Best restaurants in the New Forest

This national park is home to more than just free roaming horses and the occasional pig, it's also one of the south coast's biggest food destinations, and we've narrowed down the best restaurants in the New Forest – the perfect spots to wine, dine and take in the natural beauty of the area.

Updated on 24 March 2023

Whether it’s taking scenic walks along the coast of Lymington, reposeful horse riding through Lyndhurst’s marshland, or looking at some of the country’s oldest motors in Beaulieu, The New Forest is a perfect spot for getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This national park is often thought of as vast woodland and fields with free roaming ponies, but the tourist attraction, which gets over 13.5 million visitors a year, is also one of the South’s biggest food destinations. The best restaurants in the New Forest range from quaint pubs serving up traditional British grub, to fine dining haunts, and even a totally vegan restaurant. To help you decipher the wood from the trees (if you'll pardon the pun), we’ve narrowed them all down to our top 15 picks.

Made up of a variety of towns and cities, The New Forest offers everything from seaside villages when you’re looking to take in the salty sea air, to small countryside hamlets with a population count that can be done on one hand. Considered one of the UK's top spots for day trips, it also doubles up as an excellent place for staycations too, with boutique hotels, quaint B&Bs, and charming restaurants with rooms. Visitors are spoilt for choice for places to unwind after a day exploring the area.

If you’re looking for New Forest restaurants with a view, you can expect to find plenty of waterside spots serving up fresh, local seafood, and cottages turned restaurants overlooking the endless fields of the national park. Or perhaps you’re travelling out for a special occasion and looking to find a Michelin star restaurant in the New Forest? We’ve got a place for whatever the mood, and you can find the perfect one for you by checking out our list below, or look at our full list of all the restaurants in the New Forest.

The Jetty Christchurch

The Jetty Christchurch

Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 3NT

Sat on the water's edge in Christchurch, The Jetty focuses on showcasing the best seafood from the area. With its floor to ceiling windows and large terrace, you’re treated to an unrestricted view of the harbour, perfect for watching the sun set with a glass of wine.

£30 - £49
Fish
Le Blaireau at Careys Manor

Le Blaireau at Careys Manor

New Forest, Hampshire, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7RH

Bringing a slice of France to The New Forest, La Blaireau offers up traditional French classics in an exciting, and contemporary way. Think beef bourguignon with ox cheek and souffle with Roquefort and toasted walnuts. And of course, plenty of delicious wines.

£30 - £49
French
Verveine

Verveine

98 High Street, Milford on Sea, Hampshire, SO41 0QE

Fish is the star of the show at Verveine, with its own in-house fishmongers to showcase all of the best produce straight off the boats. The food here is creative, thoughtful, and served in a relaxed and informal setting.

£50 - £79
British
The Rose and Thistle

The Rose and Thistle

Rockbourne, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 3NL

This quaint thatched cottage is home of Rose and Thistle, a quintessentially British pub with wooden beams, carved benches and cosy log fires in the winter. Expect classics like New Forest venison pie, Welsh rarebit and seasonal crumble.

£30 - £49
Pubs
British
The Old Mill

The Old Mill

Silver Street, Hordle, Hampshire, SO41 6DJ

The Old Mill lends itself as the perfect spot for al fresco dining and drinking with this riverside location boasting a terrace large enough for 200 people. For food, think pub classics like beer battered south coast haddock, and pork chops with colcannon.

£30 - £49
British
Monkey Brewhouse

Monkey Brewhouse

167 Southampton Road, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 9HA

If you’re going to trust anywhere to pour your 5 o’clock pint, it’s a pub with a brewery on site. Monkey Brewhouse makes its own selection of beers that go perfectly with the food, like venison and smoked bacon pie, and west country beef burger.

£30 - £49
British
The Dining Room at Chewton Glen

The Dining Room at Chewton Glen

New Forest, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 6QS

Offering a tasting, a la carte and afternoon tea menu,The Dining Room at Chewton Glen brings everything from the classically English, to the more cosmopolitan options. As for the ingredients, they’ve travelled less than 100 yards from its own kitchen garden.

£50 - £79
British
The Terrace at The Montagu Arms Hotel

The Terrace at The Montagu Arms Hotel

Beaulieu, New Forest, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7ZL

The Terrace creates an ever-changing menu based on what’s available in the kitchen garden, and from local suppliers in the surrounding areas of The New Forest, Hampshire and Dorset. Each dish has been expertly curated and executed with finesse at this Michelin Star restaurant.

Over £80
Modern European
The Pig

The Pig

Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7QL

When the brains behind The Pig also founded Lime Wood, Hotel Du Vin and Soho House, you know you’re in for a treat. Committed to a 25 mile menu, produce here is found within the kitchen garden and surrounding area through foraging and a network of local suppliers. This lives up to its reputation as a superb countryside escape.

£50 - £79
British
The Haven

The Haven

Kings Saltern Road, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 3QD

Come in from a trip across The Solent, or simply arrive by car like the rest of us. Either way you’ll want to make your way to The Haven for fresh seafood, locally sourced booze, and breathtaking sea views.

£30 - £49
British
The Kitchen at Chewton Glen

The Kitchen at Chewton Glen

New Forest, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 6QS

Bringing a more laid back approach to dining at Chewton Glen, The Kitchen is run by TV Chef James Martin who’s curated a menu full of fan-favourites. Think moules mariniére, battered fish and chips, and spicy n’duja wood-fired pizza.

£50 - £79
International
The Elderflower Restaurant

The Elderflower Restaurant

4-5 Quay Street, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 3AS

Sat on the cobbled streets of Lymington, Elderflower Restaurant offers an ever-changing menu which varies in relation to the produce available on the day. Whilst the cosy and inviting interior could have you mistaken for thinking you’re at a friend's for dinner, the food will quickly remind you you’re in for something special. 

British
The Cartwheel Inn

The Cartwheel Inn

Whitsbury, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 3PZ

This charming countryside pub is renowned by locals and visitors alike for its first class menu, serving customer favourites such as steak, mushroom and ale pie, confit goose leg, and even vegan fish and chips.

£30 - £49
International
Hartnett Holder & Co

Hartnett Holder & Co

Lime Wood Hotel, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7FZ

Being a brainchild of Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder, you know you’re in good hands with the Italian inspired menu at Hartnett Holder & Co. This is a relaxed and stylish restaurant that’s been credited for putting Lyndhurst on the food map.

£50 - £79
British
Italian

If you’re looking to finish your day exploring the New Forest with something a little more lively, one of the biggest cities on the South Coast is only a short car or train journey away. Southampton sits just outside of the National Park and brings with it a buzzing nightlife and first-class food scene. With its impressive list of restaurants offering everything from waterside seafood spots to intimate Mediterranean eateries, there is an option for every mood and occasion. So check out our guide to the best restaurants in Southampton, and see what the city has to offer.

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