The Best Restaurants in Colchester
There are plenty of reasons to visit Colchester. There’s a top-class zoo, an ancient castle, as well as beautiful parks and botanical gardens, just to name a few attractions. Colchester also has a thriving and diverse dining scene, which gets better with every new opening. We've searched through every eatery in town from fine dining to the best chippy in town, to bring you the 10 best restaurants in Colchester for 2021.
Timbers is a family-run, independent restaurant in the heart of Colchester, serving up a diverse menu of everything from breakfast to homemade soup, world cuisine and pies of the day. Ingredients are all locally sourced from the restaurant’s well established network of local suppliers, meaning you’ll be served only the freshest dishes. Perfect for a family with young children, the comfort food served on this menu is sure to keep even the fussiest eaters happy. The restaurant is rated in the top 5% of all eateries in the Colchester area, so you know you can expect a hearty meal.
Miseria & Nobilta
A traditional Italian restaurant located just a stone’s throw from Colchester Castle, Miseria & Nobilta serves up an array of top quality authentic Italian pizza and pasta. Head chef Giuseppe uses only the best ingredients and the restaurant itself has recently been refurbished, making it an even more attractive place to enjoy a meal. Classic stone baked pizzas such as the Margherita, Napoletana and Fiorentina are ever-popular, whilst the menu also includes some more quirky options, such as a ragu pizza and clam spaghetti. Prices are affordable, with a main meal costing around £12 per person.
North Hill Noodle Bar
As Colchester’s top rated Chinese restaurant, North Hill Noodle Bar is well worth a try if you’re in the area and fancy a spot of pad Thai, Thai curry or crispy duck. Available for dine in or takeaway, the restaurant uses only traditional Asian methods in its cooking, as well as top quality ingredients, sourced locally where possible. Everything is cooked to order, so whether you’re sitting down for a three course meal or grabbing something light to take back to the hotel, you can be guaranteed a meal of the highest quality.
The Red Dog
The Red Dog is a family friendly, dog friendly pub and restaurant located on the outskirts of Colchester. Serving a range of gourmet burgers, flatbreads, salads and more, it is the perfect place to enjoy a meal anytime of the year. On a warm summers day you can dine outside on the terrace, whilst the comforting pub setting is also perfect for keeping warm in the depths of winter. If you’re hosting a private party or gathering then the pub also has a function room which can accommodate up to 80 guests comfortably, making this venue a great choice for your event.
The Gilt Rooms
Since opening its doors in 2015, The Gilt Rooms have gone from strength to strength. Specializing in afternoon teas, complete with cakes and scones, the establishment also serves up a variety of food and drink for your every need. Their seasonal menu uses locally sourced ingredients, and their Sunday lunch is well known in the local area. The courtyard garden is perfect for dining outdoors in summer and there is a specially crafted cocktail menu for guests to enjoy. This mastery of numerous trades extends to the self-catering B&B onsite, which can provide a wonderful accommodation option for people wanting to spend a few days in the Colchester area.
The quirk of Balkerne is that it is part of Colchester University, and is mostly staffed by front of house and chef students at the university. This diverse young staff has brought a modern twist to British dining, with a fun menu featuring dishes such as pork belly and bean cassoulet and roasted guineafowl. A three course lunch costs £15 per person and there is a “fine dining” option for £22.50, which includes amuse bouche. This is a fantastic way to enjoy a meal out, whilst also benefitting the training of young professionals in the hospitality industry, a win for everyone involved!
Nothing beats a good British fish and chip shop. For the best chippy in town, head to Dr Chippy’s, widely considered to be one of the best in the Colchester area. Decorated in Union Jacks and offering table service or takeaway, it is the perfect venue for anyone after a fresh fish dinner. As well as cod and chips, Dr Chippy’s serves burgers, chicken, sausages and vegetarian options, meaning there is sure to be something for everyone on the menu. They can also cater for private events, such as birthday parties.
First opened in the 1970, Bella Pais has been under its current management since 1992, giving the proprietors plenty of time to master their steaks and Greek dishes. Meat is butchered and prepared on site, meaning the restaurant’s range of steaks are as fresh and good quality as you can get. Bella Pais serves a good variety of steaks, from fillets and sirloins to rib-eye and rump steak. Meanwhile, the Greek menu offers up an array of traditional dishes, such as lamb kebabs and tava. They also offer a meze (Greek tapas) for a minimum of four diners, who can enjoy a sample of numerous different Greek and Cypriot dishes.
Sip & Tuck
Located in the heart of Colchester, Sip & Tuck is an independent café and bistro, serving a range of teas, coffees, beers, wines, and cocktails. As well as being a great place to enjoy a drink, the venue also serves food, including breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, making it an option for you at virtually any time of day. In the summer months you can make the most of their open courtyard, whilst a warming log burner keeps things toasty in winter. The onsite tuck shop sells a variety of gifts and items including candles, Christmas decorations and food hampers.
El Guaca Mexican Grill
Conveniently located on Colchester High Street, El Guaca is renowned for serving up some of the best Mexican food in the region. The company owns four restaurants across the UK, and the Colchester branch is no different from the others in serving top quality Mexican cuisine. Popular menu items include staples such as tacos and burritos, whilst they also offer mouthwatering Mexican street food. The restaurant itself is bright and colourful, with Mexican flags and memorabilia adorning the walls. For a slice of Mexico in the heart of Essex, look no further.
Colchester makes a great destination for a family day out, and there are plenty of attractions to keep you busy. When you’ve finished seeing the animals at Colchester Zoo or strolling around the castle, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of top quality restaurants to keep you fed and watered.
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