The best bars in Norwich for a drink as chosen by locals

Gonzo's Tea Room in Norwich has been named among 30 of the best cocktail bars in the UK.

Gonzo's Tea Room is one of the bars in Norwich that locals picked as their favourites to get a drink. - Credit: Clara Jackson

Norwich is home to so many bars it can sometimes be hard to choose where to go for a drink.

Here are a few Norwich locals recommended to help you choose.

1. The Wildman

Where: 29 Bedford Street, Norwich, NR2 1AG

When: 11am to midnight, everyday

Open seven days a week, this bar is nestled in the Norwich Lanes and serves up cocktails and sourdough toasties in their forest-inspired space.

Niamh Plunkett, 20, said: “I like the Wildman just down there, that’s really nice for more chilled drinks.

Niamh Plunkett, 20, from Knapton who works in Norwich said she loves Gonzo's and The Wildman.

Niamh Plunkett, 20, said she loves Gonzo's and The Wildman - Credit: Archant

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"It’s got the nicest drinks, good cocktails, good shots, and it’s never normally that busy unless it’s a Saturday."

2. Gonzo's Tea Room

Where: 68 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1JT

When: 12pm until 3am Sunday to Wednesday, 12pm until 3.30am on Thursday to Saturday

Gonzo's is a popular bar with Norwich locals, and was even named among the top 30 cocktail bars in the UK by The Times.

Miss Plunkett added: "If I’m going out, Gonzo’s is my favourite place.

Gonzo's Tea Room in London Street, Norwich Credit: Neil Perry

Gonzo's Tea Room in London Street, Norwich Credit: Neil Perry - Credit: Archant

"It’s always good vibes in there and it’s not that expensive like everywhere seems to be at the moment.”

Joseph Santander, 25, agreed that Gonzo's was reliably cheap.

3. The Waterfront

Where: 138-141 King Street, Norwich, NR1 1QH

When: Check events listings for the opening hours

Josh Kay, 25, said he was a fan of a Friday night in The Waterfront and liked to drink at St Andrews Brew House in Norwich.

Josh Kay, 25, said he was a fan of a Friday night in The Waterfront. - Credit: Archant

This venue on the bank of the River Wensum hosts a range of club nights and gigs, including a weekly indie music night every Friday.

Josh Kay, 25, said: “I’m a big fan of The Waterfront on a Friday night, that’s probably my go-to to be honest. There’s good music, nice people, and cheap drinks."

Even people new to the area get excited to go to the converted brewery warehouse.

Daisy Parker, 19, who recently moved to the city for university, said: "We haven’t been down yet but it’s supposed to be really good.”

4. St Andrews Brew House

Where: 41 St Andrews Street, Norwich, NR2 4TP

When: 11am to midnight, everyday

Mr Kay also suggested St Andrews Brew House for a more relaxed drink.

He said: "Brew House is a nice place, it’s a nice-looking venue and it’s quite central too, that side of Norwich has a lot of nice options."

Customers enjoying a drink outside the St Andrews Brew House on Saturday afternoon

St Andrews Brew House. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

St Andrews Brew House has its own micro-brewery and bar bosses say they are passionate about great, great food, and great service.

5. Jive

Where: 2A Exchange Street, Norwich, NR2 1AT

When: 12-2.30pm and 5.30-9.30pm Monday to Friday, 12-3pm and 5.30-9.30pm on Saturdays

Daisy Daisy Parker, 19, recently started studying in Norwich and said she loves the cocktails at Jive, on Exhange Street.

Daisy Daisy Parker, 19, recently started studying in Norwich and said she loves the cocktails at Jive. - Credit: Archant

Miss Parker said that so far in Norwich, her favourite place for drinks in the city is Jive — stating she had some of the best cocktails she has ever had at the Mexican restaurant.

The restaurant serves up a range of tacos and burritos, alongside their menu of cocktails. 

Drink at home versions of their popular cocktails can even be purchased from their website.

6. The Playhouse Bar

Where: 42-48 St Georges Street, Norwich, NR3 1AB

When: 4pm-11pm Monday - Wednesday, 3pm -11pm Thursday, 12-11pm Friday and Saturday and 12-7pm Sunday

The Playhouse Bar is a friendly venue that serves a range of drinks including real ales from local breweries and German lagers.

The venue is also attached to to the Norwich Playhouse, a fringe theatre that celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020.

Julia Skubida, 20, has lived in Norwich for two years and loves The Playhouse and The Fat Cat.

Julia Skubida, 20, has lived in Norwich for two years and says she is always finding new places to drink. - Credit: Archant

Julia Skubida, 20, said: "I usually go to the Playhouse because it’s quite good for students and quite close.

"I know the people that work there so they’re really nice to chat to. Plus, the prices are quite good.

"It’s nice in Norwich because I’ve lived here for two years but I’m still finding places I haven’t been to.”

7. The Fat Cat

Where: 49 West End Street, Norwich, NR2 4NA

When: Sunday to Wednesday 12pm-10pm. Thursday to Saturday 12pm-11pm.

The Fat Cat pub in Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay.

The Fat Cat in West End Street. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The Fat Cat was another of Miss Skubida's recommendations.

The pub brews its own ales and has won awards at beer festivals across the UK — as well as numerous regional beer of the year awards.

Harry's Soul Train Grill has a residency there this autumn and winter, providing burgers, wings and other delicious dishes from their grill menu.

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