15 Best Restaurants in Bourton on the Water (Top Places to Eat)

Estimated read time 18 min read


Bourton on the Water is one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds (and indeed, England). There’s so much to see and do from walking along the picturesque Windrush River to exploring the Model Village and more. But where to eat? Here you’ll discover the best restaurants in Bourton on the Water.

I’ve been visiting Bourton for years as I have friends living nearby and love to explore some of the best places to eat in Bourton on the Water. For such a small village, you’re perhaps surprisingly spoiled for choice with a huge selection of cuisines to suit every taste and budget from cheap eats to close-by Michelin restaurants.

Many of the Bourton restaurants are located right on the river and offer stunning views of the old stone bridges and village scenes. And just because the location looks like it’s taken straight from a postcard, there are still plenty of good value restaurants to try out, meaning a meal doesn’t have to break the bank.

Best Restaurants in Bourton on the Water

After eating my way around Bourton on the Water many times over the years, I’ve compiled this list of my favorite restaurants in the village based on the quality of the food, the service, the location, my personal opinion, and customer reviews.

1. The Rose Tree (Best Restaurant in Bourton on the Water Overall)

The charming Rose Tree is one of the best restaurants in Bourton on the Water thanks to its prime location overlooking the River Windrush and two of the old, stone bridges. Here, you can expect a varied menu of British classics served up in sumptuous surroundings.

If you’re looking for hearty British fayre then this is certainly one of the best places to eat in Bourton on the Water and one of my favorite spots for dinner. From the expertly cooked pork belly to pan-fried sea bass in a crayfish and caper sauce or Morrocan vegetable tagine, there’s something to please every palate.

pan-fried seabass served on a ceramic plate

Prices are reasonable given the stunning location and you can enjoy a main for under £20 (I recommend the sea bass). The Rose Tree is also an excellent option for lunch and they serve a mean roast on Sundays. You’ll be sure to find some of the best food in Bourton on the Water served here with a smile.

The Rose Tree Information

Address: Riverside, Victoria Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BX. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 820635
Operating Hours: 11:30 am-8:30 pm, Tue-Sat, 11:30 am-3 pm, Sun (closed Monday)
Must-Try Meals: Pan-fried sea bass, slow-roasted pork belly, roast vegetable and stilton lasagne
Average Cost: £7.50-£8.95 per starter, £16.95-£29.80 per main, £7.50 for desserts
Website: therosetreeinbourton.co.uk

2. The Dial House

If you’re looking for traditional restaurants in Bourton on the Water then be sure to pay the Dial House Hotel and Restaurant a visit (you can also book accommodation here). Set in a gorgeous honey-colored stone building right on the river, this award-winning restaurant specializes in British cooking at its finest.

The menu includes everything from light lunches to hearty dinners and Sunday roasts. You’ll find a wide variety of dishes on offer including salads, fish and meat, vegetarian options (their gnocchi is a must-try), and an excellent wine and dessert list (I love their rhubarb creme brulee).

This is the best outdoor restaurant in Bourton on the Water thanks to its charming patio and garden for al fresco dining by the river. This is somewhere I love to come for a meal on a sunny afternoon to enjoy some gorgeous surroundings and excellent quality food.

The Dial House Information

Address: 3 High Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AN. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 822224
Operating Hours: 7 am-9 pm, Mon-Fri (example)
Must-Try Meals: Pan-roasted hake, slow-roasted pork belly, cornfed chicken
Average Cost: £8-£11 per starter, £17-£30 per main, £7.50-£14 for desserts
Website: dialhousehotel.com

3. Smiths of Bourton

Smith’s is one of the best local restaurants in Bourton on the Water if you’re craving a good burger. I’m not really a huge burger fan, but even I can’t argue with their Smith’s Classic; a succulent patty that’s topped with cheese, homemade pickles, and sauces.

There are seven burgers on the menu including chicken and vegetarian options. The pastrami burger is another winner (I love the caramelized onion topping).

A closeup view of an open pastrami burger in a restaurant.

As well as burgers, there are a selection of sides and desserts, and Smith’s also makes a cracking cocktail to enjoy with your dinner.

Smiths of Bourton Information

Address: Victoria Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BT. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 810564
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Smiths Classic Burger, Pastrami Burger, Symplicity is Key (veggie burger)
Average Cost: £14 per burger, £4-£9.50 per side, £7-£9 for desserts
Website: smithsofbourton.com

4. L’anatra Italian Kitchen

Fans of Mediterranean cuisine (like me) will be pleased to note that there are Italian restaurants in Bourton on the Water and the best is certainly L’anatra at the Chester House Hotel (where you can stay the night too!). Here chefs prepare authentic Italian dishes from stone-baked pizza to pasta, meat, fish, salads, and more.

