We stayed in Lowestoft for a few days break over the summer, and really enjoyed the time we spent there and in the surrounding area. Admittedly we did only stay around the beach areas, not going into the shopping part of the town, so our view of the restaurant offer maybe limited. I wanted to share our thoughts on the takeaway and restaurants in Lowestoft we did eat in and enjoy.
Unless you want takeaways, there isn’t that much choice of restaurants in the town around the beach and harbour area. There are pubs further out, and other restaurants, but you’d probably need to drive there rather than walk.
The first evening we ate in the restaurant/bar area of the Hatfield Hotel. The food wasn’t great, so I’d not recommend it. Although maybe their non burger options are better.
Trying to find other places was quite hard. Most seemed to be bar food, or they opened for lunch, then had a gap before maybe opening later in the evening. Several places we tried at 5ish had just stopped serving and there was too long a wait. Or they didn’t open Mondays and Tuesdays which were the days we wanted to eat. Maybe restaurants in Lowestoft don’t have websites, or aren’t online. It was hard to find details or what places looked like alongside reviews.
Our choice of restaurants in Lowestoft
East Point Pavilion
One place that we lucked out on was the East Point Pavilion. We needed to eat early to be out in time for the circus, and had come across the pavilion while exploring the esplanade. It’s a beautiful glass building, built in a Victoriana style a few years ago. If you’re after informal dining, street food and bar, plus events they hold there, it’s a great place to eat at any time during the day.
It’s such a photographic, light, airy place, with lots of colour. If I lived in the town I’d want to be there all the time! And there’s great sea views.
The choice of food covers most people’s preferences. N went straight for the pizzas which come in 2 sizes, choosing pepperoni and salami. I couldn’t resist mexican from Tres Hermanas, where you could customise which dish and toppings. I decided on burritos with chipotle chicken. At each stand you order, pay and are given a buzzer so you know when your order’s ready to collect. We got drinks from the bar, then sat down – it’s all long benches, but we had one to ourselves as it was quiet at the time of day we were there.
We didn’t have to wait long. N’s pizza looked and smelt great. He really enjoyed it, although he did take half back to the hotel to eat later. The small size would have been too small for him, so there wasn’t much chance he’d eat all of an adult standard size in one sitting.
My burrito was delicious. Stuffed full with all the sauce I’d wanted, it had a little kick but not too much. I was quite jealous seeing someone’s burrito bowl order coming out though – that looked delicious too.
Other street food available at the pavilion includes asian style burgers, middle eastern dishes(although that wasn’t open when we went), a deli with savoury and sweet smaller bites (which is a kiosk outside).
All they needed was a dessert stall, but then there were plenty of those options further up the sea front.
East Point Pavilion also has wifi, plenty of space to work in, a community board, and plenty of public toilets and changing facilities.
The receptionist had mentioned Iconic when I asked about street maps and food recommendations, so we decided to try there on our final night. The outside boards shouted out grills and looked a bit ‘cheap’ but the inside is all fancy bar and nightlife style.
They’re obviously popular (probably because there’s not many other similar options in town), but we were only the second group sitting down. I found it bizarre that they shoved us right in the back saying they were the only tables still available. Several had reserved on them, but there were several out front that didn’t, so I wondered if it was because they didn’t want to advertise that families were eating there. My theory was debunked later when 2 other families came in with kids younger than N and were seated nearer the front. We did get to check out the cool decor though. I could imagine it being a popular drinking place at the weekends.
While they did forget to bring the tap water I’d gone to the bar to ask them for, the food made up for it. N had a sirloin steak which he was pleased to see was cooked just right for what he’d asked for. It came with onion rings, mushrooms, tomatoes, skin on fries and mixed salad, although he didn’t want the mushrooms or tomatoes. The salad was the funniest we’ve ever seen – topped with orange, it included olives, a lot of radish and pineapple. Very odd. The price was really good value, compared with other places and what they were charging. He’s very fussy about his steak given we have it frequently from our own farm, but it was a thumbs up (and a good size for him).
I decided on the chicken tikka masala, which came with rice, naan and poppadom. It was really tasty, just enough rice, and plenty of chicken. N tried a bit of the sauce and thought it was tasty too – he does like curry, but we rarely have it at home because the OH won’t eat, so he’s only really had mild curries at school or world buffet places. I need to work him up to mediums (which is as hot as I can go anyway).
We thought Iconic food was really good, both the taste and quantity. There was also a special offer if you bought from the grill part of the menu, you had a free soft drink from a list. I ended up with the free drink as there wasn’t anything that N would have, he just had a different drink.
The only downside is that it’s probably not the easiest seating for small children, unless you can get an outside seat or one near the front of the building. The seats at the side and where we were, were all high bar stools. N just about reached the stool foot bars, but if he’d been much smaller, he’d have been less comfortable.
Pinky’s Ice Cream Parlour
Right on the seafront there are a few dessert type stands set up. Obviously there are some ice cream stalls, but we were lured by Pinky’s right near our hotel. I’ve got more of the sweet tooth than N, but even he decided that on the last night, he’d like to try one of the desserts.
You can’t miss Pinky’s – with lots of boards advertising their offerings…and brightly coloured animals like a cow and pig. We weren’t sure on the pig connection (unless they’re insinuating we’re pigs for eating their desserts), but they’re fun for children to see and make it easily spotted down the sea front.
They do freakshakes and multiple ice cream flavours, but we were after the desserts. They make the waffles and donuts on site, and have some really nice looking flavours.
N decided he just wanted a waffle with cream, but I wanted a Brown Derby. Remember those from Wimpy back in the 80/90s? A donut with a swirl of ice cream, chocolate sauce and chopped nuts. Delicious. The donut was warm so really delicious. We ate them sitting on a bench overlooking the sea.
It was a nice treat to end off our stay in Lowestoft.
If you know the area, where would you recommend for eating out with children in the area, and which are your favourite restaurants in Lowestoft?