As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to Anglesey, Paul Bloomfield picks out a selection of places to find local food in this glorious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North Wales.
Believed to be fertile enough to produce food for the whole of Wales, Anglesey was once known as Mon, Mam Cymru, or 'Mother of Wales'. Today, this little isle's kind climate and good soil supports Europe's most northerly olive grove and vineyards to rival those of southern Europe. You'll discover dairy farms producing creamy Welsh cheeses and ice cream, and many ingredients unique to the island, such as Halen Mon sea salt.
Pubs, restaurants and cafés across the region serve up this local bounty with flair: try mussels steamed in local cider, tender Welsh mountain lamb, and fabulous cakes and scones. Or you can head straight to the farm door, deli or market to stock up on Anglesey goodies.
It all started as an experiment with a pan of saltwater on the family aga; today, David, Alison and their devoted team produce some of the world’s finest sea salt, adored by chefs and food lovers the world over. You can learn about the history of the salt industry and the fascinating processes involved on a tour at the fabulous new visitor centre, or pop into the shop to stock up on produce, from salted caramel sauce to sea salt soap and hampers packed with kitchen essentials. halenmon.com
Môn ar Lwy
The secret to the success of Anglesey’s best-loved ice cream makers is the creative mind behind the business – Helen, endlessly passionate about flavours and a fervent supporter of local producers and suppliers. This is a family business through and through, and everything’s as local as can be: the milk comes from a farm two miles away, and fruit is sourced from nearby orchards. The list of tantalising flavours includes some old favourites with a twist, such as Saucy Strawberry and Toffee and Welsh Fudge, as well as some more unusual ones, like Basil and Chocolate and Rhubarb and Ginger. Helen and team cater for weddings and will even create a bespoke flavour for your event. monarlwy.co.uk
Te Bach Tea Rooms
A beautifully restored 18th-century cottage, byres and barns is this cosy tea rooms. where pretty china rests on embroidered linen, plump cakes , Tuck into a cream tea under the oak beams, or curl up in front of the log burner by the inglenook fireplace. Light lunches are served with homemade coleslaws and chutneys, sandwiches and salads. There are two B&B rooms onsite and a self-catering cottage too. rhosboeth.co.uk
This bright and breezy café and restaurant is a great place to wind up at whilst tackling the coastal path. There’s been a café in this spot, in picture postcard Moelfre, for 100 years. On sunny days, grab a table under a parasol in the garden, or head inside to the inviting, bunting-strewn room with exposed stone walls, bright blue paintwork and nautically-themed paraphernalia dotted around (a ship’s wheel, lanterns). Cream teas are generous, and lunches and evening meals are filled with delicious local treats. No dogs inside, but there’s a cosy hideaway at the bottom of the garden for dogs and their owners in wet weather. annspantry.co.uk
The contemporary wood-clad building juts out over the water; the upper terrace is a lovely spot for light lunch on a fine day. There are lots of tempting fish dishes at this restaurant in lovely Menai Bridge: try Dyl’s Drunken Mussels, steamed in local Welsh cider, or herb encrusted hake – or go all out with the Ferryman’s Platter, piled high with prawns, potted mussels and smoked trout. There’s a sense of fun to everything, from the endlessly cheerful staff to the playful presentation of the food: burgers arrive in mini wooden pallets, chips in miniature frying baskets. Deservedly popular so make sure you book, especially in summer. dylansrestaurant.co.uk
Stroll across the vast empty beach at Newborough before clambering over dunes to this village restaurant, run by two brothers with a passion for the provenance of ingredients. Here, it’s all about the food (you’d be forgiven for missing the unprepossessing exterior altogether). Inside, it’s welcoming and rustic, with scrubbed wooden tables, beams and the odd brightly-painted wall. Tuck into fish of the day with triple cooked chips, fresh oysters, roast lamb from nearby Bodior Farm and almond-stuffed courgettes. A great selection of local ales, too. themarramgrass.com
The White Eagle
In 2005, John and Alex bought this pub – then abandoned and unloved – and set about on a major transformation. The pub has been entirely rebuilt, and has become one of the region’s best-loved places to eat and drink. Here, the emphasis is on the food: you’ll find a map of suppliers on the wall, and the menu showcases the likes of Welsh mountain lamb and hand dived scallops off Anglesey’s west coast. Inside, it's contemporary and cosy, and there’s a lovely play area to amuse children – and a great kids menu, too. white-eagle.co.uk
The Lobster Pot
Perched above Church Bay on Anglesey’s west coast, this seafood restaurant has been in business since the 1940’s. It’s a strictly family affair – one of the owner's sons provides the mussels, the other (a shellfish merchant) supplies the crab and lobster. It would be rude not to indulge in a lobster feast: try the lobster pot paella, the lobster Granville – cooked with prawns, cream and brandy – or the lobster Thermidor, cooked with wine, cream, mustard and parmesan. The unpretentious interiors lend an informal air to the place, and there’s a wonderful terrace where you dine with views out to sea. There are plenty of non-fish dishes, too, such as steaks and vegetable risottos. thelobsterpotrestaurant.co.uk
For information on characterful accommodation, nearby visitor attractions, and outdoor adventure activities, see our Green Traveller's Guide to Anglesey