to anyone! My average hungover lunch order comes to about £4.50 for a giant plate of nachos and juice so you don't have to feel bad about spending money after an expensive night.

16. Bun Box, Norwich Market (Row A, Stall 23)

One of my favourite places in the market, particularly the duck and hoisin bun. Really nice to have alongside a makeshift picnic in the castle gardens with your equally hungover mates.

17. Moorish Falafel Bar - 17 Lower Goat Lane

Really amazing vegan burgers and falafel pittas. A cool place to visit as the upstairs seating area has an art space for local artists and illustrators. Makes a nice place to take vegan friends/date as you can bring your own alcohol for a little fee.

18. Tastebuds – 21 Prince of Wales Rd

They do the best cheesy chips and seems to be the hub of Norwich once all the clubs have closed at 4am. The staff are really nice too and always look out for anyone that seems a bit lost after losing their friends at Loft.

19. Loft Gay Nightclub – 78-80 Rose Lane

An inclusive club that plays varied music and has a karaoke bar downstairs. We like it because of the diverse people you can meet during your night out and it's a fun place as you can tell everyone there feels safe and free to be themselves! Also, the drinks are cheap, the staff are really kind and they sell cigarettes behind the bar too.

20. Propaganda at The Waterfront – 139-141 King St

One of my favourite places as it makes for a fun night as everyone in the main dancefloor gets excited for the indie music. It's great that it's such a spacious place as you can have a dance and get a chance to go outside for a chat too. It's usually students there so you can meet people on your course and make friends! I love that they host themed nights too as everyone gets involved which makes for a good ice breaker with your housemates, especially during freshers week.

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