As well as being a popular tourist resort, Poole is a busy commercial port and a lively university town, so it's no wonder it also has a sophisticated, cosmopolitan culinary scene. From the Grade II listed buildings of the Old Town to the gleaming contemporary designs of the Quays, Poole restaurants benefit from eye-catching locations which add an extra dimension to the dining experience. And remember, you can easily combine a memorable gastronomic outing with a visit to Dorset's Jurassic Coast or a day by the seaside. Quandoo is ready and waiting to tell you more about Poole's restaurants and eateries.
Many of Poole's restaurants are distributed along the Blue Flag rated beaches of Sandbanks Peninsular and Poole Bay, just a few steps from the seashore and right in there among the colourful beach huts and sunshades. It would be hard to get closer to the English Channel without getting your feet wet! For many of these beachside eateries, the emphasis is on prime ingredients simply presented, whether that be family-friendly beer-battered cod with hand cut chips, pan seared chicken breast and mash, grilled lemon sole with new potatoes or chargrilled steaks of West Country beef. The chefs pride themselves on using the best seasonal produce, so check the specials to see what's the flavour of the month. You'll find Poole restaurants by the sea serving Chinese and Thai food too, if you'd rather sample some crispy duck or baked lobster with black bean sauce.
Among the leafy Georgian streets of its Old Town, Poole has some fine restaurants serving continental cuisine. A French meal at one of these establishments might begin with asparagus stalks dipped in a soft boiled duck egg or chicken liver parfait with a toasted muffin, followed by poached cod with a side of Lyonnaise potatoes or a rack of lamb with goat's curd salad. Several places have the look of a traditional French bistro, with shabby chic leather seating and vintage prints and bottles lining the walls. If you'd rather seek out Poole restaurants offering Italian food, you might kick off the evening with a sharing plate of frittura mista, a fragrant mixture of squid, fish and prawns. It's the perfect appetiser for a main of rigatoni with meatballs or veal fried in breadcrumbs, while a four cheese risotto steeped in parmesan and gorgonzola makes a delicious vegetarian option.
If you like scenic views with your meal, then you should head to the restaurants of Poole Quay. Many have floor to ceiling windows and extensive outdoor decking, so customers can get maximum pleasure from what is the largest natural harbour in the whole of Europe. As you dine al fresco, you can look out on the yachts sailing in and out and on the beauties of Brownsea Island (now a thriving nature reserve and once the home of the Scouting movement). What better setting could there be to tuck into a plate of mussels, a whole crab or lobster, or a duck breast with local heirloom vegetables? With pizza, Asian favourites and traditional fish and chips also available, Poole Quay's restaurants cater to a myriad of tastes, and they're well-placed if you also want to explore the shops and boutiques that line this part of Poole. Visit Quandoo to browse our pick of Poole restaurants and book yourself a table with a view.