If you’re looking for the most popular brunch spots to fuel a day of shopping and sightseeing, pre-theatre casual eats for the family, or fancy exploring the city’s range of world cuisine, you won’t be left wondering where to eat in Chelmsford, thanks to our guide to the best dining destinations.
Places to eat in Chelmsford
From Nepalese curries and southern Indian street food, classic steaks and French cuisine, to Chinese dining in luxurious surroundings, Chelmsford has it all. With bars, shopping, cinemas and theatres all located within the compact city centre, whatever your plans (or your budget), there’s always a variety of great restaurants nearby to tantalise your taste buds. Check out our dedicated guide to restaurants in Chelmsford to explore the bustling foodie scene during your stay.
High Street Market
Our selection of the best cafés in Chelmsford begins with Queenie’s Coffee Shop, the highest ranked by visitors on TripAdvisor and conveniently located on the edge of High Chelmer Shopping Centre. Their milkshakes come piled high with sweet treats – seasonal specials include Creme Eggs, doughnuts and other chocolate goodies – and it’s also a great spot for coffee, breakfast or lunch. Enjoy generous portions of pancakes, cooked breakfasts and everything on toast, seated within its cool and quirky interior or the sheltered outdoor seating on a nice day. If you’re in a rush, grab one of their flat whites and homemade sausage rolls to go.
If it’s a spot of afternoon tea that you’re looking for, try out the Maison Bleu Tea Room, a quaint café and gift shop just a few minutes’ walk from Springfield Hall Park. Tucked away down a residential street, it’s a hidden gem that’s worth searching out, with tea served in charming teapots and indulgent homemade cakes, as well as a selection of salads and sandwiches. Make the most of your visit and search for some beautiful home interior purchases or unique presents within the gift shop. It’s recommended to book a table if you’re making the trip, as it’s a popular location!
For an Italian twist on platters, omelettes or a (wine-fuelled!) lunch, visit the Polignano Deli & Coffee Shop. It’s a slice of southern Italy within Chelmsford’s centre, serving coffee, breakfasts, lunches and even food in the evening. Owner Marino originates from Puglia, and prides himself on the unique and traditional Italian ingredients which are shipped over regularly by his dad! You can enjoy great coffee, focaccia bread and plates piled high with cured meats, cheeses and olives. The intimate restaurant upstairs also offers pasta dishes and salads. Of course, after your meal, you can also buy a selection of Italian produce to enjoy at home.
Chelmsford High Street Market offers a variety of covered market stalls, from clothes and fabric to vegetables and flowers, and is open Tuesday to Saturday throughout the day. For you food lovers, you’ll be visiting to check out the variety of street food stalls, from Greek souvlaki and pitta, to burritos, fresh pasta and authentic Thai food.
Lek’s Thai Food is definitely one to visit; it’s a no-frills food stall tucked at the back of the indoor market, focusing on authentic, fresh and great tasting food at very decent prices. Grab a curry for lunch and sit outside if the weather permits – it’s a well-known lunch spot for locals and you’ll definitely be coming back to sample more jungle curry or pad thai!