Best restaurants in Chelmsford

The beating heart of Essex, Chelmsford is a vibrant city with a thriving culture, rich history and diverse culinary scene. Whether you are a local looking for a new spot for your next special occasion or are just passing through and fancy a standout meal, we’ve compiled all the best restaurants in Chelmsford to help you with your search.

Updated on 29 September 2023

Located just a 35-minute train ride from the capital, Chelmsford has become a popular commuter town for those working in London. However, there's plenty more to this thriving area than simply a great location and transport links. Chelmsford is known for many things: it's widely recognised as the birthplace of radio, and was famously home to the world's first wireless factory in 1899. It also hosts a wide variety of annual events, from music festivals to cricket matches to horseracing at Chelmsford City Racecourse. For those seeking gorgeous views and scenery, explore the city's outskirts where you'll encounter Hylands House, a magnificent Grade II listed manor, the beautiful gardens at RHS Hyde Hall, and a multitude of charming villages nestled in the surrounding countryside.

More importantly, Chelmsford is home to a wealth of fantastic restaurants, from award-winning spots to cosy pubs and quaint tea rooms. You'll find many of the town's best restaurants in Chelmsford town centre, perfect for a post-shopping pitstop or a special occasion dinner with family. To really make the most of Chelmsford's fantastic culinary scene, treat yourself to a weekend away at one of its swish hotels, allowing you to fully explore its diverse range of restaurants.

As the cultural hub of Essex, the city has come a long way since the days when London dominated the south of England's food scene. With independent eateries, popular chains, cosy pubs, wine bars and everything in between, this dynamic city has it all. From comforting Italian spots to classic British cuisine, there are plenty of places to eat in Chelmsford that cater for every craving, occasion and dietary requirement. Read on to peruse our pick of the very best.

El Chigre

El Chigre

34A Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0HX

Specialising in tapas and hot stone steaks, El Chigre is a casual restaurant serving up authentic Spanish flavours. Located in the centre of town, locals love it for its welcoming service, live music and family friendly atmosphere.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Steak
Spanish
The Wine Cellar Chelmsford

The Wine Cellar Chelmsford

4A Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1HL

The Wine Cellar is a lively spot offering contemporary takes on familiar favourites, alongside a handpicked wine list. Keep an eye out for events such as French wine tastings, charcuterie and cheese specials and canape evenings.

£30 - £49
International
Wine Bars
Russell

Russell's Restaurant

Bell Street, Essex, CM2 7JS

Set in a Grade II listed building with a high vaulted ceiling, Russell's Restaurant is a lively location for every occasion. Be sure to keep an eye out for special events throughout the week such as live music, themed nights and wine pairing dinners.

£30 - £49
British
Ego at Running Mare

Ego at Running Mare

Running Mare Lane, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8PN

This homely restaurant serves up all types of Mediterranean dishes, from fragrant paellas to hanging kebabs. Offering a wealth of different dining options like Sunday roasts and afternoon tea, this is an unbeatable all-rounder.

£30 - £49
Pubs
British
Wildwood Chelmsford

Wildwood Chelmsford

13-15 The Meadows, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6FD

Conveniently located in the town centre, this relaxed Italian spot is the perfect place for a casual meal of comforting favourites. With a kids' menu, outside seating and nearby parking, Wildwood ticks all the boxes.

£30 - £49
Italian
Pig & Whistle Restaurant

Pig & Whistle Restaurant

Pig & Whistle, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 4SZ

Known as one of Chelmsford's best date night spots, this romantic restaurant boasts a cosy, candlelit dining room with antique finishes, where diners can enjoy refined British cuisine alongside an international wine list and classic cocktails.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
Mosaic Chelmsford

Mosaic Chelmsford

122 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, CM2 6LF

Mosaic is an authentic Turkish restaurant popular with locals for its tasty mezze, succulent grilled meats, and fresh seafood. There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as a great-value set lunch menu.

£30 - £49
Mediterranean
Turkish
Fête at Grays Yard

Fête at Grays Yard

Brewery Yard, Town Centre, CM2 6QR

Pulling inspiration from across the world, Fete offers enticing brunch plates for lazy weekends, and international small plates perfect for sharing with friends. Working with seasonal ingredients, the menu changes frequently and is best accompanied with a signature cocktail (or two!).

Under £30
British
Samphire at The County Hotel

Samphire at The County Hotel

29 Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 2PZ

Located within the County Hotel, this all-day dining destination specialises in modern British dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. It's open seven days a week to residents and non-residents alike, so you can pop in for a meal or enjoy a night away.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Afternoon tea
The Fox & Goose Chelmsford

The Fox & Goose Chelmsford

Wyses Road, Essex, CM1 3SN

If you're after a cosy country setting, The Fox and Goose is sure to satisfy. Take a seat in its conservatory-style dining room, featuring exposed oak beams and an open fire, to enjoy classic gastropub fare like beer battered haddock or pie of the day.

£30 - £49
British
Gastropub
Vita Bella

Vita Bella

The Tye, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 8AF

Just down the road in East Hanningfield, Vita Bella is a highly-rated Italian restaurant situated in a quaint cottage building. Featuring plentiful outdoor seating, this is a great option for al fresco dining in the summer.

£30 - £49
Italian
The New London Restaurant and Lounge

The New London Restaurant and Lounge

147 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0AA

Serving elevated British cuisine, The New London is a great spot for a special evening out. Alongside the a la carte menu, there is a set offering and plant-based menu, so there's something for everyone.

£30 - £49
British
Channels Bar and Brasserie

Channels Bar and Brasserie

Channels Hotel, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 3PT

In the heart of the Channels estate, this family run bar and brasserie prides itself on using only the finest ingredients from local suppliers, including seasonal vegetables from its garden and honey from the on-site hives.

£30 - £49
British
Bistro
Galvin Green Man

Galvin Green Man

Main Road, Howe Street, Great Waltham, Essex, CM3 1BG

Boasting a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide, Galvin Green Man is a bustling pub serving elevated modern European cuisine. Set in a 14th century building, and oozing rustic charm, this is a great spot for a Sunday roast or special dinner with loved ones.

£30 - £49
British

We hope you have found the perfect spot for your next meal in Chelmsford, but if you haven't, fear not as there are still plenty of options nearby. If you're happy to branch out a little further, take a look at our list of the best restaurants in Essex, or journey to the capital for even more choice with our list of the top restaurants in London.

Planning a special event? Why not consider hiring a private dining room in Essex to give your occasion an extra exclusive touch. You'll benefit from dedicated service, total privacy and, in some cases, bespoke menus for a meal you won't forget anytime soon.

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