Essex is located just northeast of London and it’s both a popular destination for visitors as well as a busy commuter county for the capital. Bordering Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Kent, Hertfordshire and London itself, the county has a tremendous food heritage and agricultural tradition. These are both evident in the fantastic food that is widely available at restaurants across Essex. You'll find plenty of excellent restaurants in Essex on the high streets of big towns such as Clacton-on-Sea, Epping, Harlow, Saffron Walden, Chelmsford and Colchester, but also out in the beautiful small villages that dot across the county.
When you eat at Essex restaurants, there’s tradition in every bite. The county is well-known for its seafood and fish due to its 350-mile stretch of coastline, for its marsh-reared sheep and cattle, its game from the forests and for its fertile agricultural lands. Tiptree village is well-known for its gooseberries and Leigh-on-Sea holds traditional Sprat festivals, while if you visit Essex restaurants in Dunmow Flitch, be prepared to enjoy ham and bacon! The county has beautiful villages and most events are held with a fantastic food hall to woo in visitors, and most of the restaurants in Essex incorporate local and seasonal ingredients and are passionate about using artisan suppliers. Speak to the servers or chef at the restaurants in Essex and that passion for excellent ingredients and quality cuisine will really shine through.
Essex restaurants were famous for their world-class cuisine long before TV chefs popularised cooking. The dining scene is cosmopolitan and international with cuisines to suit all tastes, dining venues for all occasions and menus for all pockets. Why not enjoy native oysters from Colchester - harvested still from Mersea Island and often recommended by Jamie Oliver? Just remember that they’re best enjoyed in Essex's restaurants when there is an 'r' in the month! If you're not sure what cuisine you fancy, you won't go wrong with restaurants in Essex as they encompass traditional Italians through to spicy Indians, avant-garde bistros, lively steakhouses and historic gastropubs serving classic British food in historical surroundings. Often the village venues will also have an outdoor dining area which can be a lovely experience in the summer.
As well as delectable food, you can enjoy great wine at the restaurants in Essex as the county has been producing wine for centuries. The climate allows vineyards to grow excellent grapes across the county and visitors can enjoy vineyard tastings and tours to complement the dining at plenty of Essex restaurants. At Mersea Island Vineyard there is also a microbrewery – but do remember the saying about not mixing grape and grain! If you are fine dining at one of the high-end restaurants in Essex, you'll often find the menu is paired with a wine list to make your choices easier. Failing that, why not ask your server for recommendations if you just can't decide.
The restaurants across Essex can get very busy during holidays, weekends and evenings, so it’s always worth booking in advance to avoid being disappointed. Remember you can book your table up to two hours before you dine with Quandoo to save queueing. The Quandoo online community is also a great source of reviews to help you choose which of the restaurants in Essex you'd like to try next. Leave your own review, too, to help others pick their fancy!