Breakfast in Essex: 9 places you need to go

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Put a spring in your step with breakfast at one of these wonderful Essex eateries or cafes. Brunching with friends or just a simple sarnie on the way to work, these are 9 places you need to try

1. Stop the World Café, Leigh-on-Sea

Tucked away on the sunny side of The Broadway in Leigh-on-Sea is the Stop the World Café. A café that celebrates its uniqueness, its aim is to produce the finest food from the freshest ingredients possible. As the name would suggest, it’s the perfect place to sit back, relax and escape the stress of your day. The breakfast menu is extensive and separated into four categories: ‘healthy’, ‘hearty’, ‘veggie’ and ‘heavenly’ featuring breakfast smoothies, English breakfasts, egg on toast and pancakes with maple syrup. For those with a bigger appetite they also offer all day options such as bubble and squeak, eggs Benedict and Croque Monsieur/Madame.

2. The Little Book Café, Halstead

The Little Book Café can be found in a charming 17th Century cottage in the beautiful market town of Halstead. It’s a wonderful place to wake up with a cup of coffee over one of the many books in their collection (which you are free to browse, borrow or even buy). Food is very important at the Little Book and they strive to provide the greatest quality ingredients from local bakers and butchers guaranteeing you one of the best breakfasts in the area. Their brunch menu caters to all tastes with savoury or sweet pancakes, French toast, poached or scrambled eggs, beans on toast and scrumptious cooked breakfasts for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

3. The Red Dog Café, Colchester

The Red Dog Café in Colchester – named after the popular 2011 Australian film of the same name – aims to bring together its local community over the love of good food. Set in what were once the Prince of Wales Public House and the Inworth Barn, the café is the perfect combination of British historical charm and the owner’s quirky Australian decor. The café boats a mouth-watering all-day breakfast menu with full English cooked breakfast, steak ‘n’ eggs, French toast, granola, and baguettes. We recommend the gypsy eggs, a huge slice of crusty bread with chorizo, Parma ham, tomato sauce and baked hen’s eggs.

4. Lunch, Colchester

Lunch in Colchester has been serving homemade American inspired food since 2006. They are passionate about creating fresh, tasty food that isn’t pre-packaged or processed and made in house exclusively by them. Whilst they used to make predominantly American themed food, they have recently expanded into cooked breakfasts. The ethos of Lunch is simple; to provide fresh, tasty food that is the best value pound for pound in the area. The breakfast menu is simple and excellently priced, sticking to the classics, done well. A full English cooked breakfast for both meat eaters and vegetarians, breakfast sandwiches and the ever popular – patatas bravas!

5. Acanteen, Chelmsford

Acanteen in Chelmsford is a family run restaurant that was born out of a passion for food. With a relaxing atmosphere that welcomes all day dining and drinking it’s the perfect spot for late breakfast or brunch with friends. They strive to source all of their products ethically and sustainably and their in house chefs prepare everything from scratch, by hand. The all-day breakfast/brunch menu caters to all dietary needs with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options available. Tuck into a huge fried breakfast with all of your favourites, keep it simple with egg on toast, or indulge a sweet tooth with a pancake stack. If you’re in the mood for something different, perhaps try the Mexican Benedict, a toasted muffin topped with chorizo, chipotle, avocado, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

6. Cairnsworth Delicatessen, Chelmsford

Cairnsworth Delicatessen and Tea room has got something for everyone; part restaurant, part café it also has an in house deli, village shop and home store. Their brunch menu is extensive with a wonderful selection of both sweet and savoury breakfast treats. Whether you fancy buttermilk pancakes with fruit and syrups; eggs Benedict; a bacon or sausage sandwich or just keeping it simple with a breakfast juice, they can do it. All of these can and should be washed down with a cup of their speciality artisan roasted Cairnsworth blend coffee.

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7. Mad Hatters Tea Room, Southend-on-Sea

Hidden away in the heart of Southend is the Mad Hatters Tea Room; family run and passionate about serving delectable sweet treats and some of the best quality barista coffee and loose leaf tea the area has to offer. Everything is prepared fresh on a daily basis and the recipes have been tried and tested down the years by the family for generations. The brunch menu sticks to the classics featuring French toast, pancake stacks and egg on toast. For those with a heartier appetite there is smoked salmon and scrambled egg, doorstop breakfast sarnies and the ‘Med Hatter’s Breakfast’ consisting of two rashers of bacon, two eggs, two locally sourced sausages with baked beans and toast – yummy!

8. The Art Café, Mersea Island

The Art Café on Mersea Island combines great coffee with some of the best original artwork around. Located just a stones throw from the beach the views from the terrace are simply wonderful particularly when the sun is shining on a summer’s day. Serving high quality coffees and freshly prepared food, The Art Café has been running for over ten years, so it’s clearly been doing something right. Tuck into a hearty full English breakfast or crispy bubble and squeak while savouring the smell of freshly roasted coffee. For something a bit different perhaps try the drop-scones with bacon and maple syrup, or porridge and croissants with your choice of local preserves.

9. The Den at Twenty Three, Colchester

The Den at Twenty Three in Colchester is a vegan café like no other. After noticing that many vegans chose not to eat meat because of ethical reason yet still enjoyed the taste of meat and dairy, owners Robert and Jennifer created a menu of comfort food classics with a vegan twist. Meaty burgers, creamy frosted cupcakes, melted cheese toasties are all on the menu but are made with plants instead of meats and dairy. The breakfast menu is a small collection of simple classics with vegan influence. Guests can enjoy the ‘Breakfast Bagel’ with tofu omelette and soya sausage, avocado on toast with cracked black peppercorns or a homemade toasted waffle with maple syrup and a scoop of dairy-free ice cream. They also use fair-trade coffee so you can enjoy a guilt-free flat white or Americano.

Missed breakfast? Not to worry, treat yourself to a deliciously authentic pie and mash instead! Here are 9 great places to go...