In the first of a new monthly column, our food reviewer Mark Heath offers his favourite places to eat in Suffolk....

Hello, foodie friends, and welcome to a new monthly column where I'll be waxing lyrical about one of my greatest passions - good food, drink and travel.

For the past five years, alongside my day job writing about folks kicking it in the goal at Ipswich Town, I've been penning food reviews for the EADT and Ipswich Star, accompanied by my better half.

Thus, I thought the obvious way of starting these new monthly ramblings would be to share with you my favourites places to eat in this fine county - so we can get to know each a bit better.

A small asterisk before we get started. I'm based near Bury St Edmunds - without doubt Suffolk's foodie capital - so this list has a definite west Suffolk slant.

I'm always looking to broaden my epicurean horizons though, so let me know where I've missed and where I should be heading.

Right, to business...

East Anglian Daily Times: Justin Sharp's Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds is Suffolk's only Michelin-starred eateryJustin Sharp's Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds is Suffolk's only Michelin-starred eatery (Image: Charlotte Bond)

The big five

Let's start with the big hitters - the quintet of eateries I've been most impressed with in my time eating food and opining about it.

No list of this nature could fail to feature Pea Porridge, Suffolk's only Michelin star restaurant and one well worthy of the accolade.

Justin and Jurga's spot in Bury is a magical little place, all cosy and welcoming - it feels like you've walked straight into someone's home.

The friendly service echoes that feel and the food, of course, is sensational. We try to make an annual pilgrimage to PP just for their lobsters, and their tarte tatin is the best I've ever had. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The brilliant Tuddenham Mill is one of our happy placesThe brilliant Tuddenham Mill is one of our happy places (Image: Newsquest)

Next up is Tuddenham Mill, a happy place for us and a go-to location for a special mini-break.   

Lee Bye's beautiful hotel and restaurant, set in 12 acres of scenic Suffolk countryside, gets better every time we go - I highly recommend pushing the boat out for the tasting menu, flight of wine and a stay in one of their luxury loft suites.

Next on the list - though these are in no particular order - is 1921 in Bury. Zak Deakins' restaurant, on the historic Angel Hill, is always evolving and doing very exciting things, while the service - especially on the sommelier front - is exceptional.

Their tasting menu is among the best you will find in Suffolk - and you can read a review from my colleague Reece Hanson here. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The Peacock at Chelsworth was our food find of 2022The Peacock at Chelsworth was our food find of 2022 (Image: Liz Heath)

Ok, let's finish up the big five with two top tier pubs - The Brewers, in Rattlesden, and The Peacock, in Chelsworth.

The former is a real success story - a once-closed pub purchased by villagers and turned into a must-visit food destination.

This is pub food which blurs the line with fine dining, while their Sunday roasts are a personal favourite. They now also offer garden BBQ events using their big green egg (look it up) - something which I have got to get to!

Finally, The Peacock was my food find of 2022 - a beautiful 14th century pub near Lavenham, where head chef Sam Clover and front of house Jack Butler are creating an absolute gem. 

They launched their own tasting menu earlier this year, which blew me away - especially their roasted halibut in cabernet sauvignon butter sauce. Remarkable. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Hmm Burger is our favourite spot for burgers in SuffolkHmm Burger is our favourite spot for burgers in Suffolk (Image: Archant)

Best burger

I'm not all about fine dining and fancy things. There are times when only a burger will do, right?

And for me, the best burger in Suffolk can be found in Newmarket, at Hmm Burger.

No messing around, Hmm Burger only offers burgers - and they are brilliant. There's 12 to choose from - including vegetarian options - but I insist you order the Blue Burger. Thank me later.  

East Anglian Daily Times: The Anchor at Walberswick offers cracking fish and chipsThe Anchor at Walberswick offers cracking fish and chips (Image: Archant)

Best fish and chips

Another staple of any menu, yet so easy to get wrong. Many will tell you that you must head to Aldeburgh for these, but - controversially - I've never enjoyed it as a location. Entirely too sniffy and a touch overrated. 

For me, you can't beat the fish and chips at The Anchor in Walberswick - a classic coastal pub where the salmon trouser-brigade rub shoulders happily with the salt of the earth, and one can sniff the sea from their beer garden.

We've been going for years, and their fish and chips is always on point - a big chunky, meaty portion of fish, cooked perfectly, with great chips and a goodly dollop of mushy peas. And it has to be mushy peas, lest we'll fall out, friends.

East Anglian Daily Times: Montaz at Newmarket offers Indian cuisine with a fine-ding feelMontaz at Newmarket offers Indian cuisine with a fine-ding feel (Image: Archant)

Best Indian

Suffolk has some cracking spots for a curry, but the best we've found is at Montaz in Newmarket, a favourite of two Michelin star chef Daniel Clifford.

This is Indian cuisine with a modern, fine-dining feel. I'd highly recommend you have a pop at one of their signature dishes, while they also offer a tasting menu.

Special mention in this category, too, for the Maharani in Ipswich, which is always a good choice for a more traditional experience.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ming's Oriental in Bury is our favourite place for Asian foodMing's Oriental in Bury is our favourite place for Asian food (Image: Newsquest)

Best Asian

This one's a no contest for me - Ming's Oriental in Bury is our unquestioned go-to.

Serving the town since 2014, I'd urge you to head here just for the chicken satay. The rest is up to you.

East Anglian Daily Times: Lucy's in Fornham boasts some top notch pizzaLucy's in Fornham boasts some top notch pizza (Image: Archant)

Best pizza

I'd argue till I'm blue in the face that pizza is the single best food on earth - but like many others on this list it's very easy to get wrong.

However, Lucy's Restaurant in Fornham All Saints gets it very right indeed - wonderful sourdough pies all cooked in an open kitchen, with a very impressive bespoke pizza oven at the heart of it.

Their home-made pasta is top notch too.

East Anglian Daily Times: The sandwiches at Wright's are superbThe sandwiches at Wright's are superb (Image: Mark Heath)

Best sandwich

The humble sandwich is an oft-overlooked food offering. But no-one does it better in Suffolk, imho, than Wright's Cafe in Bury - a place where they've elevated the simple sarnie to an artform.

And they've just opened another cafe at the historic Helmingham Hall, which is very exciting.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Westleton Crown is one of our favourite pubsThe Westleton Crown is one of our favourite pubs (Image: Archant)

Best pubs

Pubs are one of life's great joys. I've mentioned a few of of Suffolk's great gastro-pubs above, but I have to namecheck a few more of our favourites too.

We love the Westleton Crown near Southwold - once the choice of the future King of England and his wife - for a dog friendly mini-break.

While we're in that area, no visit to Southwold can be complete without a pint at The Lord Nelson.

And the Crown at Stowupland offers good value stone-baked pizzas which are plenty big enough to be shared if you're after a cheaper lunch/dinner.

East Anglian Daily Times: Lark is Suffolk's hottest new restaurant Lark is Suffolk's hottest new restaurant (Image: Charlotte Bond)

On my list

As I said all the way back at the start of this, I've not been everywhere - and I'm constantly keeping an ear out for new recommendations.

My to do list at the moment includes Suffolk's hottest new restaurant Lark, in Bury, plus the likes of Watson and Walpole in Framlingham and Retreat East in Hemingstone.

Forage Kitchen, near Bury, is another destination folks rave about to me, while I must be one of the only folks in Suffolk yet to have visited the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell, which seems to win a new award roughly twice a week.

We have vouchers for that though, so it won't be long...

- Send me your thoughts, tips and recommendations to I love talking food and travel, so get involved!