Bournemouth’s Best French and International Restaurants
1. Bistro Bon Ami
Location: 198-199 Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth (01202-553-353)
This upbeat restaurant features a variety of tasty dishes, all spiked with a distinctly French flavour. The most popular entrees are manty mushrooms with spiced couscous and rillette of pork. Just overlooking Christchurch Road, this restaurant has a Mediterranean feel and features interiors with bright colours and mock columns framing the elegant dining area. Lunch is served from Tuesdays to Fridays from noon to 2:30 p.m. while dinner is served from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
2. Bournemouth Tandoori Restaurant
Location: 8 Holdenhurst Rd, Bournemouth (01202-296-204)
Welcome to the most popular and prestigious Indian restaurant in Bournemouth, the Tandoori. Here, you’ll find all the authentic dishes of curry as well as delectable Bangladeshi and Balti cuisine. Bournemouth Tandoori is also famous for its non-vegetarian thali, which its chef highly recommends and serves with curry dishes such as lamb, chicken and vegetables. The place is nicely decorated and is open daily, including weekdays and weekends. Lunch is served from noon to 2:30 p.m. while dinner is served from 6 p.m. to midnight.
3. Brasserie Saint Michael’s
Location: 105 Saint Michaels Rd, Swallow Highcliff Hotel, Bournemouth (01202-315-716)
This French brassiere has a contemporary setting and serves unique combinations of French and English cuisine. Practically everything on the menu has that tasty continental flavour, whether its beef, poultry, fish or seafood dishes. Brassiere Saint Michael’s serves both lunch and dinner every day of the week, including weekends. During sunny days, the brassiere opens up its terrace dining area to diners. They also have a special club which gives discounts to businessmen and other regulars. Lunch is served from noon to 2 p.m. while dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
4. Cafe Rouge
Location: 67-71 Seamoor Rd, Westbourne (01202-757-472)
Cafe Rouge is situated just west of the Bournemouth Centre, near Poole road, and serves fine traditional French cuisine. The place has a casual and relaxed setting, which makes it perfect for getting to know that special someone better. It is also a preferred venue for business meetings and for much-needed breaks after shopping at the Westbourne area. The restaurant offers breakfast lunch and dinner every day, including weekends. The food is relatively inexpensive. An a la carte menu is also available. Cafe Rouge is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sundays.
5. Coriander Mexican Restaurant
Location: 22 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth (01202-552-202)
Located atop the Square, the Coriander has been a staple in Bournemouth’s dining scene, serving authentic Mexican food for over two decades. The two storey restaurant conjures up images of Old Mexico, with its Southwestern style interiors, decor, hardwood floors, up to the pictures of various cacti lining the walls. The Coriander has established a well-deserved reputation for serving excellent Mexican and Latin American food. The popular tiger prawn fajitas, in particular, always gets rave reviews. A favourite combination is the cold Corona and Tecate with the hot, hot salsa. The usual crowd includes locals, students and tourists. Reservations are recommended. This restaurant is open during weekdays and weekends, from noon to 10:30 p.m.
Location: 79-81 Charminster Rd, Bournemouth (01202-315-865)
Retro is purported to be the best place in Bournemouth to get Lebanese cuisine. Located on Charminster Road, this restaurant’s green and blue-chequered entrance is difficult to miss. Inside, you’ll find an energetic and friendly staff waiting to serve you such chicken dishes as shish taouk and farruji meshwi or grilled lamb cutlets. For lunch, Retro offers up some of the most unique sandwiches in town like lahem (lamb) meshwi or grilled Halloumi cheese served with cucumber slices. “Fish of the Day” and set menu specials also are available daily.
7. Mandarin Chinese Restaurant
Location: 194-198 Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth, UK – England BH1 1PD (01202-290-681)
Many Bournemouth locals consider Mandarin the best Chinese restaurant in the city. All the standard Cantonese, Peking, and Szechwan menu items are here, and the staff is friendly and willing to make menu suggestions. Special set menus for two or more people are available. The “Seafood Feast,” for example, features Dover sole smothered in sweet and sour sauce and served with seasonal greens. Best of all, if you want a dish that is not listed on the menu, they will make it especially for you.
8. Romanzo Greek Restaurant
Location: 87 Poole Rd, Bournemouth, UK – England BH4 9BB (01202-761-070)
This family-owned restaurant is run by Mr. and Mrs. Antoniou and offers the best brush with authentic Greek cuisine in the Bournemouth area. The service is friendly, the atmosphere is cosy, and most importantly, the home-cooked Greek dishes are superb. Main courses ranging from steak to meze are available. Romanzo is situated on Poole Road in Westbourne, only minutes from Bournemouth Square.
9. Sukho Thai
Location: 304 Holdenhurst Rd, Bournemouth, UK – England BH8 8AY (01202-304-305)
Sukho Thai has been a popular Bournemouth restaurant since its doors opened. This simply decorated restaurant boasts one of the most aromatic dining areas in town, which is a result of the cooks’ using fresh ingredients and spices in all of their dishes. Thai egg custard is a good selection off their dessert menu. Lunch and set menus also are available.
10. Sala Thai
Location: 1066 Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth, UK – England BH7 6DS (1202-420-772)
The staff dresses in traditional Thai garb and, when they arrive at your table to take your order, you know immediately that you’re in for an authentic, if not exotic, Thai culinary experience. The restaurant is located east of Bournemouth Centre on Christchurch Road in Boscombe.