The best restaurants in Essex


Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester CO7 6HW
01206 322 795

With a picturesque setting that includes stunning gardens and outstanding food, it is no wonder that Milsoms is such a popular Colchester restaurant. The chefs here take their influences from all over the world but ensure that the recipes take advantage of excellent local, seasonal produce. Enjoy dishes such as roasted lamb rump with ratatouille, merguez sausage and salsa cerde, thick cut scottish hake with brown shrimp macaroni cheese, and confit devon duck leg with pancetta, savoy cabbage, pulses and sage.

The Pheasant
Gestingthorpe, CO9 3AU
01787 461196

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The Pheasant is a charming pub in the middle of rural countryside that won Best Food Pub in East Anglia 2011 and was also awarded an AA rosette for dining. Complete with oak tables, cosy fires and freshly prepared regional food, The Pheasant is as British as they come. The menu includes Gressingham duck with apple and red onion tart tatin and seasonal vegetables, trio of Newmarket sausages with creamy mashed potatoes and onion gravy, and slow roasted pork belly with a cider sauce, crackling, spring onion mash and seasonal vegetables.

58 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EJ
01992 700616

Parsons is hugely popular with its stylish dining room, extensive range of wine, champagne and cocktails, and mouth-watering food. Expect delights such as poached Scottish lobster served with spring vegetables, 28 days-hung Humphreys fillet of beef, fondant potatoes and café au lait sauce, and honey-roast pork belly with primo cabbage and wild mushrooms.

The Bull
2 Maldon Road, Great Totham, CM9 8NH
01621 893385

Based in a 16th century coaching inn, the award-winning Bull restaurant in Great Totham offers a delicious menu within a comfortable and idyllic setting. The menu includes beer battered haddock fillet with triple cooked chips and tartar sauce, braised shoulder of salt marsh lamb with rosti potato, peppers and morels, and The Bull burger with tomato compote, melted mozzarella and fries.

Mistley Quay Café
Mistley, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1HB
01206 393 884

If you’re looking for something for the daytime then this unique riverside café offers not only delicious food but also wonderful views of the River Stour. Brunch, which is available until 11.30am, includes classics such as eggs Florentine, the full English, and sausage sandwiches. For lunch you can pick from homemade soup, quiche or a jacket potato with fillings. We particularly recommend the cream tea: we’re not sure much beats sitting with a clotted-cream laden scone, a cup of tea and a river view.

The Fox Inn
The Green, Finchingfield, Essex CM7 4JX
01371 810151

This beautiful 16th century coaching inn has a picturesque setting, overlooking the village green and duck pond, and offers a delicious seasonal menu of local produce. The Summer Menu offers dishes such as Spanish stew of chicken, garlic sausage and pancetta, Italienne meat balls in tomato and red wine sauce, and herb crusted pork loin served with gratin potatoes, Bramley apple puree and tenderstem broccoli.

The Magic Mushroom
Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex, CM11 2UD
01268 289963

This stylish restaurant was only established in 1996 but has become a firm favourite of the county with its contemporary menu of locally sourced ingredients and relaxed atmosphere. The mouth-watering menu includes wild fillets of seabass with crushed potatoes, pressed skate with creamed potato, tenderstem broccoli and garlic & cockle butter, and marinated rack of lamb with fondant potato, baby vegetables and pea puree.

Three Tuns
Wethersfield Road, Finchingfield, CM7 4NR   
01371 810165

Set in the extremely pretty village of Finchingfield, the Three Tuns is a restaurant with a friendly atmosphere and excellent food. The menu is full of traditional favourites such as ham, egg and chips, homemade burgers, fillet steak but remember to keep room for dessert when dishes such as treacle sponge with custard, Baileys Brule and warm chocolate brownie with cream are on the menu.

The Restaurant at Clarice House
Kingsford Park, Layer Road, Colchester, CO2 0HS
01206 734 301

An ideal summer spot, the award-winning restaurant at Clarice House offers a modern British menu set within the elegant country house and parkland. This dining experience is tranquil, stylish and spacious with the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows and lovely views of the grounds. Dig in to exquisite dishes such as roast rump of lamb, slow cooked shoulder kleftico with broad beans and tomato concassé, roasted loin of rabbit, fettuccini and toasted hazelnuts and prosciutto, and beer battered haddock with hand cut chips, pea purée, pickled onion foam and gribiche sauce.

The Hoop
High Street, Stock, CM4 9BD
01277 841137

The Hoop is a traditional pub with plenty of history having originally been built around 1460 as weavers’ cottages before being converted into an ale house. With handsome brick fireplaces and the building’s original timber framework, the Hoop homely and warm, and offers a delicious menu as well as the wonderful interiors. Tuck into confit belly of Dingley Dell pork with summer cabbage and seared scallop, seafood linguine with scallops, prawns, mussels and squid, and roast corn fed chicken with asparagus, mushroom cream and truffled mash.

The Bear Inn

16 The Square, Stock, Essex, CM4 9LH
01277 829 100

Just off the High Street in Stock is The Bear Inn, a cosy and lively pub that offers a delicious variety of wonderful home cooked food. Enjoy dishes such as chili and lime grilled chicken with avocado salsa and tempura vegetables, Durrants Farm organic sausages with herb mash and onion gravy, and The Bear burger with red onion salsa, coleslaw and French fries.

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