This is a homely restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere that dishes up some of the best food in Bourton. The inside has exposed Cotswold stone walls and is the perfect place for a laid-back bite to eat. L’anatra also has an excellent wine list and a range of craft beers to enjoy with your meal.

L’anatra is definitely one of the most romantic restaurants in Bourton on the Water thanks to its picturesque location and European charm. A great place to go for that special occasion.

L’anatra Italian Kitchen Information

Address: Chester House Hotel, Victoria Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BS. Click here for directions.
Phone: +144 (0)1451 820286
Operating Hours: 10 am-10 pm, Tue-sat, 9 am-10 pm, Mon
Must-Try Meals: Stonebaked pizza, seafood pasta, steak
Average Cost: £4-£6 per starter, £13-£29 per main, £7 for desserts
Website: chesterhousehotel.com

5. The Croft Restaurant

The Croft has a fantastic location with a dining room overlooking the River and specializes in British classic cooking with a modern twist. Chefs Kevin and Jack source the freshest local ingredients to prepare seasonal dishes that are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

Come to the Croft for the best breakfast in Bourton on the Water where the extensive menu includes everything from a full English (vegetarian option available) to scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on sourdough, toasts, croissants, and more (though it’s got to be the full English if you really want to set yourself up for the day).

Tasty looking full English breakfast

The Croft Restaurant Information

Address: Victoria Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BX. Click here for directions.
Phone: +144 (0)1451 821132
Operating Hours: 9 am-6 pm, Mon-Fri, 9 am-9 pm, Sat-Sun (closed Tuesday)
Must-Try Meals: Billy’s Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs, The Croft Burger, The Croft Vege Burger
Average Cost: £7.50-£20 per starter, £15-£15.50 per main, £3.50-£12 for desserts
Website: thecroftofbourton.co.uk

6. Bourton Riverside Cafe

The Bourton Riverside Cafe is an excellent place to come for a light lunch as they have an excellent selection of sandwiches, paninis, and jacket potatoes to satisfy your stomach. With a prime position overlooking the River Windrush and its stone bridges, this is an excellent little cafe and is well worth stopping in for an afternoon tea.

The Riverside Cafe is the best cheap restaurant in Bourton on the Water for excellent, homemade lunches. I love popping in here to sit by the river and enjoy a sandwich on a sunny day. If you’re looking for something light in beautiful surroundings, then the Riverside Cafe is the place to come.

Bourton Riverside Cafe Information

Address: Riverside, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BP. Click here for directions. Phone: +44 (0)1451 820373
Operating Hours: 9 am-5 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Parma ham and mozzarella panini, tuna jacket potato, bacon and egg sandwich
Average Cost: £3-£5 per sandwich/panini, £4.50 per jacket potato, £2.50 for cakes

7. Alibaba Indian Restaurant

If you’re looking for Indian restaurants in Bourton on the Water then Alibaba, which is part of The Coach and Horses pub on the outskirts of the village, is the place to go. I love a good Indian meal and Alibaba doesn’t disappoint. They do a great shashlik which is one of my favorite dishes (grilled meat like a kebab) and a particularly tasty chicken tikka.

The restaurant is in a cozy setting just outside the village, and they also offer a takeaway service. This is an excellent dining option for classic Indian and South Asian cooking from balti to bhuna and vindaloo.

Just because you’re out in the sticks doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good curry.

Alibaba Indian Restaurant Information

Address: Stow Road, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HN. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 798478
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Lamb bhuna, sag aloo, chicken tika masala
Average Cost: £4-£6 per starter, £8-£12 per main, £5.50 for desserts
Website: alibabaindianrestaurant.co.uk (blocked for users outside of the UK)

8. The Atrium at Lords of the Manor

Although there aren’t any Michelin-star restaurants in Bourton on the Water, the Atrium at the Lords of the Manor Hotel in nearby Upper Slaughter (just 3 miles away) has the Michelin seal of approval and this fine-dining experience is well worth the short detour.

You can choose from a set lunch menu or an eight-course tasting menu (there’s also a vegan tasting menu on offer). The tasting menu must be booked in advance online as there’s only one sitting and it regularly sells out. If you’re looking for fine dining in Bourton on the Water, this is the place to come.

The Atrium Information

Address: Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire, GL54 2JD. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 820243
Operating Hours: 7 am-9 pm, Mon-Fri
Must-Try Meals: Set lunch, tasting menu, vegan tasting menu
Average Cost: £29.50 for set lunch, £105 for the tasting menu (+£97 for wine accompaniment)
Website: www.lordsofthemanor.com

9. The Den

Those with a meat-free diet will love The Den which is the best vegetarian restaurant in Bourton on the Water. This cafe specializes in vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free snacks and drinks (coffee options include soy and almond milk among others).

