Best restaurants in Dorset

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Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Dorset really has something for everyone.

Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs. Each link will take you to our review of the venue which has all the details of what to expect from your visit and how to book a table.

Please note: some features linked in this story may be a few years old, but we promise the food is just as good now as then!

1. La Fosse, Cranborne

Hyper-local food sourcing and world-class creative cuisine come together in Cranborne.

2. Seasons at The Eastbury

To appreciate the harmonious talents of an award-winning chef in one sitting, set aside the à la carte and experience a tasting menu. Each course is chosen by the culinary maestro to create a concert of flavours.

3. Summer Lodge, Evershot

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel in Evershot is famous for its sumptuous afternoon teas. Head Chef, Steve Titman tells us the secret to making it special.

4. The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury

An elegant makeover, great location and a locally sourced seasonal menu are a winning combination at The Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury, says Helen Stiles.

5. The View Restaurant, Sandbanks

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We loved this venue when it was the Harbar Bistro and cannot wait to see what new head chef, Mark Lawton, has in store for our taste buds. You can also try out their Ocean Palace restaurant that promises delicious Chinese food.

6. Ventana Grande Café at The Cumberland Hotel

A new innovative locally inspired menu has John Billington’s taste buds dancing with delight.

7. Schpoons and Forx, Bournemouth

Having cooked in Marco Pierre White’s fiery kitchen, and worked with a stellar cast of culinary names, you know the menu at Matt Tebbutt’s Schpoons and Forx will be something very special and seasonally inspired.

8. Tiien Thai, Bournemouth

John Billington talks authentic Thai flavours with Medi Vahdati, owner of Tiien Thai in Bournemouth.

9. Rick Stein, Sandbanks

Rick Stein’s latest venture is a harmonious blend of family talent and fabulous local seafood at a stunning waterside location. Sue Quinn went to meet the first family of fish at their newly opened Sandbanks restaurant.

10. Soulshine Café, Bridport

Best Family Friendly Dining Experience winner at the Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2015.

11. The White Post in Rimpton

When an establishment wins Gastro Pub of the Year in the Dorset Magazine Food, Drink & Farming Awards twice in a row, Helen Stiles wanted to peruse their menu.

12. The Seaside Boarding House

Hailed as the hippest hangout on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, The Seaside Boarding House is the cliff-top creation of former Groucho Club co-founder Mary-Lou Sturridge. We take you on an exclusive tour.

13. Arbor Restaurant at The Green House Hotel

Andy Hilton is head chef at Arbor restaurant at The Green House hotel which recently won Gold at the Dorset Tourism Awards. He tells us about his locally inspired menu.

14. Brassica Restaurant, Beaminster

Brassica is a relaxed restaurant, which offers an outstanding experience of delicious food, wine and service in a cosy, stylish environment. A winner at the 2015 Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards.

This article was updated by Martha Griffiths in June 2021.