If you’re looking for places to eat in the Isle of Man, dig out all your clothes with elasticated waistbands because you’re in for a treat: there are loads of brilliant Isle of Man restaurants, cafés and so on. These are just some of my favourites – obviously I’ve not eaten everywhere on the island. Yet. I will happily accept a challenge…
I really enjoy visiting the Isle of Man and I also enjoy eating (far too much) so this is my personal guide to combining the two. I’ve listed my favourite restaurants in Douglas (the IoM capital), places to get vegan options, the best cafés for cake, my favourite chippy, and a few other places to eat that I’ve tried around the island and you might find handy on day trips. Like with most destinations, vegetarian/vegan food can be hard to find if you just wander, so if like us you very rarely eat meat, it’s worth doing a bit of planning ahead. Pescetarians will be fine though!
Oh and all this food needs washing down with some booze so I’ve sneaked a few bar and pub recommendations in at the end.
Anyway, on to the Isle of Man restaurants and my personal recommendations…
Isle of Man restaurants: places to eat in Douglas (and near it)
1. The Little Fish Cafe, Douglas
My absolute favourite place for our evening meals in the Isle of Man is The Little Fish Café on the North Quay. Manx queenies (a type of tiny-but-delicious scallop) are a big deal round these parts and you can get some amazing ones there. It’s also really pretty inside and one of those places that I’m confident recommending to my friends/family when they visit because everyone will love it. The food is exceptional and it always feels like a special night out without breaking the bank. I should also note that it’s the first place I ever got recognised in real life by a reader of the blog, which blew my mind. This obviously cemented it as my favourite restaurant of all time. Oh and I now charge for autographs.
2. Noa Bakehouse, Douglas
Noa Bakehouse is always on our list when we go to Douglas. It does the best pancakes with berries and these wonderful things called ‘squassants’ (squashed croissants, and I’ve probably spelled that wrong). Together, these make a brunch of dreams. Noa Bakehouse also serves almond/oat/soy/etc milk for your tea or coffee, which isn’t always a given so is good to know if you’re not a friend of lactose. As a bonus, it’s really beautiful and Scandi looking inside and always has a good atmosphere.
3. The Tea Junction, Douglas
If you’re into tea or cake or tea and cake together, you will probably enjoy this one. The Tea Junction has a tea-only menu for tea connoisseurs (I’m boring and always have your bog standard breakfast tea) and an amazing selection of cakes. It also does all the usual lunch things, homemade. Oh and they also do gin, so if you’re not driving then you will have some tough decisions to make between the two best drinks in the world. Possibly one of life’s biggest quandaries. Tea or gin?
4. Port Jack Chippy, Onchan
It’s actually illegal not to have a chippy tea when visiting the Isle of Man, or any seaside holiday destination for that matter. We usually get it on the first night and it’s usually from my favourite Port Jack Chippy. It’s actually in Onchan, but very close to Douglas. If we’re there with a car, it’s minutes away. If not, it’s a steep walk uphill that means you really earn your battered, salt-and-vinegar-soaked calories.
5. Just Pizza and Pasta, Douglas
Just Pizza and Pasta was a new one we tried on our last visit. I ended up having one of the best pizzas I’ve had outside Italy, which I was not expecting. We made our own veggie topping options but there were loads of pre-set options on the menu too. They do them in a wood-fired oven. I feel like Douglas needed somewhere like this – there are loads of Italians but this is a modern one with the feel of somewhere you’d find in a cool bit of a city. It wouldn’t be out of place in the Northern Quarter in Manchester or Bold Street in Liverpool, for example. Another nice thing was that I left a glowing TripAdvisor review (rare for me to do these days unless I hate somewhere!) mentioning that it would be great if there was a dairy-free cheese option for lactose intolerant people/vegans. The manager actually replied to say that they’d got that! So we can gorge on cheese next time without the risk.
