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Diners' Choice: Best Overall restaurants in Essex

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for the best overall restaurants in Essex? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Hasturk restaurant
4.8
4.8 (668)
£25 and under
Turkish
Braintree
About the restaurant
Here at Hasturk, we have over 20 years experience in the restaurant industry. We are well versed in good hospitality and serving fresh, handmade food.

We’ve used experiences from our own heritage and traditional food back home to create our menu for the much loved Turkish which is now widely known.

With an array of meat dishes to freshly caught seafood and wide selection of authentic appetisers, you can be assured everything at Hasturk is carefully sourced and deliciously prepared and meets our standards.

Hasturk is a family run, Turkish restaurant with a modern twist. We aim to serve our customers the very best of Turkish cuisine, welcoming everyone in with open arms. We’re ready to offer you a dining experience that you’ll remember!

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Top quality food as always.
A photo of Smiths Restaurant Ongar restaurant
4.8
4.8 (4515)
£41 and over
Seafood
Ongar
About the restaurant
Priding ourselves on our motto ‘Famous for fish’ Smiths Restaurants is a name that has become synonymous with fine dining and quality, attentive service. Our restaurants are located in Ongar Essex (just off the A414) and Wapping in central London (near Tower Bridge). Both restaurants boast an extensive menu of fresh fish that we offer to cook in a variety of ways to suit every palette. We also offer locally sourced meat dishes to accommodate those who prefer their food terra firma. To compliment the quality of our food we have worked closely with well renowned independent wine merchants to ensure we have a selection of wines that are the perfect accompaniment to every meal. The only problem you may have a Smith’s is being spoilt for choice.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Staff amazing, food outstanding price surpringly good, was our first won’t be the last
A photo of Black Rock Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (671)
£26 to £40
Steak
Clacton-On-Sea
About the restaurant
Black rock restaurant is an easygoing dining restaurant situated across the street from the beach front in Clacton on sea. We focus on a trendy steak and grill menu.

Our menu is inspired from different countries but our speciality here at Black rock is the ‘STEAK ON THE STONE’ the concept is from the island of Madeira amongst other places. The restaurant is guest orientated and the service is relaxed, very friendly; nothing is too much and always willing to assist you in any means way.

Black rock is a great place to eat, excellent atmosphere, great tasting food and we take pride in delivering exceptional service using the highest quality of local ingredients the best cuts of steaks and a great selection of exciting cocktails.

Top review
Chezzer
Dined 6 days ago
Always get a friendly welcome staff are very professional in there job food excellent as always
A photo of The Cricketers Arms in Rickling Green restaurant
4.7
4.7 (562)
£25 and under
Gastro Pub
Saffron Walden
About the restaurant
RESTAURANT NOTE: Our outside tables are not bookable, they are available on a first come first served basis. Should you wish to reserve a table in our marquee, you must contact us directly please by phone 01799 619260 or email info@thecricketersarmspub.co.uk

Whether you’re after a comforting home - cooked meal after a long day at work or fabulous fine dining for a special celebration, we’ve got something for every occasion. Choose from our locally sourced, innovative menu and excellent wine list in our oak beamed bar or stylish restaurant.

