Best restaurants in Portsmouth

More than just a historical seaside city, Portsmouth is also home to a superb range of restaurants from waterside cafés to effortlessly cool pizzerias. The combination of local fare, captivating sea views, and modestly priced menus are all part of what has helped this spot work its way up the ranks as a foodie destination. So we've compiled a list of what we consider the best options in the area, for you to see for yourself.

Updated on 06 February 2024

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.

Outside In Food Court

Outside In Food Court

56 Middle Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 4BN

Offering a chance to sample some of Portsmouth’s best street food, Outside In Food Court has compiled all of the city’s favourites under one roof. With communal seating and a healthy number of fairy lights, this serves as a great spot to catch up with friends and work through the varying cuisines. 

Under £30
International
Southsea Beach Café

Southsea Beach Café

Eastney Esplanade, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 0SP

The aptly named Southsea Beach Cafe sits on the beach just along from South Parade Pier, and offers a laid back spot for breakfast and lunch with a view. Serving simple, but well thought out dishes that are freshly prepared and change with the seasons, expect the likes of cajun fried sea bass, crab donuts, and kimchi fried rice.

Under £30
British
Sakura Portsmouth

Sakura Portsmouth

9 Albert Road, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 2SE

Ideally-located on Albert Road, Sakura knocks out superb sushi in a room that looks like it’s stepped straight out of 1960’s Tokyo. Impossible to narrow it down to one dish, we’d recommend getting a variety of sushi, ramen and smaller plates like teriyaki.

£30 - £49
Sushi
Japanese
Southsea Deli

Southsea Deli

96 Elm Grove, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 1LN

The brainchild of a Jamie Oliver protege, Southsea Deli strives to bring an ethical alternative to larger supermarkets, whilst still offering an impressive range of dishes for those wanting to dine in. Pop by for lunch, stock up the wine rack or simply grab a sausage roll to go. Whatever you do just don't miss a trip to this spot.  

Under £30
British
Italian
Meat and Barrel

Meat and Barrel

110-114 Palmerston Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO53PT

Pitching itself as one of the top contenders in Portsmouth’s burger scene, Meat and Barrel certainly knows its way around a patty. Expect everything from a bacon double and cheese to peanut butter and jelly, and plenty of craft beers to wash your choice down with.

Under £30
Burgers
Umami Street Food

Umami Street Food

167 Elm Grove, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 1LU

Between locals, Umami is a thing of legend. Promising what it says on the tin, Umami offers a sensory overload for your taste buds, through grilled chicken, sharing plates and smashed burgers. Want our advice? Don’t miss the Lebanese chicken bubble wrap.

Under £30
International
Desi

Desi

173 Elm Grove, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 1LU

Paying homage to traditional Indian flavours and cooking techniques, Desi offers a place to eat authentic cuisine in a stylish setting. Try the kathi wrap or one of the home style curries before finishing off with a Desi shake.

£30 - £49
Indian
Arepa2Go

Arepa2Go

60B Victoria Road South, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 2BT

Arepa2Go is a master of its craft, having started as a food stall at Southsea Markets, to now opening its first bricks and mortar site. We couldn’t be happier to see it championing Venezuelan street food, and we’d recommend any of the generously filled arepas.

Under £30
South American
Fisherman

Fisherman's Kitchen

4 Clarendon Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 2EE

What’s a trip to the seaside without a dinner from the chippy? Revered by locals as the best fish and chips in the area, this eatery goes beyond pale battered cod and soggy chips. Alongside fresh, traditional fare, you can expect options like coconut shrimp, soft shell crab burgers, and loaded fries with crab and lobster mayo. 

Under £30
Fish and Chips
Viet Quan Cafe

Viet Quan Cafe

1 Landport Terrace, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2RG

This fantastic independent, family-run Vietnamese restaurant sits right on the edge of Ravelin Park. If you're on the hunt for good, wholesome Vietnamese home cooking, Viet Quan Cafe delivers with warm, friendly service to match. 

Under £30
Vietnamese
The Briny

The Briny

Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 3PG

The Briny came as a welcomed addition to Southsea’s beachfront, which had long been pining for a fine dining restaurant with a view. Boasting a terrace overlooking the beach, and a chic beach hut vibe interior, The Briny is one of Portsmouth's top restaurants. Stop by for oysters from the seafood bar or dine on a catch of the day whilst watching the sun set over the harbour. 

£30 - £49
British
Nicholson

Nicholson's Tapas

245-247 Albert Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 0JR

Nicholson's is the buzzing, friendly tapas bar that everyone wants in their neighbourhood, serving excellent authentic tapas plates as well as a handful of sherries and some solid cocktails. 

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
The Canteen

The Canteen

Point Battery & Barracks, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2FS

Hidden in the barracks of the iconic hot walls of Portsmouth's historic waterfront, The Canteen offers unrivalled views of the sea, with a menu that finds the perfect balance between creative and comforting food. Think Guinness Welsh rarebit and nduja meatball pasta bake for a faultless lunch with service to match.

Under £30
British
Abarbistro

Abarbistro

58 White Hart Road, Southsea, Hampshire, PO1 2JA

Forging a strong reputation in Portsmouth over the decades, Abarbistro was the first venture of The Coastal Kitchen Family, a group which also owns The Canteen, The Briny and Camber Wines; the latter of which is located just upstairs. Now a renowned gastropub in the city, it offers classic pub fare with a large garden to the rear and a smaller outside seating area at the front by Camber Quay. 

Under £30
Modern European
Huis

Huis

62 Elm Grove, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 1JG

Known firstly for its impressive selection of Belgian beers, Huis also offers a superb Flemish-inspired menu to match. Occupying a little corner space, this is a small restaurant with a big reputation, and we’d recommend tucking into anything from the Belgian onion soup to the moules marinière.

Under £30
Belgian
Becketts Southsea

Becketts Southsea

11 Bellevue Terrace, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 3AT

Boasting a head chef who cut his teeth at three Michelin starred Noma, Becketts treads a fine line between tradition and contemporary style. Made from combining a couple of Grade II listed townhouses, this boutique venue showcases cuisines from across the globe with an air of finesse.

£30 - £49
Mediterranean
Vegetarian
British
Circolo

Circolo

78 Osborne Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 3LU

Circolo is an effortlessly cool Italian that cares about authenticity, known largely for its pizzas but also offering plenty of Italian comfort classics. Standouts include the arancini and Circolo signature pizza with goats cheese, pancetta and caramelised onions.

Under £30
Italian
Sant Yago

Sant Yago

12 Clarendon Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 2EE

Consisting of a pared-back restaurant upstairs and a basement bar below, Sant Yagos has you covered for dinner and late night drinks, all under one roof. Serving up impressive tapas in a romantic setting makes this one of Southsea’s date night hotspots.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Pie & Vinyl

Pie & Vinyl

61 Castle Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 3AY

The clue is in the name at this central Southsea spot. Combining two much loved classics, Pie & Vinyl is a quirky addition to the city, where you can fill up your belly and record collection all under one roof. Don’t own a turntable? Don’t worry, we’d recommend going for the steak and stilton pie alone.

Under £30
British

Just a short trip on the hovercraft or Wightlink ferry could transport you from Portsmouth to the idyllic Isle of Wight in less than 20 minutes. So much more than just immaculate beaches and a music festival hotspot, this little island hosts an enviable restaurant scene to sink your teeth into. Boasting an impressive number of seafood spots, as well as charming gastropubs and even a garlic farm cafe, this is definitely a destination worth knowing about when it comes to enjoying great British produce. So get staycation ready and check out our best restaurants on the Isle of Wight.

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