Restaurants in Suffolk: 20 of the tastiest places to go

PUBLISHED: 10:06 03 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 April 2018

Sample some of the best local seafood at Suffolk's restaurants ©  Bastiaanimage stock

Sample some of the best local seafood at Suffolk's restaurants © Bastiaanimage stock


We’re a lucky bunch in Suffolk as we have so many great quality restaurants, dining pubs and eateries. We pick 20 of the tastiest places to eat out in Suffolk

1. The Golden Key, Snape

Drive through Snape on the way to the Maltings and you might easily miss this little gem. It’s in Priory Road and you can expect traditional pub classics using lots of local ingredients; that’s not forgetting the real ale and extensive wine list behind the bar.

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In the colder months, the pub is filled with the warmth of two roaring open fires. Unwind after a winter’s walk with a glass of wine and Fido at your feet.

2. The Bulmer Fox, Bulmer

Nestled on the Suffolk/Essex border, this pub has a cosy interior that’s slightly more restaurant than pub (though there are some nice little snugs inside). The menu is small but thoughtfully put together and mains don’t get any more expensive than £16.50 which is for the steak, and starters are modestly priced too at just £6.50.

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The set menu has a selection of tasty dishes priced at just £9.75 for one course, £12.75 for two courses and £15.75 for three. On the set menu you’ll find tasty pub grub such as grilled haddock fillet with new potatoes or pork leg with mashed potatoes and mustard sauce.

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3. Scutchers Restaurant, Long Melford

An ever-present on our list of places to eat out, this tastefully decorated restaurant is on the road out of Long Melford towards Cavendish. The quality of food and service here are second to none. An exquisite luxury whole grilled Dover sole will cost £29 but if you want to sample the cooking here the duck cassoulet is more modestly priced at £18.

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The Scutchers shop sells starters, mains and puddings to be taken away and bottles of wine can be purchased to take home too – perfect cuisine for an indulgent night in!

4. Queen’s Head, Blyford

This 500 year old thatched pub is not far from Southwold and Halesworth and specialises in very local meat, game and vegetables (most of which can be found grazing or growing just a matter of yards from the pub). If game isn’t your thing, the pub runs an array of speciality nights throughout each month, including curry nights, pie nights and Italian nights.

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The large beer garden is the perfect sunny spot for beer and good company on a hot summer’s day.

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5. Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall

We like Milsoms for their effortless style and interesting food. This former schoolhouse is situated a matter of yards from the A12 but hidden away amid trees and gently rolling lawns. The cleverly worded menus incorporate a range of dishes to suit all appetites. From pies and steaks, to fishy mains and pasta dishes, there’s plenty for everyone.

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Make sure you leave room for one of the mouth watering puddings on offer. Expect creative dishes such as salted caramel and popcorn brûlée, Belgian chocolate fondant with salted peanut brittle, and lemon and poppy seed mousse. Yum!

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6. Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds

At Maison Bleue, diners can expect impeccable French cuisine. It might look like a small restaurant but it goes back some way and there are plenty of delicacies to be savoured and fine wines on offer.

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The three course lunch for £25 is a steal and a great introduction to this French temptress. You could almost be across the Channel in Annecy or Sarlat (or any other Gallic town as lovely as our own Bury!).

7. Cafe Bencotto, Felixstowe

Café Bencotto serves Mediterranean style food such as authentic hand-made pizzas and excellent pasta and risotto plus an interesting selection of contemporary English meat, fish and seafood dishes, and a handful of seasonal daily specials. The atmosphere is energetic here whilst the red brick interior of the lovingly restored former fire station lends a warm ambience.

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The wine list is well above average for this style of informal dining. On the menu you’ll find an aromatic and elegant selection of whites, reds and sparkling wines. Treat yourself to a bottle of Champagne for a special occasion.

8. Ravenwood Hall Hotel, Rougham

At Ravenwood, diners have the choice of eating in the informal bar, spacious Garden Room overlooking the terrace, or the formal restaurant. This Tudor hall provides a relaxed experience where food and service is something quite special. The menu offers a wide selection of British dishes with a modern twist, using ingredients such as game from Rougham Estate and other locally sourced meats and fish, in addition to vegetarian options.

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With a cosy and inviting atmosphere, a warm log fire and exceptional seasonal food on the menu, the restaurant is an ideal destination for the autumn months.

9. Black Lion Hotel, Long Melford

With arguably one of the finest views of the famous Long Melford Green and within the imposing gaze of the church, the Georgian Black Lion is steeped in history and serves the finest, award-winning dishes. The restaurant is welcoming with a touch of sophistication, mixed with homely comforts so it may come as no surprise that the hotel was a previous winner of the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink awards ‘Best Restaurant’.

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Sunday lunch at The Black Lion is one of the best meals of the week. Think roast rib of beef, homemade Yorkshire puddings, crispy roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables – just make sure you’re wearing your stretchy trousers!

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10. Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds

This independent free house in the backstreets of Bury is the only brew pub in Suffolk where you can actually see beer in the making on a regular basis. Beers are made on the premises using East Anglian grown and malted barley, choice hops and the special house yeast. The Brewery Kitchen serves fresh and seasonal produce purchased from known local producers the style is British traditional/regional with a twist. Expect proper pub prices too.

