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If you’re looking to grab breakfast or a light lunch in Cheltenham then take a look through 8 of our favourite cafés in Cheltenham, all of which cater to an eclectic mix of tastes.

Being one of the central Cotswold towns and lying within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Cheltenham is the prime location for exploring all different types of eateries. Are you heading to the Cheltenham Races and are looking for a place to enjoy a hearty meal beforehand? Whether you’re going with family or a group of friends, there are plenty of hot spots to explore.

Read more to discover 8 of the best cafés in Cheltenham…

1. The Cotswold Diner

The Cotswold Diner, Cheltenham

The first in our list of Cheltenham cafés happens to be one of our quirkiest choices, a 1950s-inspired American Diner set up on a bus. A family-friendly environment, run by a husband and wife duo team, Neil and Maria Thomas.

Opened in 2014, and situated on the outskirts of Cheltenham on the side of a countryside lane, this unique café setup catches the eye of many tourists as they drive by.

A huge attraction for walkers who find themselves peckish along the way, serving a high-quality breakfast menu, premium beef burgers, toasties, baguettes and a small selection of vegetarian options.

Indulge in a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, or a piping hot cappuccino to get your day started on a high.

Providing a 50% special offer on food for members of our Armed Forces that pass through.

Opening times: Mon-Fri 7:30 – 2:30 p.m; Sat 8:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Address: Chatcombe, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 4AX

Contact: 07725667304

2. The Coffee Dispensary

The Coffee Dispensary, Cheltenham

Situated within a former pharmacy, in the town centre of Cheltenham, this delightful café is a favourite with the locals.

Offering hand-crafted coffees with single estate beans brewed to perfection,  you can discover your new favourite blend in this stylish bistro.

Whether a latte, cappuccino or hot chocolate takes your fancy, you will not be disappointed. Or take a risk and try one of their turmeric coconut lattes, chilli hot chocolates or the delicious peanut butter brownie.

With non-dairy milk available, a vegan cake option and friendly staff who are happy to help with any requests you may have, there are so many tasty treats to discover inside, you won’t want to miss this one.

If you’ve got your four-legged companion with you on your Cotswolds holiday, fear not, The Coffee Dispensary prides itself on being very dog-friendly!

Opening times: Mon-Sat 8:30 – 17:30 p.m.; Sun 10:00 – 16:30 p.m.

Address: 18 Regent Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1HE

Contact: 01242 260597

3. Smokey Joe’s

Smokey Joe's, Cheltenham

Nicknamed ‘Cheltenham’s Favourite Retro Diner’, this café has been a family-run business for four generations. Beginning with Great Grandma Hilda, who used to serve Afternoon Tea on the lawn at her house during the 1930s.

Each generation from then on reopened a café under the same name bringing American life and the retro theme to life with each upgrade.

The interior décor transports you back to the 1950s as soon as you step through the door. Retro pinball machines, a juke box and vintage arcade games will greet you.

Slide into one of the booths or pull up a chair on one of the bar stools and indulge in American-style sandwiches. Spice it up with a BLT or a tasty New Yorker. For those with dairy and gluten intolerances, you can still enjoy a lovely home-cooked meal with plenty of alternative options to choose from.

This Cheltenham café is a real hidden gem tucked away just off the high street and is a must-see for visitors to this historic town.

Opening times: Mon-Thu 10:00 – 9:00 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10:00 – 11:00 p.m.; Sun 11:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Address: 16 Bennington Street, Cheltenham, GL50 4ED

Contact: 01242 513744

4. Vinnie’s Eatery

Do you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet? Then look no further than Vinnie’s Eatery for your one-stop Cheltenham café to discover some of the finest food in town.

Described as “The first plant-based, whole food, seasonal eatery in Cheltenham”, serving a multitude of food options all of which boast healthy and wholesome breakfast and lunch choices.

Offering a selection of smoothies, made with fresh fruit and oat milk, with all of their teas and coffees made using their in-house walnut, sesame milk or Cotteswold dairy milk. Whatever your preferred choice, Vinnie’s Eatery has something to suit you.

There are daily vegan and gluten free cakes to indulge in, whilst enjoying this friendly atmosphere, with plenty of comfortable seating options. An exceptional dining experience can be found in this wonderful location.

Opening times: Wed-Sat 9:30 – 4:00 p.m; Sun 10:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Address: 3 Crescent Terrace, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3PE

Contact: 01242 228989

5. Café Rouge

Café Rouge, Cheltenham

Once an old post and sorting office, this delightful Cheltenham café offers a taste of history, as well as a stylish and modern decor. The letterbox, which is situated outside, is allegedly the second eldest in the UK, while the interior boasts an elegant, vintage Paris maps with Annecy mirror artwork.

