If you're stuck on where to go for a delicious bite to eat this summer, look no further! Whether you're in the mood for exquisite local flavours or international culinary delights, we've found something for everyone.

Here, we've curated a list of some of the best, five star establishments in the area, ensuring you have an array of top-tier dining options to explore.


Eat The Bird in Taunton

Somerset County Gazette: Dan Aldridge, Eat The Bird’s owner with one of its burgers
Taunton’s Eat The Bird is an award-winning burger joint offering “the best fried chicken in town”.

Located on the riverside at Pegasus Court, Coal Orchard, Eat The Bird is possibly the most chilled-out spot to enjoy a night with friends in Taunton over “a few too many cocktails”.

Eat The Bird began as a street food wagon and opened its Taunton location in 2017. It now also has burger joints in Cardiff and Exeter, and a pub residency in Bristol.

Dan Aldridge, Eat The Bird’s owner, said: “We’ve flipped the beef burger model on its head and we’re effectively a burger restaurant specialising in fried chicken.

“Our Taunton restaurant is the OG that started it all, and it’s still the most popular. It’s right by the river so it’s perfect for enjoying a lazy evening in the sun with friends.”

Eat The Bird has an impressive collection of awards, with “chicken wings so good they’ve won Wing Fest twenty times”. Its Chicktator burger – fried chicken with Korean barbecue, kimchi, ssamjang, and iceberg – won Streetfood Dish of the Year at the Streetfood Championships.

However, the restaurant’s most recent high-profile victory was on Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me: The Professionals, where they won first prize competing against two other “very different” restaurants in Exeter.

Somerset County Gazette:
All of the dishes are cooked fresh to order, and almost all of the food is made daily in-house by the head chef Laurie Padure and the team – including the restaurant’s secret sauces.

Eat The Bird’s signature chicken takes 36 hours to prepare as it is twice brined to lock in flavour and twice breaded for “outrageous crust”.

But it’s not only chicken that Dan and his team have perfected, they offer dry-aged beef and bacon burgers too. There’s also a fantastic range of vegetarian or vegan burgers on offer.

The self-professed “godfathers of fried chicken” in Taunton, managed by Matt Harper, have an impressive record when it comes to food hygiene. It is one of the few restaurants in the town to have an Elite Award, having maintained a 5* Food Hygiene Rating for three years in a row.

Dan added: “We are running an offer until the end of June. Order for delivery on our website using the code DELIVERY for 10% off.”

Eat The Bird delivers within three miles of the restaurant and offers click-and-collect. Table bookings can be made online at eatthebird.co.uk


Maliha & Taj in Taunton

Somerset County Gazette:
Taunton’s Maliha & Taj Bengali & Indian Restaurant is known for its reliably great curry, “friendly atmosphere”, and quick service. It proudly holds a 5-star Food Hygiene Rating.

With hundreds of positive reviews on Google, Maliha & Taj lives up to its reputation — whether you’re craving a takeaway delivered to your door or a sophisticated dine-in experience. The restaurant’s charming building with modern interiors is worth leaving the house for, located at 3 Staplegrove Rd.

Mo Islam, who manages the restaurant with Omar Faruq, said: “Our chefs have decades of experience between them, and our friendly staff offer a quality service. We think we’ve got the best location in town, an easy walk from the train station. We look forward to welcoming you.”

Somerset County Gazette:
Maliha & Taj is a Taunton staple, with new dishes always on rotation to keep customers’ taste buds entertained. Choose from speciality Bengali dishes such as Chingri Rumpal, or treat yourself to a top-notch Chicken Madras. The restaurant offers many vegetarian and vegan options.

Customers can order for delivery or pick-up on the Maliha & Taj website or app for 10% off. Card or cash payments can be taken at your door.

Get in touch at 01823 322722 or visit malihaandtaj.co.uk.

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Mecca, Taunton

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Taunton’s Mecca Bingo earns a 5* Food Hygiene Rating

There are many reasons to visit Taunton’s Mecca Bingo, and its range of great value dishes is one of them. All that Bingo can work up an appetite, but thankfully Mecca’s menu offers a good variety of meals and snacks to enjoy while you play. Choose from crowd-favourites including fish and chips, chicken tikka curry, and burgers. Alternatively, grab yourself some loaded fries to snack on while you play bingo. There’s also a selection of Harry Ramsden’s dishes available.

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Players can order food and drinks from their seats using the My Mecca App, so no game of bingo goes interrupted! Andrew Richbell, general manager of Mecca in Taunton, said: “Bingo is great entertainment and can be an affordable night out, around £20 to £25 a head for a night and food.”

He added: “Saturday is a really good night for new members to come and try. There’s a slightly more laid-back atmosphere, and if you win on a Saturday, you're going to win a smaller but significant amount of money. “Saturday night has Even Stevens prizes - 15 chances to win £100. On Sunday players have the chance to win the £1,000 prize. You can pre-book your games at meccabingo.com/bingo-clubs/taunton.


Sara’s Kitchen in Trull

Somerset County Gazette:
Sara’s Kitchen is a hidden gem in Trull, Taunton, with a delicious range of homemade treats baked fresh by the team at the shop. The deli’s offering includes legendary Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, sandwiches, pastries, cakes, and more.

Sara Carless, 46, the owner and former pub landlady said: “People come for the Scotch eggs and the cakes, but end up staying for a chat and that’s what it’s all about. They’ll usually also pick up a few homemade ready meals while they’re here.”

The deli runs a popular takeaway pizza night on Fridays, from 5pm. Sara’s Kitchen opens from 8am to 4pm Tuesday to Thursday, 8am to 7:30pm on Friday, and 9:30am to 2pm on Saturday.

