Best restaurants in Winchester

Once the capital of England, the historic cathedral city of Winchester is best known for its quaint medieval buildings, cobbled streets, and rolling Hampshire countryside that surrounds it. However it’s also home to one of the UK’s largest (and best) farmers markets, drawing in foodies from afar to stock up and try the local produce on offer. Unsurprisingly the quintessentially English town also plays host to some wonderful restaurants showcasing the finest British ingredients available. So if you’re looking for the best restaurants in Winchester, look no further, we’ve gathered together all the tastiest places in town.

Updated on 08 January 2020

Back in 2016 a UK survey carried out by Halifax bank named Winchester as the best city to live in the UK based on average earnings, health, happiness and crime rates. Indeed, it is not difficult to see why visitors to the historic city fall in love with this tranquil idyll in the heart of Hampshire with its spectacular architecture and quintessential English charm. Just an hour from London by train and surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside, it has become a popular destination for weekend breaks away from the Big Smoke, and on a Sunday many an escaped Londoner can be found wandering the cobbled courtyards, strolling along the River Itchen or perusing the vast array of unique independent shops which thrive here.

Consequently there are now some great places to stay in Winchester too with a whole host of characterful B&B’s to choose from as shrewd locals capitalize on the city’s allure. Similarly the influx of discerning diners from the capital has seen the city’s foodie scene flourish in recent years with renowned TV chefs Rick Stein and High Fearnley-Whittingstall leading the way. Winchester also boasts one of the largest farmer’s markets in the UK with over 80 producers attending twice a month to sell an array of award-winning meat, game, fruit, vegetables, cheese, cakes, honey and bread from across the region.  

In terms of accolades The Black Rat has proudly held Hampshire’s only Michelin star since 2011 and Chesil Rectory just a stone’s throw away in a 600 year old Grade II listed medieval house holds an impressive two AA rosettes. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway for two, celebratory weekend with friends or just passing through for a quick lunch – we hope this guide will provide some inspiration of where to make your foodie stops as you take in all the quaint charm this city has to offer.

Brasserie Blanc Winchester

Brasserie Blanc Winchester

19-20 Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8RZ

Raymond Blanc’s informal chain never fails to impress with its staple menu of familiar French classics and an affordable list of French wines direct from the producer. Cool, calming interiors make this a great spot for a casual lunch or dinner.
£30 - £49
French
Kyoto Kitchen

Kyoto Kitchen

70 Parchment Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8AT

Properly authentic Japanese cuisine is an unexpected find in the heart of one of Britains historic cathedral towns and yet Kyoto Kitchen gives many of London’s Japanese restaurants a run for their money with its menu of specialist sushi and sashimi plates.
£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Chesil Rectory

Chesil Rectory

1 Chesil Street Winchester, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 0HU

Romantics will be bowled over by this modern British restaurant housed in the city’s oldest dwelling – a timber-framed medieval rectory complete with timbers, beams and inglenook fireplace. Expect simple yet refined dishes celebrating local produce.
£30 - £49
Modern European
The Avenue at Lainston House

The Avenue at Lainston House

Lainston House, Sparsholt, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 2LT

Blending old English sophistication with countryside comfort, The Avenue is an elegant all-day restaurant at five-star country hotel Lainston House. Expect a seasonally changing menu, often with good vegetarian options, and family-friendly roasts on Sundays.
£50 - £79
Modern European
The Old Vine

The Old Vine

6 Great Minster Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9HA

In a an enviable spot overlooking the famous cathedral, this Georgian pub blends period charm with modern country styling and serves a menu of hearty pub classics using the finest Hampshire produce.
Under £30
Gastropub
Sakura Winchester

Sakura Winchester

32 Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8RY

Another popular spot for Japanese dining but with a particular focus on teppanyaki ; a unique culinary art where skilled chefs prepare and cook the food right before your eyes on a piping hot iron griddle.
£30 - £49
Sushi
Japanese
Wykeham Arms

Wykeham Arms

75 Kingsgate St, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9PE

It’s rare to find a refined gastropub that still retains the charm of a favourite local boozer and yet the Wykeham Arms has managed just that. Top quality food but with a friendly down-to-earth atmosphere.
Under £30
Pubs
British
The Black Rat

The Black Rat

88 Chesil Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 0HX

It’s Hampshire’s only Michelin starred restaurant and yet The Black Rat is refreshingly unpretentious. It draws in punters from afar to try its highly creative menu in a quirky setting that oozes antiquated charm.
£30 - £49
Modern European
Belgian
One Michelin star
Dim T Winchester

Dim T Winchester

8-9 Jewry Street, Winchester,, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8RZ

This mini-chain with four other sites in Hampshire and London serves contemporary Pan-Asian food with an extensive menu that includes healthy options and traditional noodle dishes, curries, sweet and sour dishes, and (of course) dim sum.
Under £30
Pan-Asian
The Ivy Winchester Brasserie

The Ivy Winchester Brasserie

103-104 High Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9AH

Caprice Holdings have hit the mark with this brasserie spin off of The Ivy which cleverly offers the same glamorous aesthetic but without the painful prices. Dishes are a familiar blend of light, healthy options as well as some comfort food classics.
£30 - £49
Brasserie
Pi Pizza Winchester

Pi Pizza Winchester

132 Stockbridge Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 6RN

Owner Rosie Whaley gave up a career in fashion to set up Pi after a holiday working at a Florence Pizzeria. The risk paid off and the brand now boast two sites, one in Winchester and one in Battersea Rise.
Under £30
Pizza
Italian
 Bistro at Hotel du Vin Winchester

Bistro at Hotel du Vin Winchester

14 Southgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9EF

This elegant bistro serves a menu of homely French classics but with a refined presentation that elevates them from mediocre to memorable. Expect earthy, rich flavours in a warm, down-to-earth setting with fabulous service.
£30 - £49
French
Bridge Street House

Bridge Street House

5 Bridge Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 0HN

Open all day, the menu at Bridge Street House champions carefully sourced British cuisine, with steaks and burgers from the grill being a highlight. Don’t miss the weekend brunch either, when bottomless drinks options abound.
£30 - £49
British
Rick Stein Winchester

Rick Stein Winchester

7 High Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9JX

Bringing a snippet of the Cornish coast to the heart of Hampshire, diners here can expect a menu of Rick’s tried and tested fish dishes - simply cooked but brimming with the flavours of the sea
£30 - £49
Fish
River Cottage Kitchen Winchester

River Cottage Kitchen Winchester

Abbey Mill Gardens, Winchester, SO23 9GH

The Winchester outpost of television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s popular River Cottage group serves a seasonally changing menu made using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, alongside a children’s menu and a good value set lunch offering.
£30 - £49
Modern European

Seeking another weekend retreat from London? Why not browse our guide to the best restaurants in Ilkley