We often get asked for recommendations for great places to eat by people who are visiting for a weekend break or longer holiday. We have gathered together some of our favourite places to eat in locations across Dorset. You can view the others in our series here…
West Dorset is home to some great seaside towns like Lyme Regis on the West edge across to Weymouth. Bridport and the beautiful West Bay harbour are somewhere in between as well as the lovely Dorchester a little further north. In amongst these towns are a hive of small villages …and a host of pubs, bakeries, butchers and farm shops galore. You can even find a number of milk vending machines.
If you are looking for recommendations for great places to eat in West Dorset then here are some of our faves…
The Wise Man Inn in West Stafford – Beautiful thatched village pub that serves up great gastro food using local products. Steaks, fish, vegetarian – Large outside covered area, booking advisable
Yalbury Cottage Hotel in Lower Bockhampton – A small traditional hotel that is renowned for their gourmet food. Sunday lunches using locally sourced products being their speciality. Booking strongly advisable.
Chesil Chippie in Portland – The best chippie around, where else can you buy a portion of battered samphire! Take away only, but you have Chesil Beach just across the road to sit and enjoy your chips.
Quiddles in Portland – With possibly the best view in Dorset, this little cafe/seafood restaurant will serve you anything from cakes to plates of fresh seafood straight from the sea. Some seating inside, but this is all about the view, especially the sunsets across Lyme Bay.
The Crab House Cafe in Weymouth – More of a restaurant than a cafe and one that serves seafood, lots of it, especially shellfish. Local crabs of course and yes you will be supplied with a hammer and bib! Another of their speciality is their own oysters, grown in view of the restaurant. This is a hugely popular restaurant, so booking is strongly advised.
Billy Winters in Weymouth – Beach bar and diner located right on the beach, younger brother of The Crab House Cafe. At Billy’s you can enjoy stop by for a coffee and cake, right through to a long summers evening meal. Freshly made pizzas, burgers, vegetarian, seafood and of course their own oysters. No booking required.
Yalbury Cafe in Dorchester – A side shoot of Yalbury Cottage and equally as good food, tucked away close to Brewery Square. Breakfasts to evening meals (Friday’s) – bacon roll to Mexican small plates, oh and their cakes & hot chocolate drink. Checkout their website for their special themed nights – not to be missed.
Feed the Soul in Godmanstone, Dorchester – Organic cafe and health food shop – check their website for supper evenings and pizza nights.
Rise in West Bay – Sister cafe to Swim in Lyme Regis, they are casual beach cafes, serving everything from Keralan veg, spinach & coconut curry to roasted fish of the day. Open for breakfast through to dinner.
Downhouse Farm Cafe in Higher Eype – This little gem is tucked amongst the trees close to Golden Cap and is an ideal destination for walkers. Alfresco dining with great views of Lyme Bay. You can enjoy their homemade cakes, all their meals all cooked with organic produce. Their meat is reared by themselves – yes give this one a visit. Open 10am to 5pm
The Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock – Possibly the most famous fish cafe/restaurant in West Dorset. Very casual cafe scene, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with daily fish specials and popular regulars. No booking, first come first served.
Swim in Lyme Regis – Sister cafe to Rise in West Bay, they are casual beach cafes, serving everything from Keralan veg, spinach & coconut curry to roasted fish of the day. Open for breakfast through to dinner. Best to sit outside and watch the world go past.
Sea Beats in Weymouth – Great seafood restaurant run by local Chef Adam Foster, who likes to create dishes using cuisines from around the world.
Al Molo in Weymouth – A fine dining Italian restaurant that also embraces food from across the Mediterranean, where possible using local produce, especially our wonderful seafood. Al Molo also enjoys the finest views across Weymouth Bay.
Les Enfants Terribles in Weymouth – As the name suggest this a French restaurant that specialises in Weymouth’s great seafood. Owned by French Chef Eric and his wife Joanna. Seating inside and out.
Myra’s Kaiseki in Dorchester – Fine Japanese restaurant run by front of house husband Paul and wife Myra in the kitchen. The menu changes with the seasons and local produce used where possible.
Summer Lodge Hotel in Evershot – for pure indulgence visit Summer Lodge, where you will find amazing service, stunning food and a wine list to satisfy the most discerning wine drinker – you also won’t forget their cheese trolley!
The Club House in West Bexington – Seafood fine dining, with great views of Chesil Beach. Open for breakfast through to evening meal.
Dorshi in Bridport – Tucked away in Bridport this restaurant offers small plates of Asian street food made with great Dorset produce – dumplings are their speciality.
Alexandra Hotel in Lyme Regis – A grand hotel overlooking Lyme Bay and one to visit for those special occasions. You can enjoy lunches and afternoon tea’s in their sun room, to cocktails then evening meal in their dining room. Not forgetting their Sunday roasts.
The Crow’s Nest in the Square in Weymouth – Small tapas restaurant that serves up great homemade dishes in traditional Spanish style but using local produce, which makes them that little bit extra special.
Red Panda in Lyme Regis – A family run Asian street food takeaway, but does have a small seating area. Fabulous salad boxes brimming with fresh ingredients and topped with Kimchi if you like.
Poco Pizza in Lyme Regis – Great pizza with seating upstairs that provides a grand view of Lyme Regis promenade.
Tierra Kitchen in Lyme Regis – Fantastic vegetarian and vegan takeaway or if you live/staying in Lyme Regis they will deliver.
Dark Bear in Bridport – This is a mixologist partnership between Lloyd Brown and David Smith – expect cocktails, lots of them – expect rum, over 200 different bottles of rum – expect events, Noodles nights, burger nights and pizza Wednesdays etc. – expect fantastic fun. They even have an online store where you can mail order cocktails!
Baboo Gelato in Wymouth, West Bay & Lyme Regis – For your ice cream fix, head to Baboo for local, award winning gelato ice cream and sorbets. They even have a dog friendly ice cream!
Langham Wine Estate – Winegrowers that specialise in award winning sparkling wines. You can book tours of the vineyard or visit their tasting room/shop which is also a cafe. They hold regular events throughout the summer.
Furleigh Estate – Winegrowers that produce award winning sparkling and still wines. You can book a tour of their vineyard, they also hold specials events throughout the year and they have a shop open for tastings.
Bride Valley Vineyard – Winegrowers that produce a range of award winning sparkling wines. You can book tours of the vineyard and they have a shop open for tastings.
All recommendations and images by John Grindle.
If you are looking for more great places to eat in East Dorset or your would like to find your local butchers or farm shops, then our searchable Directory contains over 550 local food and drink businesses.