8 places to enjoy a weekday lunch in Cheltenham

From small plates to tiffin boxes, via speedy seafood and bursting bagels, workers in Cheltenham are spoiled for choice with endless lunch break options to tempt them out of the office for an hour (or so) during the week.

By Eleanor Fullalove  |  Published
In the mood for Indian, Italian, or an Instagrammable three course feast? Cheltenhams chains and independent restaurants have every base covered when it comes to going out for lunch in the week.
In the mood for Indian, Italian, or an Instagrammable three course feast? Cheltenham’s chains and independent restaurants have every base covered when it comes to going out for lunch in the week.

We all need an excuse to leave the office at lunch… and having eateries like these on the doorstep should be all the encouragement you need, offering lunchtime specials and other concepts designed to fit neatly into your lunch break.

Whether you deserve a treat, are out to impress or just fancy a change, Cheltenham has all the street food, vegan-friendly options, fancy fish dishes and cheesy goodness you could want.

1. Sam’s Montpellier, The Courtyard

Serving small plates inspired by the best produce to come from the earth, land and sea, visitors to Sam’s Montpellier at lunchtimes from Tuesday to Saturday can take their pick from the same wide range of dishes as those who dine there in the evening.

And with dishes arriving at the table as soon as they are ready, you should have time to squeeze in some dessert as well. For those who don’t have to go back to the office after, Sam’s resident mixologist will be more than happy to shake up some of his signature cocktails as well.

2. Purslane, Rodney Road

Promising to turn around two courses in under an hour if you’re really pressed for time, seafood restaurant Purslane on Rodney Road (just off the High Street) serves lunch between 12pm and 2pm, Thursday to Saturday.

The weekly-changing light lunch menu combines British seafood with Cotswold produce to create dishes such as Cornish mackerel with smoked heritage beetroot, horseradish, tofu and cherry blossom vinegar.

3. Domaine 16, Regent Street

Just down the road from The Everyman Theatre in the centre of Cheltenham, diners at Domaine 16 can enjoy one of a selection of cheesy – and classically French – dishes, such as a croque monsieur, gooey baked Saint Marcellin, or a cheese and charcuterie plate as part of its lunchtime special, which also includes a soft drink, or a glass of house wine. Exclusively available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

4. Mowgli, The Brewery Quarter

With five types of ‘tiffin boxes for one’ on the menu, including The Office Worker’s Tiffin (and the Gluten-Free Office Worker’s Tiffin), Mowgli in Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter lets you play food roulette with four tiers of pot luck food – selected either by the chef, or by ‘mother’, as per Indian tradition. With veggie, vegan and gluten-free options available, the Indian street food specialist is ideal for those with different diets to cater for.

5. Bosco Pizzeria, The Quadrangle

Bosco Pizzeria officially opens its doors in Cheltenham on Thursday 19 May 2022 and is taking online bookings now! Curious? Then why not give the dedicated lunch menu a go, offering two or three courses, including classic Italian appetisers like risotto balls and bruschetta, as well as cannoli and gelato for dessert. Or, if you’d rather stick to one course, you can always try one of Bosco’s mini ‘pizzettas’ at lunchtime, instead.

6. The Steamhouse, St George’s Place

Having earned a cult following for its bagels (and doughnuts) over the border in Worcester, The Steamhouse is currently preparing to launch its first location in Cheltenham which is expected to open on St George’s Place in July 2022.

Stuffing its bagels with everything from classic fillings like smoked salmon and cream cheese to hot deli meats like salt beef with mustard and pickles, you can expect plenty of guest specials to look forward to as well.

7. Fire Truck Espresso, St Luke’s Church

Parked up outside St Luke’s Church near the hospital in Cheltenham, you can get your fix of coffee, toasties and brownies until 3pm Monday to Saturday – and some fresh air while you’re at it! Owner Richard even brings chairs and tables, so you and your friends and colleagues can sit outside in the sunshine and catch up properly.

8. GL50, Chester Walk

There is lunch… and there is lunch at GL50, where the six course lunchtime tasting menu (12pm to 2pm, Fridays and Saturdays) provides a taste of the innovative fare usually reserved for its dinner service. Priced at £50, this is one weekday lunch you’ll want to take your time over.

As part of the ‘informal fine dining’ experience at GL50, the chefs bring the food to your table and make a special effort to ensure that dishes are created with minimum waste. Salted caramel beef fat tart and potato skin ice cream? Yes, really!

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