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As a resident of the area for over 21 years, here are my top 10 best mid-range restaurants along the coast of Suffolk, from Woodbridge to Southwold. Enjoy the best Suffolk coast restaurants I’ve tried.

Photo by Julia Filirovska from Pexels

The coast of Suffolk maintains a unique old world charm, with very few crowded beaches. The quaint, traditional seaside towns and villages are mostly peaceful and, outside of the main holidays and festivals, relatively uncrowded. For foodies, there are are also many wonderful Suffolk coast restaurants.

If you’re staying overnight, then there are many wonderful places to stay along this coastline, from caravan sites to upmarket hotels, campsites to retro-campers and from tree-houses to fisherman’s cottages. 

For a short break or week long holiday, you’re likely to want somewhere to eat a deliciously cooked lunch or dinner, made with the finest local produce.  I’ve lived near the Suffolk coast for over 21 years and have sampled many of the best Suffolk coast restaurants. With great difficulty I’ve shortlisted these into a list of my current top 10.  I’ve focused on mid-range eateries, the type of place you’d go on a date night or for a romantic dinner with your other half, or maybe to celebrate a special occasion. If you’re looking for cheap eats, there are plenty of great places and I may cover these in another post.

For the purpose of this post, I regard “Suffolk Coast” to stretch from Woodbridge in the South, to Southwold in the North, and a few miles inland. There are, of course, also great restaurants further North around Lowestoft, and to the South in and around Ipswich and Felixstowe. For now, I’ve stuck to an area I know well.

Top 10 Suffolk Coast Restaurants

Here are my current top 10 Suffolk Coast Restaurants. Enjoy, but before you do, please subscribe to my blog. I promise not to bombard you with emails, just a single monthly update about my site.

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The Anchor Walberswick Suffolk Coast Restaurant

After lazing on the sandy beach, or spending a hard day crabbing off the rickety wooden bridge, the Anchor makes a great place to relax and enjoy a wonderful evening.

I recommend the pizza, baked to perfection in the recently installed wood-fired pizza oven, with a small but tasty range of elegant toppings. Ham and mushroom won’t be the order of the day! As an ex-local of Italy, I am very picky when it comes to pizza, this one comes as close to being authentic in terms of bread consistency and flavour than just about anywhere else in this part of the UK.

Due to COVID, the owners have installed a large marquee which not only helps with safe dining during these difficult times, but adds a welcome al fresco dimension to the dining experience.

Website: https://www.anchoratwalberswick.com

Main Street, Walberswick, IP18 6UA

Phone: 01502 722 112

You’ll need to travel over the A12 and a few miles further inland to find the Queen’s Head in the tiny village of Bramfield, but it is well worth the drive or taxi fare. Extremely friendly owners and waiting staff are on hand to make sure your evening goes well, starting with one of their excellent craft gins or draught beers. The menu is mainly hearty, well cooked pub food, with a selection of fine dining additions (such as venison when in season) to make this worth the extra effort.

Website: https://queensheadbramfield.co.uk

The Street, Bramfield, IP19 9HT

Phone: 10986 784214

8 Glemham Crown

In my opinion, one of the friendliest gastro-pubs in my area, the Glemham Crown ensures a warm reception, great beer and good, wholesome food, using the finest local produce. A short drive (or not so short walk) across the A12 from Saxmundham, the Crown provides a traditional village pub atmosphere with (as seems to be the norm around these parts) great service from the owners supported by an able team of service staff. The tempting a la carte menu is often accompanied by delicious specials, and every other night is either curry, burger or some other theme night – so it’s well worth checking out their website.

Website: https://thecrowninnglemham.co.uk

Great Glemham, IP17 2DA

01728 663693

Sea-Spice-Aldeburgh-Suffolk-Coast-Restaurants

Photo Credit: https://seaspice.co.uk

If you fancy something a little different, an Indian meal but not your average curry, then Sea Spice, right by the beach in Aldeburgh is well worth a visit. Using fresh, local ingredients (including locally caught lobster and sea bass) the South Indian chefs contour up exotically spiced meals. Pre-dinner cocktails or craft beer are also served in the bar shared with its co-habiting French restaurant and hotel.

Website: https://seaspice.co.uk

The Parade, Aldeburgh, IP15 5BJ

Phone: 01728 451 800

Vela Restaurant Saxmundham

Photo Credit: https://www.velapartners.co.uk

Vela is a newcomer to the Suffolk Coast Restaurant scene, opening in the summer of 2021. It is primarily a small art gallery exhibiting the work of the owners and other local artists but on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays serves great cakes and coffee during the day and, on Friday and Saturday, serves up a small (often only two dishes), but varied, innovative and extremely tasty German influenced dinner menu. Check the website for opening times and be prepared to go with the flow as the menu is necessarily small. Vela can be found about 5 miles inland from Aldeburgh on Saxmundham’s traditional little high street. Bookings are essential as Vela is fast developing a reputation amongst foodies in the area. Not strictly a restaurant, more of a local meeting place, but as it’s in my home town of Saxmundham, and serves fantastic food, I have ensured it has a place in my list.