6. 14 North, Douglas
I’m fond of 14 North because it was one of the first places we ever ate on the Isle of Man on our first trip there together. It does really nice local food, including small plate options if you want to go tapas-y. We didn’t go on our last short trip but if they still do the lemon posset, have it.
Isle of Man restaurants: some good places to eat around the rest of the island
7. Bride Tearooms, Bride
Bride is a tiny hamlet but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in tearoom. There’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d be typing. Bride Tearooms is one of our regular lunch/afternoon snack spots in the IoM. We usually bring the average age down drastically but as I’ve said in previous food-related blog posts, it’s a fact universally acknowledged that OAPs can sniff out the best quality scone a mile off, so this is a sign of quality. They do the usual lunch stuff and cakes, but be warned that they only take cash. I’m so used to using contactless cards that I’ve ended up scrabbling round for change in the past. But they also welcome doggies, so swings and roundabouts.
8. Niarbyl Café, Niarbyl
Niarbyl (‘the tail’ in Manx) is a craggy, rocky beach and one of my favourite places on the whole island, so we usually end up visiting every time (you can read more about it here and here). One of the highlights of Niarbyl is visiting the really good café overlooking the sea on the edge of a cliff. Obviously, the views are pretty bloody good. So’s the food. They do the freshest seafood, including a crabby salad that I always go for. It’s where we took both our sets of parents when we were all in the Isle of Man at the same time. Everyone (I think) was happy. Miracles do happen.
9. Ballacregga Corn Mill Tea Room, Laxey
After you’ve been to the top of the Laxey Wheel and walked along the beach, you can have a good lunch at the Ballacregga Corn Mill Tea Room. Even though it calls itself a tearoom, the food is substantial and not just sandwiches/cakes. It’s right by the Laxey Wheel so you can’t miss it. Look out for the amusing ‘weather forecasting stone’, too (I won’t spoil it for you by explaining).
10. The Shed, Laxey
Another Laxey number here. I really like Laxey even though it’s almost always raining when we go. Rain is acceptable because there’s a bunting-strewn, snug little café called The Shed on the promenade. So you can bundle up with a hot chocolate/soup/enough cake to feed a small army and have a good sit looking out to sea. They do vegan cake options too! I’m sure it’s even better in sunshine but there’s something to be said for enjoying a brooding sky and a rough sea without getting soaked.
11. The Boatyard, Peel
I really love the interior of The Boatyard Restaurant in Peel (and the food’s not bad either). I highly recommend their afternoon tea served in a cute little hamper (if you’re not too full of ice cream… see #14 of this list) or the queenie pancakes. It’s possible and even acceptable to eat queenies once per day on an IOM holiday.
12. Rosa’s Pantry, Ramsey
Rosa’s Pantry was a new one on me for our last visit. It was so good to see somewhere new catering for veggies/vegans as well as something new to try up in Ramsey, a town in the north. We’d not noticed any new eateries there on our last couple of visits so I’d thoroughly stalked this one online before we went. I had a lovely home-made quiche with an excellent mixture of side salads. No soggy bottom on the quiche and some amazing looking cakes. Rosa’s is definitely going to be a new regular.
13. Anthony’s Van, Peel
Another Peel one and this time not a restaurant, not a café, not a pub… but a van. And if you’re trying to eat as many queenies as possible during your visit, this is another place to tick off. It serves fresh Manx fish and seafood: queenies, kippers, lobster and herring. I’ve only ever had a little tray of queenies but it all looks excellent. A tray of queenies and an ice cream is an unusual but not unappealing lunch, right? That leads me nicely onto…
14. Davisons Ice Cream Parlour, Peel
If you’re walking down the beach in Peel, you’ll be needing an ice cream in hand. Handily, there’s the local ice cream parlour, Davisons right on the front. As mentioned in my other Isle of Man post, ice cream on the beach is The Law. And it’s best to obey said law, or the sand just swallows you up immediately for breaking it. Davisons has an excellent selection, but as I think I may have mentioned once or twice or 476 times on this blog, I’m a Mr Whippy devotee… and luckily they have a whippy option. Davisons also does vegan ice cream and goat milk ice cream.
