What could be better than sitting alongside crystal blue water and eating fish that was caught early that morning while you sip on a glass of Chardonnay and laugh quietly with your travel partner?
It’s the dream of most travelers to get in at least a few of these moments that include breathtaking views of a nearby sea.
Europe offers plenty of options when it comes to eating lunch sea-side while taking a respite from a long day of sightseeing or maybe signalling an outstretched afternoon of lazy wave watching.
Here are 6 European locales to grab a fantastic lunch on the water with a great atmosphere to boot:
1) Da Giola, Capri, Italy
Looking to eat some of the freshest seafood available while sitting right on the water? Then Da Giola is your place if you find yourself in Capri, Italy.
This family-run establishment located in the Marina Piccola gives incredible views of the Faraglioni rocks while you enjoy fisherman’s risotto and spaghetti with seafood.
Prices start around 15 Euros, and the restaurant is open for lunch every day during the summer. Check with the establishment for winter hours.
2) Lokanda Peskarija, Dubrovnik, Croatia
If you’re in the mood to try an octopus salad, then Lokanda Peskarija should be on your itinerary. If you aren’t into octopus salad, don’t worry. This seafood restaurant that overlooks the old harbor in Dubrovnik also offers more traditional fare such as fish risotto.
This reasonably-priced restaurant tends to be cheaper than other establishments near the water and offers large portions of the freshest seafood that it’s famous for.
You also get to leave the pretentious atmosphere at the door, since simplicity reigns supreme at this eatery.
The seafood and bread are unbelievably fresh at this Croatian delight.
Want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life while enjoying excellent food on the beach? Then head out to Waves on the Rock, about a 45-minute drive from Chania, Greece.
Children can play on the sand and rocks as you wait for your lunch. Seafood and local vegetables will highlight your dining experience.
You know the food is going to be excellent since the restaurant is run by a local fisherman and his wife, and you can even extend your stay as they offer several studios for rent above the restaurant.
If you are feeling particularly adventurous, be sure to order the octopus after they’ve finished line-drying.
4) Azenhas do Mar, Sintra, Portugal
If you are looking for a nice, quiet place on the edge of Sintra, Portugal, with seafood done the Portuguese way, Azenhas do Mar is a great restaurant choice.
Don’t forget the magnificent views of the ocean, as this restaurant sits on a cliff and provides superior views of the water below. It is open for lunch every day at 12 p.m.
With quality service and tasty food options such as fresh oysters and coriander rice with lobster—and if you are feeling really adventurous, try the barnacle appetizer—Azenhas do Mar is worth the somewhat steep cost, and climb up to the restaurant.
5) El Tintero, Malaga, Spain
A must-do restaurant in Malaga, Spain, El Tintero sells its food marketplace style.
Waiters walk around the room with plates of food on their arms, and you indicate which one you want, as well as what size, and voila, you are eating lobster, lamb, kebab, ribs, fries, and/or mixed salad.
A reasonably-priced restaurant at about 7 Euros a dish, be ready for the boisterousness of the food “auction.” In other words, don’t go there for a nice quiet, romantic lunch.
However, if you want excellent food with the excitement of fast orders and a great view of El Palo beach, El Tintero is a must experience. It’s great for group lunches.
A great restaurant for groups, you order your food from the waiter as he walks by carrying fresh seafood dishes on his arm. Photo by Rufus Gefangenen.
6) Silver Darling, Aberdeen, Scotland
Though Scotland may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about dining on the sea—and yes, it is certainly going to be a bit cooler than seaside dining in Italy or Spain—there are certain restaurants that are worth the effort and the Silver Darling is one of them.
With Scottish seafood prepared by a French chef, Silver Darling offers views of the Aberdeen harbor to go along with the excellent scallops, mackerel, spring vegetables or a mixed seafood dish in bouillabaisse. Don’t forget cheesecake with coffee for dessert.
The service is impeccable, but be sure to bring plenty of cash or a credit card, as the fabulous views and food come at a price, starting at about 10 Euros for lunch entrees.
Scottish food served by a French chef marks this fine-dining establishment at Aberdeen harbor. Photo by duncan.
Where in Europe have you lunched by the sea? Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this, you might also like: Photo Story: Sailing the Med.
Main photo by txmx 2.