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Revealed: the best places to eat and drink in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 19:05 08 November 2019

Gemma Oakes is the proud owner of the TFI Vegan stall and at only 26-years-old has bagged the award for Ipswich's Favourite dish for her vegan burger named 'the stack'. Picture: GEMMA OAKES

Gemma Oakes is the proud owner of the TFI Vegan stall and at only 26-years-old has bagged the award for Ipswich's Favourite dish for her vegan burger named 'the stack'. Picture: GEMMA OAKES

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These are Ipswich's best places to eat and drink, as voted for by you the public.

Isaac's on the Quay was listed as second favourite pub/bar. Picture: ROB DICKSONIsaac's on the Quay was listed as second favourite pub/bar. Picture: ROB DICKSON

And this year's winners of the Ipswich Favourite Food and Drink Awards show a triumph for the underdog, with all the victors being independent businesses.

The awards are decided by a public vote and have four categories which cover the best pub/bar, cafe, restaurant and even the best dish.

The widely anticipated results were made public this month by All About Ipswich, a huge directory of interesting activities and attractions for tourists and residents in the town centre, which organises the awards.

The favourite dish award went to the TFI Vegan food stall's 'stack' burger which is located in the Ipswich food market in Queen Street.

The Forge Kitchen won favourite restaurant in Ipswich. Picture: THE FORGE KITCHENThe Forge Kitchen won favourite restaurant in Ipswich. Picture: THE FORGE KITCHEN

Owner Gemma Oakes only took over in April and is thrilled that her dish has been recognised as a normal food instead of "weird vegan stuff".

"I got the news last week and I was so excited," the 26-year-old said.

"The stack is an imitation of a Big Mac and I made it like that so it doesn't scare off meat eaters.

"If you tell them it's going to taste like a Big Mac, then they're much more likely to eat it."

The stack burger is an imitation of a Big Mac and is sold on the TFI Vegan stall in the food market. Picture: GEMMA OAKESThe stack burger is an imitation of a Big Mac and is sold on the TFI Vegan stall in the food market. Picture: GEMMA OAKES

Gemma merged the stand with her other business Doodles Doughnuts and regularly has huge queues of customers.

The favourite pub/bar was the Greyhound in Henley Road.

Landlord Dan Lightfoot, aged 44, was very happy to get such an accolade from the residents.

He said: "It's amazing to get such a great award for the staff and all of the hard work that they put in.

The Greyhound in Ipswich was named favourite pub/bar. Picture: THE GREYHOUNDThe Greyhound in Ipswich was named favourite pub/bar. Picture: THE GREYHOUND

"We greet everyone with a smile and make sure it's a nice atmosphere and the rest looks after itself really."

The pub's chilli nachos also managed to bag second place in the favourite dish category.

The signature dish is transformed on match days and sold as 'Norwood Nachos' for Ipswich town striker James Norwood.

Applaud Coffee was voted as the favourite cafe, run by manager Hannah Huntly and her sister Beth Cook.

Sisters Hannah Huntly and Beth Cook at Applaud Coffee  Picture: SubmittedSisters Hannah Huntly and Beth Cook at Applaud Coffee Picture: Submitted

The 33-year-old was most impressed that they won by the grace of the Ipswich public and puts it down to their good coffee and cake.

"Our combination of service and amazing cakes is probably what won it for us," she said.

"The chocolate Guinness cake is really popular and the gingerbread at this time of year, probably because it goes really well with coffee."

Favourite restaurant went to the Forge Kitchen and owner Robyn Grant was ecstatic to receive the award.

Steak at The Forge Kitchen which was listed the favourite restaurant in Ipswich. Picture: ALL ABOUT IPSWICHSteak at The Forge Kitchen which was listed the favourite restaurant in Ipswich. Picture: ALL ABOUT IPSWICH

She said: "Being a relatively new independent, this award means such a great deal to us.

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"We are hugely proud to be a part of the fantastic eating out scene in Ipswich and are hugely grateful for all of the kind support we've received from our customers and the community in our first two years.

"Many congratulations to every other award winner."

The Arcade Street Tavern was listed as the third favourite pub/bar. Picture: ALL ABOUT IPSWICHThe Arcade Street Tavern was listed as the third favourite pub/bar. Picture: ALL ABOUT IPSWICH

The full list of winners and runners up is as follows:

Favourite restaurant

The Mariners was chosen as the third favourite restaurant in Ipswich. Picture: ALL ABOUT IPSWICHThe Mariners was chosen as the third favourite restaurant in Ipswich. Picture: ALL ABOUT IPSWICH

Gold- The Forge Kitchen, Duke Street

Silver- Aqua Eight, Lion Street

Bronze- Mariners, Neptune Quay

Aqua Eight was listed as the second favourite restaurant in Ipswich. Picture: ALL ABOUT IPSWICHAqua Eight was listed as the second favourite restaurant in Ipswich. Picture: ALL ABOUT IPSWICH

Favourite pub/bar

Gold- The Greyhound, Henley Road

Silver- Isaacs, Wherry Quay

Bronze- Arcade Street Tavern, Arcade Street

Favourite cafe

Gold- Applaud, St Peter's Street

Silver- Hullabaloo, St Peter's Street

Bronze- Hank's Deli, Lloyd's Avenue

Favourite dish

Gold- TFI Vegan's The Stack

Silver- The Greyhound's Chilli Nachos

Bronze- Alaturka's Alaturka Spesiyal

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