SOUTHEND has been ranked among the best in the UK for family-friendly restaurants forged by its reputation as a daytrippers’ paradise.

Southend was named third best in the country with a fantastic 17.56 family-friendly restaurants per square mile in a study by Electric Ride on Cars, which used a list of child-friendly restaurants on Tripadvisor.

Jonathan Bacon, owner of Ocean Beach restaurant, says the accolade is well deserved because Southend attracts families from all over the country to the pier, Adventure Island and the town’s magnificent beaches, which are hugely popular for the kids to play on.

The town was just pipped to the post by St Albans and Bath, who bagged the first and second spot.

Mr Bacon, owner of the restaurant on the seafront in Eastern Esplanade, said: “This doesn’t really come as a surprise, we’re a tourist resort where so many families love to come.

“The whole town really is geared around children – there’s Adventure Island, the arcades, and of course they love to play on the beach and in the sea.

“Businesses have to take advantage of that. One thing our parents love is being able to sit and eat or have a drink while the kids enjoy themselves and make sandcastles.”

He added: “It is an honour for Southend to be recognised for doing so well. Whatever accolade we can get, especially during the craziness we live in at the minute is brilliant.

“We’ve been on the seafront now for 14 years and although I think it has always been a place for the kids to come, it has got even better over time.”

Ashley Baker, owner of Ramen and Chill in Westcliff, has applauded businesses across the town for their efforts.

He said: “There are a lot of brilliant family restaurants here – there’s the Estuary, Frank and Luna’s, Seven Hotel, and many more.

“Our menu was at first more suited for adults, but we’ve now changed our dynamics to make it more suitable for families. People come to Southend with their kids, especially at the moment where you can’t exactly find someone to babysit, so it was really important to us to get them involved.”

Paul Thompson, owner of Pebbles One on Marine Parade, added: “This is such a brilliant achievement for the town.

“So many businesses work hard just to accommodate the kids - I for one have a climbing frame on the beach next to us so that they can play when they come to us.

“Although Bath and St Albans are at the top, we’re the only seaside resort in the top three – so we must be the best!”

To view the research, visit