A local’s guide to the thrills and spills of East Anglia’s most popular seaside resort
The people of Great Yarmouth live on chips. Unofficial statistics predict that over
85% of the local diet consists of this highly-prized local delicacy, with the other
15% made up off the thick mounds of cheese and mayonnaise they dollop on top. Because
that’s exactly what a deep-fried potato needs - a couple of extra layers of fat!
The local market place is famous for its numerous chip stalls - and the size of the
killer seagulls that hover around the area is a testament to what the Yarmouth chip
diet is capable of. Because these once very slim and sweet, natured birdies have
been fed and fattened into feathered thugs who will think nothing of swooping down
and snatching a whole battered sausage straight out of your hand - and will then
happily wolf it all down in one go, before nipping off for a donut and a knickerbocker
glory on the seafront.
So, forget the diet during your holiday here, because you really must eat some chips
on the market. Not least because adding a few extra pounds to your body mass will
give you some chance of fighting back against the killer seagulls. Yes, you really
do need to bulk up in order to deal with our feathered friends, so that means chips,
battered sausages, deep-fried haddock, candy floss, donuts and a nice 99. But do
keep an eye on the skies if eating outside - and please, under no circumstances,
feed the seagulls. If they get any bigger, they’ll be taking over Norfolk. In fact,
one’s already standing for the council this year.
But seriously, folks, it’s not all chips here in Great Yarmouth. Well, yeah, it is
- but there are a few other options, including a few hidden gem restaurants that
are not to be missed.
This popular seafront Indian restaurant serves a wide selection of classic Indian
dishes in a bright, modern environment. So, don’t be put off by the faded signage,
as the food at its best is a proper treat. There’s an extensive menu of curry house
favourites, but I’d recommend heading for the House Special dishes, particularly
the naga if you can handle the heat, or Tiger by the Sea if you’re a fan of prawns
cooked in the shell. Service is very friendly and takeaways are available, too, so
whether dining in or dining at home, you should be in for a pleasant meal. Booking
is advised at the weekends - just call them on 01493 330777 - and Wednesday nights
getting busy in summer, as it’s a great place to watch the fireworks from.
TOP TIP: Thursday night is Banquet Night, which means you get a starter, main, vegetable
side dish and rice or a nan for just £9.95.
Ignore the dodgy name, which references one of Lord Nelson’s vessels - and head inside
this friendly and welcoming restaurant for what might well be the nicest plate of
fish and chips in Great Yarmouth. Served on a plate, rather than a plastic carton
or wrapped in yesterday’s Daily Star, the fresh cod and haddock here has a delicious
light batter and comes with a generous portion of chips and home-made mushy peas.
Steaks, burgers and hot dogs will keep the meat-lovers in your party happy, while
those watching their figures can opt for a tuna steak, a piece of grilled salmon
or even a fresh summer salad. It’s fully licensed, too, and offers a selection of
wines, beers and spirits.
TOP TIP: Grab an outside table in the summer months and stuff your face in full view
of the sea.
The Portuguese have brought lots of great things to Yarmouth in recent years and
have been a welcome addition to the local community - and this charming, little restaurant,
tucked away in a side road off Marine Parade, is a great way to try out some classic
Portuguese cuisine, as well as the best homemade pizzas for miles around. The chef
honed his pizza-making skills during a stint in a London branch of Pizza Express
- and his thin, supple bases are lovingly topped with carefully selected toppings.
The hot and spicy Etina, for example, combines delicious Nduja sausage with Roquito
peppers and salty speck, and each option on the pizza menu has the same exciting
mix of flavours and intriguing combinations.
And the Portuguese dishes are every bit as good as the pizzas, as witnessed by the
large number of Portuguese diners all eager for a taste of something that reminds
them of home. The sharing dish, Beef Picanha, is a particular favourite - and it
goes well with a litre of the house red wine! Service is friendly and the place has
a low-key Mediterranean feel. It’s like stepping out of Yarmouth for an hour or two
- and boy, am I always grateful for that!
Located on King Street, this popular burger joint has been packing in the locals
for over thirty years. And with it’s Americana decorations, funky, little bar and
family-friendly restaurant, it’s a great place to pig out on burgers, hot dogs, steaks
and piles of freshly cooked fries. The portions are on the enormous size - even the
seagulls are struggling to clean their plates - but the quality of the burgers and
the moreishness of the fries means you’ll keep on going long after you’re full. And
it’s a shame, in a way, because the desserts here are really quite delicious, too
- but it’s so rare to have room for one after all those thin, crisp luscious fries
and that big, fat greasy burger and bun.
With very-friendly service and a genuine buzz on a busy night, this is how all local
burger restaurants should be!
Overlooking St. George’s Park, this Portuguese family restaurant is all about its
awesome charcoal grill. You can sit and watch your meat being cooked, whether chicken,
steak, pork belly or the incredibly succulent liver, but it’s when you taste that
very first bite of the meat, which will have taken up all the flavour and smokiness
of the charcoal, that you’ll realise what grill cooking is all about. It gives a
depth of flavour that you just can’t beat. What’s more, the meat stays lovely and
moist - and served with a side salad, chips and rice, you’ve got a wholesome, hearty
and delicious-tasting meal.
The ambience in the restaurant is lovely, too, and there’s a well-stocked bar, a
wide range of desserts and outside seating when the weather allows.
Great Yarmouth’s first ever Indian restaurant is located in King Street - just a
short walk from the market area - and has been serving up good quality bhunas, danzaks
and chicken tikka massalas to the locals for over 40 years. The bright, spacious
interior can cater for large parties; and while the food maybe lacks its own signature
style, it’s a reliable choice for one of those nights when only something hot and
spicy will do.
TOP TIP: Ignore the freezer packed with bought-in ice creams and pick one of the
homemade Portuguese deserts from the fridge, such as the sickly but moreish Serradurra
- think crushed up biscuits with thick whipped cream - or the almost too-rich rich
caramel-flavoured Baba de Camelo. Or how about a slice of the classic Portuguese
chocolate cake, Brigadiero, perhaps with a splash of cream on top.
Reliable takeaway, with some indoor seating, situated near the Prince Regent pub
on Regent Road. Pizzas are good quality, with some excellent toppings, and kebabs
are always fresh and tasty, as is the fried chicken. Quick free delivery in the local
area, including to the local holiday camps. My current favourite of Yarmouth’s many
If you’ve got a red-hot date, a birthday to celebrate, or maybe you’re thinking of
popping the question, then where better than Great Yarmouth’s nearest equivalent
to a Michelin Star restaurant, Greggs? The locals flock there like seagulls - as,
indeed, do the seagulls - to dine on wholesome treats such as the pastry-based Steak
Bake, the pasty-based Chicken Bake and the mouthwateringly scrumptious pastry-based
cheese and bacon wrap.
A full a la carte menu is on offer, as well as a four-course tasting menu consisting
of a sausage roll for starter, another sausage roll for the fish course, a beef and
vegetable pasty for the meat course and two sausage rolls and a donut for dessert.
An extensive wine list does not exist, so I’d recommend a fizzy fruity Tango to cut
through the richness of the sausage rolls; and a classic Coca-Cola straight from
the can to bring out the meatiness of that Cornish Pasty. The 2018 vintage is drinking
very well right now.
Dress code is casual, with tattoos essential - and Greggs does not take bookings,
so there might well be a queue. Outside dining is available on the stylish terrace,
but do expect to fight a running battle with a some particularly brutal seagulls.
Cos once those buggers get a taste for something like a warm Greggs Steak Bake, they
will stop at absolutely nothing to get their dirty, filthy beaks on one.