Whether you’re looking for a destination venue to tuck into a towering shellfish platter or a shoreside hut to knock back a dozen Tabasco-doused oysters, these seafood restaurants in Dorset deliver
The Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis
Diners at Mark Hix’s flagship restaurant in Lyme Regis are treated to uninterrupted views of Lyme Bay thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows and (covered and heated) terrace that wrap around The Oyster & Fish House.
Only the freshest locally caught seafood makes it onto head chef Jeremy Bird’s menus, with the line-up changing twice each day to reflect what’s landed by local fishermen. The catch is paired with foraged ingredients and seasonal produce to craft pared-back dishes such as Lyme Bay scallops with a Trealy Farm chorizo crust, and grilled Dover sole with brown butter and capers.
Although fish takes the lead, there are always a couple of meaty and vegetarian dishes on the bill. There’s also a tailored menu for kids.
Food tip: planning a special occasion? The Oyster & Fish House is available for exclusive hire and civil wedding ceremonies.
Hive Beach Cafe, Burton Bradstock
This beachside eatery has 31 years of trading under its belt, so you can be assured the seafood offering is off-the-deep-end delicious.
Locals and holidaymakers alike fall hook, line and sinker for Hive Beach Cafe‘s fish-focused dishes, which range from sprawling seafood platters (featuring whole West Bay lobster, king prawns, smoked salmon, squid and hake goujons) to doorstep crab sandwiches stuffed with handpicked Portland white and brown crab meat, salad and coleslaw.
The team work with local suppliers, such as Flying Fish, to ensure everything on the menu is lip-smackingly fresh and ethically sourced. ‘We work closely with our suppliers who go above and beyond to deliver fresh, local and sustainable seafood. We also keep up to date with daily markets and tide times to update and refine our menus based on the local catch,’ says executive chef Lewis Ford.
For more seafood thrills, visit sister venues The Watch House in Bridport and The Club House in West Bexington.
Crab House Cafe, Wyke Regis
This coastal restaurant might be named after the mighty crab but it’s the own-reared oysters that are the real star of the show at Crab House Cafe.
Thanks to an on-site oyster farm, the briny delicacies are possibly the freshest you’ll slurp on the south coast. The Portland oysters are available in three ways: country-style (with bacon and cream), Italiano (with pesto and parmesan) or au naturel.
Kick off a fabulous seafood feast with a round of oysters before exploring the main menu, which showcases native fish species and local produce. Star dishes such as hake with Dorset spinach, Ford Farm goat’s cheese and wild-truffle-laced mushrooms sit alongside daily specials like brill tagliatelle with rope-grown mussels, sea purslane, garlic and cream.
Read our review of Crab House Cafe.
The Noisy Lobster, Christchurch
Located on the golden sands of Avon Beach, this family-run restaurant is a glorious spot for tide-to-table dining in Christchurch.
The eye-widening selection of seasonal fish dishes, curated by head chef Steve Hall each morning, makes narrowing down your decision difficult. We recommend plumping for the Noisy Platter For One, which comprises Mudeford lobster (caught a stone’s throw from the restaurant), tempura prawns, lime aioli, seared scallops, devilled peppercorn cream, chips and seasonal salad. Less formal – but no less fabulous – is the range of Noisy Baps, such as the Shrimp Po’Boy featuring crispy cajun prawns, lime aioli, jalapeños, and tomato and basil salsa.
Food tip: don’t leave without a mooch around The Noisy Lobster deli, shop and bakery.
Catch at the Old Fish Market, Weymouth
Housed in a former fish market, this Michelin-rated restaurant is captained by exec chef (and co-owner) Mike Naidoo.
Since launching in 2021, Catch at the Old Fish Market has received plenty of praise for its beautifully presented dishes crafted from hyper-local ingredients. Mike and team devise the daily changing menus from the morning’s catch, which includes fish from the restaurant’s own vessels Weyfish One and Tarka.
It’s a tasting menu only set-up: visit on Friday or Saturday lunchtimes for the four-course line-up or plump for the six-course menu available in the evenings (Tuesday to Friday). If you want to push the boat out, go for the eight-course option, available on Saturday evenings. Whichever you choose, add the carefully curated wine pairings.
We choose the companies included in our 5 of the best features based on editorial integrity. Occasionally, some inclusions will be handpicked from clients with whom we have a commercial relationship.