The 13 Michelin recommended restaurants in Suffolk 

Justin Sharp, Chef-Patron, Pea Porridge restaurant in Bury St Edmunds

Justin Sharp of Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Phil Morley

Michelin announced its coveted Stars last week – with Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds retaining its star for the second year in a row. 

But where else does the ‘food bible’ think diners should visit in the county? 

Pea Porridge, Bury St Edmunds 

Justin and Jurga Sharp’s restaurant is one of those rare gems in the Michelin Star world – in that it’s unstuffy...wholly unpretentious. What Justin and chef James Caan truly focus on is flavour and traceability. The best, most sustainable fish and meat. Vegetables grown over at Nowton Park. Produce is handled with care, and in a tide change a couple of years ago, infused with the essence of the Middle East and Mediterranean. Typical plates include the kitchen’s own flatbreads, made with locally-milled flour, served with Justin’s favourite Don Bocarte anchovies, Norfolk jumbo quail with romesco, fennel and black olive dressing, kid got tagine for two, and Basque-style cheesecake. 

One of the dishes which won The Unruly Pig Best Restaurant in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards

One of the dishes which won The Unruly Pig Best Restaurant in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2018 - plancha grilled octopus with nduja - Credit: Tim Bowden Photography

The Unruly Pig, Bromeswell 

I can’t count the amount of awards Brendan Padfield’s pub/restaurant has notched up. It is a lot. Most recently chef patron Dave Wall and head chef Karl Green’s food was praised by Estrella Damm and elevated to be listed as the best gastropub in the country. 

The menu fuses seasonal British, largely Suffolk, ingredients with classic technique and a veer towards Italian flavours. So, while you can happily indulge in an Unruly burger for just over £12 with a glass from the exceptional wine list, or a pint of local beer, what you really want to come here for are dishes such as the perennial customer favourite of barbecued octopus with nduja, nero dressing and black olive. 

The Turks Head, Hasketon

The Turks Head, Hasketon - Credit: The Turks Head

Most Read

The Turks Head, Hasketon 

The Turks head has long been known for its excellent food, good range beer, and long list of gins – ideal enjoyed in the smart pub garden. It’s family (and dog) friendly too. You’ll find well-made pub classics such as the ubiquitous fish and chips, done well. And interesting plates that really do elevate pub food to the next level. Think braised featherblade of beef with heritage carrots, pickled mustard, and Parmesan and truffle fries. 

Ruth Watson and Rob Walpole are opening a new Italian restaurant in Framlingham. Laverstoke Park org

Laverstoke Park organic buffalo mozzerella with salsa rossa and gnocco fritto at Watson & Walpole - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Watson & Walpole, Framlingham 

Ruth Watson is known for her no-nonsense attitude when it comes to food. In her eyes it’s just got to taste ruddy good, and have exceptional provenance. You won’t find twee purees, foams or gels on the plates at this restaurant, where Rob Walpole’s at the stoves. It’s Italian fare that will make your taste buds sing. A good time to visit is at lunchtime, for a platter of sharing dishes. The a la carte menu this month includes gnocchi cacio e pepe, locally-caught skate with crab and chicken butter, and porcini and guanciale pansoti with sage butter. 

A beef fillet dish on the current menu at The Brewers in Rattlesden

A beef fillet dish at The Brewers, Rattlesden - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The Brewers, Rattlesden 

It’s hard to believe that up until the end of 2018 this pub was a bit of a wreck. It was saved by savvy locals who wanted somewhere really good to eat and drink on the doorstep. And the results have certainly delivered. Chef patron Sam Sturman was named Chef of the Year in our last food and drink awards, while the pub was crowned Best Newcomer. 

Sam, whose hobby (aside from making chocolates) is eating at Michelin Star restaurants, approaches the menus with huge ambition, always looking to push the envelope of what a fine dining country pub can offer. Recent offerings have included venison tartare with barbecued sprout and black garlic, and honey glazed duck with artichoke, apple and leg hotpot. 

Owners Sam and Max Hayes the Lighthouse Resturant in Aldeburgh celebrates 25 years of fine dining P

Owners Sam and Max Hayes the Lighthouse Resturant in Aldeburgh - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The Lighthouse, Aldeburgh 

I’m not sure we shout loud enough about this place along Aldeburgh’s high street – in a prime position for pre-cinema dining. It’s been part and parcel of the seaside town for nearly 30 years and I’ve enjoyed some great nights here with friends, sharing really very good bistro-style food over a few glasses of wine. The hospitality is fantastic. 

Plates typical of The Lighthouse include their fish soup with rouille, perfectly cooked steaks, their own fish and chips and fish pie, and slow-cooked duck leg confit with green split pea and peppercorn puree. 

