Local guides

Where to Eat on Anglesey: lively bistros and some of the best seafood in the UK
Published 06 June 2022

Credit: Dylan's

In the northwest of Wales, the island of Anglesey sits proud on the edge of the Irish Sea, peppered by ancient castles, fine pubs and famous oysters. Once known as the ‘Bread basket of Wales’, cross the Menai Bridge to discover some of the best seafood in the UK, best enjoyed in any number of lively bistros. Oliver Smith went to visit.

Anglesey – or Ynys Môn as it is known in Welsh – was historically known as the ‘Mother of Wales’ because its fertile fields fed much of the mainland. In more recent times it’s earned a renewed reputation for its food scene, with chefs seizing on both the bounty of the surrounding seas and the fruit of the island’s rolling countryside.

The jewel among all Anglesey restaurants can be found moments after crossing the bridge from the mainland. Sosban and The Old Butchers is set in a former butcher’s shop in Menai Bridge: it has 16 covers and a waiting list stacked many months in advance. There’s no written menu – just a succession of innovative, seasonal dishes from a pint-sized kitchen – think confit lamb’s tail with lettuce puree, or cod sous vide with brown Anglesey crabmeat and asparagus.

Credit: Dylan's

More broadly, Menai Bridge has a claim to be the island’s gastronomic HQ – just along the road from Sosban you’ll find Freckled Angel – a little restaurant that goes big on small plates: twice baked Perl Las souffle with balsamic grapes being a firm favourite. And closer to the shoreline, you’ll find Dylan’s – a likeable boathouse-like bistro with a crowd-pleasing menu that canters through moules, bao buns and pizzas. The sweeping views of Snowdonia through the floor to ceiling windows are as much of a draw as the food.

Anglesey reaches its easternmost point near Beaumaris – perhaps the most boho town on the island, with pastel-hued streets radiating out from a stout mediaeval castle. Preeminent in its field since the 15th century, The Bull is an old inn dividing between a restaurant ‘Coach’ and an ancient bar with pistols and daggers mounted on the wall. A more contemporary contender on Castle Street is the Midland Tapas Bar – matching Welsh produce with Iberian technique. Anglesey does not suffer for pubs for a sunset pint beside the sea – north of Beaumaris is Red Wharf Bay where you’ll find the characterful Ship Inn, plus a spirited cafe in the form of The Boathouse, which serves a mean chowder.

Goat's cheese croquettes. Credit: Catch 22

The western side of the island arguably has the better beaches – windsurfers and sandcastle-builders gravitate to Rhosneigr, where concealed among the dunes you’ll find The Oystercatcher – an expansive restaurant where customers dine in little beach huts on the terrace. Not so far away in Valley, Catch 22 is a brasserie that majors in seafood and Singapore style curries.

Anglesey’s single biggest name in food is Halen Môn the nationally-renowned sea salt producer poised near the southern tip of the island in Brynsiencyn. In addition to factory tours and an excellent on-site shop (selling among other things, salted caramel and maritime-themed gins) there’s a small cafe: Tide/Llanw. Expect gourmet Welsh rarebit, salads and homemade cakes – when rain blows in from the Irish Sea, diners shelter in a giant teepee pitched beside the lapping tides of the Menai Strait.

Credit: Tide