The Best Dressed Crab

Calling crab and lobster lovers! 

The Isle of Wight was once a destination for the summer months only and with a distinctly kiss-me-quick vibe. Today it’s transformed into a year-round escape with stunning views, a timeless quality and a massive draw for foodies.  

We’ve featured the Island before – The George at Yarmouth and a number of others. Today, we’re highlighting a hidden gem at Bembridge, The Best Dressed Crab.  

We visited in the depths of winter, and stumbled on this unassuming find as we drove past a car park with a tatty sign saying ‘café with log burner’. We had in mind a coffee and piece of cake in a warm spot but our expectations didn’t really go beyond that.  


Walking along the pontoon with boats moored either side and fishing boats beyond, you reach a shack. It’s only when you step inside that the warmth and hubbub hits you and the smells of amazing seafood assault you.  

The views from the cabin are amazing and we could have sat there all day looking our across the harbour and its wildlife which included Oyster Catchers and a Kingfisher. In the Summer there’s a terrace outside and we suspect worth a repeat visit just for that. 

The Best Dressed Crab is a family business established for a quarter of a century and run by former seasoned fishermen and their families. They specialise in the freshest finest crabs and lobsters, which are caught locally as well as local Bembridge prawns, apparently “an absolute delicacy” when they are in season. 

As for the food, it was simple English fish and seafood at its best. We had hot crab ramekins with bubbling cheese and crusty bread and butter, prawn sandwiches and a spectacular sharing seafood platter. 

This is the best, most wholesome, simple food cooked well in a stunning setting and with the friendliest of people. Definitely recommended by us.