Seven Welsh seaside towns foodies need to visit
Is there anything better in life than enjoying a meal by the seaside? Here are seven seaside towns and villages in Wales to do just that.
1. Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Pysgoty by PysgotyCeredigion’s largest town, Aberystwyth (or Aber as it is fondly known by locals) is a must-visit stop along the Coastal Way. Enjoy a stroll along the Victorian promenade, take a trip up the longest cliff railway in Britain and visit the National Library of Wales. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Pysgoty, a great little fish and seafood restaurant housed in a renovated toilet block overlooking the harbour on South Beach; Ultracomida, a delightful Spanish/Welsh tapas bar with a cult following; and for incredible pizzas try Baravin, an offshoot of Aberaeron’s acclaimed Harbour Master Hotel.
For drinks The Libertine is a cocktail bar which offers a range of artisan tipples. There’s a great range of pubs in Aber, from the Glengower, a traditional seafront pub where you can enjoy a pint with sea views, and the White Horse found one block back from the promenade.
2. Abersoch, Gwynedd
Beach huts at sunrise, AbersochAs you’d expect for a town that sits on the stunning Llŷn Peninsula, Abersoch is all about the seafood. Fresh Abersoch serves up freshly caught lobster straight out of Cardigan Bay. And if you’re looking for a casual seaside bite, Mickey’s Boatyard and Beach Café offers the dream location. Perched at the top of the slipway, at what has traditionally been the quieter end of Abersoch’s prime golden sands, it serves up pain au chocolate and croissants baked fresh on the premises, excellent breakfast baps and juicy lamb and beef burgers sourced from local butchers.
3. Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
St Louis spare ribs, Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, Vale of Glamorgan by The town of Barry and its famous island was put on the map with the smash hit TV series Gavin and Stacey. Its spot on the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan coastline, combined with its proximity to Cardiff, make it an ideal day trip destination to the coast. A little down the coast you’ll find the Blue Anchor Inn, a 14th century pub that frequently appears in the ‘best pubs in Wales’ lists, and serves up hearty fare and an impressive selection of real ales.
4. Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
Cafe Môr, PembrokeshireThe vast expanse of sand that is Freshwater West on the Pembrokeshire coast has featured in a number of movies, from Robin Hood to Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (it was the setting for Shell House and the location of Dobby’s Grave). However, for many it’s a humble street food van that lures them to the beach. Café Môr (môr means ‘sea’ in Welsh) is pretty notorious on the British street food scene and has since spawned a full line of delicious deli products under the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company banner (try their Welshman’s Caviar). However, Café Môr is where it all began and it can still be found at Freshwater West during the spring/summer seasons. Their lobster roll is a must-try, featuring meat from half of a Pembrokeshire lobster in a lightly toasted roll with Welsh Sea black butter.
5. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Fecci's, TenbyThere’s something about Tenby. With old school charm and nostalgia in (buckets and) spades, not to mention some great beaches, it’s been a stalwart of the Welsh holiday scene for decades. For ice cream, Fecci’s Ice Cream Parlour has been around since the 1930s and specialises in old fashioned sundaes. Further down the road get your crab sandwiches from The Stowaway Coffee Company and enjoy eating them on the harbour walls. The Salt Cellar has knockout reviews and is highly regarded for its use of Pembrokeshire produce. And for dining literally on the beach, South Beach Restaurant sits at the water’s edge and caters for casual beach-side dining, as well as more indulgent after dark affairs. Just over the headland in Saundersfoot you’ll find Coast, boasting an incredible seaside location, and an impressive menu, unsurprisingly with fish playing the star role on the menu. It’s generally lauded as one of the best places to eat in Wales. Also in Saundersfoot is the St Bride’s Spa Hotel, where you can enjoy a bite to eat in the restaurant which sits atop an infinity pool in the spa below, with stellar views of Saundersfoot Bay.
6. Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan
Restaurant James Sommerin, PenarthFor a small seaside town Penarth has a wealth of fine eateries to choose from. After a stroll around the town and some sea air on the stunning Victorian pier and fully restored Art Deco pier pavilion, head to Restaurant James Sommerin on the sea front. Long regarded as one of Wales’ finest chefs, his standards are sky high, dishes are epicurean sensations, and all come with a Michelin star to boot. For something a little more casual, Bar 44 is hard to beat for Spanish fare. The tapas are some of the best you’ll find anywhere, from Galician beef to San Lucar prawns and Carmona Olives, to aged Manzanilla sherry. For boutique hotel vibes with beautiful sea front gardens, Holm House Hotel has an excellent restaurant and bar and The Custom House, which sits next to the impressive Cardiff Bay Barrage, boasts two restaurants: La Marina (a must for seafood) and El Puerto, which excels at Sunday lunch.
7. Llandudno and Colwyn Bay, Conwy
Bryn Williams Porth Eirias by Bryn WilliamsLocated just a few miles from each other on the north coast of Wales, Llandudno and Colwyn Bay are Victorian era beach towns that many people head to after enjoying mountain life in the nearby Snowdonia National Park. Porth Eirias in Colwyn Bay is one of Wales’ most acclaimed restaurants. Founded by Welshman Bryn Williams, who is a regular guest chef on Saturday Kitchen, the menu is packed with local Welsh produce, and the panoramic sea views make for a really special dining experience. Further inland, Bodysgallen Hall, located just outside Llandudno, provides the complete elegant country manor house experience with exemplary fine dining.