The Best Bars in Norwich

1 September 2023

The Best Bars in Norwich

As autumn slowly rolls in, that means its time to start thinking about the best places for cosying up with a good drink while escaping the cold outside. Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to stop off for pint or glass of wine while exploring the city? Somewhere with a great atmosphere to catch up with friends? Or even that perfect first date spot?

Whatever you’re after, with Norwich’s abundance of bars and pubs – there’s something to suit every need! And if you need even more recommendations, don’t forget to check out our ‘Bars & Beers‘ page under ‘Eat & Drink‘.

Gyre & Gimble, Charing Cross

If you favour a bar that has plenty of choice, Gyre & Gimble is the ideal place to be. We’re pretty sure it has the largest drink menu in Norwich. Seriously, it’s huge, and you have to see it for yourself. Plus, every drink on the menu is 100% zero waste! Every bit of their ingredients are used, so you can drink with the added bonus of a clear conscience.

Gyre & Gimble even make a range of their own delicious gins and vodka – everything tastes better when its homemade! Expect lots of bold and unique flavours here, it’s a great experience, and we’re sure you’ll be back for more time and time again.

We recommend…

A long bar with brick walls, hardwood floors and bulbs hanging from the ceiling.

The Gyre & Gimble bar is the perfect place to go if you’re fussy!

The Playhouse Bar, St Georges Street

One of the most popular haunts in Norwich, especially for students, The Playhouse Bar is known for its great drinks, lovely outdoor seating, and creative decor. They serve real ales from local breweries, have art draped from floor to ceiling (literally – look up when you’re in there), and there’s a great vibe all-round. It’s a guaranteed great night out.

We recommend…

Two people sit opposite each other in a busy beer garden

The Playhouse Bar’s garden is the perfect place for some good photos!

Yalm, The Royal Arcade

Housed in one of the City of Stories’ most iconic buildings, The Royal Arcade, you’ll find Yalm. Across two floors, a huge range of award-winning vendors awaits, from cafés to incredible restaurants offering plenty of cuisines, and, most importantly for this blog, a bar.

If you’re feeling old school, you can head up and order from the bar, or you can simply find a table, scan the QR code, and order completely from your phone! Expect cocktails, 15-taps of beer, then even local and international wine and spirits!

We recommend…

A foodhall is filled with people eating and drinking

Yalm is the perfect place to go for casual dining and drinking!

The Cosy Club, London Street

With a bar and restaurant in the restored old National Provincial Bank, drinks at The Cosy Club are bound to feel as luxury as it looks, an evening spent here is truly special. Take in the original glass domed ceiling, all while sipping on a cocktail. They have a delicious food menu too, if that takes your fancy!

And maybe if you head downstairs you’ll see the old vault doors… Or, you could book for twelve people or more and see the inside for yourself!

We recommend…

A restaurant is surrounded by pillars and a glass dome sits above.

The Cosy Club is a luxurious affair for food and drink!

The Ribs of Beef, Wensum Street

For a more relaxed drinking experience, get yourself a table at The Ribs of Beef. A popular staple of the city, this 18th century free house has just about everything you could want from a good pub.

Enjoy up to nine real ales and craft beers on cask, including five frequently changing Guest Ales, regular live music, a pub quiz, sports on multiple screens, and a gorgeous riverside jetty.

We recommend…

A pub sits on the riverside

The Ribs of Beef is a great pub to visit for any occasion.

The Wildman, Bedford Street

Close to the Cathedral and the Norwich Market, The Wildman is a perfectly placed watering hole for explorers of the city. With carefully crafted cocktails, coffees, and soul music in the evenings, you could almost spend a whole day here drinking, snacking and relaxing.

The Wildman are fully equipped for any sports fan, with large TV screens and a fully stocked kitchen to rustle up your favourite snacks! They’re also dog-friendly, so it’s worth bringing the pooch along.

We recommend…

The Wildman is easy to find for a quick pitstop while exploring the city.

Gonzos Tea Room, London Street

Coffee, cocktails, and burgers. There really is no better combination. Tucked away on London Street, you might have to look twice when looking for the doorway to Gonzos Two Room. But once you’ve been inside and seen it for yourself, you won’t make that mistake again!

In this laid back bar, you can find a large selection of tasty cocktails, which feature a blend of classics as well as cocktails totally unique to Gonzos! Stay late enough, and watch the tables clear, the disco balls glow, and the DJs play, as it turns into a two-floored nightclub! It’s definitely worth sticking around for.

We recommend…

Sir Toby’s Beers, Norwich Market

For a totally unique bar experience, stop off at Sir Toby’s Beers stall at Norwich Market. At just over four square metres, it’s one of the smallest in the country, and possibly even the world! But make no mistake, they make the most of this room in a really impressive way.

Home to over 100 different beers, including beers on tap, you can choose to stand at their bar, sit just around the corner on their tables, or take them away to enjoy in the comfort of your home! With Bavarian lager, craft sours, craft stouts, and plenty of IPAs, why not treat yourself to something new?

We recommend…

A man is looking through fridges of beer.

Sir Toby’s is one of the most unique bars you’ll find in Norwich!

The Wallow, Exchange Street

Our top pick for the best ambient music (we’re talking absolute classics from the 1980’s onwards), The Wallow is also a haven for wine lovers. With over 50 wines from over 40 distinct varieties, their collection is made from an array of countries and regions, leaving something to be found for every palate.

The Wallow even have self-service wine dispensers! Simply head to the bar, where you’ll be given your own Wallow card, top it up with however much you choose, then you’re free to pick and pour your wine from their dispensers! Samples are available beforehand too, so you can make sure you’ve made the right choice.

We recommend…

The Wallow is the go-to destination for any wine lover

Want to discover more fabulous food and drink in Norwich? Check out our Eat & Drink page to get some inspiration.