Dining and Drinking in Southend

As befits a town with such a rich history of tourism, Southend is teeming with dining and drinking places that offer a rich array of food and drink. Here are only some of the leading dining and drinking places in Southend.

Two of the most popular restaurants in town are Tomassis on High Street and Old Leigh Cockle Sheds in Old Leigh. Tomassis is regarded by many as the best restaurant on High Street and, with the wide array of selections available there, that is saying plenty. Tomassis specializes in Italian food, including probably the best Italian ice cream in all of Southend. And once in Tomassis, don’t pass up the chance to sample their Italian Black Magic. It’s absolutely delectable.

Meanwhile, as its name suggests, Old Leigh Cockle Sheds offers visitors with various cockle sheds and seafood as well as freshly caught fish. Tourists adore the Thames cockles or winkles, which they can purchase by the pint or half pint. There is also a sumptuous selection of eels, prawns and other delights from the sea.

London Road at Westcliff has so many excellent restaurants that it’s hard to single out one or two. Suffice it to say that, if you visit the place, you will surely get your fill of Chinese, Cantonese, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Portugese, Thai and many other culinary wonders from different parts of the world.

If there’s another place in Southend that’s comparable to London Road for its vast variety of offerings, it has to be Leigh-on-Sea. Traverse the various streets along Leigh Road, Leigh Broadway and Rectory Grove where you will find a number of local and international restaurants that will take your taste buds to paradise. 

At last, just what Southend has been waiting for, a fantastic is an impressive 70-seat restaurant that boasts of 24 private function rooms and an elegant lounge bar. It’s an ideal venue for special celebrations such as weddings or anniversaries. The ambience is great, the service is outstanding and the cuisine is absolutely superb.

Getting tired of all that rich food? When it comes to food, there’s one thing that can be said of local Southenders – they do love their fast food.

There are many popular fast food places in town, but the most patronized eateries are those that serve pizza and burgers. When it comes to pizza, Southend has its own Pizza Express and Pizza Hut. Meanwhile, your appetite for burgers will surely be satiated by the local McDonalds and Burger King.

Pizza Express on London Road is part of the national chain that serves excellent pizza and pasta. It’s open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. Pizza Hut on Southchurch Road, also part of the national chain, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sundays to Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays.

There are four popular McDonalds outlets in Southend – two on High Street, one on the Eastern Esplanade (beside the Kursaal) and one at Southend Airport. The lone Burger King in town is located on High Street.

If you enjoy your food while downing a few drinks, you will be well served by paying a visit to the following bars, which are also known for their excellent cuisine.

Located on Southchurch Road, Domenico’s has been a favourite haunt for fine Italian cuisine for over a decade. An excellent set menu is available every weekday for just £14.50 per head. Or, diners may opt for the exquisite a la carte menu or the daily specials. House specialities include pasta, beef stroganoff, prawns and mushrooms, Dover sole with white wine and flambé dishes, such as scampi prepared with mushrooms, brandy, white wine and a touch of cream.
Fisherman’s Wharf is renowned for its delightful fish and seafood dishes, but make sure to reserve a table in advance as the place is likely to be packed, especially during weekends.
House specialities include lobster thermidor, seafood kebabs, mussels in garlic and clam chowder, a popular favourite. During summer months, guests may dine al fresco.

Oscar’s is more than just good food. Promoting itself as an entertainment restaurant, Oscar’s has disco, karaoke, sing-a-long and even murder mystery nights to make sure that their guests have a rollicking good time, especially those celebrating their birthday or a special occasion. House specialties include grilled sardines, seafood cocktail and tandoori chicken as appetizers, with roasted cod fillet, beef chasseur and lasagne as the main course.

Located beside the Thames Estuary, The Boatyard is a highly regarded fish restaurant. It gets its name from the fact that it was constructed on what was previously a working boatyard. As such, it boasts of a breath-taking view of the sea. House specialties include Thai fishcakes, seared tuna with wasabi and pan seared foie gras as appetizers, with roast cod on a sweet potato cake, scallops with minted garden pea puree or Dover sole with watercress and lemon butter as the main course.

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