In recent years, the sparkling waters of Plymouth’s River Tamar have attracted numerous celebrity chefs from around the UK. Located on the south coast of Devon, England, Plymouth is the perfect place to find fresh fish and chips and enjoy the sunny views of Sutton Harbour. Here’s our guide to 10 of the best restaurants this area has to offer.
Vegan full English at The Gallery Cafe Courtesy of Amanda Stockley
Market, Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
Platters is one of the best restaurants for fish in this coastal town. The menu is filled with delicious fresh fish dishes like lemon sole, garlic prawns and lobster, but you can’t go wrong with the signature battered haddock, chunky chips and mushy peas served with house-made tartar sauce. Platters sources locally caught fish from the Plymouth Fish Market and the restaurant has some outdoor seating on the Barbican along with a cosy indoor dining area. Enjoy the large portions and scenic harbour views.
Head chef Didier and his team have created a fine French restaurant without a shred of snobbery. Everyone is welcome in this family-run restaurant, ideal for a simple light dish or an extravagant dinner. The ‘Menu Chic’ serves a la carte dishes: try the traditional beef bourguingnon or the moules frites, fresh mussels steamed in herbs and white wine and served with fries. Chloe’s Restaurant strives to support local businesses in Plymouth, so every dish is made with as many fresh, local ingredients as possible.
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Self-described as ‘the most unique’ place in Plymouth to eat, drink, and relax, The Mission is a cafe, bar and restaurant located in a refurbished, 19th-century chapel complete with high, vaulted ceilings, gorgeous stained glass and wooden floors. The decor gives the restaurant a warm ambience, and there is additional seating outside. The restaurant serves a lunch and dinner menu: at lunch, try the house burger, either with cheddar and bacon or mozzarella and chorizo, topped with Cajun slaw and served on a brioche bun with skinny fries. For dinner, try the Cornish pork shoulder or Brixham mussels.
Located in the historic Barbican, this award-winning venue is a family-owned restaurant. The Barbican Pasta Bar has an extensive menu filled with high-quality Italian dishes like fresh pasta, handcrafted pizzas and grilled and pan-fried meat dishes, and each meal is made with the freshest ingredients. Creative pasta dishes include korma pasta, Cajun pasta, and traditional meatballs and spaghetti.
This small chain restaurant is located in a Grade-1 listed, early 19th-century naval depot on the edge of the River Tamar. Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall puts an emphasis on using fresh produce in every dish, and the menu changes regularly to accommodate seasonal ingredients. Enjoy an affordable dinner of smoked mackerel pate served with toast, fennel and piccalilli or a south coast fish and shellfish stew made with whiting, pollock and mussels served with bread. The restaurant faces the waters of the Plymouth Sound and Cornwall.
Quay 33 is the place to go for home-cooked fresh food served in a bright and friendly atmosphere. Located on the Plymouth Barbican facing out to Sutton Harbour, Quay 33 is open for lunch and dinner and serves an extensive menu. Chef Dave Morgan, formerly of Chambers and Morgans, has created a killer menu using seasonal and local ingredients. Relax with a light lunch, like the free-range chicken and chestnut mushroom risotto, or enjoy one of Dave’s classics, like Dave’s chunky beef steak chilli. For dinner, splurge on a rack of Welsh lamb made with honey and rosemary glaze and served with redcurrant and port sauce, or the Quay 33 fish stew made with mussels, scallops and tiger prawns in a creamy broth.
Start your morning right with a coffee and cake at Rock Salt; a relaxed, family-owned restaurant with two AA rosettes and winner of a best restaurant award from Food Magazine readers. With a cafe and restaurant, patrons can enjoy a light lunch or get adventurous with one of the full entrees, like a 10 oz Moorland rump steak or a Rock Salt burger made with mature cheddar, tomato and chorizo chutney served with hand-cut fries. Rock Salt aims to bring something different to the table using quality, local produce (a full list of suppliers is available online), and the result is award-winning, artfully presented, and downright delicious dishes. The interior of the restaurant is rustic and cosy—the perfect place to enjoy a meal with friends.
Eat at one of the most scenic restaurants in Plymouth, The Dome which serves speciality cocktails along with afternoon tea, light lunches, and elegant dinners. There are plenty of afternoon tea options, including a Devon cream tea (two warm scones, clotted cream, homemade strawberry preserves and a pot of tea), and full afternoon tea (the same as the previous but with the addition of finger sandwiches and homemade cakes). For dinner, enjoy modern British favourites, including a Sunday roast.
Seafood expert, writer, and celebrity chef Mitch Tonks opened his restaurant Rockfish Seafood Restaurant at Sutton Harbour, a scenic location overlooking the water. It is conveniently placed near the fish market and The National Marine Aquarium. The award-winning restaurant is part of a small chain, and it is the largest al fresco dining area in the city. The covered deck is available for customers to sit in the shade and watch the boats come and go. Rockfish is family-friendly and a perfect spot to enjoy the fresh sea air with your meal. The menu includes its staple, fish and chips, along with other options of oysters, crab sandwiches and soft-shell crab.