Frequently Asked Questions
Can I book a table?
Unfortunately, we do not normally offer a table booking service; with over 400 seats in the market, it would be a big logistical challenge!
If you can arrive a little earlier than planned you should be able to get a table or wait until one becomes available during our busy periods, it will be worth the wait!
Our busiest periods are usually at weekends between 11am – 2pm.
Can I bring a dog into the market?
Yes, well behaved dogs on a lead are permitted, and please respect other customers by not letting your dog on the furniture, and if your dog makes a mess, please always clear it up!
Do you offer gluten free options?
The following traders can offer gluten free options as follows, please check when ordering:
MRKT Café have gluten free options – cakes, bread and other meals too.
Pastry Pedaleur – options most the time including vegan Chocolate Chip Brownies or Macarons that are 100% gluten free.
Crustum – offer gluten free bread
Vegan House Foods – gluten free chicken loaded fries. But it’s not recommended for celiacs due to cross contamination.
Big Lola’s – Everything on their menu is free from gluten, with exception of their burritos, quesadilla and churros.
Lockwood & Co. & The Cabin – some gluten free beers are a available, please ask for the current range.
Why are you closed on Mondays?
The relocation of the new market within the Northgate development has been a long-awaited scheme and the Council has invested a considerable amount of time and resources into ensuring the new market can provide a significant improvement over the old market that was in the Forum since 1967 and was closed on Sundays.
Part of this included extensive research and consultation with the public and traders to establish the optimum opening times, including to open later in the evenings every day. This informed our decision to open on Sundays and close on Mondays. Our opening hours have been widely promoted as part of the opening launch strategy and are clearly signed on all the new market entrances, our social media and local advertising.
Are there times when it is quieter?
Yes, in response to requests to provide a quieter area in the market for those who find noisy spaces distracting or challenging, every Tuesday between 8 and 10am the music will be turned down in the Garden and Mini Market seating areas, either side of the central atrium.
The new market is just a food hall isn’t it?
No, this was never the Council’s intention. The response to the new market opening has been overwhelmingly positive, and we currently expect to reach 1 million visits within our first 6 months since opening. To put this in context, that’s over double the footfall in the old market, even before the pandemic.
The breakdown of stalls is that 40% sell food or drink and 60% sell goods or produce; in the evenings once the goods traders close for the day, obviously this balance changes. Nevertheless, we are committed to delivering an inclusive ‘modern traditional’ market with a balance of produce, goods and food for the people of Chester and beyond – where you really can shop local and eat global.
Where can I get water?
We have three free water fountains across the market for you to discover.
A converted butcher’s bike by the main entrance, a restored tuk tuk (with book library) in the Garden area and a TARDIS cunningly disguised as a water fountain next to the Hunter Street exit.