Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by Wandering our World

If you could imagine the perfect town, it would probably look a lot like Lymington. This coastal town in the New Forest has been a busy fishing port and market town for centuries because it’s situated on the banks of the Lymington River. It’s also built up a reputation in recent years for hosting some great restaurants and eateries, making this place the perfect spot for those who like views and food!

From its quaint winding streets and picturesque harbour to its award-winning restaurants and cosy bed-and-breakfasts, Lymington is a delight to visit any time of year. Plus nothing beats enjoying a meal outdoors on a balmy summer evening, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the charm in this town.

We know this place well, so have picked out what we believe are the 12 best restaurants in Lymington for food and dining experiences. So whether you’ve been to the town before, or are a new visitor, we know one of these places will be right up your street. Bon appetit!

Burger and fries
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The 12 Best Restaurants In Lymington

While there are plenty of great pubs and restaurants in Lymington, some of the best can be found along the waterfront. Which is perfect if you’re looking for waterside views.

From fresh seafood to authentic Italian cuisine, the eateries below offer a wide range of culinary delights that you simply need to try for yourself. You won’t go home disappointed!

Here’s a look at some of our favourite restaurants in Lymington.

Chef cooking
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1. The Elderflower

The Elderflower really is the perfect restaurant for food lovers and those looking for a different dining experience.

With Head Chef Patron Andrew Du Bourg at the helm, this charming fine dining restaurant offers modern British cuisine with a French flair, using only the finest, locally sourced ingredients. 

The award-winning Elderflower has 3 AA rosettes and is focused on creating a unique experience for its guests. The food is imaginative the service is relaxed but efficient and the dining room is stunning thanks to its low beamed ceilings and cosy casement windows. It’s the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or take a special someone.

There’s a 4 course menu at lunchtime (excluding Sunday lunchtimes) and a 4, 5, and 7 course tasting menu for dinner. You choose how many courses you want, but not the actual dishes. The food is a surprise cooked up by the chef on the day! This place is all about tasting exceptional dishes, some that you may have never tried before.

Dining at this restaurant is a real experience and the food exceptional. Understandably, The Elderflower books up fast so make sure you reserve in advance (usually by a few weeks). If you have any dietary requirements make those clear when booking.

Address: 4A Quay St, Lymington

Chef plating food
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2. Monkey Brewhouse

If you’re looking for something a little more casual, then look no further than Monkey Brewhouse in Lymington. This charming family-run pub offers a variety of classic pub comfort food, seafood dishes, and daily specials, all cooked to perfection by head chef Mark and his team.

This cosy welcoming place sits in an atmospheric 18th century building, and you’re welcome to pop in for a freshly brewed pint or the full Monkey dining experience. Their micro-brewery is brewing beers for all to enjoy, so you can relax and savour the delicious drinks they create on-site.

It’s a great place for a hearty meal or a quick snack too. You should try their Crispy Duck Salad, and Cajun Prawns while you’re there.

And if you’re in the area on a Sunday, be sure to check out their legendary roast dinner – but be sure to book ahead, as it tends to be popular! Another reason to go on a Sunday is the live music they have from 8pm.

Definitely one of our favourite Lymington restaurants for comfort food, good beers, and a great laid-back vibe. As an added bonus this is one of the most dog friendly restaurants in Lymington too.

Address: 167 Southampton Road, Lymington

Sunday roast display
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3. The Haven Bar & Restaurant

The Haven is one of the best restaurants in Lymington thanks to its good food and stunning views across the Solent. The food available depends on the constantly-changing menu which reflects the seasons and availability of local produce.

Their menu tends to span international cuisine, but the star of the show are the seafood dishes. The seafood is caught locally and is super fresh. And there’s no better place to enjoy it than on The Haven’s first-floor terrace that directly overlooks the sea and boats bobbing on the water.

The menu changes almost every week, but some of the signature dishes include fresh oysters, crab, and mussels. Don’t forget to check out their specials boards, which are full of household classics.

Expect a welcoming atmosphere, with friendly staff that aim to make sure your experience is truly memorable. But for the stunning panoramic views alone – possibly the best in Lymington – this place is a must visit. They also have a dog friendly area!

