Best Places to Eat by the Sea
Because, really, doesn’t everything taste better at the beach?
Lo Scoglio da Tommaso, Amalfi Coast, Italy: Pleasure yachts from Capri and Positano drop anchor for lunch perched over the Mediterranean. The only thing fresher than the peppery wild arugula salad is the ricci (sea urchin) in the spaghetti. $$$
Hive Beach Café, Burton Bradstock, England: A chalkboard menu behind the counter tells you what’s on offer (fish pies; grilled herring; a crab sandwich with chips) at this classic holiday spot. $$
La Guerrerense, Ensenada, Mexico: Sabina Bandera has crafted complex and flavorful seafood cocktails and ceviches—pismo clam, sea urchin, octopus, mussels, and more—from her humble street stall for almost 40 years. Don’t miss her house-made salsas. 52-646/174-2114. $
Parador La Huella, José Ignacio, Uruguay: Chic South Americans congregate amid the dunes for languorous midday meals that can last until dusk. Keep things simple with sea bass cooked over coals and a pitcher of clericó. $$$
Bangpo Seafood, Koh Samui, Thailand: At this family-run shack, tables in the sand are piled high with deep-fried red snapper and irresistible khoei jii (shrimp paste, crabmeat, coconut, and spices, roasted over a fire in a coconut husk). 66-77/420-010. $
Pantelis Marathi, Marathi, Greece: On a tiny, car-free isle between Patmos and Bodrum, Turkey, this harborfront restaurant is a popular stop for the sailing crowd. Everything is impossibly fresh, from the crawfish sautéed in lemon oil to the creamy local goat cheese. $$
Marshall Store, Marshall, California: The oysters alone (from a farm up the road) are worth the hour-long drive from San Francisco to a dockside shanty on Tomales Bay. But a bowl of clam chowder feels particularly restorative on a foggy northern California day. $$
Pilu Kiosk, Sydney: Forget Bondi—at least for a bit—and head to Freshwater Beach, in Sydney’s northern suburbs. The restaurant here is known for its whole suckling pig, but the café next door has a suckling-pig panino that’s just as delicious and one-fifth the price. $
Da Conch Shack, Turks and Caicos: In three pastel-trimmed cottages right on the shore, an expat chef cooks up the freshest possible conch—harvested from the ocean moments before it’s on your plate. $
Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150
Lo Scoglio da Tommaso
The namesake restaurant of Hotel Lo Scoglio da Tommaso, this family-owned trattoria serves locally inspired Mediterranean fare amid panoramic views of Nerano Bay. Large windows admit plenty of sunlight into the dining room, which is decorated with white tablecloths, wooden chairs, and rows of tiny glass pendant lights hung from exposed ceiling beams. Using freshly caught seafood and produce grown on the owner’s farm, the chefs prepare signature dishes like lobster linguini, dark-chocolate eggplant, and spaghetti with clams and zucchini. The local white wine, called Lacrime di Cristo, pairs well with most seafood entrées.
Parador La Huella
Chic South Americans congregate amid the dunes for languorous midday meals that can last until dusk. Keep things simple with sea bass cooked over coals and a pitcher of clericó.
Marshall Store & Oyster Bar
This seafood shack perched on timber pylons offers a dining experience that’s low-key, the ultimate example of a certain kind of meal: unfussy, delicious, relaxed. It’s nominally a general store, and though they sell beer and wine—including some inspired selections from importer Kermit Lynch—they can’t legally serve it, though they will lend you a corkscrew. The store farms its own exquisite oysters, and prepares them three ways: raw, Rockefeller (piled with spinach and cheese), or, the local specialty, barbecued (grilled with house-made barbecue sauce).