7 great places to eat in Ipswich...for under £10
- Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis
Summer is expensive. Everything from holidays, to taking care of newly-released-from-school children and grandchildren (who eat everything in sight and need to be entertained), can take a chunk out of our wallets.
If you’re starting to feel the pinch, but still fancy a bite out, our food and drink editor recommends these restaurants and cafés in Suffolk’s county town, where you can eat well...without it costing the earth.
Where: 4 Dial Lane
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am to 4pm
This is what I consider to be a little bit of an Ipswich secret. It’s one of those places that if ‘you know, you know’. You might have been walking past the jewellers where it resides for years without clocking the sign for a restaurant on the A-board outside.
Taking up the first floor, and with its own dedicated kitchen (where all the magic happens), it’s a friendly, inviting kind of place, where freshly cut sandwiches (under £7.25), omelettes, salads and soups sit alongside daily specials. This could be a simple stew, a hot pot of French-style chicken or the like. Not to be missed are the cakes, which are sure to impress as you climb the stairs and clap eyes on the selection under their cloches. The scones are fluffy and light. If they have the chocolate cake (which they’ll warm up for you if you ask) you simply must try it. And the lemon meringue pie is quite honestly the best I’ve had this side of the A12 – lots of zingy curd and a thick, pillowy mallow-like meringue topping. Booking is highly recommended
- 1 Emergency road closure in place on busy Ipswich road
- 2 Suspected drink-driver charged after three-car collision in Ipswich
- 3 Family's Christmas lights tribute to Jessica, 28, who died after giving birth
- 4 Will 'traditional' new homes at Ipswich Garden Suburb soon be obsolete?
- 5 Rail services affected after person hit by train
- 6 Rudolph starts his run - when is he coming to your Ipswich street?
- 7 Snow falls over Suffolk and more sub-zero temperatures to come
- 8 Drunk woman attacked former partner with knife
- 9 Surprise snowglobe gift leaves Harvey, 4, 'over the moon'
- 10 Anti-crime campaigners plan Christmas grotto at tattoo studio
Where: James Hehir Building, Ipswich Waterfront (parking is available beside it)
Open: 9am to 7pm Monday to Thursday, 9am to 12am Friday and Saturday
I’ve visited this place regularly (pre-Covid) since it opened within the James Hehir building. It’s been a cool spot to hang with friends listening to a DJ set with a few shared bites. But, equally I’ve taken in my kids for post-shopping lunch...and have visited with mates and their babies. So, suitable for everyone then.
Food is a depart from what you’d expect at your average café, with the menu leaning towards well-made diner-style classics, crafted with locally-sourced produce. Vegan and meat-filled baps in the morning coming in at just £3.50. Or splash out a little more for their Frenedict – a French-toast cheese sarnie hybrid topped with poached eggs and bacon or facon. Most main courses fly in at under £9 - including the burgers. But we recommend the flavour-rammed signature mac and cheese (£6.50) seasoned with spring onions, chives and jalapenos to which you can add meaty or veggie toppings.
Where: 19 St Peter’s Street
Open: 8.30am to 4pm Monday to Saturday
This is a reliably good option where you know you’ll consistently get good service and great food. Sister owners Hannah and Beth know their beans, and this is one of the very best spots in Ipswich for a coffee, made by their trained baristas. In fact, they’ve won the Best Tearoom or Café gong in our food and drink awards multiple times. Oh, while I’m on drinks...the hot chocolate is amazing. Food-wise the lunchtime menu is concise, but takes into account most wants. Most plates are around £5 to £6 (from bacon, brie and chilli jam on toasted sourdough, to Greek salad with leaves, hummus and pitta), so you can get a drink and a meal for just shy of that £10 mark. Don’t leave without a slice of cake. And look out on Saturdays for their all-day breakfasts....and cinnamon buns! If the weather is good, there’s a lovely walled garden out the back to sit in.
Where: 38 Lloyds Avenue
Open: From 12noon to 9.30pm daily (until 10.30pm Friday and Saturday)
The guys who own this place are so friendly and lovely...and really care about what they do – so I’m pleased they managed to hugely expand their empire over the last couple of years with Hank’s Dirty popping up in Felixstowe and Colchester.
At their deli on Carrs Street you can buy all kinds of plant-based goodies (including cheeses and deli-style ‘meats’), as well as the frozen vegan meals that were at the beginning of their journey. Or get stuck into a bite to eat here. Sunday brunch with a drink is £10. And during the rest of the week there’s everything from all-day breakfast muffins (£6.95) to quiche of the day with salad (£6.95) and even barbecued chick’n with sauce and salad in a soft brioche roll (£4.95). A little slice of heaven for vegans.
JaCey’s Coffee House
Where: 1 St Stephen’s Lane
Open: From 9.30am to 3pm Tuesday to Friday, from 9am to 4pm Saturday and 10am to 3pm Sunday
I’ve been eating here since I was a young, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed journalist. It’s been used for business lunches, catch ups with mates, and rare (these days) lunch breaks.
It’s somewhat of a local institution in Ipswich and is almost woven into the fabric of the town, it’s been there so long. Pop by for a cup of loose leaf tea, their rich house blend coffee, all-day breakfasts (£8.50) and the usual café fare – baguettes (from £6.25 with salad and crisps), jacket potatoes (all under £8.25), and thick slices of homemade quiche with salad and chips (£7.95).
Love Thy Burger
Where: 39 Westgate Street
Open: From midday to 9.30pm daily and until 10.30pm Friday and Saturday
My family and I love this burger joint so much we made the journey over into Ipswich from our home town a few times in lockdown to collect takeaways. The ‘rustic’ interior, made up of pallets might not be to everyone’s taste, but when it comes to the food there’s no denying how good Love Thy Burger is. All the patties are hand-pressed every single day using fresh local butchers’ meat, and cooked to order. I have to point out they’re fantastic with tricky orders – our teens like ‘this’ taken out and ‘that’ added, and they’ve yet to get our requests wrong.
A favourite of my husband’s is the Phat Pig – topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, smoked streaky bacon, salad, pickle and barbecue sauce. My own preference is the Big Smoke – basically a bacon cheeseburger. I’m not a huge mayo fan, so always ask them to swap it out for their prickly-hot chilli sauce. That is the dream. Burgers range from £6.60 to £8.30, there are smaller burgers for kids, and for an extra £3.50 you can add a drink and their fries. Always go for the seasoned rosemary fries...they are addictive.
92 Noodle Bar
Where: 92 Fore Street
Open: 12nnoon to 3pm, and from 5pm till late, Wednesday to Monday
Tucked just off the Waterfront, this Chinese restaurant is well worth seeking out for generous portions of very very very tasty Asian cuisine – especially their handmade noodles. At lunchtimes they have a phenomenally good value set menu, with each dish coming with your choice of two sides (also from the set menu). My personal recommendation is the very spicy fried noodles with roast pork, chicken, prawns and mixed vegetables in Chinese-style curry sauce (£8.80). But I’ve equally enjoyed the slow-roast beef brisket with potato (£7.90), and the roast duck noodles with sweet soy sauce (£8.80).