Address: King’s Saltern Rd, Lymington

Seafood and wine
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4. The Fisherman’s Rest

The Fisherman’s Rest is a pub that proudly serves up locally sourced food and award-winning real ales. Whether you’re popping in for a quick pint or lingering over a long lunch, you’ll always find a warm pub welcome here.

In the summer, their great garden is a real winner for ale and classic pub dishes under the sun. But when winter looms, there’s nothing better than pulling up a chair near their cosy, crackling fire.

This pub, with its spectacular wooden beams, is often packed with locals and for good reason. The food is amazing, hearty and very reasonably priced! We highly recommend their Piri Piri Prawns which are king prawns and red peppers fried in chilli, garlic, paprika, lemon oil and served with bread.

The varied worldwide wine list and great ale selection are sure to please lovers of real ale too. Of course, any place with a good drinks selection gets the thumbs up from us!

Address: All Saints Rd, Lymington

seafood sharing
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5. Ciao Belli

This delightful Italian restaurant is a local favourite, with a wonderful menu and a warm atmosphere. You’ll enjoy the wide range of dishes they have on offer, from steaks to seafood salads to veal Milanese.

Ciao Belli certainly brings an authentic taste of Italy to Lymington, alongside a great selection of wines of course. Their menu is full of traditional dishes from all over Italy. So if there’s an Italian dish you’ve enjoyed in the past, you’ve got a good chance of finding it here.

Everything is cooked to perfection and the staff members are attentive and friendly. From the coffee to the dishes, everything is made with love and care, in order to bring out the best of Italy. They have a good range of cakes and desserts too – maybe the best in Lymington.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing evening out or a quick bite, Ciao Belli will surely satisfy your cravings. The prices are very affordable as well.

Address: 4 Gosport St, Lymington

Italian food with seafood
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6. Koh Thai

Looking for somewhere special to try some Thai cuisine? Koh Thai is one venue that should head your list. This lovely restaurant offers authentic Thai food, using recipes and ingredients inspired by the very best in Thai culture and cooking.

Many of the dishes are served tapas style here, which makes it a fun sociable dining experience. The restaurant itself is set in a gorgeous building and the exposed brick walls and candle-lit tables make the atmosphere cozy and romantic.

The menu at Koh Thai offers a wide array of dishes, all with their own special touches and seasonings. You can enjoy everything from the iconic Pad Thai to Massaman Curry, accompanied by fiery cocktails, exotic beers, and amazing service.

Their dishes take influences from the Bangkok street food scene to the southern island of Phuket, and the result is a unique and unforgettable culinary experience that spans the length and breadth of Thailand.

So if you’re looking for Thai food tapas style, exceptional service, fantastic cocktails and exotic beers, you can’t go wrong with Koh Thai.

Address: 113 High St, Lymington

Thai food display
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7. Lanes Of Lymington

Peter and Nicola Leyland-Jones have always been passionate about food and hospitality. After years of experience in some of the most renowned establishments in the country, they finally realised their dream of opening their own restaurant in Lymington.

Their creation, the Lanes of Lymington, is a truly exceptional restaurant and bar which serves up British dishes and seafood that reflect the couple’s culinary expertise and love for good food.

But it’s not just the food that makes this place special – the elegant surroundings and impeccable service make for a dining experience you’ll never forget.

The building the restaurant sits in once served as a church and school, and the dreamy levels, small intimate alcoves, balconies and open plan ground floor all come together to create a stylish restaurant.

The food at the restaurant is excellent and photo worthy, and they clearly have a strong commitment to fresh seasonal ingredients. The menu is varied and exciting, the prices are very reasonable, and the service friendly. When you’re there, make sure you try their prawns, lamb chump or duck. Delicious.

Address: Ashley Ln, Lymington SO41 3RH

Chef adding drizzle to fine dining plate
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8. Rivaaz Lymington

Passionate restaurateur Shah Malek has firmly established the award-winning Rivaaz as the premier dining destination for Indian food lovers on the south coast of England. Luckily for us, this place is smack bang in the middle of Lymington!

