The 11 Best Beer Gardens in Chester
Is there anything more summery than a cold beer in a buzzing beer garden in Chester?
If you can think of anything, let us know. But if you’re on the hunt for the best places to catch a tan while you’re socialising this summer, this guide to the top beer gardens in Chester city centre is written for you. Our Funktion HQ resides in the city walls and we know a thing or two about an after work beer when the sun doesn’t set until 9pm. There are plenty of pretty outdoor spaces between the historical architecture, but which venues go the extra mile?
1. The Architect
Website | 54 Nicholas St, CH1 2NX
As soon as the Architect opened in 2012 it became an instant hotspot for punters because of the prime location and stunning building. This slice of history overlooks the Chester racecourse with a beer garden that’s big enough for a small tribe. They serve both food and drinks, both being excellent quality with seasonal menus. If the suns out, there’s no better place to experience a quintessential afternoon in this historic city than at the Architect.
2. The Boathouse
Website | 21 The Groves, CH1 1SD
The Boathouse has a prime location by the River Dee for a unique Chester beer garden setting. They’ve really cornered the market when it comes to memorable summer events that utilise their outdoor space and views over the river. Think bougie BBQ’s, beach huts and an outdoor fire pit and you’ve got the idea. The Boathouse has a lot of experience with parties and special events, so if you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate, make a toast with a river view!
Website | 64 Frodsham St, CH1 3JL
Like the name suggests, this hotel/bar hybrid is an Alice in Wonderland style venue with all the trimmings. The beer garden is truly a hidden gem on Lower Bridge Street, as you have to walk through the inside bar to reach the labyrinth. This beer garden in Chester is unique in that it has multiple levels with different private areas for hire. You can get yourself a booth with heaters or even hide from unpredictable UK weather in their awesome BBQ shed.
4. Commonhall Social
Website | 10 Commonhall St, CH1 2BJ
Commonhall Social is a local gem found right in the heart of the city, and the space might surprise you. Once you walk through the quirky bar you’ll find a cosy Chester beer garden with wooden furniture and unique décor. Think of commonhall social like your (rich) mates garden, as the place is furnished for comfort with low tables and scattered pillows. The drinks selection is pretty spectacular, and the garden rises above the rooves of the city to provide a nice little sun trap for visitors.
Website | 1 St John St, CH1 1RE
Popcorn is one of the newest additions to the city, and the closest bar to our little office – we love it there! Their vibe is inspired by plants, with floral and botanical décor filling the light and airy space. As for the beer garden, this outdoor drinking area is situated in a courtyard square and filled with seating space. The picnic tables are spread underneath large umbrellas dripping with colourful flowers. If you prefer to chill in the shade with your glass of wine, Popcorn is calling your name.
6. Opera Grill
Website | 3 Pepper St, Chester CH1 1DF
Opera Grill has made the list for best beer gardens in Chester because of their unique ‘outdoor’ space. Found on Pepper Street, this venue has cleverly created an upstairs space with a retractable roof that’s pretty impressive. The space is all glass with Opera Grill’s signature orange seating and clean décor. If you’re on the hunt for somewhere a little more up scale with a high quality food and bubbles, Opera Grill is definitely worth a try on a sunny day.
Website | Newgate St, CH1 1DE
This little North West city is packed full of unique buildings, and Church bar is one that really stands out from the crowd. As the name suggests this bar is housed in a converted chapel and still has original features like a church organ and stained-glass windows. The front of the bar provides a long outdoor space that is one of the best beer gardens in Chester. It’s always busy, keeping all the punters ‘hydrated’ with a little bar outside and tables to lounge around on.
Website | Rufus Court, Chester CH1 2JW
Alexanders bring something different to Chester’s beer garden scene as it’s also the city’s most frequented music venue. Found in Rufus Court, this venue has a lot of different faces as a café by day, and a mini concert arena by night. The venue is able to utilise the courtyard space during the summer, opening their seating and standing area out so every in the crowd can catch a tan. They also have a substantial beer garden overlooking the meadows out back.
9. The Handbridge
66 Handbridge, Chester CH4 7JF
Just over the River Dee is Handbridge, a little village with The Handbridge pub right in it’s centre. The outdoor space here is known as the Secret Garden and is like stepping into another, much greener world of your own. The garden is alive and buzzing all throughout sunny afternoons with plenty of picnic-style tables and little beach huts for more privacy. They have a pretty stellar selection of real ales and craft beers, plus a solid pub grub food menu if you get peckish after a few ciders in the sun.
Website | Souter's Ln, CH1 1SD |
Since the pandemic hit in 2020, Hickory’s have really utilised their outdoor space to keep up with the rollercoaster of social distancing rules. Now, you can find comfy sofas, leisurely high seats and tables scattered around an aesthetically pleasing beer garden in Chester. Enjoy a plethora of southern style cocktails under the café lights or dip into their extensive beer collection for rehydration. Hickory’s is also just a stones throw away from the River Dee, perfect for a sunny stroll in between some drinks.
11. Et Alia
Website | Dee Banks, Great Boughton, CH3 5UX
If you’re not fussed about being right in the city centre, explore a little further afield with the impressive, tiered beer garden at Et Alia. This restaurant is found on the Dee Banks and is famed for the stunning outdoor space that’s on a hill spilling down towards the relaxing river. There’s plenty of wooden platforms with little tables to balance your drinks on, plus grassy areas where you can stretch out and feel the sun on your face. Et Alia at the Red House even has it’s own mini dock so you can get close and personal to the riverside.