7 of the longest-running restaurants in Norwich loved by locals

Ian Hacon and Chris Carr at Zaks, Mousehold Heath. Pic: Brittany Woodman

Ian Hacon and Chris Carr at Zaks, Mousehold Heath. Pic: Brittany Woodman

From top notch burgers to tasty Thai food, these are some of the longest-running restaurants in Norwich which have stood the test of time. 

Captain America's in Norwich has only just reopened after 10 months closed due to refurbishment works and Covid lockdowns.

Captain America's in Norwich following its £15,000 refurbishment. - Credit: Chris Williams

1. Captain America's 

Where: 4 Exchange Street, Norwich, NR2 1AT

Captain America's Hamburger Heaven has been serving burgers, steaks and milkshakes since 1972 and has been enjoyed by many generations of families. 

In November 2021, it reopened after a 10-month closure with a £15,000 refurb, giving a new lease of life to the much-loved diner. 

Iain McCarten, owner of The Last Bar and Restaurant in St Georges Street.

Iain McCarten runs The Last restaurant in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

2. The Last 

Where: 70-76 St Georges Street, Norwich, NR3 1AB

This independent restaurant offers modern British fine dining using seasonal produce and it is also a brasserie café during the day. 

It is inside a former Victorian shoe factory and first opened as The Last Wine bar in 1990, with the current owner and chef Iain McCarten.

Zaks Waterside Grill and Bar in Norwich pictured in 2009.

Zaks Waterside Grill and Bar in Norwich pictured in 2009. - Credit: Archant Library

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3. Zaks Authentic American Diners

Where: Barrack Street, Norwich, NR3 1TS/Mousehold Heath, Norwich, NR1 4HW/119 The Street, Poringland, NR14 7RP

Zaks launched in 1976 when local musician and entrepreneur Harvey Platt wanted to bring American flavours to Norwich and it was originally in a caravan on Castle Meadow. 

The first restaurant opened in Great Yarmouth in 1978, which has since closed, and the Mousehold Heath branch has been there since 1979.

In February 2020, Ian Hacon and Chris Carr became the new owners of Zaks. 

Mambo Jambo restaurant.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mambo Jambo has been established for more than 20 years. - Credit: Archant

4. Mambo Jambo 

Where: 14-16 Lower Goat Lane, Norwich, NR2 1EL

A Norwich Lanes institution, Mambo Jambo has been serving up Tex-Mex dishes for more than 20 years.

It is a popular choice for birthdays and special occasions, with a party atmosphere at weekends.

A breakfast waffle from The Waffle House in Norwich. 

A breakfast waffle from The Waffle House in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

5. The Waffle House 

Where: 39 St Giles Street, Norwich, NR2 1JN

The Waffle House has been serving up authentic Belgian waffles since 1978.

From mushrooms in garlic butter to dark chocolate mousse, there are a whole host of sweet and savoury toppings available. 

The upstairs restaurant at the Belgian Monk on Pottergate in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

Inside The Belgian Monk in Norwich. - Credit: Archant 2020

6. The Belgian Monk 

Where: 7 Pottergate, Norwich, NR2 1DS

The Belgian Monk has been open since 2000 offering Belgian beer, including its bestseller cherry one, alongside mussels, meat plates, vegan dishes and more. 

It was first opened by friends Terry Hughes and Linda Smith who left last year and it is now run by Wursty Four Biers Ltd, which has kept the winning formula.

Thailand, on the Ring Road in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Archant staff

Thailand, on the Ring Road in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Archant staff - Credit: Archant

7. Thailand Restaurant

Where: 9 Ring Road, Thorpe St Andrew, NR7 0XJ

Richard and Onuma Kidd first opened Thailand Restaurant in the former gun shop in Orford Hill in Norwich in 1986 and it was honoured by the Lord Mayor of Norwich and blessed by Buddhist monks.

In 1991, the pair moved the restaurant to Thorpe St Andrew to accommodate the increase in demand for their tasty food.