Looking for a foodie destination that surpasses expectations on the south coast? Look no further than the beautiful county of Dorset. A jewel in the crown of England, feasibly you could spend a month eating your way around the best restaurants in Dorset and still not have indulged in all the fine fare that is on offer. Whilst delicious fish and chips are always a great seaside treat, if you scratch below the surface, Dorset delivers BIG on the culinary scene.
If you only have a couple of days to wander along the award-winning beaches, then fear not as the Orbzii Insider team have curated the dream list of the best restaurants in Dorset that should be on your radar. From flamboyant Instagrammable brunch spots that will have you swooning and snapping in equal measure to Pan-Asian immersive dining experiences, we have your Dorset break covered.
Flamingo - Bournemouth
Offering a stylish and suburban hideaway not far from the centre of Bournemouth, Flamingo really packs a punch when it comes to both the food and decor. Can you really say you have been to Flamingo if you haven’t Instagrammed the heck out of the stunning interiors? From enjoying a leisurely brunch in the heated garden pergola to the covetable pink flamingo wall in the lounge, every effort has been made to make this a restaurant to treat all the senses.
As well as classic eats, Flamingo also offers some original dishes and can cater for a range of dietary requirements including gluten-free and plant-based diets. The brunch menu offers a great selection which includes Açaí Bowls – a virtuous choice for sure, and pancakes for those wanting to indulge their sweet tooth. It’s easy to see why Flamingo is touted as one of the best restaurants in Dorset.
Noisy Lobster - Avon Beach, Christchurch
Eating by the sea can make your meal even more delicious. We are sure that this is a scientific fact, but whilst we can’t throw our weight against this particular tit-bit, we can throw our weight behind the excellent food on offer at the Noisy Lobster which sits in one of the best spots on the Dorset coastline. Here you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views of Mudeford Bay and the Isle of Wight – dreamy brunch dining at its best!
Family run and award-winning, the Noisy Lobster has garnered an impressive reputation for their simple but tasty dishes. Using locally-sourced ingredients, choose from classics like the Gale Force Breakfast or something with a bit of a twist like the salted caramel and almond granola.
Oysters for breakfast? Well, you are in Dorset after all! We love the rock oysters served with a raspberry and shallot vinaigrette. It would be somewhat remiss not to try a shot of Sea Shanty Seaweed Vodka – when in Dorset…..
Pig on the Beach - Studland, Dorset
Escape the buzz of the town and head to the rural retreat of Pig on the Beach which is just a smidge under 10 miles from the centre of Bournemouth. Set in a majestic manor house overlooking Studland beach, guests can enjoy uninterrupted views of some of the most stunning areas of the Jurassic coast.
A must visit for serious foodies, this restaurant has one of the most compelling menus in the county and is regarded as one of the best restaurants in Dorset. The majority of ingredients originate from the kitchen garden and celebrate the delectable culinary landscape that Dorset offers.
From plot to plate, the menu pays homage to the micro seasons coupled with an emphasis squarely on fresh, clean flavours. You will be treated to dishes like crispy kale, seaweed salt mushroom vol au vents, leek risotto and some unbelievable seafood dishes like crab bake and butter fried mackerel with chard and blood orange dressing.
Make sure you leave room for pudding as the Foraged Douglas Fir Gin & Tonic Jelly and Dark Chocolate & Orange Mousse are not to be swerved!
Urban Garden - Bournemouth
Located in the lush surroundings of Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens close to the sea, this unique bar and restaurant with its multi-level tree top terraces dressed with twinkling lights and candles, is a win for those that love outdoor dining in the coolest of surroundings.
Offering a laid back yet welcoming vibe, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch trying dishes created using locally-sourced ingredients. From the chorizo potato hash cake to the torched mackerel you won’t go hungry here. Coeliacs can enjoy that seaside classic fish and chips entirely gluten free.
Team it with a cheeky gin and tonic – we love locally-based gins Conker and BH1. More of a vodka kinda person? You can also try milk-based vodka from Black Cow, which is another Dorset-based brand.
Drgnfly - Poole
Offering a distinctive and memorable dining experience where modern Asian cuisine, world-class mixology and beautiful design converge. This eatery is a mere hop, skip and jump away from the prestigious Sandbanks peninsula and the beautiful Poole Harbour.
All dietary requirements are catered for and who wouldn’t want to miss out on spectacular dishes like buta gyoza (pork dumplings) shio kosho (squid), bao buns and of course some of the county’s best sushi plates such as the rainbow maki where you can indulge in maki stuffed with Dorset crab and avocado.
Authentic and delicious, not only is Drgnfly one of the best Japanese restaurants in the region, it is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Dorset too.
Terroir Tapas - Bournemouth
The eco has landed and has landed right in the heart of Soutbourne, Dorset. Sustainability is a key focus of Terroir Tapas who have recently been awarded a green Michelin star and this ethos is reflected in both the menu and decor. The interior is crafted from recycled materials and this even extends to the drinks menu board being crafted from charcoal. Pay a visit to the toilets where you will have the pleasure of listening to national treasure David Attenborough narrating which makes for a fascinating experience whilst you answer your very own call of nature.
This small plates restaurant is on a mission to avoid any unnecessary carbon trails and offer dishes that are big on quality and low on waste. Like many restaurants in Dorset, Terroir Tapas are advocates of using locally-sourced produce which is reflected in the ever-changing menu.
Expect to try treats featuring ingredients like heritage carrots, rhubarb, and the fascinating ‘hen of the woods’ – all of which are inspired by world-wide cuisine but made entirely from British ingredients.