Best Poole Quay Restaurants | A Local’s Guide [2023]

Best Poole Quay Restaurants | A Local’s Guide [2023]

Dining out here on the south coast can really be something special – hence this post on the best Poole Quay restaurants near the water. Having covered the restaurants with the best views in Bournemouth (including Christchurch, where I live), I now look west and turn my attention to the neighbouring town.

When it comes to picking restaurants in Poole with a sea view you have a choice of Poole Harbour restaurants, in the heart of town and set by one of the world’s biggest natural harbours (several locations vie for second place, after Sydney, including Poole).

Here they are -7 of the places to eat in the Poole Quay area. How lucky are me and my neighbours, who can reach all of this via a train ride of around 20 to 30 minutes?

You can see the green tiled facade of the Poole Arms on the right

7 of the best Poole Quay restaurants

The Poole Arms

19 The Quay, Poole BH15 1HJ

My first pick of the best restaurants in Poole by the quay is one you really cannot miss. It’s slap bang on the front row facing the glittering Sunseeker yachts in the harbour, and has a vintage-style green tiled front that is impossible not to notice.

This pub and seafood restaurant at Poole Quay is the oldest in town, dating back to the early 17th century. The fact that fresh seafood forms the basis for much of the menu here is hardly a surprise, given the location.

A pint of prawns served here really does come in an old-school, tankard-style pint glass, and despite the location this venue feels authentic rather than touristy. Go now to sample this pick of the fish restaurants on Poole Quay before the crowds descend.

Diva Italian

11 High St, Poole BH15 1AB

I’ve got to be honest – this isn’t an Italian restaurant on Poole Quay, exactly – nor does it look that exciting from outside. It’s on High Street, just around the corner from the harbour, so if you want Poole Quay restaurants with a sea view then this isn’t it.

So why this Italian near Poole Quay? Because in culinary terms it’s a total star, and quite rightly a local favourite. Once you step inside it’s small but perfectly formed, and you can expect a warm Italian welcome from Roman chef Marcello and his team.

Whether you order pasta, seafood or steak, it’s cooked and presented to perfection. If you want to combine fish and Italian food, don’t miss the gamberoni al aglio or the signature fettucine Diva.

Oriel on the Quay

Seaway House, The Quay, Poole BH15 1HJ

Oriel on Poole Quay is one of two in town – the other can be found in well-heeled Sandbanks. The views of the harbour and Brownsea Island from the first floor are fabulous – as is the food and service.

A menu that draws inspiration from all over the globe keeps things interesting – pick between the likes of mussels served Thai or French style, a Mediterranean omelette or a Greek salad. There are also several ‘Oriel’ signature dishes, such as pasta, a burger or chicken.

If you’re after a Poole Harbour fish and chips experience you have that too – here it’s beer battered and served with homemade tartar sauce.

Our recent meal at Sakuna Khrua Thai was delicious

Sakuna Khrua Thai

18 High St, Poole BH15 1BP

If you fancy a spicy, fragrant Thai feast, then head around the corner from the harobour to Sakuna Khrua Thai on High Street. Again it’s not quite one of those Poole Quay restaurants with a sea view, but almost.

Lots of dishes are guest favourites here, including the sakuna roast duck, the lamb massaman and the intriguingly named ‘get drunk in forest’, which is a stir-fry with a dash of whisky.

There are a few popular Chinese picks on the menu too for guests who may prefer these – my daughter goes mad for crispy chicken balls with sweet and sour sauce, for instance. I also adore the nasi goreng, which reminds me of backpacking in Bali. Culinary bliss.

Guildhall Tavern

15 Market St, Poole BH15 1NB

Like the best Italian in town, Guildhall Tavern isn’t on Poole Quay, but it’s not far off on Market Street in the central area near the harbour. With a subtle nautical theme, there’s no doubting that you’re close to the coastline.

The specials menu is updated often to take advantage of the freshest fish and seafood, but it’s not all about fish. You can instead plump for starters and mains based on wild mushrooms, pigeon breast, Hampshire beef or lamb – or go for a Thai curry.

Desserts are a highlight here at one of the best restaurants near Poole Harbour – how does Guinness chocolate cake or pistachio panna cotta grab you?

Custom House Cafe, Bar & Bistro

The Old Custom House, The Quay, Poole BH15 1HJ

Custom House is a cafe, bar and bistro rather than a more formal restaurant, and the elegant yet rustic decor provides the perfect setting for a laid-back seaside dining experience.

This is the pick of the restaurants in Poole Quay if you want an informal lunch, perhaps followed by coffee and cake, while you watch the nautical world go by.

It’s open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, and mains served later in the day may include Asian-style salmon with prawns, chunky fish chowder, a halloumi burger or a vegan katsu curry.

Rockfish on Poole Quay on a sunny September Sunday


9 The Quay, Poole BH15 1HJ

The Poole Arms has stiff competition – if you want a fish restaurant on Poole Quay rather than a pub, then this is the place to book into. With a light, airy dining room and a modern feel, it’s a lovely spot to spend time in – and the food is pretty special too.

There are a few outdoor tables if you’re lucky enough to snap one up on a sunny day or summer’s evening, and all fish dishes come with unlimited chips. Or salad. The ethos is to serve fresh seafood from the Dorset and Devon coasts, and there is evern a Rockfisher boat at Brixham belonging to the company.

If you want fresh, delicious local seafood served in a space with vaulted ceilings and a coastal vibe, then Rockfish Poole won’t disappoint.

Which Poole Quay restaurants will you try?

Whether you were looking for Italian restaurants near Poole Quay in Dorset or would rather eat seafood with a view to match, I hope this article has made your mouth water! There are some awesome restaurants on and near Poole Quay in Dorset, and it’s a lovely area to spend some time in by day or night.

Polly x

Why not take a look at some more of my guides to the local area, including:

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