It is important to understand that this is not a Michelin Guide to places to eat, we are not making recommendations, it is purely and simply a list with our comments to help you make choices and work out your holiday itinerary.
A short walk towards the sea from the Café and there is the spectacular location of the Cod and Lobster right on the harbour wall. On your left you’ll see Church Street and the plaque on the wall of the house where Captain Cook lived when he was a Grocer’s Assistant, but no doubt where he got the call of the sea. You’ll also see the signpost pointing to the next section of the Cleveland Way at the bottom of Church Street.
The Cod and Lobster is a large imposing building overlooking the harbour. With its tables outside and an open fire inside there’s always a warm welcome whatever the time of year. It serves fast food or home cooked meals and so is an excellent spot for a drink, light lunch or evening meal.
The walk up the High Street takes you past a selection of small shops typical of a busy small village, an excellent butcher’s shop, a gift shop, a general dealer’s packed with every small item you might have forgotten to pack (well perhaps not every small item!) and so on. The village’s phonebox is here as well, important because mobile phone reception is so poor in the village.
On your right you’ll come to the Royal George, a really authentic fishing village pub. The atmospheric low ceilings, open fire and the ‘crack’ of the locals make for an entertaining evening. The food is traditional pub grub and the beer is excellent.
A little further on your right and you’ll see the Staithes Art Gallery, a fantastic treasure trove of beautiful paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and wood carvings. Prices range from the very reasonable to quite a lot! Staithes has a long tradition of painting with its own ‘school’, the Staithes Group, which formed in about 1900.
On the corner, almost next to the art gallery there is the Cleveland Bistro, a small but surprisingly versatile little establishment. It operates as a fairly conventional café during the day but offers a choice of meals in the evening in a cosy candle-lit environment. At busy times reservations are recommended as it is quite small and gets quite busy.
Further up the High Street and up the hill there is the Staithes Heritage Museum on the left. Do find time to visit this privately run museum with the story of the fascinating history of Staithes, once one of the biggest fishing ports on the East Coast, and all its Captain Cook memorabilia. Try to find time to explore all the alleys and narrow streets of the old village, but take care not to get totally lost! At the top of the bank, strategically placed for a refreshing cup of tea (or perhaps to build up strength for the descent to the old village) you’ll see The Tea Shop. It has a very pleasant patio to enjoy the sunshine with tea, coffee etc, sandwiches and home-made cakes. On the other side of the road just past the turn to the car park (essential for visitors, it is permit only parking in the village and the local traffic warden is very keen!) there is the Captain Cook Inn, a rather drab looking building but it serves excellent real ales. Further on still on the left there are a number of shops including a Post Office, Newsagent and General Dealer, Grocer and a take-away Pizzeria. And then on the left there is the Excelsior Fish and Chip shop, a new venture which occupies the site of the old Co-op. This has now moved a short way up the main road towards Whitby where it has new and much larger premises.
Finally do find the time to cross the main road and follow the sign to turn down to Dalehouse. At the bottom of a short but steep hill you’ll find a real treasure of a pub, the Fox and Hounds. It has the most extensive menu in the area and the cheapest beers! It also has a beautiful setting in the charming village of Dalehouse which makes an excellent base for some lovely walks.
Further afield Hinderwell has good pubs, the Sentabale Bistro, and a Fish and Chip shop, Runswick Bay has the excellent Royal Hotel tucked away in the middle of the scenic village and in Whitby there is the nationally known Magpie Café with an extensive fish menu.The portions are huge and the quality outstanding. The Magpie has just been ranked in the top ten ‘Foodie Destinations’ in the Northeast and Yorkshire. People usually just turn and queue for a table and the café is so big that waiting times are never very long. However, contrary to popular belief it is possible to book. There are of course numerous other places to eat in Whitby but this is the one we would actually go as far as to recommend.