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The Cannon now has rooms so you can eat, drink and stay.

11. Mariners, Ipswich

Formerly Il Punto, this floating restaurant on Neptune Quay has bags of style. The tables are beautifully laid out (admire all that gleaming brasswork and woodwork too) with the French cuisine to match. Head chef Frederic Lebrun never scrimps on quality so go on, treat yourself, the diet can start on Monday!

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Mariners has a set lunch menu that runs on Tuesday until Saturdays 12-2pm. Diners can enjoy three courses for just £19.95 and there is a generous selection of dishes to choose from.

12. The Bildeston Crown, Bildeston

Awards and rave notices keep coming in for this lovely inn in mid Suffolk. Giles Coren from The Times called it ‘The best progressive kitchen in Suffolk. Eat in the restaurant or around the cosy bar area with big open fire (perfect for the colder months ahead). Wonderful meat and game dishes but they can do the simple things well too.’ We couldn’t agree more.

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The afternoon tea is served 3 – 5.30pm daily and includes a selection of fingers sandwiches, cake and scones with a glass of Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne for £25 per person.

13. Satis House, Yoxford

You’ll find this stylish boutique hotel near to Suffolk Heritage Coast. It has a two AA rosette award-winning restaurant specialising in local produce, particularly meat, poultry, game, seafood and vegetables. All the food, wherever possible, is both locally sourced and seasonal, and the owners know exactly how all of their meat has been reared, slaughtered and hung, if necessary, before it gets to your table.

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Talking of meat, steak nights take place every Thursday alongside the usual a la carte menu.

14. White Horse Inn, Sibton

This attractive village pub is nestled not too far from the beautiful Suffolk coast. Inside you’ll find plenty of charm, with wooden beams, Victorian tiled floors and a cosy log burner. The White Horse has won our ‘Best Eating Pub’ award three times in the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink awards as the food here is hearty and delicious.

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If you haven’t guessed by now, we ruddy love a Sunday roast and the White Horse serves one of the best in Suffolk. Diners can choose from a selection of succulent meats including pork, chicken, beef and even cod, all served with seasonal vegetables, crunchy roasties and lashings of gravy.

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15. The Westleton Crown, Saxmundham

The Westleton Crown is an inviting 17th century coaching inn that mixes the traditional with a dash of sophistication. Wooden tables and open fires make the bar welcoming as the weather starts to get colder, as does the tasty menu with lots of pub classics. In the summer, diners can eat al fresco in the terraced garden.

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We really enjoyed the Blythburgh pork which is served with colcannon mash, carrot puree and heritage carrots.

16. The Swan Hotel, Lavenham

Autumn and winter is just the time to see the historic Swan at its mighty beams and open fires best, but what to choose from an expansive menu? Maybe the lamb served with apricots, quail egg and tomato? Or perhaps the venison with honey blackberries and celeriac? Either way, you shan’t be disappointed. The vegetarian choices here are good too.

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Leave room for the cheeseboard where diners can sample a taste of Cornish Yarg, Montgomery’s cheddar, Stichelton Blue, goats cheese and Gubbeen. You won’t regret it.

17. Frederick’s at Ickworth Hotel

Set in the fabulous Ickworth House at Horringer, here is a venue always worth visiting before or after a tour of the house and gardens. Snacks and main meals are a cut above and the restaurant is bright, spacious and inviting; a real favourite of ours.

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The melt-in-the-mouth pork belly is a popular choice for meat lovers.

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18. The King’s Head, Woodbridge

This town centre pub has bags of character and charm; just the place to pull up a chair or stool and sup a pint of real ale. On the menu is no-nonsense, very tasty pub food using seasonal ingredients, the only difficult part is choosing what to have! Think hearty mains and indulgent puds…

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The pub has a daily specials board that is forever changing so you’ll never get bored. Dare to stray away from the menu and try something new.

19. The Crown Hotel, Southwold

Combining the attractive elements of a small hotel, wine bar, pub and restaurant, the Crown is always buzzing with a lively informality. We think the phrase that best describes it is effortless class. The food is famously good and the wine list wonderful. Inevitably awards have followed: Wine Pub of the Year the Morning Advertiser, Central & East Anglias Best Hotel of the Year Les Routiers and Suffolk Dining Pub of the Year 2009 the Good Pub Guide.

Don’t miss…

The twice cooked beef dripping chips (as if the description of them isn’t enticing enough!).

20. Aqua Eight, Ipswich

Look out for this superb restaurant at the heart of Ipswich in Lion Street. If, like us, you like pan-Asian cuisine you will thank us as there’s nothing quite like it in Suffolk. Prepare to salivate at black cod with miso, stir fry fillet of beef with ginger, and char grilled wasabi steaks with soya and lemongrass. There’s a good wine choice too whilst the snazzy modern surroundings will add to the enjoyment of your meal.

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Calling all vegetarians! Aqua Eight has a superb veggie menu to sate your appetite that includes teriyaki vegetables, stir fried tofu and green aubergine curry to name just a few.

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If you can’t get enough of food and drink in Suffolk, check these out!

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