Suffolk offers a great range of Eating Out options from Family-friendly dining, afternoon tea, country pubs, cafes, vegetarian options, and award-winning restaurants, plus al fresco choices to fine dining in many hotels and bistros. There are casual and chain restaurants & pubs too, many offering excellent value for money, but here we focus on the local Suffolk eating out experience.
Family-Friendly Eating Out
Many Suffolk pubs welcome children (see links below) but for a restaurant that actively encourages younger diners, head to The Brudenell, Aldeburgh. This vibrant restaurant overlooks Aldeburgh beach and is the perfect place for dining, whether it’s with family, friends, or business colleagues. The emphasis is very much on flexibility and informality in the light and airy bar and restaurant which both have fabulous panoramic sea views. The restaurant has two AA rosettes and offers all-day dining from 12.00 pm till 9.00 pm. During the summer you can dine al fresco on the Brudenell’s terrace, the perfect location to savour the very finest of Suffolk produce, a pebble’s throw from the beach. Find more family-friendly restaurants in Suffolk here!
This is a very popular treat, and in Suffolk, we have a whole host of Afternoon Tea experiences for you to choose from, from smart ‘Great Aunt’ experiences at Hintlesham Hall, to hearty teas at Thornham Coach House. There’s so much to choose from that they are featured in their own article – please see Afternoon Tea in Suffolk
Pubs, Pubs, glorious Pubs…there really is nothing quite like them
Nothing beats our British tradition of enjoying classic country fare – roasts, pies, fish & chips, stews, crumbles… Plus a lively Pub atmosphere and enjoying open fires in the Winter and beer gardens in the Summer. You can almost taste the beer – which of course, is probably local too as Suffolk is home to Greene King and Adnams, the UK’s 2 largest brewers. Many Suffolk Pubs have taken to food in a big way, and you can find our excellent food and drink served all over the county. Check these out, as they are the food-led village pubs you’d want to have in your village!
The Pubs in italics also offer accommodation so you can enjoy your meal without having to worry about who is going to drive home. We have a whole section on Suffolk Pubs and Pubs with Accommodations so check them out now!
Suffolk offers you a whole range of Cafe options that you might not find elsewhere – for example, pictured above are the atmospheric Cafe Bencotto in Felixstowe and the View Point Cafe at Landguard Peninsula, located in the John Bradfield Viewing Area, right up against the fence of The Port of Felixstowe, the busiest port in the UK. You can watch the containers go by on their way to faraway places while you enjoy a Fisherman’s Breakfast.
We also have Organic Cafes such as National Trust’s Ickworth House, and the Water Mill at Pakenham is also worth a trip. Check the link for Cafe opening times, and for animal lovers, we have a host of Cafes with our top Animal attractions, including – The Suffolk Punch, The National Stud and RSPB Minsmere of course. Suffolk is a very dog-friendly county, so competition for the pet pound is fierce.
Find a list of Suffolk Cafes here
Al Fresco Dining in Suffolk
There are many fabulous al fresco dining options in Suffolk, including pub gardens, chic outdoor terraces, and Southwold Pier.
Fine dining and Award-Winning Restaurants
The Great House, Lavenham, has won many, many awards, including ‘Britain’s top 100 Restaurants’ Sunday Times and ‘‘The Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice 2015 Awards for Gourmet Hotels’ so you know you are going to get the best French food Suffolk has to offer here! Owned and run by Regis Crepy and his wife Martine, The Great House ‘is a cracking restaurant’ according to The Sunday Telegraph. So find out what all these rave reviews are about and book your gastronomic stay at The Great House today!
Also owned by Regis and Martine are 2 other fantastic Suffolk restaurants offering top-quality French cuisine that is well worth trying – The Mariners is a Brasserie on an old Dutch boat, moored at Ipswich Marina, just minutes away from Ipswich town centre. Retaining a lot of original character and offering spectacular views of the Marina, it is the perfect setting for a leisurely lunch, romantic dinner or family get-together.
