FOR parents and family members alike, the Easter holidays can prove to be an expensive couple of weeks.

As you attempt to accommodate your unrelenting offspring’s need to be consistently humoured and entertained, and their unwavering stubbornness in the face of having to eat anything other than a takeaway, your once healthy bank balance can quickly become depleted and drained.

But to help minimise the impact on your wallet and prevent you straying from the often-flimsy constraints of your budget, we’ve compiled just a few of Colchester’s many great tasting and affordable restaurants and cafes, that will only set you back around £25.

Red Dog Café, Kelvedon Road

Opening times: Monday-Tuesday: Closed / Wednesday - Thursday: 8.30am-8pm / Friday-Saturday: 8.30am-9pm / Sunday: 8.30am-4pm

Having won last year’s TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, it’s hard to believe the prices in the seventh, highest-rated family restaurant in Colchester haven’t atmospherically soared in light of its recent accolade.

But thanks to The Red Dog Café’s Thursday Burger Club, between 4-7pm children under the age of 12 can eat for free, meaning parents can tuck into a juicy 4oz cheeseburger (£5) with crispy, Maldon sea-salted chips (£3) or bacon-loaded fries (£5), and still leave with enough change in their pockets to grab the kids a Twix or two on the way home.

Alternatively, a classic hot dog smothered in the unrivalled and traditional condiment combination of tomato ketchup and French mustard will set you back just £6, and the health conscious looking to pair their indulgent main with a slightly more forgiving side option, can tuck into the refreshing, red pepper and tomato laden house salad for just £4.

Check out The Red Dog Café’s full menu here.

Love Thy Burger, High Street

Opening times: Monday-Thursday: 12-9.30pm / Friday-Sat: 12-10.30pm / Sun: 12-9pm

Gazette: FAMILY AFFAIR: LTB's Yayla, Adem and Murteza LacinFAMILY AFFAIR: LTB's Yayla, Adem and Murteza Lacin

Indisputably the greatest gourmet burger in Colchester, Love Thy Burger’s succulent medium-cooked patty is sandwiched in a logo-branded brioche bun and most enjoyable when served alongside the family-run business’ generous and complimenting portion of rosemary fries.

The fairly-priced, Plain Jane meal deal (£9.20), which includes taste bud-pleasing chips and a fizzy drink, may push you ever so slightly over budget when coupled with the children’s equivalent (£4.20). But this well-travelled, burger recipe, concocted after father and son duo Murteza and Adem Lacin journeyed around the globe in hunt of a ingredients for their thick meat cake, will see you experience a level of food satisfaction you’ve never quite achieved before.

Check out Love Thy Burger’s menu here.

Timbers Restaurant, Trinity Street

Opening times: Monday-Thursday: 9am-4.30pm / Friday: 9am-5pm / Saturday: 8.30am-5pm / Sunday: 10am-4pm

Foodies with an appetite for a heartier set of dishes exuding a homecooked warmth and familiarity will find comfort – and fantastic food - in the relaxed and family vibe of Timbers Restaurant in the town centre’s Trinity Street.

The 400-year-old eatery’s delicious Cottage Pie, packed with helpings of minced beef, encased in a pillow-soft cheesy mash and served with an assortment of fresh, seasonal vegetables, can be found on the menu for just £6.50.

But it’s the café’s Sausage and Mash (veggie version available) - an almost patriotic staple of Britain’s food culture – that truly wets the appetite. Three, tender and succulent butchers-esque Cumberland sausages are dished up with a creamy and fluffy mashed potato, crackly onions and doused in a beautiful and flowing, piping-hot gravy. 

Check out Timbers Restaurant's menu here. 

The Nourish Co., Crouch Street

Opening times: Sunday-Monday: Closed / Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-4pm

Gazette: ECO-FRIENDLY: The Nourish Co. founder April MoodieECO-FRIENDLY: The Nourish Co. founder April Moodie

Non-meat eaters looking to spend their lunch time nibbling away on some of the food industry's ever-rising organic offerings in an eco-friendly hangout, should visit Crouch Street’s vegan caterers The Nourish Co.

In a rural and natural-feeling environment decorated with gorgeous wood and mind-cleansing plants, both children and parents can enjoy everything from avocado sour dough bagels (£4) and Thai coconut curries (£7), to heart-warming, coriander-laced Black Bean burrito bowls (£7) and Acai smoothie bowls filled with granola and fresh blueberries (£5).

Check out The Nourish Co.'s menu here.