Blessed with a stunning clifftop abbey, several sandy beaches and a through-running river, Whitby has to be one of the most picture-perfect seaside towns around. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists make the jaunt to this charming location on the north east coastline to sample its rich history, scores of higgledy-piggledy boutiques and, increasingly, its excellent food and drink options.
Whitby is still very much an active port and most of its food culture centres upon the fruits of the North Sea, with Whitby crab, lobster, scampi and mussels – vaunted as delicacies around the UK – taking centre stage. Eateries serving fish and chips are equally ubiquitous – and though there are some standout places listed below, the overall standard is high enough to ensure visitors will get a good fix wherever they go.
Elsewhere, the emphasis is on independent cafes and bakeries (chains are largely kept out by a by-law) that revel in Whitby’s gothic literary heritage. Look out for myriad references to Dracula on menus (Bram Stoker wrote the book in Whitby with part of it set in the town). Pubs tend to be of the ‘old school’ variety with some more contemporary wine bars and cocktail spots springing up in recent years.