Maison Bleue is located in our other main Suffolk town, Bury St Edmunds and recently won the East of England ‘Good Food Guide’ Restaurant of the Year 2012. Enough said, try them out!
Just outside Ipswich, Hintlesham Hall’s 3 AA rosettes for fine dining are not just for formal dining or celebrations. The Hall is a stunning venue where you can enjoy lighter meals from Harry’s Bar, al fresco dining on the terraces, or exclusive dining in their private rooms! All this and delicious food too! Click on the link above to find out more about one of Suffolk’s leading Hotels.
The Agellus Hotel Group owns 2 of our top restaurants (which also happen to be Hotels) – The Westleton Crown near the Suffolk Coast and Tuddenham Mill near Bury St Edmunds. Both are well worth a long lunch, at least, if not a weekend break! Find out more about each by clicking on the links above.
Find more Fine Dining options in Suffolk here
Bistros in Suffolk
Cafe Bencotto in Felixstowe is more bistro than a cafe and offers Mediterranean-inspired fare with its simple yet sophisticated interior perfectly complements the delicious food, which is prepared in the open-plan kitchen. Visit the old Fire Station to find the very best pasta, pizza, and grills.
At The Plough & Sail, you’ll find delicious food and drink, a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere and exceptional service. Chef Oliver has a passion for quality, seasonal food, and whether you are after a casual meal or a formal dinner, you’ll find something to suit all tastes. The Plough and Sail, Snape
Located a short walk from Ipswich town centre, the award-winning Arbor House serves a selection of local, craft and world products. Whether you are looking for a quick cup of locally roasted coffee, a refreshing beer or something more substantial, The Arbor House has something for everyone. Choose from a selection of Small Plates as well as modern versions of traditional pub classics while the Bar serves a selection of Beers, Wines and Spirits. The upstairs ‘Aviary’ also provides extra comfortable seating.
In an envious location close to the harbour and right opposite the beach in Southwold, The Sail Loft is a trendy café-bar and restaurant. With their own parking, a warm welcome and good hearty food, The Sail Loft is a great choice for families, dog walkers or just a drink with friends. They have a passion for specialist coffees, craft ales and local seasonal artisan menus using great Suffolk and East Anglian ingredients. They have daily offers and events, including Curry Night and Live Music, plus bespoke accommodation above the restaurant with amazing sea views.
Situated in the lively centre of Long Melford, The Swan provides contemporary and perfected British food, friendly hospitality, and an impressive wine list. This is a family-run business passionate about fresh seasonal ingredients, so spend some time in lovely Long Melford and then enjoy a meal at The Swan. Or, if you’re in the Hadleigh area, try their sister restaurant, The Hadleigh Ram
The White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh offers delicious menus inspired by the wealth of fantastic fresh Suffolk produce so readily available. Here you can enjoy great food in a modern and relaxed setting, overlooking the Aldeburgh beach.
Also, in Aldeburgh, the family-owned and award-winning Aldeburgh Fish & Chips is open for lunch and tea 7 days a week. Cod, Haddock, Plaice, Scampi and more with chips made from locally sourced potatoes. Yum.
Further up the coast, we really like the food & informal atmosphere of The Anchor Walberswick where the Chef and owner are passionate about fresh, local produce – wherever possible local suppliers such as Red Poll Beef, Blythburgh Pork and Lowestoft fish are used. So you will find daily specials for lunch and dinner and the same menu in the restaurant and bar. ‘Walk-ins’ are welcome, and on warmer days, you can sit outside on the large terraces and savour the flavours of Walberswick.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say, so send us a review of any Suffolk restaurants that you think are exceptionally good, as we love to spread the word!
- Suffolk Food and Drink
- Suffolk Farmers markets and Farm Shops
- As seen in The Telegraph, what makes Suffolk food so good ⇨Suffolk Best Food region
- and it must surely be something to do with our soil ⇨Soil Association & Organic Food movement started in Suffolk