Top 5 Restaurants on the Norfolk Broads -Exploring the Delights

A view of a restaurant on the Norfolk Broads. The picture shows a large wooden deck extending over the water, with several tables and chairs set up for dining. The restaurant building is visible in the background, with large windows overlooking the water. The sky is clear and blue, and boats can be seen passing by on the water.

Top 5 Restaurants on the Norfolk Broads-Exploring Culinary Delights


The Norfolk Broads are a hidden treasure of culinary delights, ideal for any gastronomic adventure. In this magical region, I came across my top five restaurants on the Norfolk Broads and how they should become a staple in your trip to the Broads

This culinary adventure became an exciting exploration of flavours that would remain with my palate. Every establishment has its charm, where you can not only have a meal but also have a memorable experience

Let us delve into the savoury narratives of these culinary jewels together, and you’ll see why this is on my list of restaurants on the Norfolk broads.

1. Wroxham Barns – Where Craft and Cuisine Converge

Credit – Wroxham Barnes Website

Craft enthusiasts’ lovers and gourmets will find their ultimate heaven in Wroxham Barns, receiving a destination award. You can eat in the lively surroundings at the Courtyard Café or Farmyard Café. These cafés work every day between ten in the morning and five in the evening, being a refuge for the senses with a treat.

What appeals about Wroxham Barns is far more than its culinary delights. The junior fair and fun park make it hotter with daily activities, never-ending slides, and a miniature golf course.

Courtyard Café and Farmyard Café Highlights:

  • Variety of Food: The menu features an array of delights, including sourdough toasties, delicious burgers, hearty jacket potatoes, fresh sandwiches, and homemade cakes and scones. The emphasis on fresh, wholesome, good-value food using locally sourced ingredients reflects a commitment to quality. For those looking to indulge in a delightful afternoon affair, Wroxham Barns beckons with its Afternoon Tea set in the traditional Courtyard Café. Freshly made sandwiches, fruit and cheese scones, and unlimited tea or coffee create a perfect setting for celebrating special occasions or simply spoiling oneself.
  • Seating: The abundance of seating options, including a large heated covered marquee and picnic benches, adds to the charm of Wroxham Barns. This culinary haven truly encapsulates the spirit of the Norfolk Broads.
  • Seamless Booking Experience: While spontaneous visits are welcome, booking afternoon tea in advance through the Wroxham Barns website will enhance your delightful experience.

Tip: The Courtyard Café is available for group bookings; simply reach out to the Wroxham Barns team to explore your options. They have some of the best hosting out of most restaurants on the Norfolk broads

The Old Mill – Riverside Elegance and Culinary Excellence

Credit – Trip Advisor

The Old Mill is right next to the Wroxham Bridge and amongst some beautiful restaurants on the Norfolk broads. It is a perfect place to enjoy riverside seating with serene scenery in the background. You can choose to have your meal leisurely or hire the venue for events and parties (available from November to March), where you will get the desired stylishness and elegance.

The Old Mill Highlights:

  • Scenic Dining: Enjoy outside riverside seating and eat your meal while watching boats, swans, and wildlife passing by. Elevates your dining adventure into a delightful experience.
  • Dietary Diversity: The Old Mill caters to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free preferences, ensuring everyone has found a culinary haven.
  • Varied Meal Options: The Old Mill offers an array of delights from breakfast, lunch and brunch, taking you through the day.

Tip: Consider planning your visit between November and March to explore The Old Mill as a venue for your special events.

The King’s Head – A Riverside Retreat in Coltishall

Credit – Trip Advisor

Situated in the riverside village of Coltishall, The King’s Head is a 17th-cеntury inn owned by Kevin and Sue Gardner. This charming establishment offers not just a meal but a complete experience, blending historical charm with culinary excellence. This is a must-visit restaurant on the Norfolk broads

The King’s Head Highlights:

  • Fine Dining Extravaganza: As the only member of The Master chefs of Great Britain in The Norfolk Broads, Kevin, the owner and head chef, ensures that every dish reaches the pinnacle of culinary perfection.
  • Gastronomic Variety: The menu boasts a wide range of pub classics, brunch items, traditional Sunday roasts, and irresistible desserts—There are options for children and guests with dietary requirements.
  • Exceptional Accommodation: The King’s Head goes beyond dining with eight beautifully decorated en-suite bedrooms. Modern comforts, including Hypos beds and Wi-Fi, create a perfect blend of tradition and luxury.

