More commonly known as one of the UK’s three naval bases, home of Fratton Park, or a pass-through before getting the ferry to France, Portsmouth can often be overshadowed by neighbouring seaside towns when it comes to restaurants. However, recent years have seen a change of pace for the city as it has gone from strength to strength, welcoming new openings from familiar faces and first-time ventures from fresh local talent, creating a creative clutch of the best restaurants in Portsmouth.
With seaside-inspired restaurants popping up across the city, there’s a huge variety of great places to eat in Portsmouth, but we’d definitely recommend starting near the beach to make the most of the surroundings. What was once a run-down stretch of seafront, with little more than an ice cream stall to warn off the hunger pangs, is now home to an impressive list of cafes and restaurants offering local, seasonal fare. Of course, being so close to the source, there’s a strong focus on seafood that is caught from just outside the harbour, as well as a great number of other cuisines offering everything from pizza to pie and mash.
In our list you’ll find a huge variety of places to eat out in Portsmouth, whether it's beer battered fish and chips in Portsmouth Harbour, date night hotspots for cocktails in some of the best restaurants in Portsmouth city centre, and small plates, or seafood led bistros scattered in between. Not forgetting where to dine in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth's designer outlet shopping centre that offers a place to re-energise after checking out the latest deals. And don’t worry, if you're after somewhere a little more special-occasion worthy, we’ve also included the best spots for fine dining in Portsmouth. Whatever your mood, this buzzing city by the sea is home to an admirable selection of independent establishments, so check out our top picks, or feel free to explore the full list of restaurants in Portsmouth.