Michelin Star & Fine Dining Restaurants In Essex

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Essex is one of England’s best and ever-changing counties, between London and the seaside. Some of its most pleasantly surprising updates are in food and drink, with some new Michelin-star restaurants. If you are going out for dinner with your friends or family, check out these options. You will not be disappointed.

1. Haywards

“Haywards” is one of the top Michelin Star restaurants in Essex, located near the small town of Chelmsford. The restaurant serves modern British cuisine and has been awarded one Michelin star. The menu includes roasted chicken with mushroom sauce, seared scallops with black pudding, and smoked salmon with pickled cucumber. Haywards also has a large selection of fine wines and champagnes.


  • British and European contemporary cuisine
  • Reservations available
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Full bar
  • Private Dining
  • Validated parking available
  • Vegan options available
  • Gluten-free options available
  • Credit card accepted

2. Galvin Green Man

Galvin Green Man is a 3 Michelin-starred restaurant in Essex, England. The head chef is Chris Galvin, who previously worked at The Ritz in London and La Tante Claire in Paris.

The menu at Galvin Green Man features seasonal British produce, emphasising game birds and wild mushrooms. There is also a strong focus on foraging. Hence, the chefs spend a lot of time each day searching for the best ingredients to treat your pallet.

You will enjoy the restaurant’s collection of fine wines. Moreover, you can also enjoy your choice of cocktails, all made with seasonal fruits and herbs.

Galvin Green Man is open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday. Also, you must make lunch reservations in advance, while you can make dinner reservations two weeks ahead of time.


  • Versatile international menu
  • You have to make reservations in advance
  • Has an outdoor seating space
  • Highchairs available
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Full bar
  • Offers private dining
  • Vegan and gluten-free options are available
  • Accepts credit card 

3. The Pier

The Pier at Harwich is a Michelin-starred restaurant that offers stunning views of the Thames Estuary. The menu has seasonal British produce and seafood, emphasising locally sourced ingredients. The staff is highly knowledgeable about pairing wines with food. In addition, the desserts are inventive. 

The restaurant is set in a 300-year-old converted barn and has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The décor is chic and modern, with an open kitchen. You can watch the chefs at work, operating the kitchen.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday. If you want to dine in the Pier, you must make reservations.


  • British and European cuisine
  • Scrumptious seafood grill
  • Open for reservations
  • Offer breakfast, brunch, and dinner
  • Highchair seating available for kids
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Has a full bar
  • Offers private dining for groups
  • Validated parking available
  • Serves vegan-friendly meals
  • Gluten-free options available
  • Accepts American Express
  • Gift cards available 

4. The Milsoms

The Milsoms is a Michelin-star restaurant in Essex, England. The restaurant is located in a small town named Great Dunmow, owned and run by chef Patron Steven Ellis. The Milsoms has been awarded one Michelin star in the 2020 Michelin Guide to British and Irish Restaurants. 

Milsoms specialises in modern European cuisine. Moreover, they choose the best seasonal ingredients from local farms and suppliers. The specials include seared scallops with snow peas and pancetta, roasted lamb rump with wild garlic and anchovy sauce. Furthermore, their chocolate ganache with coffee ice cream is also a must-try. 

The Milsoms offers an extensive wine list featuring Old World and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday. Although, you must make a reservation since it can get packed. You can also make a reservation up to 2 months in advance. The Milsoms is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday.


  • British contemporary cuisine
  • Outdoor seating available
  • Offer breakfast, brunch, and dinner
  • Highchairs available for children
  • Has a full bar
  • Private dining for special occasions

5. The Cricketers Arms

The Cricketers Arm is another excellent Michelin Star restaurant run by the parents of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Trevor and Sally Oliver have run this countryside pub for over 40 years. Their take on modern-British cuisine has made this spot worthy of a Michelin star and a AA Rosette award. 

The Cricketers Arms is located at 1 High Street, Essex. Furthermore, you can visit them for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. They also serve lunch on Saturdays. Reservations are essential since they do not allow walk-ins.


  • British contemporary cuisine
  • Outdoor seating available
  • Offer breakfast, brunch, and dinner
  • Free parking on site
  • Comfy and cosy atmosphere
  • Menu changes regularly
  • Uses the freshest produce
  • Uses local ingredients
  • Has a kid’s menu.
  • Aside from a Michelin Star, they were also awarded a Diner Award

6. Mistley Thorn

Mistley Thorn is a Michelin-star fine dining restaurant in Essex, England. The head chef, Simon Hulstone, has worked at prestigious restaurants like The Ritz in London and Le Gavroche in Paris. Moreover, they specialise in British cuisine with a touch of French influence. 

