10 of the best restaurants in the New Forest [2023]

Looking for the best restaurants in the New Forest?

The New Forest has a reputation for being one of the best places to explore the outdoors here in the UK, with boundless opportunities for activities such as hiking, forestry adventures, kayaking as well as exploring its rich history and culture.

But what day spent outdoors would be complete without a delicious meal at the end of it? In today’s post I’ve compiled a list of the 13 best places to eat out in the New Forest! From traditional pubs to restaurants and fine dining- these are sure to keep you going for a fabulous New Forest break!

One of the New Forest’s signature dishes is wild venison which has been caught and eaten here since the days of William the Conquer back in 1066.

However, don’t worry if meat isn’t your style as the New Forest is also a well known foraging hotspot for wild fungi and mushrooms, with over 1,600 varieties growing here! Not all are edible though so best to leave fungi picking to the experts and enjoy a dish in one of the restaurants instead!

So let’s do this, here are the best restaurants in the New Forest.

Copyright The Elderflower

1. The White Buck, Burley

Best for traditional Pub experience

To experience an amazing traditional pub your best bet is The White Buck in Burley serving up a range of traditional pub lunches and excellent beer selection it is the perfect spot for a Sunday lunch! If you want to take your experience even further this pub also has a range of accommodation available for weary travellers alike.


2. The Elderflower, Lymington

Best for Fine dining

For a unique fine dining experience look no further than The Elderflower in Lymington. This restaurant -which has been commended numerous times as a star location in Hampshire- offers up a unique menu of quality food. They use a lot of locally sourced ingredients and have a range of tasting menus available, making it a great location for a special occasion or date night experience!


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Best restaurants in the New Forest [continued]

Copyright Hockey’s Farm

3. Hockey’s Farm

Best for a quick cake stop

After an early start exploring the New Forest Hockey’s farm offers the perfect place for a mid-morning snack and quick shop! This award winning farm shop and café offers a wide selection of homemade cakes and breakfast options perfect after a walk (or lie-in) depending on who your with!


4. The Royal Oak, Fritham

Best for traditional Pub experience

The perfect spot for a traditional pub lunch and ale is the Royal Oak in Fritham. This cosy pub is perfect for a spot of lunch after a walk. They offer a range of real ales as well as excellent menu options, its perfect for a hearty lunch with the family (dog included!).


5. Offbeet, Hinton

Best for Plant Based dining

For the plant based lovers out there Offbeet is one not to be missed! This plant based restaurant offers a range of top quality fine dining options, and if you still want more after your meal or want to know the secret to their gorgeous desserts, be sure to check out their Plant based cookery school for fun classes and experiences!


6. Verveine, Milford on Sea

Best for seafood

If you are a lover of seafood than Verveine restaurant located in Milford on Sea is a must visit spot! This award winning specialist seafood restaurant has its own in-house fish mongers and with a variety of dishes to choose from you are sure to enjoy your meal!

Copyright: Chewton Glen


Best restaurants in the New Forest [continued]

7. The Kitchen Chewton Glen, New Milton

Best for Lunch and Afternoon tea

Not actually a stand along restaurant but a 5* hotel and spa Chewton Glen the Kitchen and their afternoon tea options are so lovely that even if you aren’t staying at the hotel this place is still worth a visit. Most well-known for the TV Saturday Kitchen, The Kitchen at Chewton Glen is host to chef James Martin with a range of high quality main meals and desserts to choose from.


8. Fleur de Lys, Pilley

Best for a cosy lunch and dinner

Also known as the Grand Old Lady of the Forest the Fleur De Lys has been serving food since 1498 making it the New Forest’s oldest pub! This beautiful spot is nestled in a traditional thatched building with a quaint interior perfect for a cosy lunch or dinner. They offer quite a range of options from Beef wellington to mushroom and wild garlic risotto there is something to keep everyone happy!


9. The Red Shoot Inn, Linwood

Best for real ales

The Red Shoot Inn is a fabulous pub with a friendly atmosphere and home cooked meals such as beer battered fish and chips. This inn is also great because they have their own brewery producing four different types of real ale, making it a great place to stop for a drink on your way through!

Copyright David Martin


Best restaurants in the New Forest [continued]

10. Bikes and Brews

Best for a morning coffee and pastry

Bikes and Brews is a great spot for a morning coffee and pastry before you head out on your days adventure. This little spot uses local bakers and producers to source a delicious range of sweet treats and pastries catering for all diets including plant based and gluten free. As the name suggests theses guys also offer a range of bike hire options so once you’ve finished your brew you can head into the local forests for a cycle!


Have you been to any of these restaurants in the New Forest?


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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

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Sophie X

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