5 of the best tapas restaurants in Essex
- Credit: Archant
The best spots for tapas in Essex, from beachside boquerones in Southend-on-Sea to cosy evenings over calamari and croquetas in Brentwood
1. Ocean Beach, Southend-on-Sea
This place is a must in summer, with a covered deck offering panoramic views of the Thames Estuary and even a few tables on the sandy beach. The menu has plant of choice with no fewer than 24 tapas dishes (as well as a few classics like fish and chips). Try the Provencal meatballs with Parmesan and basil, nduja bruschetta with avocado puree and a poached egg, whitebait served with lemon and tartar sauce, and grilled halloumi on rocket with a tzatziki dip. Oh and there’s free parking just across the road.
Eastern Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2YG; 01702 611363; ocean-beach.co.uk 2. Billy Hundreds Fish n Tapas Restaurant, Southend-on-Sea
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Owner and head chef Graham and his father Gordon, a fishmonger for over 40 years, are passionate about cooking mouth-watering fish dishes, personally selecting the fish to make sure they get the best. The menu has a fantastic variety of fresh seafood served as tapas dishes simply perfect for mixing and matching with family or friends. Treat yourself to chilli prawns, crab tacos, whitebait and some superb crayfish tails. But it’s not just the food that’s great here - the setting, right on the beachfront is glorious in summer.
Kiosk 12, Eastern Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2YH; billyhundreds.com 3. The Flitch House, Dunmow
This high-end over 21s establishment serves great tasting tapas and fien wine. Cocktails are two-for-one on Wednesdays, so why not make a night of it? But if you’re driving, you’ll be pleased to know that the car park at the back is free after 6pm, which certainly helps make this eatery popular! As well as classic tapas dishes likes tiger prawns in olive oil with chilli and garlic, braised pork belly and calamari with alioli, they also serve large fish, meat and veggie platters for sharing.
39 High Street, Dunmow CM6 1AX; 01376 876745; theflitchhouse.co.uk
4. Las Tapas, Brentwood & Chingford
Located in a 600-year-old Grade II listed building, the Brentwood branch of Las Tapas is a charming, cosy little restaurant full of character. The menu is full of authentic Spanish tapas dishes such as boquerones, pan con tomate, croqueta carne, pulpo, calamari and grilled chorizo, as well as Iberico ham and paella. With the new Covid-19 restrictions they take bookings for Friday and Saturday evenings in two sittings, but there is also a takeaway service too. Las Tapas also has a branch in Chingford.
64 High Street, Brentwood CM14 4AN, 01277 848610 / 164 Station Road, Chingford E4 6AN, 020 8529 7870; lastapas.uk
5. Latino’s Restaurant and Tapas Bar, Benfleet
Established in 2005, the kitchen here offers authentic Spanish and Portuguese cooking, from a wide selection of authentic tapas dishes to pizza, pasta, meat and fish dishes. The dishes look charmingly rustic, the flavours are big and the staff are friendly and convivial. In 2014 Latino’s Restaurant earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and today it scores 4.5 out of 5 on the popular review site.
205 London Road, Hadleigh, Benfleet SS7 2RD; 01702 555010; latinosrestaurant.co.uk