The best bars in Norwich for a drink as chosen by locals
- 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.
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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.
"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
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."
St Andrews Brew House has its own micro-brewery and bar bosses say they are passionate about great, great food, and great service.
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
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, 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 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.