No-frills Norwich pub offers top-notch food and every dish is under £8

Burgers and small plates from The Rose Tavern in Norwich. 

Burgers and small plates from The Rose Tavern in Norwich. - Credit: James Randle

I thought it was all about its brilliant range of beers, but The Rose Tavern is definitely worth visiting for more than just a drink. 

Food

Since moving to Norwich's Golden Triangle over a year ago, I have made the most of living near so many brilliant bars and restaurants.

But as someone who prefers a Pornstar Martini to a pint, I had never been to The Rose Tavern in Rupert Street, thinking it was more for an older, beer-drinking crowd.

The Rose Tavern in Rupert Street, Norwich. 

The Rose Tavern in Rupert Street, Norwich. - Credit: James Randle

Then a few months ago some friends moved near the pub and raved about its delicious food and friendly vibe.

I went with my boyfriend on a Monday evening to try it out, with the food available there from 6pm until 9pm, and we sat in the spacious garden.

I love that this pub comes with absolutely no pretence, with the beer and food menus both on a blackboard and a simple offering of burgers (all £7.50), small plates and sides. 

Chargrilled chicken and chorizo burger. 

Chargrilled chicken and chorizo burger. - Credit: James Randle

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I opted for the chargrilled chicken and chorizo burger and my boyfriend, who has a dairy intolerance, went for the vegan Mexican black bean one with salsa and guacamole.

Both burgers came in a toasted pretzel bun, which was a nice change from the usual brioche that can often get quite soggy. 

Mine was crammed with tender, smoky chicken topped with chubby chorizo slices and crunch came from the red onion and sweet gherkins. 

Mexican black bean burger with salsa and guacamole. 

Mexican black bean burger with salsa and guacamole. - Credit: James Randle

My boyfriend's burger looked fantastic, with chunky, fluorescent guacamole and a moreish bean burger on a bed of salad.  

For our small plates, we ordered chargrilled chicken strips, halloumi fries, vegan cauliflower wings and vegan nachos (all £4.50).

The chicken strips were for my boyfriend, as they were the same as in my burger, and it was a huge portion.

The halloumi fries were crispy on the outside and gooey, cheesy heaven on the inside.  

Vegan nachos, chargrilled chicken strips, fries, halloumi fries and cauliflower wings. 

Vegan nachos, chargrilled chicken strips, fries, halloumi fries and cauliflower wings. - Credit: James Randle

The cauliflower wings were almost the size of tennis balls, with soft cauliflower, which still kept some bite, encased in a thick, crunchy batter. 

While we couldn't quite finish the vegan nachos as everything else was so big and filling, the chilli had a kick and the plant-based cheese had melted all over it. 

We had also ordered skin-on chips (£3.50), which were golden brown and fluffy and again it was a massive serving. 

The Rose Tavern doesn't do any desserts, but we definitely couldn't have managed any. 

The beer garden at The Rose Tavern. 

The beer garden at The Rose Tavern. - Credit: James Randle

Setting

The Rose Tavern is in an excellent location, just a stone's throw from Unthank Road and many other bars and restaurants.

Value 

The value was absolutely fantastic, to get a portion of halloumi fries for under a fiver is rare in itself. 

A pint of Atlantic Pale Ale and a Pimm's and lemonade.

A pint of Atlantic Pale Ale and a Pimm's and lemonade. - Credit: James Randle

Drinks 

There was a great selection of beers, but also spirits and softs too and I had a refreshing Pimm's and lemonade. 

Accessibility 

The pub and its garden are on one level, so there are no issues with access. 

Service 

The man that served us was very friendly and was good at spotting when our drinks were empty, he was also helpful with allergens. 

Highlight

My chicken and chorizo burger was delicious and it is always a winning combination.

In Summary 

Don't judge a book by its cover, this place offers some of the best food I've eaten in Norwich. 

Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.

If you like that, try these:

1) Fupburger at The Dog House, Norwich

Fupburger moved into The Dog House pub earlier this year, after running successful pop-ups across the city during lockdown. You can expect huge juicy burgers, with up to four patties, and a range of tasty sides. 

2) The Lion at Thurne, Thurne 

This Norfolk Broads pub boasts a huge beer garden, with plenty of crowd-pleasing meals on the menu, including a range of burgers and pizzas. It also offers a three-course set menu in its new greenhouses. 

3) The Station Smokehouse, Wroxham

Located at Hoveton and Wroxham Station, there are a range of burgers available at this much-loved restaurant, alongside dishes from the smoker and pit boss trays. 

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