Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Aldeburgh
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best Aldeburgh restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 20 restaurants in Aldeburgh and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Aldeburgh restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Aldeburgh Restaurants
British, Modern restaurant in Aldeburgh
171 High Street - IP15
2020 Review: “Been there for years” and “always reliable” – a “cheery” sea-view restaurant where “the fish is always fresh and beautifully cooked”; “when in Aldeburgh go there!”
. The Lighthouse
British, Modern restaurant in Aldeburgh
77 High Street - IP15
An “Aldeburgh stalwart” for almost three decades, this “wonderful local restaurant” is noted for its “absolutely charming service” led by owner Sam Hayes, “and an all-pleasing menu” with plenty of “delicious” options. It’s “reliable, good value and good fun”. Top Tip – “go for the fresh catch of the day, especially the Dover sole accompanied by a bottle of Chablis”.
. Aldeburgh Fish And Chips
Fish & chips restaurant in Aldeburgh
226 High St - IP15
There’s “always a queue” at this “very popular” fish ’n’ chips fixture operated for 56 years by the Cooney family, just a step or two from Aldeburgh’s pebble beach – where much of the “really fresh” fish is consumed and, by tradition, beak-loads of chips are stolen by fearless seagulls. “It’s better now that the pub next door allows you to use their outside seating, so long as you buy some drinks!”.
. Sea Spice
Indian restaurant in Aldeburgh
Market Cross Place - IP15
2022 Review: “You could almost be in Kerala” at this “excellent and imaginative Indian” on the seafront, noted for its “delicious spicing”… almost, were it not for the mismatched modern hotel setting; attractive booth-style seating and an impressive list of specialist beers are added motives for a visit.
. The Crown Inn
Burgers, etc restaurant in Snape
Bridge Rd - IP17
2022 Review: “Great pork dishes” are the highlight of landlord Garry Cook’s menus at this fifteenth-century tavern, using meat from his wife Teresa’s smallholding, where she has bred prize-winning pigs and other animals since moving into the pub 15 years ago. Snape Maltings concert hall is just five minutes away, so the dining room is “well attended”.
. Butley Orford Oysterage
Fish & seafood restaurant in Orford
Market Hill - IP12
“I could eat anything on the menu and be satisfied” at the Pinney family’s “not-to-be-missed” Suffolk institution. It “never changes: why fiddle with perfection” when “for beautiful fresh or smoked local seafood in a simple rustic restaurant there’s hardly anywhere better” – “even if there’s a distinct lack of vegetables”. Top Tip – “griddled squid is a must”.
. The Crown & Castle
British, Modern restaurant in Orford
2021 Review: “Consistently good, flavoursome local food” (with “fish a strong point, landed on the nearby village quay”) is abetted by “efficient but laidback service” at this crowd-pleasing hotel; while TV’s ‘Hotel Inspector’ Ruth Watson sold it to a local hotel group recently, longtime regulars report that standards have been preserved.
. The Westleton Crown
British, Modern restaurant in Westleton
The St - IP17
2021 Review: This comfortable old inn between Southwold and Aldeburgh has generated all-round enthusiasm since joining East Anglia’s Chestnut Group a couple of years ago: the food is well rated and “friendly staff make a meal here a real pleasure”.
. The Unruly Pig
British, Modern restaurant in Bromeswell
Orford Rd - IP12
“In the Suffolk countryside near Woodbridge” (and handy for the A12), this rural gastropub “looks a bit unprepossessing from the road but is well worth a detour” and – having won just about every ‘Top Pub’ award around in recent years – is one of the most commented-on destinations outside of London in our annual diners’ poll. Braised rabbit, venison saddle or gnocchi are typical main courses from the à la carte menu, and there is also a ‘Be Unruly’ tasting option (for £70). Its army of fans say it “hits all the right notes”, providing “truly original cooking but without losing sight of the fact that this is a pub”, alongside “a fantastic selection of wines by the glass”. Ratings are dragged down, though, by a sizable minority who view it as “very expensive” for food that’s “good-to-average” (“if there were more local alternatives, I suspect we would be diverted”).
. The Anchor
British, Modern restaurant in Walberswick
Main Street - IP18
This attractive Arts & Crafts pub-with-rooms and an acre of land is a “good place to stay on the Suffolk coast”, with “friendly service” and “good pub grub” which puts an emphasis on local seafood and produce – including beers from champion local brewer Adnams. Mark & Sophie Dorber (formerly of the White Horse in Parsons Green, aka the Sloaney Pony) have owned and run it for 19 years.