The Den was voted the best place for lunch in the Cotswolds by Gloucestershire Live so you know you’ll be getting the best lunch in Bourton on the Water. I have lots of vegan and vegetarian friends so this is somewhere we love to visit when in the area.

baguettes with pepperoni, ham, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber

The Den Information

Address: Unit 4, High Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AE. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 798120
Operating Hours: 8:30 am-5 pm, Mon-Sat, 9 am-5pm, Sun
Must-Try Meals: Bagguettes, bagels, salads
Average Cost: £4-£8 per main, £5 for desserts

10. The Chip Shed

You can’t beat a good portion of fish and chips and the Chip Shed is the place to go for this classic British dish. This is also an excellent plaice (did you see what I did there?) for cheap eats in Bourton on the Water with a portion of battered cod and chips costing under a tenner (£10).

There’s a sit-down restaurant, but you can also place your order to take away and enjoy your fish and chips on the banks of the river (this is definitely what I prefer to do if it’s a nice day). There’s a huge range of fish on offer from classics cod and haddock to plaice, lemon sole, hake, and even scampi.

If you’re not a huge fish fan there are other options including battered halloumi, chicken breast, sausages, vegetarian pies, and much more. This is definitely one of the best restaurants in Bourton for an unpretentious fish and chip supper.

The Chip Shed Information

Address: Hartley House, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AL. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 828288
Operating Hours: 11:30 am-9:30 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Cod and chips, scampi and chips, battered halloumi
Average Cost: £1.50-£4.30 per side, £7-£10 per main
Website: chipshed.co.uk/bourton

11. Bourtanical

The cozy Bourtanical restaurant is one of the places for the best brunch in Bourton on the Water thanks to its delicious menu and location right on the River Windrush overlooking the old Mill Bridge.

With a range of light snacks and hot meals from sandwiches to burgers, this is an excellent option for breakfast, lunch, and of course brunch.

Fish finger sandwiches

With its prime location just steps from the river, Bourtanical has the best patio in Bourton on the Water for watching the world go by. Keep your eye out for lots of special offers, and be sure to try one of the homemade cakes.

Bourtanical Information

Address: Riverside, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2DP. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 822005
Operating Hours: 9 am-5 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Burgers, sandwiches, homemade cakes
Average Cost: £5-£8 per main, £4.50 for cakes

12. La Reine

The cute La Reine cafe is one of the top restaurants in Bourton on the Water for breakfast and brunch. La Reine is located on the High Street overlooking the river which makes it an excellent place to sit and relax with a coffee or bite to eat. There are lots of tasty homemade dishes from healthy salads to baguettes using local ingredients (like the tasty Single Gloucester cheese).

This is a great place to come for a full English breakfast to set you up for a full day’s walking and sightseeing. The sourdough brunches are a must-try (the avocado or smoked salmon with poached eggs and the eggs benedict are both excellent).

La Reine Information

Address: High Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AE. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)7557 782465
Operating Hours: 8 am-4 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Full English breakfast, pancakes, mushroom poached eggs
Average Cost: £7-£10 per main, £3 for homemade cakes
Website: la-reine.co.uk

13. Green and Pleasant

Green and Pleasant is arguably the best vegan restaurant in Bourton with a wide selection of meat and dairy-free dishes. This traditional tea room offers a large selection of hot and cold snacks, cream teas, and homemade cakes.

There’s outside dining overlooking the river and it’s an excellent place to come and enjoy some home-cooked food. If you want to try some of the local Cotswold ice cream (and you really must) then Green and Pleasant is the place to come.

cream tea

They also serve a range of vegan ice creams and create an excellent vegan cream tea.

Green and Pleasant Information

Address: Windrush Cottage, Riverside, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2DP. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 810919
Operating Hours: 10:15 am-5 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Vegan cake, cream tea, Cotswold ice cream (including vegan ice cream)
Average Cost: £4-£8 per starter, £11-£18 per main, £7.50 for desserts

14. The Hive

The Hive is located four miles (6.5 km) from Bourton in the village of Stow on the Wold (also well worth visiting for its picture-perfect village scenes). This pleasant little cafe is run by sisters Sally and Jane and is a superb spot for lunch. The cafe has a range of homemade sandwiches, freshly baked pastries, and homemade cakes.

The Hive is also dog friendly so feel free to bring your well-behaved pooch along who will be welcome outside or in the front restaurant. This is a great place to stop and rest with some refreshments while exploring this picturesque Cotswold village.

