Eight excellent coastal eateries
Where to eat – and what to eat - on Wales’ delicious coastline. Gorge yourself on freshly-caught lobster, locally-made laverbread, and seaweed ice-cream. Mmm.
Bryn Williams Porth Eirias by Bryn WilliamsCelebrity chef Bryn Williams’ new restaurant is practically on the beach, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that maximise stunning panoramas over Colwyn Bay. Pause your admiration of the rolling waves to ogle the menu, which emphasises all things local, like freshly-caught fish and seafood, and fruit and vegetables grown in the kitchen’s garden. Beer from the local Great Orme Brewery is available, as are a range of mouth-watering cocktails. You can also book ‘Afternoon tea by the sea’.
Don’t miss: Roasted prawns with garlic, chilli and laverbread mayonnaise. Laverbread is a truly Welsh product – seaweed similar to Japanese ‘nori’ that’s boiled down do a flavoursome paste – and adds depth to seafood dishes.
Cafe Môr by Cafe MôrFor the ultimate coastal eat, head to ‘beach shack’ Café Môr on Pembrokeshire’s beautiful Freshwater West beach. It’s run by the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company, which produces fabulous edible products from ‘sea herbs’ to ‘mermaid confetti’. ‘Môr’ means ‘sea’, reflected in the menu, which stars fresh lobster and crab, though you can also opt for a juicy burger (livened up with laverbread). The café is open from April to the end of September.
Don’t miss: Môr’s famous lobster roll: meat from half a Pembrokeshire lobster is served in a lightly toasted roll that’s slathered in Welsh Sea black butter (laverbread cooked in butter and lightly spiced); it’s out of stock in Spring and usually on from June - a steal for £10.
The Beach House by The Beach House RestaurantOpened in 2016, The Beach House is from the same team behind the acclaimed Coast in Saundersfoot, another seaside stunner, and the Grove Narberth, both of which are in Pembrokeshire. The Beach House is on Oxwich Bay, one of the prettiest beaches of the Gower Peninsula and the restaurant boasts phenomenal views. It’s the food that tantalises people over though, thanks to the inventive dishes laid on by Head Chef Hywel Griffith and his team.
Don’t miss: The ‘flowering courgette fritter’, using Bristol channel crab, is a show-stopper, while passionate pescatarians will love tasting menu ‘Fish 5’. In warmer months you may spy Gower salt marsh lamb on the menu; salt marsh lamb have fed on a rich variety of minerals from estuary marshes and coastal pastures, giving the meat a fantastic flavour.
Dylan's, Criccieth by Dylan'sIf you were walking the Wales Coast Path around North Wales, you’d come into contact with the three fantastic branches of Dylan’s, one found on the Llŷn Peninsula at Criccieth, one on Anglesey at Menai Bridge, and the newest branch - in prime position in handsome Llandudno. Menus are equally ideal for romantic nights out for two, to a convivial family luncheon, with a wide range of dishes ‘from the sea’ as well as mouth-watering pizzas and burgers.
Don’t miss: The house speciality - the finest fresh Menai mussels, sourced sustainably and as locally as can be. You can have them French-style ‘Marinière’, or Welsh-style, either ‘drunken’ (cooked in cider) or ‘dragon’ (with red peppers and Welsh garlic).
Pysgoty by PysgotyLocated on the Aberystwyth harbour front, Pysgoty gives you that rewarding sense of discovery when you stumble along an unassuming shoebox of a venue (it was actually a former public toilet!) and find it to be a gastronome’s haven. The menu changes daily – ‘dictated by the seas and the seasons’ – and is firmly fish and seafood-based. Views are beautiful from both inside and the outdoor seating area and there’s nothing more romantic than timing your dinner to coincide with a spectacular Aberystwyth sunset…
Don’t miss: You might find local crab on the menu, in delicious risotto form, and if you see local lobster on there, snap it up – the chefs here know what to do with it!
View from The Griffin Inn by The Griffin InnFor fish and seafood as fresh as it gets, head to The Griffin Inn, which occupies a historic pub with a chic modern extension attached, overlooking a quaint harbour. Uniquely, the restaurant has its very own fisherman, Mark, who sets out in ‘the Griffin Girl’ each day to catch everything from mackerel to dover sole, which appear on the menu with delicious Pembrokeshire new potatoes. Mark also has more than 100 lobster pots – the question you’ll be asking yourself is: half or whole?
Don’t miss: The Griffin has a pub menu, with Welsh classics like cawl and pub classics, such as pie. There’s also a seafood menu that depends on what’s been caught that day. Gurnard is a delicious local option that you don’t find on every menu, but if you can’t resist lobster, you can have half, whole or a tail to start.
River Cafe, Glasbury by River Cafe, GlasburyThe clue is in the name – The River Café isn’t a seaside restaurant, but a riverside one, with tables overlooking the Wye and ideally situated for anyone strolling the Wye Valley Walk or cycling the Sustrans cycle network that runs here. Ingredients in the dishes are proudly local, from Caws Cenarth cheese to Monmouth ciders. The food quality is exceptional, the welcome is warm, and the setting serene: a real gem.
Don’t miss: You may spot venison on the menu, which comes from the Welsh Venison Centre, just down the road.
James Sommerin has a great deal of experience, so you’re in good hands when you take a seat at the classy Restaurant James Sommerin, on the esplanade at Penarth. The chef began his career at the age of 12 at an Italian restaurant in Newport, going on to train elsewhere in the UK before returning to his beloved homeland with his wife and their (then) young daughter. Now his eldest daughter is aged 17 and works in his kitchen too, continuing the tradition of starting a passion for cooking young! The restaurant holds multiple awards and a Michelin star, serving six- and nine-course taster menus on the weekend: an out-of-this world flavour journey you’ll never want to come back to earth from…
Don’t miss: The menu changes with the seasons and, with a tasting menu, you’re completely in the chefs’ hands! But these are expert hands, so just sit back and don’t miss any of it!