9 new cafes, restaurants and bars you need to try in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 16:30 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 03 January 2020
THE BLOOM LOUNGE
A brunch bar and multiple vegan cafes have been added to the list of options for foodie fans in Ipswich over the past year - here we take a look at the new establishments you might not have tried yet.
The Green Room
The cafe in St Margaret's Green opened its doors back in April and has been causing a stir amongst coffee lovers ever since.
Not only does it offer speciality coffee, but artists across Suffolk have also been displaying their work on the walls of the cafe for customers to enjoy.
With a vintage interior featuring red walls and dark furniture, the cafe and atelier hopes to create a space for artists and entrepreneurs to showcase their work.
During the summer period the cafe will also host events - with artists working live in front of the customers.
You can read our food review of The Green Room here.
The award-winning vegan cafe moved into a popular town centre location which is buzzing with independent businesses.
The new cafe in St Peter's Street was invitingly decorated with a pop of pink paint when it opened in June, at the home of the former Jenny Wren's Yarns shop.
This year it was named the Best Coffee and Tea Shop in the EAT Suffolk Food and Drink awards.
Inside the cafe there is a strong focus on reusable and recycled furniture - with birthday cards used as table numbers, tables made from wrought iron bases and rescued timber, and the counters made from old scaffold boards.
Our food reviewer Emily Cashen hailed the cafe for showing that "vegan food is far from bland, and can be really exciting and imaginative".
Ipswich Gin Parlour
The St Helen's Street bar - which is run by Ady Smith, the owner of The Dove - boasts more than 300 varieties of gin along with prosecco on draft.
Its creation is the perfect addition to the town, with the ability to hire the space for groups of up to 18 people, or you can take your drinks over the road to soak up the atmosphere in The Dove's pub garden.
The majority of the 300 or so gins listed come from Britain, but the menu spans the globe and offers something totally different.
"It's all about the quality of the drink and there's so many to try," says Ady. "We've got the strongest ones (the diver's gins), an Irish one called Feckin, cherry almond gin, sticky toffee, numerous rhubarb gins, chocolate gins, and a gin you drink neat out of the freezer."
It really is every gin lover's dream.
The Bloom Lounge
A new brunch and cocktail bar - complete with pink suede stools and 'Instagram-friendly' décor - is breathing life back into Ipswich's Tacket Street.
It is taking up residence in part of the former Fire & Ice nightclub, which has been transformed after lying vacant since 2010.
One of the three downstairs units has been modernised and converted into The Bloom Lounge - which is promising "the best brunch in town".
The bar has been opened by 27-year-old Francesko Xhaferaj, who is originally from Ipswich and returned to his hometown to open the new venture.
You can see inside the new bar here.
The new deli is one of the latest additions to the town's vegan offering, as numbers of plant-based restaurants rise in the area.
Hank's Deli is the recent venture for Geoff Bligh and Phil Rivers, who had previously been successfully selling frozen vegan ready meals and treats online.
It has become the town's first 100% vegan deli at its home in Lloyds Avenue, and has already been a huge success.
Speaking of the growth of vegan food, Mr Bligh said: "It's wonderful that more choice is coming to town. And even better that more totally vegan establishments feel it's now viable to totally embrace a vegan offering."
After visiting the new vegan venue, our food reviewer said that "plant-based eaters of Ipswich and beyond can now rejoice" in the new opening. Read her thoughts here.
16 Steak House and Grill, Greshams
The popular Ipswich venue Greshams unveiled a new restaurant at its site last month, adding to its extensive list of services.
The Tuddenham Road site which was formerly known as The Maple Lounge, relaunched as 16 Steak House and Grill and is now run by well-known Suffolk chef Jamie Lee Smith.
All events and the restaurant will now be catered by the chef - who promises to focus on quality, presentation, quantity and the right price.
With the announcement it also revealed ambitious plans for a permanent outdoor stage to host major events.
You can read more about the developments happening at Greshams here.
The new artisan bakery and cafe in Westgate Street is fulfilling a lifelong ambition for Ipswich couple Ion and Selena Andone.
The pair opened the doors to Pretzie back in August and got off to a dream start, selling more than 2,000 pretzels in their first week.
The bakery produces artisan pretzels and pastries based on generations-old family recipes from Romania - where the couple are originally from.
They were running a small cafe in Cyprus seven years ago when the economic crisis hit, losing everything but never the ambition to run their own business.
After moving to Ipswich five years ago they took the perfect opportunity to launch their unique brand.
The Swan and Hedgehog
Under the name of The Swan the popular Ipswich pub once hosted a young Ed Sheeran - and now it has thrown open its doors again with live music, beer and Aspall cider.
The pub has a new name - The Swan and Hedgehog - and it has been spruced up by the landlords, David and Amanda fisher, who are hoping to bring the pub back to life.
There is a fresh look inside and out, featuring colourful murals by artist Dave Bonzai.
For Ed Sheeran fans there is a showcase full of Sheeran souvenirs which can be bought, and there is a bottle of his tomato sauce behind the bar.
You can read more about the new branding here.
The popular Ipswich bar has seen a new lease of life after being taken over by a new team.
A mother and son duo, Tina and James Leamon, are at the helm of @twenty5 bar in St Nicholas Street after spending time based in the Middle East and Hong Kong.
The family is originally from Essex and has now taken over the restaurant which was opened by previous owner Mel Tillett back in 2014.
Mrs Leamon - who is fronting the venture - has run her own businesses before, including an art studio in Hong Kong for five years, teaching children and adults.
Her son James has just completed three years of chef training at Colchester Institute, and is now cooking and working front of house.