Where to try the best seafood the UK has to offer

Food and Drink

Posted by Ed Roberts on 12th January 2020

Looking for the ultimate seaside dining experience? The UK has over 20,000 miles of coastline supplying the country with the freshest fish, and at these restaurants, every dish is served with a side of spectacular coastal views.

Stay somewhere along the coast and seek out the best seafood restaurants by keeping your eyes peeled for active fishing fleets. If there is a restaurant serving seafood nearby, you can be almost sure the chef visits the quay’s early morning market on a daily basis to pick for the menu. Another sign of good sea cuisine is a varying menu, signifying that the dishes are planned around freshly caught produce. Here are some of our favourites:

1. Rocksalt | Folkestone

There is no need for seasoning when the salty sea air is breezing past you, which is exactly what you get dining on the terrace of Mark Sargeant's Rocksalt restaurant. Sitting proudly on the Folkestone’s harbour edge, the kitchen prides itself on delivering the best of the British Isles. This one is fab. The view is panoramic and it’s likely that the fishing boat that helped bring your meal from the sea to the table will be in sight.

What makes it one of the best?

Rocksalt’s ethos is built around seasonality and catering for everyone, when combined, make for the most wholesome atmosphere.


2. The Jetty | Dorset

Awarded seafood restaurant of the year in 2016, The Jetty in Mudeford, Christchurch is a relaxed and contemporary dining spot on the water's edge. Much of the fish is landed very locally and the menu is an extensive list of delicacies. Try and book a waterside table for the ultimate dining experience, especially for those warm summer evenings.

What makes it one of the best?

Their exceptional wine list.


3. Nathan Outlaw | Cornwall

Named the 2018 Good Food Guide's Best Restaurant in the UK, this restaurant is made for special occasions. Set close to the seafront in Port Isaac this one has two Michelin Stars and the food is simple but still exceptional. You can explore sample menus on their website but the menu changes regularly and there is always something new to try.

What makes it one of the best?

Delicious and unusual desserts. We recommend the turbot and spinach if it’s available.


4. Noel Corston | North Devon

Book in advance to ensure you get a table at this exclusive hideaway a short walk from Woolacombe Beach. Noel Corston creates an intimate experience for ten diners to feast together. Reopening in spring 2018, make sure you reserve your seat to taste seafood dishes that had the locals raving all summer.

What makes it one of the best?

Wherever possible, they only work with ingredients that run, grow or swim inside their UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, in North Devon.


5. Lochleven Seafood Café | Loch Leven


For delicious Scottish shellfish, you must try Lochleven Seafood Café, perched on the shores of Loch Leven on the west coast in the Highlands of Scotland. Offering panoramic views of the Mamores mountain range towering and across Camus Mhor to the Pap of Glencoe, it is an otherworldly experience. Reopening in March 2018.

What makes it one of the best?

Dining out on the terrace and taking in the unique and unspoilt landscape.


6. River Exe Café | Exmouth

Floating in the River Exe off Exmouth, River Exe Café offers fresh fish caught and landed daily from the quay just a stone’s throw away from the kitchen. From the moment you step foot on the water taxi at Exmouth Marina, it is a memorable dining experience. Serving the finest flavours of the region, including local oysters, lobster and shrimps, whilst you float in the middle of a river; it is a magical experience.

What makes it one of the best?

The fact that you are dining on a custom-built barge surrounded by amazing views.


7. Oktopus | Merseyside

This is as good as inner-city seafood gets. Clean and simple cooking with a cosmopolitan twist, Oktopus in Liverpool is sensational whether you’re looking for a lunchtime pitstop or an extravagant feast. As well as terrific seafood options, they also have a great selection of vegetarian delights and to top it off they have paired their brilliant menu with a series of low intervention wines and black lodge beers.

What makes it one of the best?

Oktopus is dedicated to cooking with sustainable, local ingredients used only when they are at the peak of their growing time. Delicious and thoughtful.


8. St Bride's Spa Hotel | Saundersfoot

Beachside barbecue is exactly what it says on the tin. A simple, well-priced restaurant which excellent views out over Saundersfoot Beach. Ideal for the whole family, the kids will love feasting on the dessert shakes whilst you take in the sunset with a very reasonable bottle of wine.

What makes it one of the best?

The jaw-dropping, fantastic view.


9. The Wheelhouse | Falmouth

This crab and oyster bar boasts a stellar reputation for the best service and perfectly cooked seafood. From the warm, knowledgeable waiting team to the tastiest scallops you’ve ever tried, a visit to The Wheelhouse in Falmouth is almost sure to be faultless. The atmosphere is lively and a great place to pull up a chair at a sharing table and make some new friends over a memorable meal.

What makes it one of the best?

The service and presentation of their dishes are the details that leave only the best taste in your mouth.


Have we missed your favourite? Drop us a note on Facebook and let us know.

Photo credits:

Courtesy of Rocksalt, Folkestone

Courtesy of The Jetty, Mudeford

Courtesy of Unsplash (Erwan Hesry / Adrien Sala / Caroline Attwood / Stefan Johnson / El Chefo)

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.