The Hive Information

Address: Digbeth Street, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BN. Click here for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 831087
Operating Hours: 9 am-3 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: The Hive breakfast (vegetarian also available), smoked salmon platter, freshly baked pastries
Average Cost: £4-£6 per starter, £8.95-£12.95 per main, £5.50 for desserts
Website: thehivestow.co.uk

15. Cotswold Antiques and Tea Rooms

The charming Cotswold Antiques and Tea Rooms is a great place to browse their collection of antique furniture, books, and other curios before enjoying a cup of tea and a homemade cake. This is one of my favorite places in the village to come and have a nose around and see what interesting things they currently have.

This is a really nice family tea room and is a great place to sit and relax while taking a break from sightseeing around Bourton. I’ve often popped in for a cream tea and I advise you to do the same!

English tea in a white porcelain tea cup and tea pot for afternoon tea.

Cotswold Antiques and Tea Rooms Information

Address: 2 Victoria Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BU. Click for directions.
Phone: +44 (0)1451 821297
Operating Hours: 9 am-5 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Cream tea, sandwiches, homemade cakes
Average Cost: £4-£10 per main, £4 for cakes
Website: cotswoldantiquesandtearoom.co.uk

Must-Try Meals in Bourton on the Water

The Cotswolds is an excellent place for foodies with so many fresh ingredients included in so many recipes. Two of the region’s most famous exports are cheese and cider, which are both must-tries when visiting Bourton on the Water.

Cider

One of my favorite reasons for visiting the west country is to enjoy the local cider (an alcoholic drink made with apples) and there are plenty of places to find it. Hawkstone Brewery in Bourton on the Water make their own one called Caleb’s Cider and this crisp and refreshing drink is a must when visiting.

Cheese

The Cotswolds is famed for its two kinds of cheese; Single Gloucester and Double Gloucester (I prefer the latter which has a richer taste). Many of the cafes and sandwich shops in Bourton like La Reine use Gloucester cheese and you can buy it in any of the local supermarkets to take home.

Cream Tea

You can’t come to the west country and not sample this classic teatime snack. There’s nothing better than scones fresh from the oven coated in lashings of thick, west country cream and strawberry jam all washed down with a cup of piping hot tea.

Places to Eat in Bourton on the Water: FAQs

What are the most popular restaurants in Bourton on the Water?

The Rose Tree, L’anatra, the Croft Restaurant, and the Dial House are some of the most popular restaurants in Bourton on the Water thanks to their riverside locations, delicious food, and great service.

What time is dinner in Bourton on the Water?

Although there is no set time, dinner in Bourton on the Water is usually eaten between 5 pm and 8 pm during the week and slightly later on weekends.

What time is lunch in Bourton on the Water?

Lunch in Bourton on the Water is usually eaten between 12 pm and 2 pm on weekdays and later on Sundays (Sunday lunch is usually served between 12 pm and 3 pm).

What time is breakfast in Bourton on the Water?

Breakfast in Bourton on the Water is usually eaten any time between 6 am and 9 am and later on weekends (usually resulting in brunch).

Do you tip in Bourton on the Water?

It’s not necessary to tip for drinks in Bourton on the Water, but if you enjoyed your meal and received good service then a tip of 10% to 15% is customary.

Which places to eat in Bourton on the Water are pet-friendly

Many of the places to eat in Bourton on the Water are pet friendly as they have outside seating. The Croft Restaurant and the Hive both allow well-behaved dogs. It’s always best to check in advance to be sure your furry friend will be welcome.

Where should I stay in Bourton on the Water?

There are lots of wonderful pubs and cottages in Bourton on the Water to stay. The Mousetrap Inn and Bourton Croft Cottage are a couple of excellent options.

What are the best restaurants in Bourton on the Water for families with children?

Most of the restaurants in Bourton on the Water are kid-friendly so you won’t have a problem finding somewhere to eat for the whole family. Places like the Atrium are best avoided as the food on offer isn’t suited to young palates (not to mention the cost).

What’s the best restaurant in Bourton on the Water with a view?

Many of the restaurants in Bourton on the Water offer beautiful river views. The Croft, The Rose Tree, Bourtanical, and the Green and Pleasant Cafe all offer gorgeous views of the village.

In Conclusion

Now you know where to eat in Bourton on the Water (if you’re looking for pub grub check out this guide to the best pubs in Bourton). I’ve been eating at many of the restaurants in the village over the years and the quality and service are always top-notch. The beautiful surroundings are just the cherry on the cake.

From gorgeous Cotswold stone buildings like The Croft and Dial House to cafes on the water’s edge like The Bourton Riverside Cafe or fine dining at Atrium in nearby Upper Slaughter, there are so many excellent places to eat in Bourton that you’re really spoiled for choice. Which one would you like to try first?

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