7 of the best Italian restaurants in Essex

Figo restaurant in Brentwood (photo: Stephanie Mackentyre)

Figo restaurant in Brentwood (photo: Stephanie Mackentyre) - Credit: Archant

The hottest spots in Essex to indulge your passion for Italian food

Please note that this is a very difficult time for hospitality and some venues may not be open as advertised. Please do what you can to support your local cafes, pubs and restaurants, whether that be to make a booking for the future, buy a gift voucher, order a takeaway or contribute to a crowdfunder. For any further information, contact the restaurant directly.


1. Vita Bella, Chelmsford

Award-winning with first-class service inside and out, Vita Bella is welcoming and friendly with a menu to suit all tastes. Dress code is smart casual as is the restaurant style. The Tye, East Hanningfield, Chelmsford CM3 8AF; 01245 400 204; vita-bella.co.uk


2. Cucina, Leigh on Sea

Very popular in Leigh on Sea, especially with families, Cucina is open for Christmas Day dining if you fancy a break from the norm. 63 Broadway W, Leigh on Sea, Southend on Sea SS9 2BX; 01702 478590; cucinaleigh.co.uk


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3. Lucca Enoteca, Manningtree

With a roaring pizza oven in the centre of this oak-beamed and bare brick restaurant, there’s a choice of wood-fired pizzas and classic pasta dishes to warm your soul.

39-43 High Street, Manningtree CO11 1AH; 01206 390044; luccafoods.co.uk


4. Figo Restaurant, Brentwood

New to Brentwood in September 2020, this family-run Italian restaurant has a sister restaurant in Westfield Shopping Centre at Stratford and there are plans to launch a third site in Loughton. There’s a mixture of traditional pasta and pizza on the menu but also steaks and fish.

92 High Street Brentwood CM14 4AP; 020 8075 9899; figorestaurant.co.uk/brentwood


5. La Bicicletta, Brentwood

Another family-run Italian addition to the list is La Bicicletta tucked away in the tiny village of West Horndon just outside Brentwood. Sample the finest Italian dishes that are all home cooked on the premises using the finest, freshest ingredients possible. Alberto, the resident chef is both passionate and attentive and will happily recommend dishes to his guests, and even on occasion cook up dishes off menu on request.

37 Station Rd, West Horndon, Brentwood CM13 3TL; facebook.com/La-Bicicletta


6. Intimo-Fresco, Maldon

Set in a lovingly restored 18th century listed building, Intimo-Fresco in Maldon has been family run and owned since 2008. Offering a relaxed approach to traditional Italian dining, the menu features a huge selection of dishes from pastas, pizzas and traditional Italian meals as well as afternoon tea.

116 High Street, Maldon CM9 5ET; facebook.com/IntimoFrescoMaldon


7. Padrino, Southend-on-Sea

Padrino Ristorante and Pizzeria is a traditional Italian restaurant in Southend-on-Sea overlooking the stunning seafront. The food takes inspiration from all over Italy using a diverse range of cooking styles and techniques and diners can choose from pasta, pizza and various meat and seafood dishes.

7 Shorefield Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Southend-on-Sea, Westcliff-on-Sea SS0 7RH; padrinosouthend.co.uk



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