There’s nothing better than dinner by the sea. Beautiful coastlines, bopping boats, salty air and lapping waves are a few of the things that can make coastal Britain feel like a foreign holiday. But when the UK’s seaside restaurants combine all of this with freshly caught fish, seasonal local produce, mouth-watering cocktails and jaw-dropping coastal views, you start to wonder why we’d ever want to leave the country in the first place…

From fine-dining coastal cuisine and floating dining experiences, to beach-shack grub and remote island restaurants, here’s our pick of the UK seaside restaurants worth travelling to. 

Mickey’s Beach Bar, Exmouth

Michael Caines’ Exmouth restaurant combines informal, delicious dishes with panoramic views of the Devon coastline. After the Michelin-starred chef made his mark just up the road at acclaimed Lympstone Manor, Caines has spread his wings at this playful seaside joint. Informal style and service may be the drill, but if you’re still looking for delicious food alongside a relaxed atmosphere, you’ll love it here.

The menu is expertly handled. Whether you want a small bite or a full three-course meal, there’s something for everyone at Mickey’s – without compromising on quality or flavour. The range of dishes include fresh rock oysters with shallots in red wine vinegar, pepperoni pizza, an Indonesian seafood curry, and a selection of steaks from the grill. Meanwhile, the wine list includes some local wine producers, and cocktails from the lengthy menu are fun and refreshing.

Where: Unit 1, Sideshore, Queen’s Dr, Exmouth EX8 2GD

Website: www.mickeysbeach.co.uk

Cafe Canna, Isle Of Canna

If you’re after an unusual beachside dining spot, then look no further than Cafe Canna, located on a tiny island in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. Catch a ferry there from Mallaig, or sail into Canna Bay in style, where a menu of fresh, locally sourced seafood will await you.

Dishes include the likes of full crust Canna reared beef, highland Blue Murder cheese and Skye black ale pie, with potato dauphinoise and garden vegetables; freshly landed whole Canna lobster with homemade bread, salad and aioli; and whole mackerel wrapped in kelp with rhubarb, beetroot, pickled walnuts and pearl barley.

 

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Sail into Canna Bay in style, where a menu of fresh, locally sourced seafood will await you.

Where: West Bothy, Isle of Canna PH44 4RS

Website: www.cafecanna.co.uk

Gara Rock, Devon

Looking for a seaside meal that’s as ethical as they come? Gara Rock is the place to go.

Gaze through floor to ceiling windows at spectacular views of the South Devon coast and its shimmering waters, whilst enjoying seasonal dishes featuring ingredients from local producers and the chef’s own kitchen garden. On the menu that means Porthilly oysters with Cornish salted Exmoor caviar; Orkney hand dived scallop with cauliflower, caper and raisin; and Tarka beer battered cod with crushed garden peas, tartar sauce, hand cut chips and lemon.

 

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Where: Gara Rock, Salcombe – East Portlemouth, Salcombe TQ8 8FA

Website: www.gararock.com

The Three Chimneys, Skye

Nestled away on the Isle of Skye, locals and holiday-makers alike flock to this coastal restaurant for its breath-taking sea views (with bonus views of the Scottish rolling hills, too) and fresh ingredients.

Try the Loch Dunvegan Creel Langoustine with Lightly Pickled Mussels, Jerusalem Artichoke and Brown Butter Dressing, followed by Isle of Skye Vatten Beef with Asparagus, Wild Garlic and Onion Bhaji.

Where: Colbost, Dunvegan, Colbost, Isle of Skye IV55 8ZT

Website: www.threechimneys.co.uk

The Idle Rocks, Cornwall

Take a front row seat on The Idle Rocks blissful waters edge and watch the boats bobbing as you enjoy the freshest local catch in St Mawes. The specialty here is British dishes, with influences from the Far East and using classic French cookery techniques, and the menu has been crafted around carefully developed relationships with local suppliers, fishermen and farmers.

Dishes are seasonal and gorgeous to look at. Think goat’s cheese and ricotta agnolotti, scallop ceviche, and butter poached plaice with Smoked eel, cucumber, caviar, sea herb and verjus – all presented beautifully.

Where: Harbourside, Tredenham Rd, St Mawes, Truro TR2 5AN

Website: www.idlerocks.com

Hix Oyster & Fish House, Dorset

Situated in Dorset’s Lyme Regis, Hix Oyster & Fish House has views over the enormous stretch of the Jurassic Coast. On windy days, you’ll be glad of the relaxed and fresh interiors. But when the sun shines, the spectacular sea views glitter.

