top of page

Chester Pubs

The Heart and Soul of Chester: Its Pubs

If you are looking for a quintessentially British experience, look no further than the pubs of Chester. With a rich history dating back centuries, these cosy establishments have become an integral part of the city's culture.

Chester pubs trace their roots back to the Roman era when soldiers would gather at inns to drink and socialize after a long day on duty. Fast forward to the 16th century, and pubs had become popular meeting places for locals to catch up with friends and enjoy a pint or two.

The city saw an explosion of pub openings during the Industrial Revolution as new workers flocked to Chester's factories and mills, creating a need for lively gathering places after work hours. Today, there are around 80 pubs in Chester, each with its unique character and charm.

Chester Pubs

Chester Pubs: A Reflection of Local Culture


The significance of pubs in Chester's culture cannot be overstated. They are not just placed to grab a drink but serve as community centres where locals come together to share stories, engage in lively debates, play games like darts or pool, listen to live music or simply soak up the atmosphere. In many ways, pubs reflect the soul of their localities – they are microcosms that offer insight into people’s values and beliefs.

In Chester's case, its pubs bear witness to centuries-old traditions and cultural values that have stood the test of time. Moreover, these cosy establishments have played host to some significant events throughout history.

From secret meetings between revolutionaries plotting against oppressive regimes in centuries past to modern-day political rallies that shape our society today- public houses remain vital as symbols of freedom of expression and democratic engagement. So if you want a glimpse into what makes this idyllic city tick- its people's wayward humour; political affiliations; quirky customs – you can do no better than finding a warm spot in one of Chester’s cosy pubs.

Top Pubs in Chester


The Cross Keys: A Historic Pub with a Cozy Atmosphere

Located in the city centre, The Cross Keys is one of the oldest pubs in Chester and boasts a rich history dating back to 1550. It has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere with wooden beams, a fireplace, and traditional pub decor.

The pub also offers live music, quiz nights and even cheese-tasting events. The menu is filled with classic pub food such as fish and chips, burgers, and pies, but they also offer vegetarian options.

The real highlight of The Cross Keys is their selection of cask ales which are kept in top condition by knowledgeable staff. With its historic charm and warm atmosphere, it's no wonder why this pub has become a local favourite.

The Brewery Tap: A Trendy Pub with a Great Selection of Craft Beers


If you're looking for something more modern than The Cross Keys but with an equally impressive drinks selection then look no further than The Brewery Tap. This trendy bar is located within walking distance of the city centre and offers an extensive range of craft beers including several brewed on-site at their microbrewery. The Brewery Tap has an industrial-chic design with exposed brick walls, metal light fixtures, and plenty of seating both inside and out on the terrace.

They also offer delicious pizzas cooked fresh in-house to accompany your drinks. If you're feeling adventurous then try one of their beer-tasting flights or ask for recommendations from their friendly staff.

The Olde Custom House Inn near the City Centre on the way to the Chester races.

This charming 17th-century pub has been refurbished to reflect its maritime heritage while offering modern comforts such as comfortable seating, a roaring fire, and live music. The pub serves classic pub food such as fish and chips and steak pie but they also offer some seafood dishes like their popular seafood platter.

The real treat of visiting The Olde Custom House Inn is situated near the west side of the City centre. If you're out at the Chester Races, then this pub is just up the hill to the traffic lights as you go to the City Centre.

Old Custom House Inn Chester

Hidden Gems


The Pied Bull: A Hidden Gem with a Unique History and Great Food


If you're looking for a pub that's steeped in history, look no further than The Pied Bull. This hidden gem has been serving up pints since the 16th century, making it one of the oldest pubs in Chester. The building itself is overflowing with charm, from its half-timbered exterior to its cosy interior with exposed brick walls and low ceilings. You can also stay at the Pied Bull and be in the centre of the City.

But it's not just the history that makes The Pied Bull special - it's also the food and drink. The pub is known for its delicious homemade pies, which come in all sorts of flavours like steak and ale, chicken and mushroom, or even vegan options like lentils & vegetables.

And of course, you can't leave without trying their house ale, which is brewed right on-site. If you're lucky enough to visit during the summer months, pop in for a refreshing pint, and grab a seat in the lovely courtyard, we always do!

