If you're looking for a dining experience with a difference, Gloucestershire has plenty of quirky spots to enjoy a bite to eat.
Tuck into a chilli dog and a shake at a retro American diner, have your breakfast on a bus, or enjoy a creative tasting menu with incredible views, with SoGlos rounding up some of our favourite places for quirky dining in the county.
Smokey Joe's in Cheltenham
Smokey Joe’s styles itself like a traditional 1950s American diner, with a bright, bold interior that's full of retro memorabilia, from vintage coke machines to 1980s arcade games which you can actually play.
The menu doesn’t disappoint either, with options like gourmet hot dogs, burgers, waffles and American-style brunches. Plus, the desserts are something else, with unicorn hot chocolates, ice cream sundaes and sweet shop shakes to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Circus Sauce at Giffords Circus
Touring the country alongside the spectacular Giffords Circus every summer, the Circus Sauce restaurant provides an unforgettable experience, with dishes inspired by the show, the season and the surrounding area.
Headed up by chef and award-winning Giffords Circus Cookbook author, Ols Halas, the restaurant is housed within a circus tent, with the kitchen being comprised of two traditional circus wagons. Serving up its menu of nostalgic, comforting and exceptional quality food on mix and match Emma Bridgewater crockery with surprises throughout the night, it's a must-visit for foodies and circus fans.
Galgos Latino in Stroud
Housed within a spectacular Arts and Crafts-inspired former pub, Galgos Latino gives diners in Stroud an authentic taste of South America.
The colourful restaurant was founded by two Venezuelan sisters, with its menu of small plates giving diners a chance to tuck into familiar favourites like tacos, nachos and empanaditas, alongside traditional Latin flavours like Venezuelan shredded beef stew, pork patacon and crispy plantain tostones de queso - not to mention some of the best mojitos in town.
The Coconut Tree in Cheltenham
SGGLA Restaurant of the Year 2022, Cheltenham's ever-popular The Coconut Tree is a relaxed, fun and quirky spot to enjoy some fantastic Sri Lankan food.
Order a colourful Cocotail - with options like the Sriki-Tiki and Yaka coming with a bit of tableside pyrotechnics - and a whole selection of its perfectly shareable street food-inspired dishes, with cheesy columbo, kotthu, fat sister pumpkin curry and hot battered spicy cuttlefish being some of our favourites.
Hetty's Bakery Café in Gloucester
While an industrial estate on the outskirts of Gloucester city centre might not be the first place you think of for brunch, Hetty's Bakery Café at the former Morelands Match Factory is well worth a visit.
The new café, which opened in June 2022, serves up an impressive brunch menu, with everything from churro dippers, lemon meringue French toast, jalapeño popper toasties and sweetcorn fritters with smashed avocado and sweet chilli jam to start with, as well as Wholly Gelato ice cream sandwiches, 'fudging delicious' brownies and affogato for dessert - because who doesn't want pudding with their brunch?!
The Old Prison in Northleach
Housed inside an actual former prison dating back to the 1700s, The Old Prison Café in Northleach is a quirky coffee spot to make a beeline for when out exploring the Cotswolds.
As well as enjoying soup, sausage rolls, sandwiches, handmade cakes and coffee, visitors can also explore the old prison cells, courtroom and Lloyd-Baker wagons for free.
The Barn at Severn and Wye Smokery in Chaxhill
Using old-fashioned methods to produce the highest quality smoked meat and fish, Severn and Wye Smokery in Chaxhill also has a café, restaurant and food hall on site, where diners can get a taste of its incredible produce, that's usually sold in Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
With dishes like Severn and Wye's own hot smoked salmon, crab mac and cheese, buttermilk halibut burger and confit duck croquettes, the regularly changing menu gets local foodies coming back again and again.
DEYA Brewing Company in Cheltenham
Gloucestershire's coolest brewery, DEYA in Cheltenham, is also a fantastic spot to tuck into some of the county's best street food.
Its onsite taproom is a popular spot with beer lovers for good reason - as well as enjoying their favourite brews straight from the source, visitors can tuck into everything from hand-stretched sourdough pizza, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, fresh falafel, crispy fried chicken and loaded burgers, with a different trader on site every week to keep things fresh and fun.
