Best places to eat in Somerset

Penned on the 18th October 2022

Best places to eat in Somerset

Found within the heart of the West Country, Somerset is a county of abundance. Its rich pastures and bountiful orchards have made it world-famous for cheddar cheese and apple cider, earning it a place on the culinary map for centuries. It's also a place with a great deal to offer those looking to slow down and spend time in nature. With undulating countryside, flat plains of wetland, impressive limestone gorges, leafy woodland and jaw-dropping vistas, there’s something wonderful to discover around every corner.

Somerset’s culinary scene offers a wide range of places to whet your appetite after spending a day exploring this plentiful region. Whether you’re looking for some pub grub after walking Exmoor, an extravagant cream tea in a castle near Taunton or a romantic meal in a renovated school house near the Dorset border, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Peppered across the county, here are some of our favourite places to eat.


The Scallop Shell, Bath

Best for: Seafood

Platter of seafood dishes at The Scallop Shell in Bath

Boasting glowing reviews, including awards for ‘Best Seafood’ at the Bath Good Food Awards and ‘Best Independent Restaurant’ at the National Fish & Chip Awards, the Scallop Shell is a must-visit for any seafood fan. Featuring all sorts of sustainably sourced treats, from fresh coastal shellfish to a selection of grilled and lightly battered fish and chip mains, the menu changes daily with the local markets. All can be enjoyed from the light and spacious indoor seating area, or from the Upper Deck terrace. It’s even been named as Michelin chef Marco Pierre White’s favourite Somerset restaurant, so it’s nothing short of top-notch.


Tamburino, Yeovil

Best for: Italian food

Pasta and pizza being served at Tamburino, Yeovil

Found in the centre of Somerset, Tamburino offers a taste of Italy and is run by Sicilian owner Domenico Taravella. The colourful paintings and rustic decor create a welcoming atmosphere and a distinctive Mediterranean feel. The menu is full of authentic Italian cuisine and bursting with flavourful traditional Italian ingredients (think creamy mozzarella, crispy pancetta, sun blushed tomatoes and plentiful pizza and calzones). There’s a huge selection of food on offer, meaning there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Despite the extensive menu, the quality of the food doesn’t suffer as a result. Instead, it leaves you coming back for more, again and again.


Papa’s, Weston-Super-Mare

Best for: Fish and chips

Takeaway fish and chips on the seafront with pastel coloured beach huts in the background

No trip to Weston-Super-Mare is complete without a trip to Papa’s. Well-known and loved by many, this award-winning fish and chip shop has a wonderful reputation. Combining lightly battered fish – including haddock, cod, skate and more – plus delicious fluffy chips, they’re on to a winner. Combine it with their mushy peas or flavoursome curry sauce and there’s little more you could want. Dine inside Papa’s traditional, friendly, down to earth dining room or head to the seafront, to enjoy the full experience of a chippy tea in the South West.

Where to stay: Lady’s Well Shepherd’s Hut | Surrounded by nature and beautiful views, this gorgeous hut is in a truly serene and secluded spot, complete with a bubbling hot tub.


The River House, Frome

Best for: Breakfast

Buffet of breakfast and lunch food at The River House 
Passionately independent, The River House Frome is a quaint, quirky and characterful spot well-known for its excellent breakfasts. Their friendly staff serve up fantastic brunches and lunches, alongside a selection of loose leaf teas, soft drinks and even their own home roasted Loud Mouth Coffee. The extensive breakfast menu caters for all diets, ranging from traditional fry-ups to granola bowls and a range of veggie, vegan and gluten free options. They also offer freshly baked cakes and sweet treats, for those seeking to indulge their taste buds further. The River House has a great approach to sustainability, with a big focus on reducing and recycling. They sell no single use plastics and offer discounts on drinks for those with reusable cups.


The Castle Hotel, Taunton

Best for: Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones, cakes and champagne at The Castle Hotel, Taunton

Enjoy an indulgent selection of dainty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and irresistible homemade sweet treats at Bow Castle for the ultimate cream tea. Accompanied by a selection of loose-leaf teas, coffee or even champagne, it’s the perfect way to splash out whilst enjoying a visit to the countryside. Set within a 400-year-old Norman fortress with an elegant interior of art deco glitz and glamour, the experience has a feel of supreme extravagance. Alternatively, there’s the option to enjoy your wares from the Wisteria Garden and soak up the sunrays.

