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This is our helpful guide to some of the best restaurants in Dorset. Eating out is hugely important to most of us when we are on holiday. Nobody wants to be stuck with the dishes or cooking every single night when they are away from home. Dining out at the best restaurants and places to eat in the area is a lovely way to discover local delicacies too and to try something a little bit different in new surroundings. Dorset is a great place for eating out, whether you are looking to indulge in a spot of fine dining, a trip to a pub or restaurant or to try out something a little more exotic.
Our guide to the best restaurants in Dorset has taken some of the legwork out of the equation for you. We’ve picked a few favourites from up and down the county for you to consider - read on to discover some of our favourite and best places to eat out in Dorset.
If you are planning a holiday in Dorset, stay at one of our self-catering cottages. We have properties to suit all requirements. Browse our coastal, luxury, dog-friendly and family-friendly properties today.
Best Michelin-star restaurant in Dorset
Nestled in the rolling, green Dorset countryside is the lovely market town of Sherborne, which is home to this fantastic Michelin-star restaurant, The Green. The chef extolls the virtues of only sourcing local produce for the dishes on his menu. He agrees that it’s important these days to know where your food comes from and to know and trust your suppliers, and this degree of care is reflected in the meals on offer at The Green. If you fancy something a little bit special, then this is the place.
Location: Sherborne, DT9 3HY
Price range: £20+
Stay at: Buzzard's Beau | Sleeps: 2 guests
Best coastal restaurant in Dorset
The station at Bridport Harbour first opened in 1884 and was the last station on the Bridport Branch line from Maiden Newton. After the station closed, it went through several different guises, before the owners of The Station Kitchen moved in. In 2016, a train carriage was added to the existing restaurant expanding diner capacity to 50. The chefs muster up amazing modern twists of European hearty food, served in a fine dining way. The menu is very seasonal and relies on local producers and suppliers for their ingredients. Aiming to keep food miles low, many of the herbs and even some of the vegetables are grown on the station platform!
Location: West Bay, DT6 4EW
Price range: £7 - £16
Stay at: The Harbour Penthouse | Sleeps: 4 guests
Best Indian restaurant in Dorset
29029 in Wareham is Dorset’s leading restaurant for contemporary Indian and Nepalese cuisine. The plush and comfortable interior with its soft lighting and warm ambience help to evoke memories of India. Diners can enjoy a host of exotic, spicy dishes from its extensive mouth-watering menu. Food is cooked fresh on the premises using the finest local produce. If you love classic Indian fare, then 29029 has a great selection.
Location: Wareham, BH20 7DD
Price range: £9 - £15
Stay at: East Cottage | Sleeps: 6 guests plus 2 dogs
Best Italian restaurant in Dorset
Photo: @poco pizza
Poco Pizza in gorgeous Lyme Regis is our pick. Sometimes all you need is a good pizza and pasta emporium to get you through the night. Good for the taste buds but potentially hell on the hips, pizza and pasta is a winner in our book. Italian food occupies that zone halfway between comfort eating and being adventurous. With an awesome menu that celebrates surf and turf, you can also chase your pizza down with one of their many choices of bottled lagers or wines.
Location: Lyme Regis, DT7 3JF
Price range: £10 - £16
Stay at: Wandas | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 2 dogs
Best family restaurant in Dorset
A great informal place to dine with all the family is The Yachtsman in Poole. There’s even a breakout zone and play area for the kids too. The menu is populated with an army of firm family favourites that will satisfy most people’s tastes from vegetarian options through to refreshing spins on well-established classics like steaks and burgers. Dining with the whole family can be a challenge at times, but this is a good spot for combining fun playtime with an enjoyable and reasonably priced meal close to the centre of Poole and its busy harbour.
Location: Hamworthy, Poole, BH15 4LW
Price range: £8 - £15
Stay at: The School House | Sleeps: 6 guests
Best dog-friendly place to eat in Dorset
On the Isle of Purbeck, close to the South West Coast Path and Old Harry Rocks, the Bankes Arms near Swanage is a superb option if you fancy a spot of lunch whilst out for a walk. We all know that dogs are great companions when you are out on the trail, so it’s not always ideal to stop and dine somewhere for lunch when your dog may be unwelcome. Well, the Bankes Arms loves dogs and their menu and choice of beers is something to shout about too. All these excellent factors combined with an excellent rural position close to Bournemouth Bay make the Bankes Arms a great place to choose for your lunch or evening meal with your four-legged buddy in tow.
Location: Studland, BH19 3AU
Price range: £10 - £20
Stay at: Heath Cottage | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 1 dog
Best restaurant for a light lunch in Dorset
For a light lunch, Annie’s Tearoom in Bridport is a very good prospect. From sandwiches and salads to soups and baked goods, this place has the lunch hour sewn up. If you fancy a spot of tea and cake then head to Annie’s; it’s a location beacon for quality food and a nice meeting place for locals to meet a friend in town. Be sure to wander through Bridport to investigate their curious mix of shops and galleries. It’s a lovely coastal town to while away an afternoon on your holiday to Dorset.
Location: Morcombelake, Bridport, DT6 6DJ
Price range: £4 - £8
Stay at: Bell Cottage | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 2 dogs
Best vegetarian and vegan place to eat in Dorset
Head into the heart of Bournemouth for this diminutive but well-loved vegetarian and vegan diner. Located in The Triangle, just up the hill from the city square, book a table for a light plant-based meal from the diverse menu. Healthy food is high on the list of priorities at the Mad Cucumber. Follow a meal here with a walk through the Lower Gardens and out to the seafront to walk off your feast.
Location: Bournemouth, BH2 5RY
Price range: £3 - £9
Stay at: Richmond Hill Gate | Sleeps: 4 guests
We also recommend:
The best restaurant in Weymouth: Seabeats
The best restaurant in Christchurch: Splinters
The best restaurant in Dorchester: The Cow & Apple
The best restaurant in Sandbanks: Rick Stein’s Sandbanks
We hope our guide hasn’t made you too hungry. Find your perfect holiday cottages in Dorset and tick a few of these restaurants and places to eat off your to-do list. We have properties large and small for couples and extended family groups in rural and coastal locations all across Dorset to suit your tastes and all your requirements. Browse our collection today.