Where to eat in Stamford, Lincolnshire

Stamford in Lincolnshire was described by Sir Walter Scott as “the finest stone town in England”. Visitors today tend to agree with him, especially after enjoying the town’s many enticing pubs, cafés, restaurants and food shops. It’s a superb place to visit for a day or weekend, so we’ve created a Great Food Club Guide to Stamford to give you a few ideas on where to refuel and stock up next time you’re in town. We hope this features both inspires you to visit this beautiful place and enhances your time while you’re there!


Lambert’s, Cheyne Lane

Lambert’s Kitchen, Deli & Coffee Shop is a fabulous place for breakfast, lunch or, on Thursday and Friday evenings, supper – for which it is gaining a superb reputation. It also stocks a wide range of deli products, locally sourced where possible, because Lambert’s loves to support local farmers and producers. Steve Conway opened Lambert’s in February 2016 and delicious food is only to be expected – he was executive head chef at the highly regarded Barnsdale Lodge in Rutland for five years and head chef at Stapleford Park in Leicestershire before that. Try the waffles with dry-cure bacon and maple syrup – complemented by the excellent coffee – it hits the spot nicely!

Did you know? Great Food Club members get 10% off the food bill at Lambert’s on Thursday & Friday evenings (6.30pm to 8.30pm), with a maximum of four people per Great Food Club card. Please mention you are a Great Food Club member when booking or when ordering your food, and show your membership card.


The Tobie Norris, St Paul’s Street

Many pubs have character but few have as much as the Tobie Norris. Parts of the building date back to 1280 and the time-worn flagstones and gnarled beams ooze history. Food ranges from the Tobie’s famous stone-baked pizzas to well-thought-out mains using ingredients from the owner’s farm, plus Sunday roasts from 12-8pm with rib of beef and slow-cooked shoulder of lamb. On offer are five real ales, two real ciders and some fine craft beers, and the wine list is also extensive, with up to 18 available by the glass. Please note than prams and pushchairs cannot be accommodated due to the nature of the building.

Did you know? Great Food Club members get 10% off the food menu at any time at The Tobie Norris, with a maximum of four people per Great Food Club card. Please mention you are a Great Food Club member when booking or when ordering your food, and show your membership card.


Café au Chocolat, Ironmonger Street

Café au Chocolat is not just about crêpes and chocolate (although we can definitely vouch for the hot organic white chocolate with red, white and black peppercorns). It is about coffee, too. Carefully selected speciality coffees and a monthly single-origin variety are made using the “theatrical brew bar technique”, and owner Krystyna is a keen proponent of careful sourcing for this varied and complex bean. Sweet-toothed customers are rewarded with an array of artisan chocolates, available singly or in gift boxes, as well as a fine selection of French-style patisserie handmade by a specialist pâtissier. Smoothies, Belvoir juices and speciality teas are also available.


Hambleton Bakery, Ironmonger Street

Hambleton Bakery is one of Britain’s best artisan bakeries. Its Stamford branch on Ironmonger Street is one of six Hambleton Bakery outlets and, like the others, stocks a brilliant array of loaves, cakes and savouries. Favourite loaves include the ‘Hambleton Local’ – made using local beer barm and flour from nearby Whissendine Mill – and ‘Borodinsky’ – based on a Russian rye bread recipe. The Rutland Pippin – a crusty dough filled with ham hock, sausage meat, Colston Bassett Stilton and a Bramley apple puree – is well worth a try. Hambleton Bakery was set up by Hambleton Hall owner Tim Hart in 2008 as an antidote to fast-baked, artificial supermarket bread. Its huge woodfired oven in Exton, Hambleton bakes more than 500 loaves a day.

Did you know? Great Food Club members get a free small tin loaf or one free Hambleton Bakery jute bag when they spend over £10. Not available in addition to any other offer. Members should present their Great Food Club card at the till before paying.


The Crown Hotel, All Saints’ Place

The Crown Hotel has a bustling bar, fabulous courtyard / beer garden, characterful lounge, and informal restaurant. Each area has its own distinct character, introduced by Michael Thurlby when he took on the hotel in November 2014 and added it to his Knead Pubs group. There is attention to detail and quirkiness: original Stamford stone has been uncovered and old signs deck the walls. The menus, created by executive chef Nick Buttress, are local and seasonal. A recent review of The Crown left by a Great Food Club member on our website in April 2018 said: “Excellent service, polite and friendly staff, our lunch was delicious, plentiful and well presented, one could not fault it. The Crown is in the centre of Stamford so perfect when shopping.”

Did you know? Great Food Club members get 10% off the food menu at any time at The Crown, with a maximum of four people per Great Food Club card. Please mention you are a Great Food Club member when booking or when ordering your food, and show your membership card.


Paten & Co, All Saints’ Place

Since opening in November 2017, Paten & Co (so named because of the old sign above the door revealed during renovations) has provided Stamford with a brand new pub to enjoy. Like its sister venue over the road, The Crown, Paten & Co is a bustling place that captures Stamford’s confidence and growing popularity. Set out over three levels and incorporating an industrial look, this unique 18th century pub has an extensive drinks menu, from gins and cocktails to wines and craft beers. Food-wise, there’s a nice selection of small plates, such as grilled Korean chicken skewer with kimchi salad and Rutland Charcuterie bresaola with shaved pecorino and capers. Bigger appetites will appreciate the pub’s charcoal oven, which produces super steaks, pork and fish dishes.


The George, High Street St Martin’s

Everyone should visit Stamford’s most historic inn at least once. Situated on the old Great North Road, a hotel has stood here for around 1,000 years. Traditional hospitality and service, plus a commitment to quality, are at the heart of The George’s approach. The lounge areas – perfect for afternoon tea – are more comfortable than a prince’s velvet slippers, the Garden Room Restaurant is a relaxed oasis of greenery, and the cobbled rear courtyard is perfect on a sunny day. There is an air of relaxed formality throughout The George – it is very much in touch with its traditional values.


Zada, St Mary’s Hill

Turkish restaurant Zada is the proud holder of a Michelin Plate and is located in one of Stamford’s trademark beautiful old buildings in the town centre. The lovely setting and ancient stonework (parts of the property date back to the 13th century) add a great deal to the atmosphere and overall feel. The menu is packed with authentic Turkish dishes such as lamb kofte, sucuk (charcoal grilled beef sausage), hot mixed meze, chicken shish, izgara balik (grilled fish of the day with potato salad and rice), and sebze moussaka. For dessert you’ll struggle to resist the baklava. The service is friendly and efficient too, adding up to a great night out.

Did you know? Great Food Club members get 15% off Monday to Friday and 20% off Saturday 12-5pm and Sun 12-10pm at Zada for up to four people per membership card. Note: no offer running Saturday night. Please mention you’re a GFC member when booking and show your card when paying.


Nelsons Butchers, Broad Street

Nelsons Butchers has probably been responsible for more Sunday lunches and Christmas dinners in Stamford and Rutland than any other. Read the full story behind this Stamford legend here.


Stamford Cheese Cellar, St Mary’s Street

Established in 2010, this town centre shop showcases some 200 cheeses plus a fine range of artisan spirits, especially gins and whiskeys. But the main focus is cheese, and if there’s a variety it doesn’t sell, the team will do their best to get it. Customers come not just for the range but for the advice and insider information. “We visit as many of our suppliers as we can,” says shop owner Karen Brammer. “We meet the farmers, the distillers and even the animals!” Stamford Cheese Cellar is an Aladdin’s cave of goodies.


About this post: Every business featured above is part of GFC’s recommended network and is recommended on merit. However, this post contains some advertisements.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.