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Lucy Enticott, 23, who previously worked at one of Sara’s pubs, is the deli’s dedicated cake maker and responsible for the brilliant variety baked daily. The deli’s all-lady team, mostly from the village, have been “friends for years”.

Running the deli is Sara’s dream come true, she said: “I live in the village as well, and I've always wanted to run this little deli. As I’ve had pubs for years, i’m used to talking to everyone and love a chat with our customers.”

Find them on Facebook, or call 07479 545072.

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The Anchor Inn at Hillfarrance

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The Anchor Inn is a rare Somerset gem, having been owned and run by the same family for nearly 18 years. With an emphasis on fresh food and local produce, Laura and her team produce exciting, seasonal menus, offering interesting well thought out dishes. From their ‘small plates’ dishes, to Greek inspired gyros, fabulous homemade burgers using Exmoor farmed beef, not to mention their highly recommended Sunday roast and Famous Anchor homemade pies.

Looking after their customers is their top priority, which is why they’ve held a 5* food hygiene rating for some 15 years and why they so confidently offer gluten free and dairy free dishes as standard. Team Anchor pride themselves on their menu planning and the wider team’s menu knowledge that allows customers with allergens to feel safe when dining at the Anchor. 

Somerset County Gazette:
Their attention to delivering professional, warm and friendly customer service, alongside first class dishes makes them one of Somerset’s best loved pubs. In fact, last week we informed them they’ve been shortlisted for Somerset County Gazette Pub of the Year.

“Being in the same business for so many years has given us a wealth of experience, an opportunity to evolve steadily and really understand our very loyal customers.” said Laura Magee, owner and manager of the Anchor Inn.

Book online theanchorinn.net, or call them on 01823 461334.

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The Lethbridge Arms, Bishops Lydeard

Somerset County Gazette: The pub is in the top five rated restaurants in Taunton on Tripadvisor
The Lethbridge Arms is far more than meets the eye, with Taunton’s top-rated Thai restaurant nestled inside a 16th-century village pub.

The inn, in Bishops Lydeard, offers the best of a British pub with an excellent array of Thai cuisine to enjoy with your pint. All of the food, including the crowd-favourite Pad Thai, is made fresh to order so you can choose how spicy you’d like your dish to be.

Landlady Sarah Snowden, who has been running pubs for over 25 years, said: “Amy Gratton is our top Thai chef, she was taught by her parents in Thailand before she moved to the UK.

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“Amy’s family go back to Thailand for three weeks every year and then we usually change the menu slightly afterwards with any new trends they’ve noticed while they’re out there. We call ourselves the Top Thai Team! My favourite dish is the Pad Phak.”

The pub is in the top five rated restaurants in Taunton on Tripadvisor, with over 500 five-star reviews. It has six letting rooms and boasts a “lovely south-facing beer garden that’s a suntrap”.

Room and table bookings can be made online at thelethbridgearms.co.uk


The Ring of Bells in Taunton

Somerset County Gazette: Ring of Bells, on St James Street, Taunton
Taunton’s Ring of Bells is a must-visit traditional pub, with all the charm of a country pub and the convenience of a town-centre location.

Ring of Bells, on St James Street, delivers consistently top-notch English cuisine made fresh to order using locally sourced produce. It has a tempting roster of Real Ales from the South West that rotates regularly, as well as local ciders, lagers, and more.

The pub backs onto the County Cricket Ground and Taunton Brewhouse, making it the go-to location for spectators and theatre-goers wanting a pre-show dinner.

Somerset County Gazette:
Owner Matt Harvey, 45, has been in pubs for over 25 years and has perfected creating a memorably good experience for pub-goers from the moment they walk through the door. Ring of Bells has hundreds of glowing reviews on Tripadvisor, many crediting the “service with a smile”.

Matt said: “We like to look after people and create a friendly atmosphere for our customers. That’s why we do table service throughout. We’ve brought an out-of-town pub into the centre of Taunton.”

Ring of Bells boasts a large beer garden that you’d be hard-pressed to beat on a sunny afternoon in Taunton. Bookings can be made on 01823 259480, or at theringofbellstaunton.com.


The Stables at Hestercombe, Taunton

Somerset County Gazette: Hestercombe Head Chef Cos Lobb-Miller’s menus are “renowned for their beautiful presentation”
The Stables at Hestercombe is a historic spot offering a delectably seasonal menu with locally sourced produce. Pop in for a casual brunch, a leisurely lunch, or a scrumptious coffee and cake.

Located on the grounds of the 16th-century country house in Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, visitors are free to visit The Stables and Caffè + Gelato without paying for admission to Hestercombe’s house or gardens.

Dine inside the original stables or sit outdoors in the glass-covered courtyard – with full table service throughout. Hestercombe Head Chef Cos Lobb-Miller’s menus are “renowned for their beautiful presentation”, making it a choice spot for a celebratory lunch or Sunday Lunch.

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Lunch is served between 12pm and 2.30pm. The Stables boasts plenty of vegetarian options, and gluten-free or plant-based options are available on request.

Alternatively, treat yourself to The Stable’s Afternoon Tea or Cream Tea, which fans of Bridgerton are sure to enjoy. Afternoon Tea, £22.95 per person, is a choice of sweet or savoury scone, freshly prepared pastries, finger sandwiches, warm savouries, and a pot of loose-leaf tea or cafetiere coffee. Gift vouchers are available.

Book on 01823 414197 during opening hours, 10am to 5pm. Hestercombe is a cashless venue, payments by debit, credit card, or contactless are accepted. View menus at hestercombe.com/your-visit/food