Highlights from the menu include roasted scallops with black pudding and Hiramasa kingfish with daikon and wasabi. They also feature an impressive wine collection.


  • British and European cuisine, seafood grill
  • Outdoor seating available
  • Offer breakfast, brunch, and dinner
  • Elegant ambience
  • Vegan and vegetarian-friendly
  • Offers late-night drinks for diners and guests
  • Holds outdoor seating
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Highchairs for children are available
  • Great service
  • Attentive waiting staff

7. Luigi’s Al Fresco

This fine-dining Italian restaurant is leading the pack. Moreover, Luigi’s Al Fresco offers an exquisite culinary experience. You can visit them in the village of Great Dunmow.

The menu at Luigi’s Al Fresco features seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Each dish will satisfy your palate as they only use the freshest ingredients. The talented team of chefs at Luigi’s Al Fresco excels at what they do. Hence, they deliver beautiful pieces of art on a plate that please your eyes as well as your palate.


  • Italian, European, Neapolitan, Campania, and Mediterranean cuisine
  • Ambience is warm and romantic
  • Caters to special diets
  • Open for reservations
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Outdoor seating available
  • You can order alcohol
  • Have highchairs to keep toddlers seated
  • Outdoor seating to enjoy the open air
  • Amazing starters
  • Friendly and welcoming staff

8. Rubino Kitchen

Rubino Kitchen is a Michelin-star-rated restaurant in Essex where locals enjoy a splendid meal. This fine dining establishment is known for its excellent food and service. Nevertheless, it has earned rave reviews from diners who have visited.

The Rubino Kitchen has something for everyone’s taste. From starters to main courses to desserts, there’s something for everyone, and their dishes will not disappoint. And if you have any special dietary requirements, the staff will be more than happy to accommodate you.

Rubino Kitchen is the place to try if you want a memorable dining experience. With its top-notch food and service, it’s no wonder this restaurant has earned such high praise from critics.


  • British and European contemporary cuisine
  • Freshly made food
  • Gorgeous decor and cosy ambience
  • Perfect for date nights and intimate settings
  • Food is refreshing and well-balanced
  • Affordable starters
  • Outdoor dining with stunning views
  • Offers three-course meals
  • Meals are packed and full—it will not disappoint
  • Advanced booking required
  • Vegetarian-friendly

9. Aspera Restaurant

The Aspera Restaurant is a Michelin Star restaurant located in Essex, England. Moreover, the restaurant is run by chef patron Marco Pierre White and his wife, Lisa. 

The menu features classic French cuisine with a modern take on their dishes. They have an elegant yet comfortable dining area with a calming atmosphere. 

Aspera is the perfect place to enjoy special moments with friends and family. Chef Henry Dimbleby runs the operations and has earned them two Michelin stars. The restaurant serves contemporary British cuisine focusing on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. 

The menu frequently changes to reflect what is fresh and available. Furthermore, you can also savour roast quail with foie gras and black truffle on seared scallops. Their Berkshire pork belly with apple sauce is also worth trying. 

Aspera has an extensive wine collection and a selection of champagnes. If you are a large party, booking one of their private dining rooms would be best. It ensures privacy during family dinners or cocktail receptions for your colleagues.


  • Mediterranean, European, Turkish, cousine
  • Great for large groups and parties
  • Staff are well-trained and attentive
  • Offers great value for money
  • Family-friendly restaurant
  • Food and cocktails are superb

10. The Magic Mushroom

The Magic Mushroom is one of Essex’s most popular Michelin-star restaurants. The restaurant is known for its innovative yet traditional dishes. The Magic Mushroom has a relaxed and informal atmosphere but still manages to be one of the area’s most elegant and refined dining experiences. 

The menu features a variety of classic and contemporary dishes. They use the finest of ingredients cooked to perfection. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a grand celebration, Magic Mushroom will make your dining experience truly unforgettable. 

The Magic Mushroom offers lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday. Moreover, you can also enjoy brunch on Sundays. The Magic Mushroom is located at The Pines Hotel in Great Dunmow, Essex.


  • British and European contemporary cuisine
  • Friendly staff
  • Offers private dining
  • Caters to special diets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good venue for parties
  • Highchairs available for children
  • Cocktails are delicious
magic mushroom restaurant

Things to Consider before choosing a Michelin-Star Restaurant

When it comes to Michelin-star restaurants, you should consider a few things before making a reservation.