15. Milntown House and Gardens, Ramsey
Just outside the centre of Ramsey (it’s a grim trek if it’s wet and windy, as we discovered) you’ll find the lovely Milntown House and Gardens. When you’ve wandered the gardens, you can hit the tearoom for a nice homemade lunch or afternoon tea.
16. The Café at The Sound, The Sound
The imaginatively named Sound Cafe at The Sound (another gorgeous area you can read about here) is right next to the coast. The café is designed so that most tables have a panoramic view. I think we’ve been on pretty much every trip we’ve ever done to the Sound because it’s such a good location and we always end up there around lunchtime. The food is really good, especially the salads and cakes. But it gets busy and can be slow, so if you’re doing your trip via public transport make sure you allocate plenty of time for your lunch… and don’t miss your bus which would subsequently mean you’d miss your other bus to the airport and then eventually miss your flight. This very nearly happened to us last time and we had to full-on leg it for the bus… I am still recovering.
My favourite places for a drink to wash all this food down
I don’t tend to do much drinking in the Isle of Man – we’re usually up early by my standards and trying to cram loads in so end up having fairly early nights. God, I am so old. So this means that this is rather a short list of regulars…
17. Bath & Bottle, Douglas
For a drink in the evening in Douglas, I really like Bath & Bottle. They do craft beers, including local ones from breweries on the island, and amazing cocktails. You’re probably not going to be out in Douglas for a massive full-on night out (although I’m sure it’s possible) but if you’re after somewhere buzzing with life at the weekend, Bath & Bottle is a really good shout. Last time we visited, I didn’t feel out of place in heels and a jumpsuit. Not something that happens very often on a beach/countryside holiday but any excuse to crack a jumpsuit out…
18. Two Fellas Micropub, Peel
I can’t believe I missed Two Fellas off my list of 60 things to do in the Isle of Man the other week. You can’t miss this new micropub in Peel. It’s a simple no-frills setup, with a brilliant range of craft beer (the proper hoppy kind). We both bloody loved it and the man serving was so nice. He gave me a free sour beer so that’s it, he has a fan for life.
19. The Shore, Laxey
Not only is there a beautiful dog sometimes in this pub, but the Shore pub is somewhere you can get a reliably good pint of local Bosun’s Bitter. Ideal if you’ve been on the beach at Laxey and it’s just started raining and you need some
shelter beer. It’s nothing fancy but is a real locals’ place. Did I mention the lovely resident dog? All holidays are made 100 x better by meeting doggies.
20. Seven Kingdoms, Douglas
The Seven Kingdoms Distillery (named after the seven kingdoms you can see from Snaefell) is a bar and restaurant on the lovely North Quay in Douglas. They do their own excellent rhubarb gin, as well as loads of other flavours (but rhubarb is the best, obvs). I always enjoy a local gin or three wherever we go and I was dead impressed with theirs.
Tell me your favourite Isle of Man restaurants and places to eat
This is just a small selection of the places to eat in the Isle of Man. But I’ve got my eye on a few new ones to try next time:
- The Bay Hotel, Port Erin – this has been taken over by the team that runs The Little Fish Café, so is bound to be a good shout.
- Harbour Lights, Peel – a few of my regular readers raved about this when I posted my blog post on things to do in the Isle of Man, so now I feel obliged to try it.
- Patchwork Café, Port St Mary – apparently this is THE place for a vegan brunch on a Sunday according to several messages I’ve had! It’s duly on the list for next time.
Let me know in the comments where else I need to eat at on my next visit, so that I can hold you personally responsible for my skinny jeans not fitting.
Save and share: My favourite Isle of Man restaurants and places to eat
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You might also like my other Isle of Man posts:
- 60 things to do in the Isle of Man
- a quick Isle of Man travel guide
- 3 days in the Isle of Man by public transport.
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