A taste of Chesterfield’s food and drink scene
A few months ago I started working in Chesterfield and I have to admit that before that point I knew very little about its food and drink scene.
In fact, I had never actually been to Chesterfield before I went for the job interview. My food radar, rightly or wrongly had been predominantly focused on Sheffield, as that is where I live and where I worked.
I am now 3 months into my new job and so I’d like to share my top 5 Chesterfield places for food and drink to date. It is likely that there will be more in the future as there are destinations I am yet to try. I am grateful to my welcoming colleagues who’ve helped with my food induction, as we have socialised together over coffee, burgers and the occasional beer.
From my tasters so far, I am pleased to report that the independent food scene is healthy in Chesterfield. There is a decent market for fruit and veg, an array of independent cafes, restaurants and a lot of pubs showcasing local produce. You can opt for wholesome home-cooking at the White Swan through to more sophisticated dining and cocktails at Bottle & Thyme, depending on what you fancy.
“Chesterfield has a quiet food revolution happening – with award winning restaurants that are attracting national media recognition, and independent coffee shops and pubs with a belief in local produce.”
Visit Chesterfield website
If you do want the familiarity of a chain then don’t despair you can get your fix, there’s a large Greggs with the luxury of alfresco dining, a Pound Bakery has just opened and Patisserie Valerie is coming soon.
If you want to try places with more character and personality, then read on…
I first visited Coffee St before my interview for my current job so I could grab a coffee, have a little time out and run through my notes. They have an extensive coffee menu with everything from lattes, cappuccinos and more indulgent choices like marshmallow lattes. If coffee isn’t your thing, you can opt for a hot chocolate or choose from their selection of teas.
Coffee St has a lovely calm vibe with a couple of booths and a handful of tables to settle down and take the time to enjoy a slice of homemade cake, or a sandwich for lunch. I’ve been a few times now for coffee as it is near to the office (they do a good flat white) and sometimes we call in for meetings if we can’t find a room. They have free Wi-Fi.
15 Cavendish Street, S40 1XA Website
The Market Pub
The Market Pub is located near to the market square and it’s my kind of place, as it’s a traditional pub with decent ales and food. The Market won gastro pub of the year at Chesterfield’s Food and Drink 2017 Awards and I’d had recommendations to try the food from colleagues, so it went on my list.
When we called in for a team lunch mid-week it was already busy with diners, I’d recommend you book to avoid disappointment.
The kitchen is small but still they manage to produce a tempting and extensive menu with everything from salads, sandwiches, pie, seafood dishes and there’s an epic burger list (11 to choose from!). I had The Grand (£11.50) – grilled chicken, sticky rib meat, cheddar, bacon, coleslaw and onion rings.
The towering burger arrived on a slate with a portion of golden crispy chips, it was a meal for the greedy and I did finish it all! The calories were worth it though, the chicken together with the tang of cheese, salty bacon and tender rib meat was the perfect comfort food. Well cooked chips are hard to find sometimes and these were just right. I will definitely be back.
95 New Square, S40 1AH Website
Stephenson’s Tea and Coffee House
For a taste of more traditional dining I had lunch at the award winning Stephenson’s, it’s based on the 1st floor and offers a welcoming light and airy dining space away from the hustle and bustle of town.
The menu has a tempting breakfast and lunch selection focused on homemade and wholesome – with soups, baked potatoes, toasties and grazing platters. I’d heard the daily quiche menu was one to consider and I did, going for the salmon quiche (£8.15).
Service was warm and efficient so we didn’t wait long for our food, the hearty wedge of quiche was delicious with a rich and creamy filling and crisp and crumbly pastry. The colourful salad was nicely dressed and the ‘house’ potatoes provided contrasting textures. Another fine lunch and I am going back very soon to try their afternoon tea as a Christmas treat, I will report back on how that goes.
1st Floor, 11-19 Stephenson’s Place, S40 1XL Website
The Lilypad cafe, winner of cafe and tearoom of the year at Chesterfield’s Food and Drink 2017 Awards was recommended as a place to try as a lunch or brunch. It’s another one that I’d recommend you book a table for as it is very popular.
From reading Lilypad’s website, I learnt that the owners were inspired to open the cafe in 2015 after working in Melbourne. To me the menu certainly echoes a strong passion for healthy food, making the best of combining ingredients, spices, colours and textures. This is very much how I like to cook at home and so I was very keen to try the food.
With a modern and minimalist decor, The Lilypad is smart and relaxed attracting a mixed clientele from ladies that lunch with Prosecco, to us on our team lunch out. I had the pea and kale fritters (£7.95) served with ricotta, chia seeds, Baba ganoush, sumac salt, watercress and a poached egg.
The presentation was attractive and colourful, the kale fritters were a first for me and they were well-seasoned, soft and iron-rich, matching well with the perfectly cooked poached egg. I felt like I’d treated myself to a healthy choice after the burger and quiche…actually I have just remembered there were some sweet potato fries! The plate was all delicious and I counted this as another eating out success.
I do want to come back and try one of their breakfast dishes,‘The One Pan’ particularly caught my eye – baked eggs in a tomato, fennel & dill sauce, chorizo, goat’s curd and sourdough toast. Until next time…
21 Soresby Street, S40 1JW Website
Healthiness went out the window again when I went to the Bavarian bierhaus, Einstein’s. This is located about 5 minutes from the train station and close to St Mary’s church (with the crooked spire). It has a good number of tables and a large bar area and beer garden, so it’s good for a swift drink or an extended lunch.
To be expected from a German style bar, the beer range is big and they have a beer bible! You can choose from draught German beers including Erdinger, Warsteiner, Lowenbrau and lots of other world beers are available by the bottle and on the bar. I’ve been told they have an extensive cocktail menu too.
There’s a wide choice on the food menu with stone baked pizzas, burgers through to German influenced dishes of pork knuckle, meatballs, schnitzel and a lot of sausage. I ordered the Brat Dog (£8.95) and it was pretty mega in size, served with a side of sauerkraut and chips.
I am a fan of anything pickled so I was fully onboard with the sour crunchy sauerkraut, and it was so good with the juicy bratwurst and mustard. I left satisfied and stuffed, making sure I worked extra hard when I got to the gym that evening!
5 Holywell Street, S41 7SA Website
There will be more to come from Chesterfield as a new coffee place has just opened called Pump and Grind and there’s places I haven’t been to yet…The Rectory, O -Tokuda and Bottle & Thyme. If you have your favourites, please let me know.