Best Pubs in Essex – 5 Pubs You Can’t Miss Out on

best pubs in essex

If you are looking for the best place to spend a relaxing evening by the fireplace, or enjoy the sun in a beer garden with your mates, there are plenty of great pubs in Essex. You may be wondering which are the best pubs in Essex?

Well look no further, this guide gives you the best pubs to visit in Essex. The results are compiled from online reviews, personal experience, the facilities, and food.

Let’s discover the 5 best pubs in Essex.

Lobster Smack – Canvey Island – Best Pubs in Essex

the lobster smack canvey island
Image credit: Lobster Smack, Canvey Island

There aren’t many pubs on Canvey Island and the Haystack Pub on the Highstreet has a rough reputation.

The Lobster Smack is a historic pub set out of the way overlooking the Thames Estuary. Rated 4.5 on Trip Advisor, the food and hospitality is very good. The pub is split into 3 sections, a restaurant and bar on the ground floor and a sports/function room on the first floor.

Food is competitively priced and you don’t need to book a seat in the restaurant most nights. You can also enjoy your pub fare in the bar. Outside there are a several tables sheltered by the seawall – perfect for relaxing in the summer sun.

The Nags Head – Brentwood – Best Pubs in Essex

the nags head brentwood
Image credit: @TheNagsHeadBrentwoodEssex

Pricier than the Lobster Smack, The Nags Head tries to attract wealthier clientele, perfect for its Brentwood location (just down the road from an Aston Martin dealership).

The food is great, and the atmosphere is relaxed – making it the ideal spot for a first date. Also rated 4.5 on Trip Advisor the pub focuses more on Italian cuisine and has Peroni on tap. There are a range of British pub dishes for those not Mediterranean inclined.

The outdoor area is a bit more confined than the Lobster Smack and parking can be a bit tricky, especially if the pub is busy. For those looking to dine, it is best to book a table to avoid disappointment.

For those with disabilities, the Nags Head is well laid out and one of the best pubs on this list for access.

The Welsh Harp – Waltham Abbey

welsh harp best pub in essex
Image credit: The Welsh Harp

Waltham Abbey is a small town that boasts one of the best pubs in Essex – The Welsh Harp. Food here is generously portioned and reasonably priced.

You will find all your British pub favourites alongside American cuisine for those looking to stack up the calories with locally crafted ales. It also has the lofty accolade of a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor.

Like other pubs on this list, The Welsh Harp offers a variety of entertainment nights, from karaoke to live music and sports events. For those looking for refreshment after a day’s rambling, dogs are welcome to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere of the century old pub.

The Rose and Crown – Great Waltham – Best Pubs in Essex

rose and crown pub in Great Waltham
Image credit: @roseandcrowngw

From one Waltham to another, The Rose and Crown is a firm favourite for locals and visitors to Great Waltham. Tucked out of the way amid Tudor architecture the pub offers food for all tastes.

With gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options you will find most dietary requirements catered for. Disabled access is also good throughout the pub with tables spaced well and disabled facilities onsite.

Booking is recommended on weekends as the pub can get quite busy. During the week The Rose and Crown offers a variety of events like jazz nights, steak nights and open-mic nights.

The Saracens Head Hotel and Pub – Great Dunmow

saracens head hotel pub in dunmow, essex
Image credit: @thesaracensheadhotel

Last but certainly not least is the charming and rustic Saracens Head in Great Dunmow. The restaurant has a plenty of delicious food and the bar offers a wide variety of beverages to wash it all down.

Inside the pub is cosy and warm with a large beer garden to the rear with heaters for winter nights under the stars. What’s more, you don’t need to worry about getting home at the end of the night as the pub has a range of affordable and comfortable rooms to stay in.

Disabled access is a little more limited here due to the age of the building – but everything is all on a single level (including most of the rooms).

I hope you enjoyed my 5 best pubs in Essex – make sure you check them out and decide if my recommendations are worthy. Don’t forget to comment your favourite Essex pubs and let me know if I missed any gems.

Jon Logan

Jon Logan is an editorial consultant and author that loves living life without boundaries. Over the past 5 years, his content at Immortal Wordsmith has helped thousands of readers gain new perspectives and discover fascinating stories. Jon holds several professional qualifications and is financially qualified in the UK. He left the humdrum world of financial advice to pursue a career in writing – his lifelong passion. He has partnered with local and global brands to help them grow their businesses and audiences through insightful and innovative content strategy. Jon specialises in creating inspirational and thought-provoking writing that challenges readers to look beyond the confines of “the norm.” He uses dynamic writing styles to convey messages to diverse audiences from all walks of life. He is an avid explorer and loves sharing the world from his perspective with his readers.

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