The Best Gastro Pub Food in Essex

The Best Gastro Pub Food in Essex

Pubs are a British institution and famous throughout the world and this Gastronomer guide to The Best Gastro Pub Food in Essex features eight of the best pubs Gastro Pubs in Essex, including award winning pubs like The Sun Inn, Dedham and The Windmill in Chatham Green.

There’s not much better than a good pub – except perhaps a good pub that serves great food and this selection of Gastro Pubs in Essex are the best we’ve found. Whether it’s summer in the garden or winter by the fire these Essex Gastro Pubs offer everything we look for in a pub.

The Sun Inn, Dedham

Best Gastro Pub Food in Essex - The Sun Inn, Dedham
Espresso Semifreddo - one of the delicious puddings at The Sun Inn, Dedham

On the Essex Suffolk border in the heart of Constable Country in the village of Dedham, The Sun Inn has been a watering hole for centuries and still retains much of that charm with its elm bar, open beamed dining room, exposed timbers, snug oak panelled lounge and open fires.

But in recent years it’s turned into a gastro pub and foodie destination after picking up numerous awards including two AA Rosettes, a Michelin Plate award, Essex Winner of the National Pub & Bar Awards 2019 and finalist in ‘Best for Food’ category at the 2019 Great British Pub Awards.

The menu varies constantly depending on what comes off the day boats and what’s available and in season from the wealth of local suppliers The Sun Inn uses. There’s a weekday set menu available for lunch and dinner, a weekend main menu and Sunday sees a roast served alongside the main menu.

Image with thanks to: The Sun Inn, Dedham

The Windmill, Chatham Green

Best Gastro Pub Food in Essex - The Windmill, Chatham Green
One example of the Michelin Bib Gourmand award winning menu at The Windmill

The Windmill is run by husband and wife team Mick and Lydia Binnington who have created a foodie haven in the hamlet of Chatham Green near the village of Little Waltham. Mick’s past experience included spells at Michelin starred restaurants such as Midsummer House in Cambridge, Chapter One in Kent and The Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge, then most recently Head Chef for Gordon Ramsay in London.

The Michelin Bib Gourmand award winning menu features simple yet refined cooking, British classics with a modern twist, using ingredients sourced from the best producers around the local area. Regular features of the seasonal menu include Goosnargh Duck, Sea Bream and Dry aged 8oz beef filet.

Image with thanks to: The Windmill, Chatham Green

The Best Gastro Pub Food in Essex

Galvin Green Man, Howe Street

Best Gastro Pub Food in Essex - Galvin Green Man, Howe Street
Sunday Roast at Galvin Green Man, Howe Street

Part of the Galvin Collection of restaurants started by Essex brothers Chris, Jeff and David Galvin, the Galvin Green Man is a Michelin Bib Gourmand and Two AA Rosette award winning British pub and restaurant.

Galvin Green Man dates back to the 14th-century and has combined much of the historical charm with a contemporary renovation that mirrors the modern British and European cooking – there’s Confit Aylesbury duck leg with wood pigeon & pistachio terrine alongside grilled octopus and chorizo – centred around locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

Image & header image with thanks to: Galvin Green Man, Howe Street & @stuartmilnephotography

Church Street Tavern, Colchester


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Following a conversion from a bank, The Church Street Tavern opened in 2014 with a bar and lounge on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor. The simple, freshly prepared and locally sourced food has since won a Michelin Plate and two AA Rosettes for the seasonally changing menu which features dishes such as steamed mussels, poached cod and slow-roast pork belly.

With most ingredients coming from within a 30 mile radius including meat and vegetable from the farms of East Anglia and fish from day boats, freshness is as much of a priority as the quality of suppliers. On Sunday there’s a set traditional lunch menu and The Church Street Tavern also offers corkage so you can bring a special bottle of wine.

The Hoop, Stock


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Without the usual music, fruit machines and TV, The Hoop in the village of Stock in Essex has a traditional pub atmosphere with AA Rosette award winning gastro pub food served both in the pub and with an a la carte menu in Oak Room Restaurant.

The owners trained at The Lanesborough in London and have built a great reputation for their food which includes a five course tasting menu as well as some traditional pub favourites and a regular Sunday roast.

The White Hart, Great Yeldham


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The White Hart in the village of Great Yeldham in north Essex has a choice of menus depending on the day; there’s a Brasserie Menu that combines classic pub favourites with contemporary cooking which is available for lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday and in the restaurant an a la carte menu is available from Wednesday to Saturday evening.

The White Hart has maintained its two AA Rosettes for eight years and is also a Michelin Plate winning restaurant making it a favourite place to eat throughout the week including Sundays which has its own menu including a traditional roast lunch.

The Cricketers, Clavering


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Dating back to the 16th century, The Cricketers is an English country pub with rooms that has been a family business for more than 40 years with Executive Chef Justin Greig running the team of chefs for 19 years. Clearly they’re doing a lot right with a reputation for the quality of their food earning them a recommendation in the Michelin guide with a Michelin Plate award.

With all the fish on the menu arriving fresh from Billingsgate market and meat hung and butchered on site, freshness and provenance are central to the ethos in the kitchen. There are daily seasonal menu choices and regular options such as Roasted Local Venison Medallions and Breast of Local Pheasant, with a wood-fired oven serving hand-made Pizzas and Flatbreads on Fridays and Saturdays and traditional roast options on Sundays.

The Anchor, Hullbridge


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As the name suggests, The Anchor is set right on the waterfront, overlooking the River Crouch in the village of Hullbridge, Essex. There’s a huge garden right by the river along with a terrace area and an Orangery which keeps the view and natural light due to its floor to ceiling glass windows.

Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week, The Anchor holds an AA Rosette for a menu that features pub classics such as Scampi and Chips and a traditional Sunday Roast alongside more contemporary options such as Grilled Sea Bass and Pollo Picante.

We hope this guide to the best gastro pubs to eat at in Essex has had your mouth watering and maybe even lead to a Gourmet trip of your own. There’s lots more where that came from with over 200 Foodie places to stay in England in the Gastronomer directory. So for the latest Foodie articles, offers and places to stay, please keep checking back, follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter and sign up to our email newsletter.