10 of the best places to eat in Cromer

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:13 08 November 2017

Rocket House Cafe. 

Picture: James Bass

Rocket House Cafe. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic / James Bass © 2011

It’s a coastal gem whose spirit is defined by the sea. But when it comes to eating, there is much more than seafood on offer in Cromer. STEVEN DOWNES highlights 10 cafes and restaurants to try.

Mary Janes Fish and Chips. 

Picture: James Bass
.Mary Janes Fish and Chips. Picture: James Bass .

This is not a definitive top 10 of places to eat in Cromer.

I make that point at the outset because Cromer has so many that it is impossible to be partial. Also, my friends run some of the locations and my children rely on them for employment.

So rather than bias, the watchword for this is “variety” - of which there is a more-than-healthy serving in the town.

It has been drawn up by the members of the Enjoy Cromer More Facebook group, set up as part of a drive by the EDP and North Norfolk News to promote all that is positive about the Gem of the Norfolk Coast.

In all, 32 restaurants, cafes and pubs were nominated, showing how many great eating places there are in Cromer. So, as they say on Strictly, in no particular order:

Bann Thai

This is proper authentic Thai food, thanks to the owners Kim and Belle who took over the restaurant in 2015. Belle moved to Norfolk from northern Thailand in 2001, and already had culinary experience as she was brought up by a restaurateur.

Kim is no stranger to Norfolk as he formerly worked as a farmer here, and knows the ins and outs of the area like the back of his hand. He’s a fabulous host, and a mine of information about the area.

Old Rock Shop Bistro, Hamilton Road

A family-run bistro that is based in what older generations will remember as The Rock Shop. The bistro recently celebrated its 10th birthday. It serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, cakes, pastries and drinks, with all the food prepared on site.

It also has pictures by local artists on its walls, which is a nice touch. But if you want just one reason to go in, I give you the sausage rolls, which are awesome.

Hot Rocks

One of Cromer’s newest additions, run by crab fisherman John Lee and wife Donna.

Customers themselves can cook their main course to their liking on 440C hot stones, with options of seafood or steak on offer.

One of their strengths is also the rolling menu of specials (both main meals and bakery items for light snacks), and the town is already buzzing with rumours around what Christmas specials may look like.

Mary Janes

For countless thousands of visitors each year, no trip to Cromer is complete without stopping for fish and chips from Mary Janes. In the tourist season, the queues stretch out of the shop door and down Garden Street - proof, if any were needed, that the goods are good.

Cromer Tandoori

The Cromer Tandoori often receives five-star reviews across the web, and it lives up to expectations. The food is really lovely, but what makes this place are the staff, who are always extremely friendly and welcoming.

Red Lion Hotel

The Red Lion is a number of things: a beautiful old building; a posh hotel; a traditional pub with plenty of real ales and craft beers; a restaurant. The food is superb, as is the tremendous view of the beach. Warning: it’s very, very popular, particularly in the summer.

Browne’s On Bond Street

Run by a local couple, the former Aristocrats cafe opened relatively recently and has already built up a loyal clientele. Everything on the menu is made on site, with as many of the ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Breakfasts, crab salads, lunches, cakes - all mouth-watering.

Rocket House Cafe, The Gangway

It’s possible to focus entirely on the amazing view this seafront cafe has from its windows and balcony, of the beach, sea, fishing boats and pier. But the food and drink are just as eye-catching and tasty. There’s a great range of salads, baguettes, wraps, sandwiches, cakes and drinks - and an ever-changing specials board that contains some very special specials.

Henry’s Coffee and Tea Store

Another newcomer that has taken the town by storm, Henry’s is in a former mobility scooter shop on the corner of Church Street and Overstrand Road. The food is prepared on site and Henry’s is one of the town’s favourite places for chilling out on a sofa with friends, a coffee and cake.

Bolton’s Bistro

Nestling inside the imposing seafront Victorian hotel The Cliftonville, Bolton’s Bistro specialises in fish dishes, including of course Cromer crabs. It has a more contemporary look than the rest of the hotel, with a huge photo of Cromer Pier on one wall.

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