Colchester has been big on food ever since it was an important fortress town under Roman occupation. As such, international cuisine features prominently in Colchester town centre restaurants, with a variety of Italian places alongside Japanese, Mexican, Greek and Thai dining options. The old town centre, south of the castle, is the ideal place for visitors to find a wide range of restaurants. The pubs and cafes of Colchester town centre also offer classic British fare. Colchester is close to the agricultural heartlands of East Anglia, giving chefs access to superb local produce.