The UK Beach Restaurants We’re Booking this Summer

The gastronomic delights of Blighty’s coast are best sampled with your toes planted firmly in the sand. Here are our favourite UK beachside restaurants to book for a sublime shoreline supper this summer.

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside - provided there's some sunshine and shellfish involved. After all, what's more idyllic on a balmy summer's day than enjoying a lazy lunchtime a stone's skip from the waves? Expertly cooked regional fare, picturesque harbour views and an ambience as breezy as the sea air are markers of a tip-top shoreline restaurant in SUITCASE's book, so we've packed our bucket and spade and headed out to find the coastal cafés, low-key shacks and locally loved eateries to savour when enjoying a holiday on Britain's brilliant coast. Time to tuck in.

Sun, sea and shellfish platters: our favourite beach restaurants in the UK

One of the UK's best beach restaurants, The Hidden Hut in Cornwall
Image credit: Ed Schofield

restaurant

The Hidden Hut

Portscatho, Cornwall

A low-key beach kitchen wedged between the hills above the sandy cove of Porthcurnick, this sage-green-painted shack is the go-to shoreside eatery of choice for walkers traipsing along the South West Coast Path. Stop off for an energy-giving lunch of crab sandwiches, Cornish pasties and seafood chowder, or bag a ticket to one of The Hidden Hut's summer feasts. Seated at banqueting tables along the beach, you'll be tucking into piled-high platters of seafood and vast paellas peppered with crustacean claws. It's the fare of world leaders - quite literally. Simon Stallard and his team were pitmasters for the 2021 G7 summit's Cornwall adventures, serving flame-licked seafood to the likes of Macron, Merkel and Biden.

Address

Porthcurnick Beach, Portscatho, Truro TR2 5EW

Shell Bay restaurant in Dorset, UK

restaurant

Shell Bay

Studland, Dorset

This quietly acclaimed seafood restaurant sits a five-minute ferry ride away from the flashy Sandbanks stretch of the Dorset coastline. Located on the deceptively named Isle of Purbeck (it's actually a peninsula), the restaurant is surrounded by shallow waters and glittering sunset views across to Brownsea Island. A team change a few years ago has amped up the menu: start with a pink grapefruit, lime and tequila wild sea bass ceviche, then dive into fire-roasted hake doused in a roasted chicken-butter sauce, with charred leeks and a pesto crumb. The special here is the Dorset blue lobster, flashed in the flames before serving.

Address

Ferry Rd, Studland, Swanage BH19 3BA

Lobster dish at Beach House, Gower

restaurant

Beach House Restaurant

West Glamorgan, Wales

Welsh beaches exceed expectations, from Barafundle Bay's expansive golden slope and the tide-shaped splay of Saundersfoot to Llandudno's prim and proper Victorian promenade, the country is edged with beautiful stretches of coast, and - the icing on the cake - some of the UK's best restaurants. Our favourite? This sophisticated eatery, which straddles Oxwich Bay's golden crescent, on the western Gower Peninsula. Duo Neil Kedward and Zoe Agar's third venture, Beach House, is so close to the shore that sand creeps up under the door. Chef Hywel Griffith runs the kitchen, sending out a menu bursting with the best of the area's natural larder. Plates make use of shoreside ingredients and foraged finds from the low-slung hills at the restaurant's back. Expect Glamorgan butter slathered over slices of laverbread loaf and sweet Oxwich Bay lobster served with sea purslane, wild garlic and rock samphire.

Address

Oxwich Beach, Gower, Swansea SA3 1LS

The beach at Hive Beach Cafe

restaurant

Hive Beach Café

Burton Bradstock, Dorset

Perched atop the shingled expanse of Lyme Bay's beach, this waterside spot provides front-row seats to the fishing boats busy catching tomorrow's menu in the western end of the English Channel. The café has been plating up hand-picked Portland crab bubble and squeak and kippers from Chesil Smokery for over 30 years, so you can be sure these guys know what they're doing. Stop by for breakfast, before hitting the waves with your paddleboard, then head back at noon to refuel on crab-clawed seafood platters and some of the best fish and chips in the county.

Address

Beach Rd, Burton Bradstock, Bridport DT6 4RF

Riley's Fish Shack in Tynemouth, Northumberland
Image credit: Nigel John / nigeljohn.com

restaurant

Riley’s Fish Shack

Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear

Sheltered beneath the cliffs of King Edward's Bay, this rustic barbecue joint has been making waves. Opened by chef Adam Riley and his wife, Lucy, its relaxed flame-cooking and laid-back deckchair dining have made the humble spot a destination in itself, bringing visitors from near and far to the edge of lesser-visited Northumberland. Don't expect silver service, but do look forward to the likes of chargrilled monkfish fresh from the fire, lobster charred in its shell and butterflied mackerel and squid plucked from their skewers and tucked into takeaway cardboard boxes. Devour with your toes in the sand, and wash down with a local beer.

Address

King Edward's Bay, Tynemouth NE30 4BY

Beachhouse at South Milton Sands

restaurant

Beachhouse

South Milton Sands, Devon

Pick up a strong coffee to fuel a morning stroll across the expansive butter-coloured sands and rocky fringes of South Milton from this rustic beach café, whose crab rolls make a top-notch pre-amble snack. Open early till late (11pm), Beachhouse's casual menu is all about the fruits of the sea, with bang bang chilli-laced jumbo prawns, smoky fish cakes, fish finger butties and cheesy chips taking centre stage. Grab a seat at a picnic bench to savour top-class Devonshire seafood done simply throughout the day.

Address

South Milton, Kingsbridge TQ7 3JY

The pontoon tables at Mussel Shoal

restaurant

The Mussel Shoal

Porthleven, Cornwall

Moules-frites eaten on a harbour pontoon only accessible by boat? This one's right up our street. While The Mussel Shoal might not strictly be beachside, given it's over-water, we'll let it slide. This recent opening in Porthleven is all about the experience: chowing down on crispy salt-and-pepper squid, comforting chowder and steaming bowls of garlic-spiked Cornish mussels on a balmy summer's evening, floating between the twinkling lights of the fishing boats that pulled in your dinner. If you're more comfortable on terra firma, the hut in the harbour has seating, too, but a group booking out at sea is just more exciting, right?

Address

Harbour Head, Porthleven, Helston TR13 9JY

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