The Cellar: An Underground Pub with a Relaxed Vibe and Live Music


Tucked away beneath street level lies The Cellar - an underground pub that's well worth seeking out. This cosy spot is known for its relaxed vibe and live music nights featuring local talent. Whether you're into acoustic sets or rock 'n' roll bands, there's always something good on offer here.

What sets The Cellar apart from other pubs is its unique character - literally. The walls are lined with murals painted by local artists depicting everything from Chester landmarks to abstract designs.

It makes for an interesting backdrop while enjoying your favourite brew (or cider!) from their extensive selection of drinks on tap. And if you're feeling peckish, they serve up some tasty bar snacks too - we recommend trying their loaded fries or nachos!

The Cellar Chester
The Cellar inside

Pub Crawls


City Centre Pub Crawl?

Explore the Best Pubs in the Heart of Chester


Chester city centre is home to a wide variety of pubs offering everything from traditional ales and live music to modern cocktails and craft beers. A pub crawl is a great way to explore the vibrant nightlife scene in this historic city, and there's no better place to start than in the heart of the city itself. Begin your pub crawl at The Cross Keys, a cosy, historic pub dating back to the 16th century.

This pub features traditional decor and serves up delicious food alongside its selection of real ales. From there, make your way to The Botanist, which offers live music and an extensive range of cocktails made with fresh herbs and botanicals.

The next stop is Harkers Arms, another traditional pub serving up excellent food alongside its selection of cask ales.


End your night at Telford's Warehouse - a trendy venue that doubles as both a bar and club featuring top DJs spinning dancefloor until late.

Food and Drink Specialties


Real Ale Pubs:

Discover the Best Pubs for Traditional Real Ale Lovers


For those who love traditional real ales, Chester has plenty of pubs to choose from. These pubs serve locally-brewed cask ales in an old-fashioned atmosphere that will transport you back to a time when beer was brewed by hand.


The Handbridge Pub is one such place, serving real ale since the 19th century. The pub is located on the south banks of the River Dee, which adds to its charm.


Another great pub for real ale lovers is The Architect. It is very near the Chester Racecourse and recommended by us.

This pub offers an extensive range of local and regional real ales, including award-winning beers from microbreweries around the UK. With its relaxed atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, The Architect is the perfect place to go if you want to try something new.

Gin Bars:

Indulge in Some Delicious Gin Cocktails at These Specialty Bars


Gin has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and Chester's bar scene has responded with some fantastic gin bars. One such place is The Botanist, which boasts an impressive selection of gins from all over the world.

Their signature gin cocktails are not to be missed – try their “Raspberry & Sage Sling” or “Passionfruit & Basil Crush” for a refreshing twist.


Another great gin bar in Chester is Barlounge. This trendy venue offers over 60 different types of gin, including some unique craft gins you won’t find anywhere else in town. Their skilled mixologists will create bespoke cocktails tailored to your tastes – whether it's a classic G&T or something more adventurous like their “Rhubarb & Ginger Fizz”.

Overall, whether you're a fan of traditional real ale or fancy trying some new gin cocktails, Chester's pubs have something for everyone. So why not gather some friends and head out to explore the city's vibrant bar scene?

Unique Features of Certain Pubs (e.g., haunted, secret rooms)

Chester's pub culture is full of unique features and quirks that make each establishment stand out from one another. For example, The Pied Bull is known for having a secret underground room that was once used by monks from St Werburgh’s Abbey during medieval times. 

So next time you're in Chester, make sure to take some time to explore the city's amazing pubs and all they have to offer.


The Heart of Chester's Culture


Pubs have been a central part of Chester's culture for centuries. They are more than just places to grab a pint - they're social spaces where people come together to relax, unwind, and connect with one another. From the historic Cross Keys to the trendy Brewery Tap, each pub in Chester has its own unique character and charm.

But pubs in Chester are more than just drinking establishments. They're also hubs for community events, live music performances, and even poetry readings.

Throughout the year, pubs around the city host various festivals and celebrations that bring people from all walks of life together. These events showcase the best of what Chester has to offer - great food, excellent beer and wine selections, live entertainment, and a warm sense of community.

The Future Looks Bright


While some may worry about the future of Chester Pubs (and beyond), there's no denying that these institutions remain an integral part of our lives. Even as technology continues to reshape our world at an unprecedented pace, it seems likely that we'll continue to seek out these traditional social spaces for years to come.

bottom of page