Six of the best seaside treats in Yorkshire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:04 12 August 2016

Eating out on the Yorkshire coast

Eating out on the Yorkshire coast


There are plenty of reason for foodies to head to the Yorkshire Coast.

Nice, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Juan-les-Pins. Dazzling, glamorous, relentlessly sunny, full of super yachts and very, very expensive. Yep, the Côte d’Azur is a phenomenal place to spend your summer holiday, writes Tony Greenway.

So how does the Yorkshire coast compare? It can be dazzling, the scenery is fantastic but, relentlessly sunny? Well, we couldn’t honestly report that the sun is ‘relentless’. Glamorous? Er, no, not in the ‘I’ve just seen Elle Macpherson getting out of a Lamborghini by the chippy in Staithes’ sort of way.

And super yachts? Ummm, not so much but last time I looked there were pedalos in Peasholm Park. Very, very expensive? No, it’s pretty reasonable, frankly.

The Great British Seaside is simply a lot more low-key and down-to-earth than its French counterpart, which is no bad thing and partly to do with the treats on offer in its shops, shacks and stalls: candy floss, sticks of rock, fish and chips, ice cream, milkshakes and cockles and mussels. The snacks and sweets are partly why we flock to the beach in the first place. And do you know what? Last time I was in Nice, I searched in vain for a stick of rock. I think they might be missing a trick.

So who serves up the best seaside treats in Yorkshire? There are, as always, too many to mention, but I’ve drawn up a list of my favourite six. Have a jolly holiday...

Quayside, Whitby

The Quayside — which has been named Britain’s best fish and chip shop — is located in one of the town’s most historic buildings (which also houses a cool cocktail bar, Bar 7, upstairs). Rumour has it that Bram Stoker conducted research in the first floor library when he was writing that Dracula novel of his. Which is all very interesting, but it’s the award-winning fish and chips you’re here for. And they are top notch.

Harbour Bar, Scarborough

Wunder-bar. This is one of the most famous places to get ice cream on the Yorkshire coast — and it is great ice cream (the milkshakes and knickerbocker glories are splendid, too). Yet people also come to the Harbour Bar — which has been here since 1945 and has appeared on loads of TV programmes — because of the fabulous décor: to step through its doors is to step back in time to a traditional 1950s milk bar.

Sandside Café, Sandsend

The Sandside Cafe is set in a cabin and is famous to the locals and those visitors in the know. Cards on the table: I’ve never been, but Yorkshire Life photographer Andy Bulmer tells us that the Sandside Cafe serves one of the best crab sandwiches he’s ever tasted. Plus it’s about as close to the beach as you can possibly get.

John Bull, Bridlington

You can’t go to the seaside without having a stick of rock, can you? It’s right up there with making sandcastles, eating candy floss and paddling in the sea. At Brid you can take a tour of the John Bull Factory Shop (on the Carnaby Industrial Estate) to see how rock is produced — and/or visit the John Bull shop on Prince Street which is (handily) right by the sea for rock, toffee, fudge, nougat and other confectionary.

Sandgate Seafoods, Whitby

You either like cockles and mussels or you don’t. Me, I love them: cockles in particular with loads of vinegar and white pepper on them, to take away. There are numerous stalls you can get these from, obviously, but if you’re looking for a shop, Sandgate Seafoods in Whitby is the place to go. It can also smoke its own products and is famous for its lobsters.

Swell, Robin Hood’s Bay

It’s a bit tucked away in the madly picturesque surroundings of Robin Hood’s Bay but when you do find Swell, you’ve discovered a gem. This is a smartly designed independent cafe set in a converted Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, serving great coffee, sandwiches, soups and sides, plus ice cream. There’s a small outside terrace, too, overlooking the drama of the sea. I recommend a bit of rock pooling and then a snack at Swell.

Do fish and chips really taste better at the seaside?

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