Where to stay: Duck’s Puddle Shepherd’s Hut | This delightful hut with traditional wriggly-tin cladding is set in its own private spot on a farmstead in the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 


Rainbow’s End Café, Glastonbury

Best for: Vegetarians

Colourful exterior of Rainbows End Cafe in Glastonbury

Serving vegetarian food for over 25 years, Rainbow’s End Café have made it their mission to prove just how tantilising veggie food can be.  Their menu is full of innovative dishes packed full of flavour and their head chef Wael – originally from Cairo – brings a touch of Egyptian spice to the kitchen. Expect vibrant salads, aromatic curries, delicious flans and Mediterranean inspired mezze platters. Rainbow’s End is also well-known for its delectable selection of cakes, sweet bakes and desserts.

Where to stay: Collie | This hand-crafted hut oozes elegant charm and is set in a picturesque paradise of countryside bliss. With a wood fired hot tub to unwind in, this really is a heavenly retreat in nature.


The Royal Oak, Withypool

Best for: Pub grub

Exterior of lovely pub in Withypool, The Royal Oak

A family-run 18th century pub set in the heart of the village, The Royal Oak is well-supported by locals and provides a traditional pub atmosphere. Just 5 miles from Tarr Steps Woodland National Nature Reserve and 9 miles from Dunkery Beacon, the highest point in Exmoor, it is the perfect place to stop off for food after a day spent outdoors in the wilderness. Despite its humble appearance, the Royal Oak has a reputation for large portions and genuinely excellent food, and the staff are always warm and welcoming. A lovely open fire and log burner create a cosy space in the winter and there are outside tables available in the summer.


The Pig, Near Bath

Best for: Local produce 

Sunny day overlooking lush greenery and The Pig Near Bath

A mellow country house, tucked into the folds of the Mendip Hills, The Pig Near Bath has an outstanding restaurant with an impressive menu. Growing most of their own produce in their kitchen garden – or in their pig pens and chicken coups – anything that isn’t sourced onsite has arrived from local suppliers and foragers to make their ‘25 mile’ menu. Whilst some may assume a menu this local would limit the chefs, they in fact change the menu twice daily, inspired by what is flourishing in the garden at the time. Choose to dine in the country-chic kitchen garden restaurant or in the outdoor dining area, The Garden Room. The latter has views over the terrace and deer park making for a particularly pleasant spot for lunch.


The Hairy Dog, Minehead

Best for: Families

Exterior of The Hairy Dog, Minehead

On the edge of Exmoor, in the coastal town of Minehead, this family-friendly pub has an award-winning play area. Sit back and relax as the children entertain themselves on the 10-metre tower, slides and rope bridges, all of which form a safe ROSPA approved area. When it comes to the menu, expect button-popping portions of pub classics, light bites, veggie options and kids’ meals. All can be enjoyed alongside an extensive selection of beers, lagers, ciders and wines including brews from the local area. The Hairy Dog takes a relaxed approach to seating, meaning you can feast in the Conservatory, Bar, garden, or front patio – wherever you’re most comfortable. The beach is only 300-metres away and a great place to walk off the big portions afterwards.


Wild Rocket, Bridgwater

Best for: A bit of everything

Delicious fluffy pancakes with berries at Wild Rocket in Bridgwater

Found in the centre of Bridgwater, there’s little that Wild Rocket doesn’t offer. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner they have an extensive and well carried out menu, making them a reliable go-to any time of day. Breakfasts consist of hearty fry-ups, fluffy pancakes or eggs however you like them. For lunch, choose from jacket potatoes, sandwiches or a wide range of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. By evening they define themselves as a European and tapas restaurant come cocktail bar, where you can treat yourself to anything from pasta to seabass to fillet steak. They even serve roasts on a Sunday, meaning they really have got all bases covered.

Where to stay: Lamb's Tale Shepherd's Hut | Set right beside the thousands of acres of Somerset's Quantock Hills, this pretty little shepherd’s hut comes complete with a hot tub and buckets of tranquillity.


The Clockspire, Sherborne

Best for: Romantic dining

Spread of delicious dishes at The Clockspire, Sherborne

If nipping across the border to Dorset for the day, the Clockspire is a must! This converted school building features breath-taking exposed-beam high-ceilings, adorned with dazzling chandeliers, and the light-filled space creates a warm, welcoming and romantic setting perfect for enjoying Head Chef Luke Sutton’s passion for ingredient-led cooking. Expect flavours inspired by the Provence region in the south of France, put together using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. The prices are higher than the rest of the restaurants on this list, but the food is fantastic and the service is first class.

Stay at one of our gorgeous getaways in Somerset to enjoy the best of this varied region, whilst sampling some of these culinary delights for yourself. 

Dusk falls over shepherd's hut in Somerset with an outdoor bathtub


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