North Norfolk is possibly one of mine and Jamie’s favourite places to visit. It’s not too far, it’s by the sea (even if that sea is sometimes four miles down the beach), the skies feel big, the people are nice, and it’s super dog-friendly. Oh, and the food……. From restaurants to pubs that do great food, cafes and even fish and chips, there really is something for every taste and budget and the standard is consistently high.
I’ve written about a few of our favourite places before but thought it might be handy to have a little selection of our go-to’s for anyone who’s planning a trip to north Norfolk. Oh maybe you hadn’t thought of going and this will tempt you.
It’s by no means exhaustive, but it includes some of the spots we’ve found across several trips to this lovely part of the country. They stretch from up near Hunstanton further down, though I’ll confess to not having gone much further than Cromer on our travels. One for the next trip maybe….
Number 29 Bar & Restaurant, Burnham Market
Somehow we hadn’t properly tried Number 29 until our latest visit, when it impressed so much we went twice in two days. They adapted brilliantly to outdoor dining, essentially moving their kitchen into their courtyard to really ‘own’ the al fresco theme, and seem to have continued it. The food is top notch, with some imaginative dishes thrown in, the drinks are good, and the service excellent. Definitely one for your list.
Socius, Burnham Market
We’ve been to Socius twice now and loved it both times. I can’t really describe why, there’s just something about it that makes me feel incredibly happy. They focus on small plates so you can feast your fact through an afternoon and evening, and owners Dan and Natalie have created a real gem. Read about it in full here.
The Tuscan Farm Shop, Burnham Market
On a few occasions now, we’ve stopped at the Tuscan Farm Shop after a lunch or a drink and ended up spending far too long sipping on their wine in the late afternoon sun then wobbling off home with some cheese or some of their fabulous cannoli. Think more deli than farm shop really. A lovely artisan place with different treats every time we go. Definitely one to check out.
The White Horse, Brancaster
The White Horse always ends up in those ‘top places by the sea’ lists and it’s easy to see why. Alongside its airy restaurant (that I’ve never dined in because we always have the dogs in tow) it has a lovely courtyard and terrace overlooking the marshes which are the perfect dog-friendly spots.
During lockdown it expanded its outside space to include the Marshside Bar, a great setting complete with marquee and outdoor bar where you can scoff small plates including oysters and a whole load of other fresh fish. A stunning setting and great food.
The Orange Tree, Thornham
We haven’t been to The Orange Tree in Thornham for a while but when we did it was a great gastropub experience. They’ve won a flurry of awards and like everyone, have had to adapt throughout the past year or so. Ambitious dishes and friendly staff, and even a dedicated dog menu. Definitely one to try. Check out the blog post here.
The Victoria, Holkham
Set at the entrance of the Holkham Estate, The Victoria is one of Jamie’s all-time favourite pubs. Dog-friendly throughout, they have lovely outdoor space too and lots of their food is from the Holkham Estate. We’ve had some great lunches there and while our last visit wasn’t quite up to previous standards, I’m putting it down to post-lockdown adjustment and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to check it out again. Check out my blog post on The Victoria for more.
The Hero, Burnham Overy
I think The Hero is pretty underrated compared to some places nearby. The staff are incredibly accommodating and we’ve never had a bad meal there. They do great specials and their burgers are really lovely.
More North Norfolk places to try
I told you the list wasn’t exhaustive and by no means covers the great food and drink scene in this area. For more high-level pub food, try The Gin Trap Inn at Ringstead near Hunstanton, while the Jolly Sailors at Brancaster is more casual and focuses on comfort food and stuff from its own smokehouse.
I haven’t been, but I have it on good authority from fellow blogger Ness Staite (she’s @Hungriness on Instagram – go and follow her) that the Old Bank Bistro in Snettisham is fabulous. She also tried the Rose and Crown at Snettisham and said it was great. Two to add to my own list as well as yours.
If you’re up that way, Thornham Deli is also a nice place to stop off, and if you’re in Thornham you may as well stop at The Chequers Inn which I haven’t eaten at but they used to do a mean espresso martini and their menu looks pretty good. Just a bit further down is Titchwell Manor which we went to years ago and is on our list to go back to.
Further down the coast, Cley-next-the-sea has a lovely little food scene including the Cley Smokehouse as well as the Pastonacre bakery which turns out epic creations like cruffins and sourdoughnuts. Slightly inland the 2AA rosette Wiveton Bell has a lovely terrace and does good food.
If your in Wells-next-the-Sea, I hear the Wells Crab House is good, and you can also get a nice bit of crab at the Wells Beach Cafe, which is very family friendly too. In Cromer, I hear there’s a new deli called the West Street Cafe, Bakery & Deli and I hear Davies Fish Shop also comes highly recommended.
Of course, in any of these coastal towns, villages and pubs – from Hunstanton right down the coast – you can’t go far wrong with some fish and chips looking out to sea. We’re yet to have a bad fish and chip experience in Norfolk yet, so make sure you add a chippy tea to your list!