Oliver's on the Beach
For those in the know, this upmarket café – owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s aunt and uncle – is Southend’s best kept secret. So successful that it doesn’t even have its own website, it relies on Facebook and word of mouth to promote itself. Those in other parts of Essex who may not yet be aware of Oliver's are in for a treat. It boasts delicious home-made fare, produced using exclusively Jamie Oliver recipes. Its commanding presence on a deserted stretch of beach with little else around it increases the impact. Curious? Check out the Instagram page for Jamie himself, where he has posted pictures of himself soaking up the sunshine outside the venue.Facebook.com/oystercreek
This family-run restaurant serves mouth-watering artisan gelato, made with organic cream and milk and available from either the restaurant or their Italian ice-cream cart to take away. All the food here has been locally sourced to guarantee freshness, so expect menus to include live lobster straight from the sea, plus all of the latest catches of the day. Find their website here.Facebook.com/Ocean-Beach
Take advantage of the outdoor terrace and spacious bar to enjoy unrivalled views of the Thames Estuary. With a dedicated children's menu, and a sandy beach a stone's throw away from the restaurant, this is a perfect place to bring your kids. The tapas menu is heavenly for light snacks, with generous helpings of antipasti and grilled halloumi on rocket and red pepper salad making up some of the available eats. Ocean Beach is one of our favourite seaside hangouts!facebook.com/Fish.Tapas
Billy Hundreds Fish and Tapas
Named after a fishmonger known for his catches more than 100 years ago, the food is still every bit as tasty today. The crab tacos here are seriously delicious, stuffed with salad and Montego cheese, while other dishes include crab claws smothered in beer batter and chilli sauce, plus sea bass with curried mayonnaise. As you'll already know if you are a regular reader, Billy Hundreds restaurant is a long-time favourite and comes with the Exquisite seal of approval from us!