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“Don't let the outside put you off” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Caffe Atina

Caffe Atina
103 Foregate Street | City Centre, Chester CH1 1HE, England (Formerly 103 Foregate Street)
+44 1244 320894
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Ranked #20 of 411 Restaurants in Chester
Price range: $8 - $31
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Small family ran restaurant serving fresh home cooked food, great wines and beers in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly helpful staff. We have a full licence so you can just pop in for a drink with friends and family.Check us out on facebook for all our latest offers!
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Don't let the outside put you off”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

I visited here on Sunday with my partner. We were wandering around Chester after some shopping, trying to decide where to have lunch when we remembered Trip Advisor. We searched for cafes in Chester and Atina came out on top. Aren't we glad we did that!

I have walked past this cafe many times on previous trips to Chester and often been put off by the exterior (it's hidden by old columns and under an old glass roof). But inside it's clean and modern. We sat at the breakfast bar in the window so we could people watch. It was quiet when we visited so no real atmosphere. I liked the music they were playing; unusual and a bit random covering totally different genres.

Although a little pricey, the food was lovely. There is a lot of choice. We enquired about brunch and were given a brunch menu to look through, as well as the lunch one we were originally given when we sat down. My partner was very happy that they served breakfast ALL day (a lot of places stop at 11.30). Staff were friendly and efficient. Will definitely go again.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
253 reviews 253 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“Lovely food but do not risk it if you are in a hurry”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We visited Atina with plenty of time to spare and that probably accounts for my asessment that differs from Andrew's. The review is also less critical as we did not suffer the situation to which he and his friend were subjected.

On waiting for a meal - yes, it did seem to take an inordinate time from sitting down, being presented menues, ordering and receiving the food. However, I was only beginning to feel restive and the food arrived. It really was worth the wait. The meals taste as though they are cooked to order, by a chef who is interested in providing a delicious meal which is attractive and at the same time, plentiful.

The service was pleasant, although I think that there is some additional training needed to encourage more speedy attention to customers as soon as possible after they arrive.

Despite feeling that everything could have been done more efficiently we left with an overall positive attitude toward Atina. On the other hand, I sympathise with Andrew. I dislike places that do not have a flexible menu. I can see that there could well be a time specific breakfast menu. However, a brunch/lunch menu should begin earlier than twelve. If Atina is offering only breakfast and lunch then let them say so; have the times clearly stated on a notice as one walks in and no-one will be disappointed.

I'd go to Atina again for the food, but would allow plenty of time and take a companion with whom I could chat or a book - possibly Andrew might suggest 'War and Peace'?

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caernarfon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Amazing food but terrible service.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

Sounds like we had a similar experience to OP191...

We had just checked out of our hotel and carried our luggage and were looking for a nice place for brunch (it was 11:25am when we arrived) before we caught the train home.

We were pondering for a while where to sit (you go through a corridor to find a back room seating area) and couldn't find any menus, yet could see others with some. We walked passed the manager and he said "I'll be with you in a minute". We ended up sitting at the window bar table, and were there waiting for a good ten minutes and still no service (keep in mind, that it was not busy) we then saw the menu outside by the door. We had to resort to pick our meals from here. After we had chosen our meals we went over to the bar (as we still hadn't been served, longest "minute" I've ever spent!) only to be told that we we had to wait twenty minutes until midday, he did offer us a breakfast menu, but we had already chosen what we wanted from the only available menu (and he could have given us a breakfast menu much earlier or atleast had the courtesy to tell us when we were looking at the 'brunch/ lunch' menu that was served "from 12pm. Who serves brunch after midday???).

So we decided either on leaving or having drinks while we waited. We had drinks. That was a mistake. We went back to the bar to order, and a female member of staff had just come out, we asked if we could order our drinks "why don't you go sit down, and I'll be with you in a minute" - shocking! It was then the manager, who turned round and said "oh, they've been waiting for a while" (almost 30 minutes, nice to have a bit of aknowledgement) so she took our orders - a couple of milkshakes. Nothing hard to make yet this seemed to take longer than it should as well. They didn't start making them for ten minutes and the place was dead. We were just about to leave and we heard the blender in the back and the woman came over and told us the shakes would be ready in a minute - and this time atleast, they were. However what happened next was appauling....