Located in the heart of Cheltenham, easily accessible after a morning cruising the local shops. There is also a first floor private bar area, ideal for all types of gatherings and celebrations, if you’re looking to host a party.

Are you a steak lover? Their menu has a selection of Black Angus steaks which have aged for 35 days to ensure fantastic flavour and texture. Or try one of their meat-free baguettes such as the grilled vegetable and halloumi, delicious salads or their famous spicy chickpea burger.

Whatever your foodie preference, Café Rouge have something to suit you. With seasonal set menus so you’ll never miss out on an opportunity to discover a new tasty dish and the always popular ‘Afternoon Tea for two’ priced at only £25. Delight in the delectable cakes, chocolate mousse and fruit scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam – and let’s not forget the fabulous English tea.

Visit this high-class Cheltenham café during your Cotswolds holiday to discover a range of fantastic food options.

Opening times: Mon-Sat 9:00 – 10:00 p.m; Sun 9:00 – 21:30.

Address: 31-41 The Promenade, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1NQ

Contact: 01242 529 989;

6. Curious Café and Bistro

The Curious Café and Bistro, Cheltenham

The Curious Café and Bistro prides itself on having a relaxing and friendly atmosphere and offering the ‘best breakfast in town’. Start your day in this family-friendly bistro, and treat your little ones to a wonderful home-cooked meal, with a quaint courtyard area to the rear, offering a lovely space to sit out in the morning sun, with a refreshing cup of tea.

The Curious Café and Bistro caters to many dietary requirements; whether vegetarian or vegan, the friendly staff will be on-hand to help cook up your perfect meal, with a classic veggie breakfast already included on the menu.

Indulge in a classic lemon drizzle or carrot cake with your morning coffee or try one of their smoothies or milkshakes to quench your thirst, with a large selection of teas and coffees to suit your individual tastes.

Looking for a place to have a private party? Between the hours of 6 and 11 p.m., a music and alcohol license has been secured for you to enjoy a fun-filled evening with friends or family.

Opening times: Mon-Fri 8:00 – 2:30 p.m; Sat 8:30 – 2:30 p.m; Sun 9:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Address: 204 Bath Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7NE

Contact: 01242 226854

7. School House Café

This fine dining Cheltenham café has been designed to suit anyone looking for a quality breakfast or lunch. Bring your laptop and enjoy an afternoon in a caffeine frenzy while writing that next best-selling novel or catching up on some work.

This community-focused café intends to deliver a place that inspires its customers to stay and indulge in its many cakes, pastries and hot drinks, with plenty of options for kids to choose from.

Situated within a small lobby of the old St Paul’s School that was closed down in 1980, a need for a community based site was founded in 2013 and the School House Café was born.

Hand-crafted gourmet coffees are available, bringing you only the best coffee blends bursting with flavour. Try your hand at one of their fruit teas or chai lattes for something different, plus your little ones will love their selection of smoothies and milkshakes, with a variety of flavours such as the ever-popular Oreo or a delightful Unicorn flavour.

Offering the classic all-day breakfast, sandwiches, waffles, toasties and much more, there is something for everyone at the wonderful location, with staff on-hand to help you secure a dairy or gluten free dish should you need it.

Opening times: Mon-Fri 8:30 – 4:00 p.m; Sat 10:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Address: St Paul’s Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4EZ

Contact: 07377567198;

8. Boston Tea Party

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Nestled in the town centre of Cheltenham, this café is ideally situated for enjoying a spot of lunch after a busy morning visiting the local sites. With seating spaced across two floors, you have plenty of options to choose from upon arrival, without the need of booking a table.

A café which welcomes your dogs as one of their own, and was voted the most ethical café in the UK by Ethical Consumer in early 2019. Serving a fabulous selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, everyone can enjoy a scrumptious meal here, no matter the dietary requirements.

With tables and chairs outdoors, you can enjoy your breakfasts outside during the summer months, and have a taste of the cooler drinks on tap.

Delight in a breakfast of poached eggs with halloumi and avocado or choose a classic full English – whatever your preference, there will be an option to suit you.

Opening times: Mon-Sat 7:00 – 7:00 p.m; Sun 8:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Address: 45-49 Clarence Street, Cheltenham, GL50 3JS

Contact: 01242 573 935;

If you need some inspiration on holiday cottages or places to visit in the area, then take a look at our Cheltenham travel guide for tips. Browse through our selection of self-catering cottages in Cheltenham and secure your idyllic Cotswolds break now.

Image credits: Jayt74(CC BY-SA 2.0)David Wilson(CC BY 2.0); Katherine Lim(CC BY 2.0); Kathryn(CC BY-ND 2.0); Andrew Stawarz(CC BY-ND 2.0); danstowell(CC BY-SA 2.0).

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