Website: https://www.velapartners.co.uk

28 High Street, Saxmundham, IP17 1AB

5 The Royal Bengal - Woodbridge

I love a good curry, especially something a little bit different to the usual curry house fare, something more authentic. The Royal Bengal delivers just that. Having travelled to India and Bangladesh many times, I was pleased when I tried the Royal Bengal as many of the flavours unique to the Bengal region are evident on the menu. The waiter is happy to spend time with you, helping you choose something to your taste and also describing the cooking process and the myriad of ingredients.  It is here that I discovered how to discern the layers of flavour in a good curry, and the secret of using King Pepper to add authenticity to my home cooked curries.

Website: https://www.myroyalbengal.co.uk

6 Quay Street, Woodbridge, IP12 1BX

Phone: 01394 387983

Photo Credit: pinneysorford.co.uk

If you’re a fan of Oysters then this is a most go place, but if you’re not then don’t worry, there’s plenty more delicious seafood dishes on the menu. The Pinney’s oysters are mostly farmed just a short walk away in the Orford estuary and are combined with some wonderfully smoked Pinney’s fish, including salmon, mackerel and more.

Orford itself is a delightful village to visit, with a castle keep, pretty old cottages and wonderful river and coastal walks.  Just across the river is the weird and wonderful Cold War radio station, well worth hopping onto the little ferry for, before heading back into the village to eat lunch at the Oysterage.

Website: https://www.pinneysoforford.co.uk

Market Hill, Orford, IP12 2LH

Phone: 01394 450277

Another favourite that specialises in seafood, perhaps predictably so considering it’s proximity to the sea and those throwback shanties scattered along the pebbly beach selling the freshest locally caught fish.  This is British fish at its freshest that was likely brought onto that very beach early that morning, then cooked and delivered to your plate the very same day. The Lighthouse usually has pre-show specials in case you want to couple dinner with a film at the tiny, traditional cinema next door.

Also, for gin lovers, the Lighthouse 77 is the restaurants very own gin and well worth a try.

Website: https://www.lighthouserestaurant.co.uk

77 High Street, Aldeburgh, IP15 5AU

Phone: 01728 453377

The Regatta restaurant, down the road from The Lighthouse, is also an old favourite of mine, but since it recently changed owners and I haven’t yet eaten there, it just misses out on my top 10. Aldeburgh also has two of the best fish and chip shops in the UK (not just my opinion as their awards prove) if you want something a little lighter but just as fresh and delicious.

The-Galley-Woodbridge-Suffolk-Coast-RestaurantsThe Galley was extremely close to being my number one. It was almost 30 years ago my wife and I first ate at the Galley, when it was still located in nearby Ipswich. Since its move to Woodbridge, the restaurant has gone from strength to strength providing some of the most delicious Turkish influenced food I’ve eaten outside of Turkey. The Turkish Lamb Stew is to die for, as are the numerous specials and desserts. Accompany your meal with one of the wonderful bottles of wine the owner, Ugur, keeps in his own cellar, the Riojas being a speciality of his. Ask for a cellar tour if they’re not too busy!

For a romantic meal, or family get together, the Galley is perfect, and Ugur will do his utmost to ensure this is so.

Website: https://www.galley.uk.com

21 Market Hill, Woodbridge, IP12 4LX

Phone: 01394 380055

And My No.1 Favourite Suffolk Coast RestaUrant Is...

This brings us to my current favourite restaurant on the Suffolk Coast. It can be tricky to get a reservation at this place, mainly because it’s so popular due to the warm welcome and the delicious home-cooked seafood, but also because of its limited opening hours. The trick is to book as early as you can, perhaps even several weeks or more in advance during the peak season. It’s very much worth the wait. 

So here it is, my number one favourite Suffolk Coast Restaurant of the moment is (cue drum roll)…

Sole Bay Fish Company Suffolk

Photo Credit: https://www.solebayfishco.co.uk

My favourite Suffolk Coast Restaurant is literally a wooden shack by the harbour at the south end of Southwold – the Sole Bay Fish Company. As you approach, it looks more like a hut where today’s catch can be purchased, with lobster pots, fishing nets and multi-coloured bouys scattered here and there. There’s an excellent fish and chips takeaway, but head past the huge fish tank, through the glass doors and into the cabin style interior where you’ll be greeted with the most amazing smell of seafood being cooked in delicious herby sauces.

The fish of the day can often be seen swimming in the aforementioned fish tank that covers almost the entire wall, the day’s specials etched on the glass. You can choose from tasty fish dishes, delicately cooked lobster or one of the many seafood platters available. The very helpful owners assist in the serving and will help you select the perfect treats from the menu.

This is how all coastal seafood restaurants should be. A little bit worn down, rustic, warm, friendly and, most of all, serving the freshest fish straight from the ocean that very day.

Take heed of my previous warning about booking well in advance, but do ensure your stay in this wonderful part of Great Britain includes lunch or dinner in this fantastic place.

Website: https://www.solebayfishco.co.uk

22e Blackshore, Soutwold, IP18 6ND

Phone: 01502 724241

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