A group of people came in, who seemed to be the same age as us, and straight away the waiter greeted them, sat them down, brought them menus and instantly took their orders!! Why on earth did they not do this to us? They did seem like regulars/ friends of the waiter but every customer should be treated the same in my book, especially when trying to impress new customers. Our shakes arrived, but so did the other group's drinks!!! Impressed with the quality of the milkshakes and I liked the blend of banana and peanut butter - a very different take on banana milkshake! Delicious! My girlfriend enjoyed her strawberry milkshake as well, however she was very upset by the service and wanted to leave.

The manager came over and asked us if we wanted to order from the lunch menu now....we wanted to leave but we were starving and it would hard for us to go somewhere else as we were short on time. When we did ask for what we wanted, which was the mini board of burgers to share (didn't want a starter as planned because we thought it would be a hassle, and they had wasted enough of our time already!) the manager tried to somehow explain/talk us out of it (for us to try something more plain (as if they didn't want to cook it)) like we were stupid!

At one point the manager was standing outside the doorway looking up and down the street searching for someone who had just left. Could this have been a disatisfied customer who did a walkout? The moments we had while there almost made me walk out to the Wetherspoons on the other side of the road! The waitress came over and gave us a knife, fork and side plate, saying "thanks for waiting!" in an exhausted manner. Granted if it was busy, but it was only us two and another table of three!

Another shocker, the table of three got their food a good five minutes before us!! Why they got their food before us yet arriving a good thirty minutes after us is beyond me! I bet their TripAdvisor review would be the complete opposite to ours!

When our food finally arrived 10 minutes after the knife and fork(!), I must say, I was impressed by the presentation. The four different mini burgers (no wonder they couldn't be bothered making them) arrived on a wooden board with 'house chips' which were great! ...with a purple coleslaw which was too creamy, but more like water. Considering it was a sharer, the coleslaw was only enough for one and the burgers were so small they fell apart when we tried to cut them in half.

After finishing and pulling our seats back from the table, only was it then that the speed of the service tried to catch up with itself - too quick. Didn't even ask if we wanted anything else. The waitress did ask if everything was alright, but carried on with her duties straight without giving us a chance to say anything, like it was part of her job just to say it and not expect a 'no'.

While we were still at the table she started spraying it clean, would have appreciated it if she waited until we left, not like there were any other customers around wanting it in a hurry. Again, like OP191, I said a friendly goodbye to the manager on our way out, only to be ignored. He was too busy telling a customer not to feed his young daughter KFC popcorn chicken "Sorry but you can't eat that in here", and what if that's the only thing she eats, my own niece is very fussy with her food, as most young children and only eats popcorn chicken. The poor man and his toddler had to go stand outside to eat!

Failing to understand how this place has such a high rating on TripAdvisor! A real shame as the atmosphere and food seemed great, but seriously let down by terrible service! Keep the chef, sack the front of house! Will not be returning. Ever.

We probably would have given 4 stars due to the food. The burger fillings were REAL quality. The chips? Can't fault 'em! Real real shame! Just the thought of bad service running through your head just spoils everything else in the experience!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

This was the first place me and my partner went to eat in Chester for some lovely grub when it was formally known as The Gallery Cafe, i walk past this place everyday to and from work and watched it change into Caffe Atina and admittedly was slightly gutted as i felt it had lovely character.

My opinion on the re-branding was quickly changed after a typical sunday argument of 'where should eat lunch?'. I had the Atina 'Manwich' and my partner the beer battered fish and chips. We were both so happy with the dishes with plenty on yums, omg and nomnom's with every mouthful and i must say, the chips? Fab! Hardly anywhere do chips properly and this alone is enough to keep bringing us back. This place has been pleasantly refurbished to obviously entertain a new type of customer but this place is seriously underestimated!

What a treat, Chester has some very popular and well known restaurants but Caffe Atina isn't to be overlooked and offers some serious competition.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic evening meal!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012 via mobile

We are visiting Chester and popped in to caffe Atina for our evening meal on our first night in town. So glad we did! We usually use trip advisor to advise us where to eat when we go away on a city break or holiday and yet again we were not disappointed- so much so that we thought we would write a review. My partner had a beautifully cooked steak and his handcut chips were the best I've tasted in a long while (he wasn't too impressed that I kept eating them for him!). My food was great too- I'm a vegetarian and there were plenty of options for me- ended up having 'nonna's Ragu', excellent. We had Roast Peach Melba Mess for dessert and I had to ask the waitress if there was anychance that she could get the chef to tell me how he made it- not sure I could ever perfect it like the chefs have here though!

Anyhow, to cut a long review short- so glad we trusted trip advisor because we will certainly come back and recommend to anyone in the Chester area!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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