The menu is led by the best of coastal produce, fish and seafood caught off the South West coast, with a twice-daily changing menu based on what the fishermen bring in that day. You might find Jersey rock oysters, fish fingers with mushy peas and chips, or grilled Lyme Bay lobster with garlic scapes and chips.

There's a twice-daily changing menu based on what the fishermen bring in that day.

 

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Where: Cobb Rd, Lyme Regis DT7 3JP

Website: www.theoysterandfishhouse.co.uk

 

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The Mussel Shoals, Cornwall

Whilst this one’s not actually beachside, it’s on the water and only accessible by boat, so we think it definitely deserves a mention.

The Mussel Shoals is located on a harbour pontoon in Porthleven, which means floating and dining amongst the twinkling lights of the harbour as the sun goes down. Tuck into steaming bowls of Cornish mussels and crispy salt and pepper squid as you soak up the sea views during this dramatic floating dining experience.

Tuck into steaming bowls of Cornish mussels and crispy salt and pepper squid as you soak up the sea views.

Where: Harbour Head, The Mussel Shoal, Porthleven, Helston TR13 9JY

Website: www.musselshoals.co.uk

The Hidden Hut, Cornwall

You’ll need to venture along the Cornwall coast to the Roseland Peninsula to find this brilliant spot. Tucked away along the coast path near Portscatho, this seaside paradise is so remote it almost feels tropical, sitting above a sandy beach and enjoying glittering sunset views across the sea.

The menu is fresh and seasonal, sourced from the best of local ingredients. During the day, choose from the likes of summer grills and salads, whips and dips, freshly baked steak pasties and handmade sausage rolls, all packed up for you to take to the beach for a picnic. By night, they open on select summer evenings to serve open-air feasts on the beach. Think table-length servings of seafood paella, mackerel grills, lobster, and spider crab boat landings.

 

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Where: Portscatho, Truro TR2 5EW

Website: www.hiddenhut.co.uk

Beachhouse, Devon

With lobster to-die-for and National Trust beach views, seaside dining doesn’t get much better than South Milton Sands’ Beachhouse.

For breakfast, pick up a full English, then go back for lunch (and join the long queue – don’t worry, it’s worth it) for a takeaway seafood lunch on the sand. Tables are few, so book in advance if you want to nab a table.

 

With lobster to-die-for and National Trust beach views, seaside dining doesn't get much better than South Milton Sands' Beachhouse.

Where: Kingsbridge TQ7 3JY

Website: www.beachhousedevon.com

Rocksalt, Kent

Opened by former Claridge’s head chef Mark Sargeant, and located right on the edge of Folkestone harbour, Rocksalt is a seaside gem that’s loved by locals and holidaymakers alike.

Nab a seat on the outdoor terrace and peruse the menu where you’ll find delihgtful plates crafted from the best of local produce. There’s a wealth of choice on the menu, but we recommend ordering the 1/2 Dozen Pyefleet Pure Oysters, Garden Pea Orzo Risotto followed by the 64% Manjari Chocolate Crémeux.

Where: 4-5 Fish Market, Folkestone CT19 6AA

Website: www.rocksaltfolkestone.co.uk

The Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall

This is Rick Stein’s flagship restaurant… Need we say more?

If that wasn’t enough to get you on the next train to Padstow ASAP, the restaurant’s atmosphere, wine and views of the Camel Esturary ought to do it.

We won’t lie – deciding what to order will be tricky – but with food as good as this you can’t really go wrong. Choose from the likes of crispy smoked mackerel salad with apple, shallots, carrots, peanuts and chilli; lobster risotto made with white wine, Cognac, tarragon and tomato; and Indonesian seafood curry with cod, bass and prawns.

Where: Riverside, Padstow, PL28 8BY

Website: www.rickstein.com

The Hut, Isle Of Wight

Looking for a tropical beach club vibe? Then The Hut is the closest you’ll get on UK shores. Arrive in style by taking the rib service from Lymington or Southampton, and expect to be greeted with the sight of colourful cabins and rooftop terraces that overlook Colwell Bay.

On the menu is simple but delicious seaside fare. Think fish tacos, octopus, crab gnocchi and surf ‘n’ turf, rounded off with banoffee pie and a tiramisu martini.

Where: Colwell Chine Rd, Colwell Bay, Freshwater PO40 9NP

Website: www.thehutcolwell.co.uk


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