The Leaping Hare at Wyken Vinyard. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

A dish made at The Leaping Hare at Wyken Vineyard - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The Leaping Hare, Stanton 

This restaurant, in a charming 400-year-old barn, surrounded by parkland, and with its own kitchen garden and vineyard, has been on the Michelin radar for many many years. It’s renowned for its low food miles, sourcing as much as possible from the estate, and farmers and growers in nearby towns and villages. Dinner could include Wyken game terrine with horseradish cream and pickles, Suffolk lamb cannon with Jerusalem artichoke, cavolo nero and salsa verde, and iced sea buckthorn pavlova. 

One of the stunning desserts at award-winning Bury St Edmunds restaurant Maison Bleue

One of the stunning desserts at award-winning Bury St Edmunds restaurant Maison Bleue - Credit: Maison Bleue

Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds 

There are probably 101 reasons why you should visit this restaurant, but I’ll distil it to just a few. Firstly, owners Pascal and Karine Canevet are lovely lovely people. Karine’s front of house team (her included) are so clued up, and really foster a sense of welcome and homeliness – they also really know their stuff when it comes to wine. The restaurant itself is blissfully decorated. And then there’s the food. Pascal brings influences from his upbringing in France (where everything was made from scratch) and uses classic and modern techniques to make plates which taste as beautiful as they look. Examples include celeriac gateau with gorgonzola, basil crumble and smoked brown butter emulsion, and south cold cod fillet with radish, ginger and Dijon mustard sauce, Granny Smith apple, pak choi and miso potato.  

The desserts are incredible – almost too pretty to eat. 

Don’t forget you can buy LEA food to takeaway from Maison Bleue’s shop next door too – less than £20 per person for three courses. 

Chef patron Zack Deakins outside 1921 Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds

Chef patron Zack Deakins outside 1921 Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

1921, Bury St Edmunds 

And we’re still in Bury St Edmunds, considered the epicentre of fine food in Suffolk. Much like Maison Bleue, this spot is supremely comfortable with an air of refinement, and the service is excellent. I’ve been recommended some exceptional wines when dining here – ones I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen without their guidance. 

Award-winning chef patron Zak’s menu is creative, working its way around the seasons. I highly recommend shelling out just over a tenner to try all the canapes. Dare you try the tikka frog’s legs? I still remember the cured cod with avocado and wasabi canape I ate here four or five years ago – it was that good! 

Samples from the menu range from duck Battenburg, to Mersea crab with wasabi mooli, apple and black sesame.  

Lamb with spring greens by Head Chef Lee Bye, at Tuddenham Mill Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Lamb with spring greens at Tuddenham Mill - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Tuddenham Mill, Tuddenham 

Chef patron Lee Bye’s a top bloke – really championing young chefs in the region, and Tuddenham Mill has been firmly planted on the East Anglian fine dining scene for some time. 

The dining room, looking out over the mill pond, is a serene place to enjoy some of the best cooking this side of the M25, with Lee, like all the chefs on this list, looking to local, seasonal ingredients for inspiration. Be that game from a nearby estate or shoot, to milk farmed just up the road, and even veg grown by his family. Try the likes of stone bass with guanciale, wild leeks and agretti, and new season forced rhubarb with buttermilk and sesame. More informal dining can also be enjoyed in the tipi on the grounds. 

The Westleton Crown, Westleton

On the doorstep of some superb walks along the heritage coast, this pub heartily welcomes diners and drinkers visiting on foot with their pooches – the bar is dog-friendly. But if you want to dress up, step into the conservatory-style dining room for a cracking roast, and plates of food that could include slow-braised Norfolk beef cheek with watercress and crispy leeks, roast Suffolk chicken breast with confit leg, gnocchi, curly kale, aioli and brown butter crumb, and peanut parfait with white chocolate ganache. 

The Anchor at Walberswick. Picture: The Anchor

The Anchor at Walberswick - Credit: Emma Kindred

The Anchor, Walberswick 

There’s a huge garden here, which throngs with people in the warmer months – many of them drawn to visit for the pub’s reputation as a great place for beer. The owner is an expert on brews and offers a very impressive collection of bottled beer from around the world, and well-kept keg and draught beer, as well as more than 100 hand-selected wines.  

Food is thoughtful and delivers on big, bold flavours – especially if you choose something grilled over charcoal on the Bertha – from sirloin steak with all the trimmings, to chicken breast with puy lentils, golden beets, kale and mushroom. 

The Packhorse Inn, Moulton 

You might spy a jockey or two at this smart pub/hotel close to Newmarket. I recommend a stay here – it's a really great location for walking. 

This is where the Chestnut group began. I remember chatting to founder Philip Turner about his aspirations to create his chain of bespoke pubs serving excellent food and drink, in a booth here nearly 10 years ago! 

There’s a real vibe to this place, especially at the weekends when they serve their Great British Beef Feast – a sharing platter of treacle glazed fillet of beef, ox cheek cooked in ale, and roast bone marrow, with sides that include truffled cauliflower cheese.