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.

Do you offer a food ordering app?

No, we do not operate an ordering app as we want guests to engage with our wonderful food traders – simply place your order at the trader of your choice, they will give you a buzzer and then simply collect your order when it buzzes – what could be simpler!

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.

However following feedback from traders and customers, we will be opening on Bank Holiday Mondays.

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 off 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 have won many awards and welcomed over 3.4 million customers 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 approximately half sell food or drink to consume in the market, and half sell goods, services 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.

What security measures do you have?

Our priority is to always make sure that the market is a safe and secure place for our visitors, staff and traders.

We have a wide range of security measures in place including CCTV, trained staff and work closely with Cheshire Police and other city centre partners to ensure everyone is welcome and safe throughout the city centre.

If you have any concerns and see anything that doesn’t feel right please contact a member of staff or trader for assistance.

Are there other markets in West Cheshire?

Yes, the council has a portfolio of three other markets across the borough: Ellesmere Port, Northwich and Winsford. Plus there are two further markets, Neston and Frodsham which are managed independently.

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