We have scaled the region to find the best seafood restaurants offering the tastiest offerings from the ocean
High St, Blakeney, Norfolk NR25 7NA
Located on the North Norfolk coast, a short distance from Blakeney Quay, this superb fish restaurant offers something to suit all tastes. By day you’ll find a blackboard of fishy specials, salads, soups and baguettes, and by night visitors can indulge on fresh seasonal produce, with a good choice of starters and mains. The atmosphere is welcoming and lively, and the desserts heavenly. Be sure to book a table in advance to avoid disappoint.
Freeman Street, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, NR23 1BA
Standing proudly on the entrance to Wells Quay, Wells Crab House, was transformed into an elegant dining experience in April this year. Owned by a husband and wife team, Scott and Kelly Dougal, who have previous experience at front of house at The Crown Hotel in Wells and its sister establishment The Ship in Brancaster, the pair have created Norfolk’s first dedicated seafood restaurant.
Formerly known as the Wells Crab House Cafe, the restaurant on Freeman Street in Wells had a long established reputation for serving fresh local crabs and lobsters. Three months in and the restaurant has already snagged the number one restaurant spot on Trip Advisor.
Scott runs the kitchen at the Crab House along with former Brancaster Ship and Fritton House chef Rich Ellis, and the pair are already earning a reputation for pushing back the boundaries with dishes such as fresh crayfish boiled in Greene King Yardbird beer and fennel, their unique surf ‘n’ turf “Cheeky Monkey” combo featuring homemade brawn topped with monkfish cheeks (geddit?) and hake jalfrezi with Bombay potatoes.
If you’re in the mood for seafood this really is the place to go!
Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1QY
Perhaps the most popular seafood restaurant chain in the UK, Loch Fyne have established themselves as the go to place for a fish supper across the country. However, the Cambridge location offers something a little extra. While you tuck into the a la carte or set menu, you’ll be blessed with fantastic views of Cambridge architecture. Make the most of city life, sip on Champagne, tuck into oysters, and admire the beauty of the Fitzwilliam Museum located opposite.
15 Trinity St, Cambridge CB2 1TB
Don’t expect soggy fish and chips at this city dwelling. Like Cambridge itself, chic and stylish, here you’ll find beautifully presented seafood platters, grilled lemon sole, sea bass, oysters and more. However, there’s still classic battered fish served alongside chunky chips for those looking something more traditional. Sit inside or dine al fresco and watch city life go by.
Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1RG
Maison Bleue restaurant stands in the attractive medieval market town of Bury St Edmunds. Set in modern and comfortable surroundings, Maison Bleue offers French fine dining, beautiful food and professional service in a relaxed and welcoming environment, which aims to meet the expectations of the most discerning diner. Opt for an a la carte menu or dine Tuesday to Saturday and choose the daily set menu which offers a choice of four starters and mains. Lobster, crab, mackerel and scallops are some of the culinary creations waiting to tease your palette at this French find, with glowing reviews in The Telegraph, Independent and Observer.
226 High St, Aldeburgh IP15 5DB
We simply couldn’t put together a list of fish restaurants without mentioning this classic. Though we’re sure it’s already on your radar, Aldeburgh Fish and Chips has been frying since 1967. Cooked while you wait and then wrapped, you can enjoy delicious fish and chips on the pebbly beach. A trip to this Suffolk coastal town simply isn’t complete until you’ve eaten here. Be prepared to wait in the summer, there’s generally a queue out of the door – it’s worth the wait, we promise!
Coast Road, Mersea Island CO5 8LT
During the summer months this place is heaving. Try to nab yourself a bench overlooking the sea, and then indulge on some of the best fresh fish in the region. You’ll find platters of succulent seafood, which can be eaten for one or shared for up to four, and a choice of fishy starters and mains (the scampi is amazing). Of course, a visit here wouldn’t be complete without sampling the world famous Colchester Rock Oysters and the Mersea Native Oysters, which are bred right in the creeks of West Mersea and then processed in the shed that is on the side of the restaurant. Diners can literally eat produce straight from the sea. If you’re not lucky enough to secure a table, there’s also a takeaway menu so you can still enjoy fresh fish from a spot on the beach.
Fyfield Road, Ongar, Essex, CM5 0AL
Fancy dining among the celebs? David Beckham, Rod Stewart and too many footballers to mention have all been known to dine here. Smith’s has been building its reputation as the best fish restaurant in Essex for over 50 years. There’s a large choice of fish and lobster, but also roasted and grilled meat options. The atmosphere is a little pretentious but it really is worth a visit if you love seafood or have an occasion to celebrate.
On a time limit? check out the suggestions for a ‘Quick Catch’ at some of the best local fish and chip shops in the area.
Drove Orchards, Thornham Road, Thornham PE36 6LS
Our tip: try the battered Mars bar for dessert!
West Road,Westcliff-on-Sea, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 9AU
Our tip:Opt for skate and chips, get it to go, find a bench over looking the sea and tuck in.
The Codfather Fish & Chips
King Street, Market Hill, Sudbury, CO10 2EQ
Our tip: A great choice if you have a gluten intolerance, there’s a gluten-free fish menu on Sundays
The Broadway, Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3AH
Our tip: Try something different such as the grilled mackerel or fish stew
Contributor Liz Mattock