Tip: Explore the picturesque village common and the River Bure, and take advantage of the free moorings for 24 hours

The Swan – Waterside Elegance in Horning

Credit – Flickr

Nestled in the waterside village of Horning, The Swan is a culinary gem that combines elegant dining with a breathtaking view of the Broads. From single to family rooms, The Swan offers not just a meal but a delightful stay in a picturesque setting. The origins of The Swan trace back to 1696, and its distinctive presence has made it a landmark for river users and locals, immortalized in Arthur Ransom’s children’s books. The has some of the best history compared to other restaurants on the Norfolk broads

 The Swan Highlights:

  • Comfort and Tradition: The beautifully decorated en-suite bedrooms reflect a fusion of tradition and modern comfort, ensuring a restful stay.
  • Scenic Al Fresco Experience: The lovely beer garden provides a perfect spot for al fresco drinks on summer evenings, offering stunning views of the Broads.
  • Gateway to Horning: Explore the vibrant village with its marina, waterside shops, tearooms, and scenic country walks.

Tip: Revel in the Broads’ beauty from the beer garden, savouring the moment with a refreshing drink.

The Recruiting Sergeant – A Culinary Oasis in Horstead

Credit- Cool Places

Owned by Matthew and Nicola Colchester, The Recruiting Sergeant stands as a flagship eatery that caters to hearty appetites. With a focus on locally sourced ingredients and a diverse menu, this restaurant in Horstead promises a culinary advantage

The Recruiting Sergeant Highlights:

  • Grazing and Dining: Whether you opt for a snack menu during lunchtime or a full menu for lunch or dinner, The Recruiting Sergeant accommodates diverse appetites with options like fishcakes, steak sandwiches, and local mackerel.
  • Local Ingredients: What sets The Recruiting Sergeant apart is its commitment to local sourcing. This dedication to supporting local producers enhances the dishes’ freshness and contributes to the restaurant’s sense of community.
  • Cosy Atmosphere: The interior, both cosy and contemporary, provided the perfect backdrop for an evening of culinary exploration. The menu boasted substantial starters like scallops with pork belly and grilled sardines, setting the tone for a gastronomic adventure. Mains featured various options, from excellent skate wing to smoked haddock, ensuring there was something to satisfy every taste.

Tip: Check out Farm to Fork & Fish, the sister business across the road, for more culinary delights.

In Conclusion

The Norfolk Broads isn’t just a haven for nature lovers; It’s packed with restaurants on the Norfolk broads. My advice would be, take advantage of a day boat hire on the Norfolk broads, and boat mooring on the Norfolk Broads. Dining out just enhances a wonderful day out on the water.

So, the next time you find yourself on these picturesque waterways, let your taste buds embark on an adventure of their own.  Pack your appetite and embark on a culinary journey through the heart of Norfolk’s culinary treasures


What is the best base to explore the Norfolk Broads?

If you’re wondering where to base your exploration of the Norfolk Broads, the interconnected villages of Wroxham and Hoveton, often dubbed the Capital of the Broads, stand out as ideal starting points. Nestled in the heart of the Broads, these villages provide a perfect gateway to the region’s charm.

What are the Norfolk Broads famous for?

The Norfolk Broads, a National Park, are renowned for their man-made waterways—over 125 miles of navigable, lock-free channels weaving through picturesque landscapes. This unique environment is adorned with charming towns and villages, creating an idyllic setting for exploration.

What are the main towns in the Norfolk Broads?

Amongst the key towns in the Norfolk Broads are Wroxham, Hoveton, Coltishall, Horning, and Stalham. These Broads villages offer year-round enjoyment with their scenic beauty and a plethora of activities. Wroxham, often considered the capital of the Norfolk Broads, rests on the banks of the River Bure, providing a delightful starting point for your adventures.

How many tourists visit Norfolk Broads each year?

As one of Britain’s largest inland navigation areas, the Norfolk Broads attract around eight million visitors annually, testament to the allure of its serene lakes and landscapes. Whether you’re interested in boating, exploring charming towns, or enjoying the tranquillity of nature, the Norfolk Broads offer a rich tapestry of experiences for every visitor.