Top review
Welbeck
Dined 5 days ago
Yet again another delicious Sunday lunch at this gem of a place. Andy and his staff always make you feel so welcome with a cheery smile and friendly atmosphere. The food here is just amazing, all freshly cooked to order, and prob one of the best Sunday lunches I’ve ever had. Yes maybe slightly on the pricey side, but hey, so worth it in every way. Thank you guys again for a fabulous time with you, hope to see you again soon. 👍🤗
A photo of The House by Hilly Gant restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1142)
£41 and over
British
Braintree
About the restaurant
We've been serving the people of Braintree and beyond since 2015 and in that time have humbly become ‘one of Essex’s best restaurants.’ We have received recognition from the AA, having been awarded an AA Rosette for ‘culinary excellence’ for five consecutive years, and then in 2023 we received our second rosette, putting the restaurant amongst the top 10 restaurants in Essex. Our food is of course one of our main focuses, but we don’t just stop there. Attentive, relaxed and friendly service is as important as the food and our objective is to make your visit an enjoyably memorable one. Our exceptional wine supplier, Peter Watts Wines (based up the road in Coggeshall) allows us to offer you delicious wines of an exceptional quality. Then add some cocktails, jazz, personality, creativity, a few hidden quirks and we like to think this all culminates to create a truly wonderful experience. Life is about memories; we want to be part of your best ones.
Top review
Essexdigvip
Dined 3 days ago
Really lovely evening - the food was wonderful, and the staff were both friendly and professional. They really looked after us very well. We will be back!
A photo of Caesar@Dolphin restaurant
4.5
4.5 (210)
£26 to £40
European
Braintree
About the restaurant
A traditional restaurant complete with low ceilings, beams, real fires and a cosy bar still frequented by the locals, it’s the pride of place pizza oven that makes Caesar @ Dolphin stand out from many village inns. That and the seasonal menu of big-flavoured dishes underpinned by strong technical skill
Top review
PeterH
Dined 5 days ago
Service and food excellent as ever. Thank you Food orders were great and was accommodated when asked for modifications Great service
A photo of Carluccio's - Fenwick Colchester restaurant
4.6
4.6 (366)
£26 to £40
Italian
Colchester
About the restaurant
Here at Carluccio's, we’ve always been true to our Italian heritage and what food really means to us. The best ingredients, from the best regions, cooked with love.
Top review
Recuperate
Dined on Jun 27, 2024
The meal that the three adults had was 😃 great. The service was great also.
A photo of Le Bouchon Brasserie & Hotel restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1121)
£41 and over
French
Maldon
About the restaurant
Please note that Afternoon Tea cannot be booked online. This must be booked through the Hotel directly.

Le Bouchon Brasserie and Hotel is a grade II listed, 300 year old Georgian building which has undergone an extensive refurbishment programme restoring the building to its former glory. The renovation period was used to combine some of the original period features of the building with furnishings and classically styled decoration that complements the original style of this house.

Le Bouchon Brasserie offers a blend of both French and British cuisine, set in a relaxed and intimate environment. Enjoy a meal from our A la carte menu or choose from our wide selection of set menus available at different times during the week.


Top review
ElisabethB
Dined on Jul 11, 2024
The food and service at Le Bouchon is always excellent. The ambience is normally calm, quiet and classy. We like to arrive early and have a drink in the comfortable bar area, though on the most recent occasion there was a noisy group waiting for a private event and we moved early to our table. Le Bouchon is an occasional treat for us as it is not cheap, but is a favourite for a special occasion - or, in the recent case, with a special visitor.
A photo of Mad Dogs & Englishmen restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2627)
£26 to £40
Afternoon Tea
Leigh-On-Sea
About the restaurant
The Parlour Tea Room at Mad Dogs and Englishmen provides a vintage setting to enjoy Afternoon tea. We’ve become renowned for our themed teas which offer an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the eclectic surroundings of this unique venue.
The Botanical Rooms is upstairs and hosts our cocktail bar. Here you can experience Afternoon Tea from Wednesday to Sunday during the day and enjoy the fairy-lit bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. We host live Jazz and soul on some evenings.
The Piano Lounge with it's vintage leather sofas and a mixture of eclectic styled furnishings is situated on the ground floor alongside our Whisky Bar. You can enjoy an Afternoon Tea with Piano accompaniment on Sunday afternoons or sample some of our extensive Whisky cocktails on Friday and Saturday evenings. We have live Jazz performances on selected evenings.
Please ensure you select the correct venue and experience for your visit with us.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 10, 2024
Second time visiting and i loved it just as much. I have been to many themed afternoon teas but this is by far the best. The decor, from the minute u walk in u are transported to a new world. The food is amazing. Friendly staff and lovely warm welcome.
A photo of The Ship Stock restaurant
4.6
4.6 (205)
£25 and under
Pub
Chelmsford
About the restaurant
A charming village pub nestled in the heart of West Hanningfield on the unspoiled greenbelt of the Essex city, Chelmsford. This soul-soothing, local pub offers a fresh, seasonal menu coupled with local craft beverages, all of which can be enjoyed in our vintage, east-coast setting. Our alfresco lawn is the perfect oasis for any passing visitor or returning local. Take in the panoramic views of the rolling hills or stay warm by our log burner snuggled inside. Both are perfect watching the world pass by with a drink in hand.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 11, 2024
Beautifully decorated for summer, excellent welcoming staff and delicious!
Explore Diners' Choice best of Essex
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