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Family dinner with seafood

Savour fresh seafood and fine cuisine in the seaside town of Swanage, Dorset. These handpicked restaurants are serving up the tastiest meals and finest wines.

The coastal town of Swanage rests on Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck, surrounded by masses of water. It’s therefore no surprise why Swanage dishes up the most mouth-watering seafood.

One of the most popular towns of the peninsula, Swanage hosts a hub of eateries. From warming cafes and traditional pubs to chic restaurants, there’s something for everyone.

Read on to discover the best restaurants in Swanage…

What food is Swanage famous for?

Swanage is best known for serving the best fish and chips with its daily catch.

Finest seafood restaurants in Swanage

1) The 1859 Cafe & Bistro


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First on the list for its delicious menu is the stylish setting of The 1859 Cafe & Bistro.

After a stroll along Swanage’s Victorian pier, treat yourself to some refreshments. Savour sea-views as you tuck into freshly prepared crabs, crab salads and fish cakes.

The interior is contemporary with floor to ceiling windows to gaze out onto the Dorset coast. Or if the sun is shining, why not enjoy an alfresco affair on the outdoor seating?

Sample menu

 Vegan/veggie options Dog-friendlyTakeaway ✘  

Contact number: 01929 500387

2) The Old Stables Turf & Surf

For a relaxed spot unwind at The Old Stables Turf & Surf. This intimate Swanage restaurant displays fantastic chalkboard menus with a range of cuisines.

From its spicy Mexican dishes to its locally sourced seafood, The Old Stables Turf & Surf has a plate for all taste buds.

As well as a variety of specials, behind the bar you will find a great selection of wines, ciders and local ales.

On summer evenings, carry your glass of wine to the outdoor seating to absorb the hustle and bustle.

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendlyTakeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929 421364

Italian restaurants in Swanage

3) La Trattoria

Happy couple toasting red wine at Swanage restaurant

Relish the flavours of Italy with a table at the family-run business, La Trattoria.

Set up in 1970 by Gerry Forte, this authentic Italian restaurant in Swanage offers a warm welcome.

This family enterprise opened to bring the taste and atmosphere of Italy to Swanage. Dip your garlic bread into aromatic dishes and pull apart cheesy pizza slices.

If you have room, why not browse the dessert menu and tuck-into am Italian favourite, tiramisu?

Sample menu

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929 423784

4) Fortes Café Tratt

Coffee and crossiant on wooden table

Next door to La Trattoria, is the quaint café, Fortes Café Tratt. This cosy, Italian restaurant is an idyllic spot to sip a warming coffee.

Fortes Café Tratt has a superb selection of hot and cold drinks, which you can savour inside and out. Treat yourself with a baked cake or pastry as you soak up the Italian ambiance.

Serving breakfast, lunch and snacks between, this independent café is a great stop in your day.

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendly ✘ Takeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929 423784

The best restaurants in Swanage

5) The Salt Pig Too


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Experience succulent meats roasted veg and crusty bread at The Salt Pig Too. Comprimising of a butchery, café and a farm shop, this restaurant in Swanage offers a unique evening out.

The Salt Pig Too is also open during the day, where it dishes up large breakfasts and a collection of cold drinks. Its sister, The Salt Pig, was first opened in Wareham in 2010 and later came The Salt Pig Too in 2018.

Now, this atmospheric restaurant is a fabulous place to dine out; uncork a bottle of wine and cut into tender meat.

Sample menu

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendlyTakeaway ✔

Contact number: 01929 550673

6) The Black Swan Inn

Two beers with log fire in background

On wintery nights, warm up at this quintessential British pub, The Black Swan Inn.

Located on the High Street, a short walk away from the sea, this rustic pub is idyllic for a relaxed evening.

This Grade II listed pub offers crackling log fires for a calming backdrop. Take your pick between real ales and ciders, as well as wines from all over the world.

The menu has selected hearty dishes, including roast dinners and tall burgers. After dinner watch the sunset from the lovely outdoor seating area, with views of the historic street.

Sample Menu

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929 423846

7) The Ship Inn

Cute dog in restaurant in Swanage

Also situated on Swanage’s High Street is the classic English pub, The ship Inn. After wandering along the Victorian town, recharge at this lively pub for a bite to eat.

Serving British cuisine, fresh seafood and daily specials, The Ship Inn is welcoming anytime of the day. Treat your four-legged friend to a seat too as you unwind with a refreshing pint.

Pop in later in the evening for some family-friendly live entertainment. This snug pub with exposed beamed ceilings also has local ales on draft.

Sample menu

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929 423855

8) Seventh Wave

After rambling the South West Coast Path, take a break at Seventh Wave. Here, you can savour light bites and fresh cakes as you admire the splendid views.

Seventh Wave faces sweeping views of Old Harry Rocks, Durlston Bay and the Isle of Wight!

This charming restaurant in Swanage sits within 320 acres in Durlston Country Park. Immerse yourself in the past at Durlston Castle and wander along the clifftop for exceptional views.

Sample menu

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929421111

9) Tawnys Wine Bar

Male pouring white wine into long-stemmed wine glass

Expect fine wines and home-cooked food in the bespoke restaurant, Tawnys Wine Bar.

Nestled on the High Street, this cheerful bar is a fabulous setting for you and your loved ones.

Scan a backdrop of wines as you dig into hearty meals at affordable prices. Be sure to save enough room for pudding, whether it’s Sticky Toffee Pudding or a coffee to refuel.

There is also a range of spirits, soft drinks and beers to unwind with.

Sample menu

Vegan/veggie options Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929 422781

Michelin star restaurants in Swanage

10) THE PIG-on the beach

Salmon and vegetables on a plate in michelin star restaurant

For an exceptional banquet, enjoy fine dining at this rustic country house. THE PIG-on the beach has a mellow restaurant set in a conservatory, filled with plants.

This fancy restaurant is outside the town of Swanage, in the quaint village of Studland.

Watch the crashing waves as you sip a glass of wine and catch-up on your day in Swanage.

The food at this Michelin star restaurant is inspired by the Dorset landscape, a unique menu with a variety to choose from.

THE PIG-on the beach is walking distance from the iconic Old Harry Rocks. Read our blog to find the best walking trails for you ‘Your Guide to Old Harry Rocks‘.

Sample menu

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendly ✘ Takeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929 450288

11) Shell Bay Seafood Restaurant


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Shell Bay Seafood Restaurant also sits on a scenic spot in the village of Studland. Hikers of the Isle of Purbeck can reward themselves with locally sourced fish.

With spectacular scenery, this waterfront restaurant makes a beautiful setting for a romantic evening.

Overlooking Poole Harbour, Sandbanks and Brownsea Island, you can make the most of your seaside holiday.

This Michelin star restaurant also enjoys outdoor canopies for a clear view of the waves. Browse the la carte menu for a mouth-watering meal or a steaming cup of coffee.

Sample menu

Vegan/veggie options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway ✘

Contact number: 01929 450363

Have these restaurants in Swanage tempted your taste buds? Browse these hand-picked holiday cottages in Swanage and play your next holiday.

Make more of your staycation with a read of our blog: 9 Weird and Wonderful Things to do in Dorset.

Or, explore the most scenic parts of Dorset with: 11 of The Best Walks in Dorset