Born on the Cut Café near Sharpness
This floating café serves up coffee and cakes from its adorable barge on the Gloucester Sharpness canal.
Conveniently located close to Purton Ships' Graveyard, hungry passersby can tuck into speciality coffee, freshly baked cakes, soft scoop ice cream and smoothies, with home baked pizza and paninis available at the weekend, too.
Five Valleys Indoor Market in Stroud
The indoor market at Stroud's Five Valleys Shopping Centre lets diners enjoy freshly-rolled sushi, piri piri chicken straight from the grill, authentic Thai food, French patisserie, juicy barbecue burgers and Italian arancini all at the same time.
Its eclectic collection of street food traders serve up a variety of delicious dishes every day from 10am in a super relaxed environment, with live music on Friday nights and entertainment throughout the day on Sundays, too.
The Gardeners Arms near Tewkesbury
While the main menu at The Gardeners Arms is full of traditional favourites like burgers, fish and chips, pies and curries, what makes this pub near Tewkesbury worthy of a spot on our quirky dining list is its dedicated menu for dogs.
Lucky mutts can get their paws on their very own selection of dishes like the Hot Diggety Dog with sausage, rice and gravy; the Quarter Hounder with beef chunks, rice and gravy; and even a Sunday Woast with meat, potato, rice, vegetables and gravy - not to mention Scooby Snax like pig's ears and doggy ice cream, too.
The Cotswold Diner near Cheltenham
Fancy having your breakfast on a bus? The Cotswold Diner on the A436 near Cheltenham lets you do just that.
This retro-style diner inside a bus serves up an all day breakfast menu alongside filled baguettes, toasties and burgers - perfect for fuelling up on a walk along the Cotswold Way.
Relaxed fine dining restaurant, Sam's Montpellier in Cheltenham, has a unique menu, with dishes separated into earth, land, sea and sweet.
With dishes including vegan 'chorizo' arancini balls; charred leek, hazelnut and watercress tart; braised pig's cheeks with smoked mash; popcorn fried chicken with chipotle ketchup; Cornish mussels with samphire; and Scottish scallops with cauliflower puree and bacon crumbs, there's plenty to choose from - with affordable prices meaning you can order a selection of dishes to try.
Hooker and Eight in Gloucester
Perfect for Gloucester fans, rugby-themed pizza joint Hooker and Eight on Westgate Street serves up incredible handmade pizza - and is a firm favourite with players, too.
From its classic Cherry and White Margherita to the Sin Bin created by Lewis Ludlow, with veggie parmesan, mozzarella, Gloucester Old Spot sausage, smoked bacon, pickled red onions and garlic mushrooms, pizza fans won't be able to resist getting a slice of the action.
Karibu in Stroud
With a cute roof terrace and a globetrotting menu of plant-based dishes, Karibu in Stroud is a great choice for vegan and vegetarian diners, which won't disappoint meat eaters either.
Offering large and small plates, desserts, craft beer and cocktails, diners can tuck into dishes like crispy corn cakes, rice fritters, sweet and sour tofu, samosas, Mexican bean nachos, aubergine curry, and even a vegan burger.
Edible Art Patisserie in Cheltenham
Damien Wager's flagship Edible Art Patisserie in Montpellier creates beautiful, eye-catching cakes and pastries that wouldn't look out of place in the most prestigious patisseries of Paris.
With miniature gateaux in the shape of fruits like strawberries, watermelons, coconuts, lemons and apples, not to mention tennis balls, alongside pastel-perfect macarons, glossy tarts and even French fancies, these sweet treats really do look like works of art.
Dunkertons Organic Cider near Cheltenham
Dunkertons Organic Cider on the outskirts of Cheltenham has recently introduced three brand-new street food traders to its site, in collaboration with local businesses the Lucky Onion, Bella Mia and Koloshi.
Serving up sourdough pizzas and calzones, stuffed naan breads, juicy burgers, ribs, wings and fries, alongside Dunkertons award-winning organic cider, it's definitely one to add to your foodie bucket list - with Dunkertons also offering cidery tours and tastings, too.