The menus at Rivaaz showcase unique and innovative Indian food, and the restaurant firmly believes that Indian cuisine doesn’t have to be all about chilli and heat. The right proportions of the right spices can create authentic flavours that will tantalise your taste buds – as you’ll see yourself if visiting.

On top of great taste, there’s relaxed and attentive service, stylish surroundings, and an exceptional menu that showcases the best of Indian cuisine. Some of our recommended dishes are the Chicken Chilli, Matter Paneer, and of course that classic Indian comfort food, Biryani.

Address: 7 St Thomas St, Lymington

Indian food display
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9. Borough Arms Lymington

The Borough Arms is a pub located in the heart of Lymington. It offers a wide variety of traditional British pub food, as well as home-cooked pizzas that can be eaten in or taken away. There are also weekly specials and Saturday breakfasts on offer.

This pub is just a five-minute walk from the High Street, making it the perfect place to stop by if you’re out hiking, holidaying in the New Forest or just passing by on a day visit. They also have plenty of space for stopovers if you’re travelling in a camper van or mobile home.

The Borough Arms is a favourite for locals, and it’s not hard to see why. This pub is welcoming and happens to be very family and kid friendly. They also host live music, open mic nights and other events in the evenings. All of which adds to the lively atmosphere here.

During the warmer weather, their garden is perfect for enjoying a sunny day outside. They have a children’s menu for their younger guests, but can also prepare many of their dishes to be more appropriate for older children or adults who have smaller appetites.

Address: 39 Avenue Rd, Lymington

Bangers & mash and Fish & chips display
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10. The Mayflower

With its stunning views of the river and town slipway, it’s little surprise The Mayflower is popular with locals and tourists alike. This restaurant set in a wonderful building has a large seated garden perfect for summer pints, whilst families and well-behaved dogs are welcome here too.

This pub clearly takes its food seriously. There’s a focus on locally sourced ingredients and a commitment to providing an excellent wine list and assortment of hand-pulled ales. Expect classic British pub grub but done exceptionally well. Couple all of that with the stunning coastal views, and it’s little wonder this is one of the best restaurants in Lymington.

Whether you’re stopping by for a quick drink, pulling up a chair for your evening meal or settling in for a weekend stay by the sea, make sure to soak in the warm hospitality and fantastic seasonal cuisine that characterises The Mayflower.

As for what you should try? Of course try their classic fish and chips. The steak and Halibut dishes are very good too.  There are also daily specials plus a breakfast menu.

Address: King’s Saltern Rd, Lymington

Fish and chips with beer
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11. The Sail Inn

The Sail Inn is a pub cafe that is popular with many locals and for good reason. This place offers a great value-for-money dining experience and is known for being a warm welcoming place to bring family, meet friends or even just to come on your own.

With comfortable surroundings and excellent facilities, it’s the perfect place for socialising. There’s a nautical theme running throughout the interior – no surprise for a coastal pub – but if the weather’s nice then you must make use of their large sunny outside area.

The food is cooked to order and they have a traditional UK pub-style menu that offers bar snacks, sandwiches and classic British dishes. Their bar has an impressive array of cask ales, premium lagers, gins and cocktails, as well as a carefully curated wine list. Their Sunday Roast menu is also very popular.

Address: 3 Queen St, Lymington

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12. eatPizza

This is a one-stop place for your pizza cravings, and all in a very relaxed and friendly environment.

The ingredients used at this pizzeria are of the finest quality, and that’s what allows them to create pizzas with delicious, classic Neapolitan crusts. They’ve got a great craft beer selection too and the staff are clearly passionate about the food and strive to provide customers with a great experience.

If visiting make sure to try their desserts like Tiramisu Cheesecake and Strawberry Cheesecake. You won’t regret it!

Address: 9 Gosport St, Lymington

Wine and pizza display
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Restaurants In Lymington: Our Final Thoughts

There are a number of excellent restaurants in Lymington, each with its own unique selling points. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic fish and chips, exquisite seafood or a delicious pizza, there’s something for everyone in this charming coastal town.

So why not pay a few of them a visit and see which one is your favourite! We’re sure you won’t be disappointed with any of the choices on offer.