6 of the best restaurants in North Wales
- Credit: Archant
Places where you can dine in style
Not many hotel restaurants survive over sixty years and make continuous appearances in the Good Food Guide, but Porth Tocyn has. It’s been in the Fletcher-Brewer family for three generations and has just won the Cheshire Life North Wales Dining Excellence Award. One more for their trophy cabinet.
Style - Take in the sea views and retire to the intimate bar for an aperitif before relaxing over dinner in the atmospheric dining room filled with antique dining tables and farmhouse chairs.
On the menu - Three courses with coffee and petit fours from the dinner menu may include sea salt and beetroot cured salmon with caper pop-corn quail egg and citrus crème fraiche to start; mains like roast breast of duck over spicy stir fried vegetables, fondant potatoes and chantenay carrots with orange and fennel seed glaze, or pan fried pork tenderloin over an apple mash for £47 (two courses £40). There’s also a lighter bites menu.
Bwlch Tocyn, Abersoch, LL53 7BU 01758 713303 www.porthtocynhotel.co.uk
On The Hill
Bistro dining of the highest quality is the order of the day at the charmingly-named On The Hill. A team is led by the patron, Rowan, half of the husband and wife team who since opening in 2008 have made this a local treasure.
Style - A bit of a stunner. This 16th century building with beautiful dark wood beams, oak floors and intimate lighting throughout definitely has the air of a bistro, with artwork by Rowan’s great-grandfather and padded pew seating.
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On the menu - High quality fresh produce with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible are transformed into memorable dishes like sauté king prawns with chilli, garlic, sambuca, crispy calamari and toasted focaccia for starters and The Fish Market, which includes stuffed sole paupiette, pan fried sea bass and hake, hot potted smoked haddock and crispy sauté potatoes and vegetables for mains. Priced from £12.95 for lunch and from around £25 for dinner.
Upper Clwyd St, Ruthin LL15 1HY 01824 707736 onthehillrestaurant.co.uk
Superior cooking from one of the UK’s top chefs Bryn Williams is transforming Colwyn Bay. This is Williams’ take on a beachfront bistro with an informal yet quality approach to dining that attracts everyone from breakfasters, to food sharers.
Style - The decor is as fresh as an ocean spray: all blues and driftwood hues with a huge window overlooking the sea and an open kitchen where Bryn’s team cook up a storm from local seasonal ingredients which, of course, include seafood specialities.
On the menu - Lunch or dinner could include lobster and brioche roll and fries, or Porth Eirias 8oz burger and fries. Share small plates from game terrine, fruit chutney and toast to welsh lamb breast, aubergine and cumin. Enjoy a heavenly evening sipping a cocktail before dining while the sun goes down over the rippling waves. Prices around £25 for a three course dinner.
Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias, The Promenade, Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL29 8HH 01492 577 525 portheirias.com
Already a successful operation in Menai Bridge, Dylan’s has not only brought locally sourced seafood and other goodies to another part of North Wales but it has done it in style by taking over the resort’s iconic Morannedd building.
Style - Designed by Portmeirion architect Clough Williams Ellis this is one amazing sight, a white, sweeping Deco delight that shimmers at the end of the bay at night. The interior is contemporary, stylish and has a rather fabulous bar.
On the menu - Mussels, lobster when available and more. Welsh rib eye steak, or braised Welsh roast veal are amongst the numerous mouthwatering highlights. Prices range from £10.95 for a burger to £60 for a massive seafood platter.
Maes Y Mor, Criccieth, Gwynedd LL52 OHU 01766522773 www.dylansrestaurant.co.uk
Ye Olde Bull’s Head
This is one of Wales’ finest historic inns. A combination of mouth-watering food in either the fine dining Loft Restaurant or popular Brasserie, along with five star accommodation has earned the Bull in Beaumaris a reputation as a destination in its own right.
Style - The loft restaurant with its ancient old beams offset by a contemporary decor in soft neutral colours and tables adorned with crisp white tablecloths adds up to an elegant and tranquil dining space created in the eaves of the Olde Bull.
On the menu - Dishes reflect the changing seasons and are created using the finest Anglesey produce including Welsh black beef, salt marsh lamb and a truly mouth-watering array of seafood.
The set dining menu is £48.50 for three courses.Castle St, Beaumaris, Anglesey LL58 8AP 01248 810329 www.bullsheadinn.co.uk
The Seahorse in Llandudno has deservedly been nominated for the best seafood restaurant category in Wales in the Welsh Food Awards, serving up a double whammy of great food and service.
Style - Downstairs in this Grade II listed gem, the intimate bistro-style dining area is a quirky, informal space with oak pews and priest’s chairs for seating. Upstairs there’s a more Victorian vibe with comfortable red leather chairs and red and cream tablecloths.
On the menu - Many head here for the fresh fish. From local mussels and Queenie scallops to start to mains of freshly caught Dover sole, and baked hake this is a piscatorial paradise. Those who don’t like fish are very well catered for too with beef, chicken, lamb and vegetarian options. Three courses, £29.95.
7 Church Walks, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2HD 01492 875 315 www.the-seahorse.co.uk