Posted on 28/06/2017 by David
With over 400 miles of glorious coastline, North Wales is the ideal place to sample a variety of delicious seafood. Take Anglesey just as an example, an island just off the North coast which is surrounded by fishing waters. The fact that the coastline is never far away - means you’ll often be enjoying fish so fresh it was caught that very day!
North Wales is fast becoming one of the UK’s leading destinations for quality seafood. Over the last few years, contemporary restaurants have sprung up across the region, while more traditional eateries have gone from strength to strength, many winning awards for their culinary skill.
Because you’ll be spoiled for choice with places to eat, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best seafood restaurants in North Wales. They are all equally good, but very different in their style - and even if seafood isn’t for you, we’ve included a really great chippy to keep everyone pleased!
Where better to start off this list than with a focus on Anglesey. Known as ‘Mon Mam Cymru’ which translates to ‘Anglesey, Mother of Wales’, a generation ago Anglesey was exactly that – with a rich farming community, the produce from the island could feed the population of Wales. It’s still renowned for it’s exceptional quality produce, boasting not only fine seafood, but quality meats, cheese, fresh vegetables and is even famous worldwide for it’s sea salt.
1. The Lobster Pot - Church Bay
North on the island, in a quiet seaside village near Holyhead, you’ll find the Lobster Pot restaurant which has been serving fresh, locally caught fish and shellfish since 1946. The owners' emphasis is on serving simple but delicious seafood, in a friendly informal atmosphere (with free hand-picked winkles to nibble!)
2. Pier House Bistro - Beaumaris
Beautifully positioned on the quayside opposite Beaumaris pier and beach, this bistro offers stunning views of the Menai Strait and mountains of Snowdonia. Unsurprisingly, the Pier House attracts a mix of locals and visitors and is very busy throughout the year so advance booking is advised. It has an expansive menu to choose from, among the options are steamed local mussels, salmon, haddock, scampi and sea bass.
3. The Oyster Catcher - Rhosneigr
Overlooking the sand dunes, the Oyster Catcher is located in a modern, glass fronted building just a short walk from the beach and town. The downstairs bar area is perfect to relax with a cold pint or craft ale after a long beach walk, or head upstairs to eat in the restaurant overlooking the dunes.
There is a variety of seafood eateries throughout the county of Conwy, though very different in style, they all have a particular focus on the provenance of the food they serve. Local flavours feature heavily on most menus, including delicious Conwy mussels and beautifully cooked catch-of-the-day seafoods that will tantalise anyone’s tastebuds.
4. The Seahorse Restaurant - Llandudno
The Seahorse is often considered one of the top fish restaurants in Wales. The traditional Victorian-style restaurant attracts celebrity guests including Ronnie O’Sullivan, the Hairy Bikers and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. Proprietor and chef Don 'the Codfather' Hadwin and his wife Gill have been serving up award winning seafood dishes since 2004.
5. Enochs Fish and Chips - Llandudno Junction
Originally established in 1969 by fish merchant Arthur Enoch Hughes, Enochs Fish & Chips is an iconic local chippy. Not only does it serve the best fish supper in the area, it is committed to ethical and sustainable practice. It was the first fish & chip shop in Wales awarded the Marine Stewardship Council eco label – a globally recognised mark for seafood that can be traced back through every step of the supply chain from boat to plate.
6. Bryn Williams @ Porth Eirias - Colwyn Bay
Bryn, a North Wales native, has earned a reputation for immaculate, modern European cooking, which he developed at his highly-regarded Primrose Hill based restaurant Odette’s. Bryn’s second restaurant is a contemporary beachside bistro, at Porth Eirias in Colwyn Bay. Seafood takes centre stage on the menu, which features Menai oysters and an incredible fish pie.
Extending 30 miles into the Irish Sea, the Llyn Peninsula is a stunning location where marine life thrives. Walk along the coastal path for an hour or so and you'll likely spot seals, dolphins and porpoises out to sea. Why not take a boat trip and experience the coast from a different perspective, before heading to shore to seek out one of these great places to eat.
7. Dylan’s - Criccieth
The Dylan’s restaurant chain is ever-expanding, now with three locations across North Wales. The Criccieth venue is particularly outstanding with it’s quirky art-deco style and incredible view of the castle on the hill above (which, just to add to the atmosphere, the sun happens to set behind). Dylan’s offer a wonderfully diverse menu, with a focus on seafood and fresh pizzas.
8. Twnti - Pwllheli
Set in a converted barn, this renowned restaurant has a reputation for excellent seafood with a very warm and friendly welcome. Keith and Marisa have been running the restaurant for over 26 years and offer an extensive menu packed with punchy flavours. Why not go all out and try a whole local lobster or delicious seafood platter?
Southern Snowdonia’s dramatic mountains provide the the backdrop to Cardigan Bay’s sweeping coastline. Warmer, sheltered waters mean there is a plentiful supply of top quality seafood brought in daily by local fishermen. These two quirky eateries in serve up delicious seafood in unexpected surroundings and are well worth seeking out if you are in the area.
9. Castle Cottage - Harlech
Indulge in lunch or dinner at the award-winning Castle Cottage. It has a far reaching reputation for great food. On the menu you’ll find lobster from Shell Island, Aberdaron crab, locally caught sea bass and black bream.
10. The Salt Marsh Kitchen - Tywyn
This sweet little café-bistro is run by a keen fisherman, who serves up honest and generous meals made from the most locally-sourced produce it’s possible to find. The Salt Marsh Kitchen features in the 2017 Michelin guide, praised for simple, quality cooking and fresh ingredients.
So, there you have it - with variety like this, even those who aren’t seafood fans will find something to suit their taste. From delicate flavours and simple cuisine, to hearty, nostalgic dishes and even full-on indulgent dining, there is something for everyone and every occasion. Enjoy!
Don’t forget, you can share your experiences with us over on Facebook - we love to hear what you think.
Images courtesy of: The Lobster Pot by Ray Blow for reuse under CCL. Dylan's Criccieth by Alan Fryer for reuse under CCL. Fish & chips by Andrew Dunn via Wikipedia.