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The Best Places for Lunch in Bath

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by Jennifer Walter (subscribe)
Jennifer is a busy, busy bee.
Published July 12th 2012
Where is the Best Place for Lunch in Bath?

Michael Maggs - Wikimedia Commons

Whether you're looking for street acts and big name brands or catching an exhibition and a stroll around the Abbey, it goes without saying you're going to want to eat lunch in the fabulous city of Bath.

But with a demographic that spans from loveable Bath eccentrics (complete with ruffles and tail coats) to the thriving student population, there's a whole host of eateries to suit every taste - pun intended. I've chosen three high flyers.

In such a well-to-do city - especially one with world heritage site status - tourists are a given. And where there are tourists there are high prices. This Georgian beauty of a City is no exception, and this article is written with that in mind.

The Pump Rooms

If you're looking to indulge your early afternoon appetite somewhere that is quintessentially Bath, then Pump Rooms will be perfect for you.

Situated adjacent the historic roman baths, this neo-classical dining space is one to feast your eyes on and not just your stomach. Surrounded by high ceilings and Georgian gorgeousness you can really start to feel like you could be one of Jane Austen's mates. Serving morning coffee from 09.30 until 12, lunch 12 until 2.30pm, and afternoon tea 2.30 until 5.00pm the Pump Rooms hasn't got the largest menu as each meal time slot offers a different selection, and fussy eaters may struggle here. However, the lunch menu does have some mouth-watering classic dishes and a considerable effort has been made to source locally. You can even take a glass of the spring waters direct from the bath springs fountain (it doesn't get much more local than that!) which, in the olden days, was considered good for one's health and disposition.

pump rooms, lunch in Bath
The fountain at the Pump Rooms

Pros: Gorgeous architecture and a genuine cultural feel. When in the Roman baths, do as the Romans do.
Cons: At 13 for an open sandwich, your wallet might prefer if you choose one of the 'light lunches'.

The Pump Room, Abbey Churchyard, Bath
Tel: 01225 44 4477

The Raven

The Raven in Bath is what most would consider a 'proper' pub. Hidden down Queens Street, this pub might not register on your radar as somewhere good to eat - but as soon as you try it you'll never forget it.

Cosy and inviting, and just the right amount of raven related stuff on the walls, this pub serves (nearly) nothing but pies - and with a seasonal and constantly changing menu from Bristol's 'Pieminsters', this pub is definitely the place to get a hearty meal. Choose from chips or mash standard - but also a more unusual selection of fillings, (which in the past have included The Matador with steak, olives and chorizo or the delectable vegetarian Heidi Pie with goat's cheese, sweet potato and spinach) and you even get a choice of three different gravies.

For those looking for something less pastry-based there is a handful of non-pie options under "Others", including some really formidable pates.

The Raven, pie, Bath, lunch
A mouthwatering Raven pie

Pros: friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere, great staff and fantastic value for money with a huge pie, chips/mash/salad for 8.80 no matter what the filling.

Cons: subject to lunch hour rush (because it's so good!) and they stop serving food between 2.30pm and 5.00pm.

7 Queen Street, Bath
01225 425045

The Whole Bagel

The Whole Bagel is "Bath's first Bagel shop", but even if it wasn't, it would be blowing the others out of the water. Tiny but modern inside, this quick-stop sandwich place is everything you always wanted Subway to be - but with bagels. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, The Whole Bagel puts a whole bunch of crunch and munch into lunch. It's also good to see a sandwich shop straying away from cheese and onion and tuna mayo - and though TWB does offer the original flavours you'd expect from a bagel dispensary (cream cheese is an elementary choice) they also have a very interesting selection anyway, not to mention the Gourmet range.

They also stock gluten free bread and seeing as your bagel is filled right in front of you, the staff have no problem omitting problem ingredients or adding in extras if you ask.

lunch, Bath, bagel
Bagel selection in the Whole Bagel, Bath

Pros: a big menu with lots of choice. Average price of a bagel stands at 3.50, so great on the pocket and even better on the belly.

Cons: no restaurant space so only good for a walk-about or picnic lunch. Shuts at 4 on weekdays so sadly, no late luncheons.

4 Upper Borough Walls, Bath
01225 333259
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Why? To avoid eating in the same old places that are everywhere.
Phone: within article
Where: The City of Bath
Cost: Ranging from 25 pp to 3.50 pp
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