A huge draw for many people to come and visit the area is the great variety and quality of the seafood restaurants in Dorset. With such a great number of fishing villages and large natural harbours on our doorstep it is no wonder that the area has a similar array of restaurants and food outlets to match. Many sell tasty seafood and shellfish which are caught directly off the shores of Dorset. This is a great asset as with seafood it’s all about serving the freshest produce available.
Many of our guests are keen to sample the fruits of the sea during their stay with us. We therefore thought it would be great to take a closer look at 10 of the best seafood restaurants in Dorset. We’re sure some of these are going satisfy the biggest fish eating fans!
When it comes to serving fish and chips these guys know their stuff. In fact, their self proclaimed mission is to “serve the best fish and chips you have ever tasted!” They have a restaurant area as well as providing a comprehensive takeaway menu. This is great if you want to take your dinner on to the beach or back to our campsite to enjoy in your own caravan.
The reviews they receive are glowing with praise. What sets them apart is that they only serve their fried food in groundnut oil making their batter taste really yummy.
For a more formal dining experience, put your smart clothes on and head out to the Sandbanks peninsula to Rick Stein. They have a large two storey restaurant, on the first floor you can reserve a table which has great views across Poole Harbour.
You can enjoy a casual lunch with classic dishes such as fresh oysters from Cornwall and Indonesian seafood curry, alongside seafood dishes including dover sole meunière, turbot hollandaise and fruits de mer. The weekday three course set menu lunch here is around £25.00 providing good value.
In the Canford Cliffs area of Poole is a branch of the seafood specialists Loch Fyne. The chain now has around 36 restaurants dotted across the UK. The colonial style building of their outlet in Poole is beautiful both inside and out. The menu and ambience here guarantees you a relaxing place to enjoy delicious, fresh seafood.
The business strives to remain true to their roots; many of their products continue to come fresh from Loch Fyne. Their oyster farm is based on the shores of Loch Fyne, here the oysters are still selected by hand for you to enjoy. The two course set menu lunch here is only around £10.50 which is fantastic value for money.
Classic French cuisine and signature seafood dishes in simple, nautical-themed dining room. They serve house specialities of locally landed fish, crab and lobster prepared in delicious, mouth-watering French style. They even enable you to enjoy their seafood platter in the comfort of your own home – just phone up and order their Fruit de Mer as a takeaway!
Crustacean serves contemporary seafood dishes using locally sourced seafood. The team here pride themselves in sourcing local ingredients from local suppliers. That means they get their seafood straight off of the fishing boats and into their kitchen ready to be the star of one of their lovely dishes. The head chef here has a unique take on classic seafood dishes and fantastic presentation. This unusual mix makes for a match made in culinary heaven, where he brings traditional seafood dishes to life. This really does make this one of the best seafood restaurants in Dorset.
Located on the approach road to Portland this unassuming eatery is set back next to the Fleet. The shabby chic restaurant is unpretentious and is sure to put a smile on your face, the staff are very friendly and enthusiastic about the food they are serving. They even have their own Portland Oyster beds just a stones throw from the restaurant. This means you can enjoy fresh Oysters on your table within minutes of them leaving the water.
Seafood restaurants in Dorset do not come much more basic than this. Rachel’s is situated in one of the wooden shack cafes which line West Bay Harbour. The dining area consists of a small number of benches in front of the hut. However don’t let this deter you from ordering from here. There are a host of rave reviews online, in fact Rachel’s is currently the number one rated seafood restaurant in Dorset on TripAdvisor. The chowder is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike.
The Riverside has been serving up top quality seafood dishes for over 50 years. Uniquely situated on a river island in the centre of West Bay, the adventure begins with a trip over the wooden bridge that leads you into the restaurant. Once seated you can then order the freshest and best fish and shellfish from local waters and the surrounding area, served in a way that enhances the natural quality of the product.
The quality of the food that is served really demonstrates that the kitchen knows what it is doing. They add sauces and accompaniments as appropriate but aim to let the seafood itself be the main star of the show.
If you’re exploring Bournemouth for the day and fancy some tasty fish and chips, head on over to Chez Fred in Westbourne. They are a family run business established in 1989. As it says on their brown carry bags, they prepare “traditional style, proper fish and chips all served with a smile.” According to them, “they are the ultimate comfort food.”
There is a traditional takeaway area if you want to grab some quick food. Alternatively, you can eat-in at their light and airy restaurant which can seat more than 30 diners. If you have any space left, treat yourself to one of their yummy desserts. These include bread and butter pudding and Fred’s Snickerbocker glory!
Another takeaway favourite in Dorset is The Fish Plaice. They are located right in the middle of Swanage between the beach and the High Street. Although they specialise in takeaway food, there are a number of benches outside where you can sit and enjoy your food. All their special fish is caught in Dorset waters and they produce their fishcakes on site giving them that true home made flavour. They are renowned for their friendly service, big portions and reasonable prices.
We booked for two nights in our Motorhome and ended up staying six nights. Staff very friendly and accommodating. Shower blocks were kept clean and water was lovely and hot. Bus stop directly outside site going to Poole and Swanage on the he number 40 bus route. Worth getting a return ticket to save money Mo, Oct 2021
We had a simply fabulous time at South Lytchett Manor last month. We were not sure about camping in October but the site is well insulated, the playground kept our kids well entertained and the facilities were super clean and comfortable. We loved having a shop onsite and there are water taps and electricity points in abundance.. we have stayed at a number of sites and couldn’t recommend this Beth, Nov 2020
Great campsite, really friendly and polite staff. Very clean facilities and felt ‘safe’ with all the hand sanitizer and clear signage, highly recommend - we’ll probably book one of the huts next time.... Richard , Oct 2020