Dorset's reputation for delicious places to eat grows year by year, with a number of excellent pubs and restaurants serving delicious local food nearby, and within easy driving distance. Advance bookings are advisable.
Pubs serving excellent food:
The Fox Inn, Corscombe - 3 miles : 01935 317555 From December 2020 under new management with MARK HIX. Traditional thatched country pub serving excellent food in a relaxed atmosphere, and great cocktails! Outside tables by the stream for summer evenings. Booking essential.
The Acorn Inn, Evershot - 3 miles : 01935 83228
Very good food, served in the restaurant or bar, with bar meals also available. Warm and friendly service. Pretty village. Highly advisable to book.
The Greyhound Inn, Sydling St Nicholas - 7 miles : 01300 341303
Well cooked food in a country pub. Wide range of choices and friendly hosts. Also a pretty village and more relaxed than The Acorn. Booking advisable.
The Chetnole Inn, Chetnole. - 7 miles : 01935 872337
Village pub serving good homecooked food. Good value, and friendly.
The New Inn, Cerne Abbas - 9 miles : 01300 341274
Lovely pub in pretty village serving good food and using local produce.
By the coast
RISE, West Bay - 14 miles 01308 422011
Open all day. From 'small plates', to burgers, to interesting fish and meat dishes, and vegetarian. Dogs allowed. Open daily.
The Clubhouse, West Bexington, DT2 9DG 01308 898302
Almost on the beach, serving primarily fresh local fish and seafood. Simple menu offered for outside tables, and more elaborate for restaurant. Very good food. Recommended, and booking very essential. Closed Monday/Tuesday
Rachels at West Bay - Brilliant outdoor cafe serving ultra fresh scallops, fish, crab, fish and chips. Lunches only, 12noon - 4pm approx. Booking not possible
The Hive Beach Cafe at Burton Bradstock - serves fresh crab, fish and other goodies - open lunch times and early evening at weekends
Crab House Cafe, Weymouth DT4 9YU 01305 788867 - serves local fish, oysters, crab and seafood - great for lunches or early evening. Closed Monday/Tuesday.
The Anchor or Three Horseshoes, Burton Bradstock - 12 miles : 01308 897228 or 01308 897259
Two good pubs in this village close to Bridport, informal atmosphere, and good food in both.
Wonderful Restaurants within easy driving distance:
Summer Lodge Hotel, Evershot - 3 miles 01935 482000
Country house hotel with sophisticated restaurant and excellent wine list.
The Ollerod, Beaminster - 7 miles 01308 862200 Very good food and a real treat for that special occasion.
Brassica, Beaminster - 7 miles 01308 538100 Serves good contemporary food. Small restaurant in the Square with friendly owners. Booking essential.
Little Barwick House near Yeovil. - 7 miles 01935 423902
Excellent modern British food and lovely personal service from owner Emma. Two or three course menus, which are a real treat. Good for a special occasion.
River Cottage Canteen, Axminster - 21 miles 01297 631862
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, where there is also a deli. Friday (or Saturday) Nights at River Cottage are proving a huge success. Check their website for full details.
Tierra Kitchen, Lyme Regis - 23 miles 01297 445189
Wonderful Vegetarian restaurant with interesting dishes for everyone. Open Tuesday - Saturday for dinner; and Wednesday - Saturday for lunch
Hix Oyster House, Lyme Regis - 23 miles 01297 446910
Mark Hix grew up in Dorset, formerly of The Ivy and Caprice restaurants in London. Small restaurant serving good food, not just oysters !
Best Local Pubs:
Fox and Hounds, Cattistock - 5 miles 01300 320444 - Good honest pub food with beer on tap and popular with locals.
Winyards Gap, Cheddington - 8 miles Good pub grub, and sit outside to enjoy the most amazing views towards Somerset