  • The Michelin Star Rating

Of course, one of the most important things to consider is the Michelin star rating of the restaurant. A Michelin star rating is a symbol of quality and excellence, so you can be sure that you’re getting a good meal if you choose a Michelin-starred restaurant.

  • Location

If a fine dining experience is what you’re after, you’ll want to choose a restaurant in an upscale area. This will ensure that the ambience and atmosphere are up to par with what you expect from a Michelin-star restaurant.

  • Price

In a Michelin-star restaurant, you can expect to pay more than you would for a normal meal. This is worth the price tag. A Michelin-star restaurant is worth the price tag if you’re willing to splurge on a special occasion.

  • Menu

When choosing a Michelin-star restaurant, it’s important to look at the menu beforehand. Therefore, you can get an idea of what dishes are offered and whether or not they fit your taste. Most Michelin-star restaurants offer various cuisines, so you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

  • Service

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a Michelin-star restaurant is the level of service you can expect. These restaurants are known for their exceptional service, so you can be sure they’ll take care of you while you’re there. If you’re looking for a truly top-notch dining experience, you’ll want to ensure that the service is up to par. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you required to make a reservation in most Michelin-star restaurants?

A Michelin meal can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. But, this is because a lot goes into a Michelin meal. These dishes are a work of art. Sometimes the individual parts of the dish have to be carefully curated from exotic ingredients. Therefore, you are required to make a reservation. 

Even if you get in without one, you will have to wait at least a couple of hours. Although, It is easy to wait if you have good company. But once they start the service, the flow will be consistent and fast.

What is the difference between a Michelin star and a fine dining restaurant?

Michelin-star restaurants are awarded for their outstanding food, service, and ambience. However, fine-dining restaurants may not have all three. But, they focus on providing an upscale experience with high-quality food. 

A Michelin star means that the restaurant is very good. Two means it is excellent. Three stars mean the restaurant is exceptional and worth taking special trips for. Hence, you will be treated to excellent cuisine to make your special moments worth it.

Is a Michelin Star restaurant an excellent option to celebrate a special occasion?

Yes! They surely are. You can choose a Michelin-starred restaurant to celebrate a promotion, a date night, an anniversary, or even to propose. Furthermore, you can also make plans for your next family dinner. Michelin-star restaurants make the best of your special moments with their service and exceptional food. However, it can cost you a little more. 

Moreover, most Michelin-star restaurants, especially the fine dining ones, do not allow walk-ins. Hence, you have to make a reservation in advance. Some restaurants accept reservations for up to a month or two.

What should I expect from a Michelin star and a fine dining restaurant?

When dining at a Michelin-star, you can expect exceptional service, beautifully presented food, and an overall luxurious experience. Furthermore, you can also expect to be served dishes made with the finest ingredients sourced from all around the globe. 

The restaurant will serve you the best cuisine and standards that justify that accolade. Hence, dining at a Michelin-star restaurant should be on your bucket list when you travel to Essex.

A fine dining restaurant might not always serve the best food. But you can still get some good experiences. Moreover, a fine dining restaurant can be good at food, service, and other secondary features. 

What is the difference between a Michelin star and a five-star restaurant?

Michelin stars are awarded to exceptional-quality restaurants, while five-star restaurants are rated based on their overall facilities and amenities. 

Michelin stars are awarded on service, food quality, and consistency. However, the metric of star-based rating for a hotel is more about the standard of the hotel. 

A five-star hotel is a ranking given by the public’s general opinion. Therefore, this is given based on their services, food, facilities, and the quality they offer.

How much does a meal cost at a Michelin-star restaurant?

A Michelin meal is not your ordinary everyday meal. High-end Michelin-star restaurants can charge around £100-£1,000 for a meal of two. 

Some small restaurants have Michelin star ratings as well. Nevertheless, you can enjoy an inexpensive meal while still enjoying the Michelin standards. Therefore, you can taste a Michelin meal for less than £20.

Conclusion: Michelin Star & Fine Dining Restaurants In Essex

All the restaurants on our list offer exceptional fine dining experiences, whether for formal or informal events. From inventive modern cuisine to classical French fare, these restaurants are sure to impress. And with their stunning locations and impeccable service, they’ll make your dining experience truly unforgettable. 

If you want to splurge on a special occasion or want to treat yourself to a luxury meal, these Michelin-star restaurants will surely give you the best dining experience. Check out one of these Michelin-star eateries in Essex, and you will surely experience a meal of a lifetime.

About The Author

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James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.