. Sole Bay Fish Company
Fish & seafood restaurant in Southwold
22e Blackshore - IP18
This “unpretentious and quirky clapperboard-style shack” on the Blyth estuary quayside excels for its “really fresh seafood, served simply”. It’s “difficult to get to without a car”, but they also run the Little Fish & Chip Shop in the middle of town. Top Menu Tip – “wonderful oysters and superb grilled prawns”.
. The Swan
British, Traditional restaurant in Southwold
The Market Pl - IP18
2021 Review: A major, much-needed overhaul in 2017 hasn’t been quite the triumph intended at the Adnams brewery’s seventeenth-century hotel, with the “overly designed Still Room restaurant rather soulless” (“looks fabulous but does not feel right for the town – is it styled to make Londoners feel at home?”); and a seemingly rapid turnover of staff suggests “the new concept just wasn’t working”. A glimmer of hope, though, according to one regular: there’s been a “definite attempt to take a step back from the changes”, with “far more approachable prices and cooking” of late.
. The Crown
British, Modern restaurant in Southwold
90 High St - IP18
This “homely” Georgian hotel restaurant “with great ambience” “continues to be the heart of Southwold” and “has usually been a reliably safe bet for an interesting menu and sound cooking”. But eating here has been a losing bet too often in recent times – “making the right choice from the menu is essential, as not all dishes are good”. “One change post-Brexit and Covid is that staff are mostly local, taking it back to what it was 30 years ago – which is fitting for such a retro location.”
. Sutherland House
British, Modern restaurant in Southwold
56 High St - IP18
2021 Review: “A must when you’re in the area” for the “variety of fish dishes on the menu” – Andy & Kinga Rudd’s “comfortable restaurant-with-rooms” (the oldest house in Southwold) is “still the most reliable place to eat in town”.
. The Table
British, Modern restaurant in Woodbridge
Quay St - IP12
2022 Review: Having initially announced its closure, in summer 2021 Vernon Blackmore re-launched this long-established property with a firmer emphasis on South East Asian-accented cuisine, and new ‘Spice Bar’ branding. Typical of the menu: curry from Malaysia, Indian BBQ ribs, or white fish katsu with a Japanese pickled salad.
. The Suffolk (fka L'Escargot sur Mer)
Fish & seafood restaurant in Aldeburgh
152 High Street - IP15
George Pell’s August 2022 newcomer (converted from a former pub) started life as ‘L’Escargot Sur-Mer’ – a transplant of the Soho landmark he co-owns necessitated by Covid-19. It incorporates a 60-cover restaurant now named just ‘Sur-Mer’, a rooftop terrace complete with sea views, wine bar, private dining rooms and bedrooms. Chef James May only joined in March 2022, so the ratings we use (from its previous pop-up incarnation) must be guidelines only. Fans expect a continuation of the “great locally caught fish and shellfish, cooked in a great French style from a good bistro-type menu and wine list”.
. Ash Smoked Fishes
restaurant in Aldeburgh
Crag Path - IP15
This black-painted shack opposite Aldeburgh’s Moot Hall sells “seriously brilliant smoked fish right on the beach”. The seafood is either hot- or cold-smoked on site, using a light smoke to enhance flavour rather than the more commercial heavy smoke used as a preservative. Top Tip – “noon tarts to die for”.
. The Dolphin Inn
British, Modern restaurant in Thorpeness
Peace Place - IP16
This “jolly venue in a characterful seaside town” serves “excellent pub food, using top-quality ingredients and no silly gimmicks”. There’s something for everyone, ranging from a ‘steak deal’ to ‘vegan night’ and – given that it also functions as a B&B – breakfast is also catered for.
. Two Magpies
Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Darsham
London Road - IP17
“Not just a roadside caff, a destination in itself!” – this “brilliant, friendly and bustling café/bakery on the A12” is “full of life”, with “excellent coffee”, “freshly cooked breakfasts and lunches” and “dangerous cakes”. There are another half-dozen branches of this artisan bakery scattered across East Anglia.
. Watson & Walpole
Italian restaurant in Framlingham
3 Church Street - IP13
“The epitome of a neighbourhood restaurant”, this “lovely” two-year-old trattoria from TV’s ‘Hotel Inspector’ Ruth Watson, her husband Dave and Rob Walpole have made it “a great addition to Framlingham” – “the inventive menu offers authentic Italian dishes which reflect the skill, knowledge and enthusiasm of all involved”, and “the standard of cooking and service is remarkably consistent, with prices that are genuinely reasonable”.
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