FROM artisan bistros and tucked-away coffee shops to succulent steak eateries and traditional chip shops, there are not many palettes Colchester does not cater for.

But while we all have a favourite place to grab something to eat in the town, where exactly is the best place to grab some grub and curb our rumbling tummies?

TripAdvisor has compiled a list of the best rated restaurants and cafes in Colchester, based on the number of reviews and ratings from customers, to help us decide.

So, here is the top 10 best places to eat in the town according to TripAdvisor, and why they reviewers think they are a must visit:


Located in Trinity Street, Timbers has been voted as the best place to eat in Colchester, having garnered 438 excellent traveller ratings of out 570 reviews.

Prices range from just £4 to £9 for the venue’s café and British cuisine and vegetarian and vegan options are also available.

One reviewer who took to TripAdvisor to praise the eatery said: “I've been visiting Timbers for over 5 years and have just returned after lockdown and an 18 month gap.

“The staff remain so friendly, led by Gemma and supported by Tia, Adam and Lou in the kitchen.

“After the usual warm welcome, service is prompt and the food and drink is top quality as always.

“Colchester has many cafes and restaurants and I've tried lots of them but nowhere matches up to Timbers I can recommend it without reservation.”


Miseria & Nobilta

In second place, with a still impressive 334 excellent ratings we have Italian restaurant Miseria & Nobilta, in Colchester’s Queen Street.

The classy but affordable establishment, at which prices range from £5 to £16, serves up everything from classic pizzas to Mediterranean and European dishes.

Describing it as an “authentic” place to eat, one reviewer said: “Lovely, charming family-run Italian, food is fresh and authentic and the service was professional and charismatic.”

Balkerne & Colne Restaurants

Balkerne & Colne, in Sheepen Road, may have just 207 overall reviews, but 178 of them are ‘excellent’, with a further 23 considering the restaurant to be ‘very good.’

British, European, and Contemporary cuisines are all on offer at a cost of anywhere between £7 and £23 at the highly-rated setting.

Described their experience a group of “ladies that lunch” said: “An excellent three-course lunch with friends.

“A good selection of starters, main courses and desserts. A friendly and efficient team was on hand to serve us. Great value.”


The Wooden Fender

Out of Colchester’s Top 10 restaurants, the Wooden Fender boasts the second the greatest number of reviews with 911, just behind Bella Pais, which is considered the 10th best place in town.

The Colchester Road gastropub has 633 excellent and 163 good ratings and serves everything from fresh hake fillets and seared duck breast to burgers and chips.

On another positive note, the starting price for some dishes, which appear to always be meticulously presented, are just £6.

One reviewer said: “If you are looking for a restaurant for a special occasion, a lovely meal for two, a family get together or a meal out with friends then look no further.

“The Wooden Fender is a newly refurbished restaurant offering indoor and outdoor seating. It is clean, spacious and has great parking facilities.

“The menu is perfect, not too big but still offers a great variety of dishes.”


Rounding off the Top 5, we have Sorano’s in Tenpenny Hill, an Italian and European restaurant where prices range from £6 to £19.

The family-run establishment specialises in fresh seafood and promises to always provide “service with a smile” and has a total of 371 excellent reviews.

A guest who visited Sorano’s in June said: “Probably the best food in the area - that's not an exaggeration.

“The chef is a magician and cooks lovely breakfasts and lunches. Haven't been there for dinner but I tried their breakfasts and lunches and have to admit I'm hooked.”


Elsewhere on TripAdvisor’s list there is the sixth-placed North Hill Noodle Bar, with 752 excellent ratings, and The Red Dog, in Kelvedon Road, with 327 top reviews.

At number eight there is The Britannia & Gurkha Restaurant and Bar, in Meyrick Crescent, followed by Dr Chippy’s in St. Botolphs Street, in ninth place.

The long-running Bella Pais steak restaurant concludes the Top 10 with the highest number of reviews, 1030, of which 745 are ‘excellent’.

A total of 337 restaurants in Colchester are listed and rated on the TripAdvisor website.