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Restaurant Review: The Fish Cottage, Sandsend

Updated: Apr 9

Be warned!! Once you’ve heard about the fish tacos from this charming restaurant on the North Yorkshire coastline, you won’t be able to rest until you’ve tried them…

Fish Cottage, Sandsend food: fish tacos

Fish Cottage, Sandsend

What to expect at The Fish Cottage

In the idyllic seaside village of Sandsend, just north of Whitby, The Fish Cottage does seafood exactly as it should be – as fresh as an oceanic morning breeze and treated with the utmost care and skill.


The exterior evokes beach-hut vibes: pebbles between toes, sea views, and a takeaway hatch that seduces passers-by with promises of delicious delights from the deep and the intoxicating smell of malt vinegar. There’s ample alfresco seating, so pitch up under a parasol and watch the waves go by. Inside, it’s a modern, classy space with an appropriately nautical theme. It’s cool in both the relaxed and the trendy interpretations of the word… ‘Shack-chic’, if you will.

Fish Cottage, Sandsend

What’s to eat at The Fish Cottage?

Situated a mere 20 yards from Sandsend beach, with the breadth and depth of the sea’s bounty right on the doorstep, chefs at The Fish Cottage are accomplished at bringing the very best out of such splendid ingredients.


'Daily landed seasonal fish’ is offered at market price that varies depending on availability, (options for the day are indicated on a hand-written chit provided by the waiter), and are served with a choice of butter – garlic and parsley; lemon, caper and rosemary; chilli and coriander; or basil, parmesan and tomato – all of which sound fantastic.

Fish Cottage, Sandsend: seagull "chips?" picture

The menu can be viewed here

You’ll find familiar favourites – seafood chowder, moules mariniere, fish pie – and be safe in the knowledge that these will be classics at their finest. Be sure to check the daily specials board for something different or, if you’re a traditionalist, you’ll be pleased to know that The Fish Cottage does simple, proper fish and chips with the full works – tartare sauce, curry sauce, mushy peas or bread and butter.


And lovely though all of that sounds, were had other fish to fry…

Fish Cottage, Sandsend: tea

What did we have at The Fish Cottage?

We first heard about The Fish Cottage in an article from The Yorkshireman entitled, “This Yorkshire Fish & Chip Shop Is Famed For Its Fish Tacos”. Well. That’s us sold, then.

The following weeks morphed into a hazy, recurrent cycle: wake, work, think about the fish tacos, sleep, dream about the fish tacos, repeat. It was becoming absurd. We really needed to try those fish tacos.


On our next day off, we headed to Sandsend, were soon greeted by very friendly staff and seated by the window, watching the East Row Beck loll towards the North Sea. The Fish Cottage has an impressive wine and beer menu but, at barely 11am on a cold, drizzly morning, a warming cup of tea was what we were in need of.

Fish Cottage, Sandsend: daily specials

We perused the daily landed fish menu and were tempted by the prospect of rich, flaky mackerel or the subtle sweetness of monkfish. The specials, too, caught our eye – gin-cured salmon gravadlax or grilled halibut in zingy lemon butter. But we stuck to our guns. We knew what we had to do. We ordered our tacos.

Admittedly, we almost had a crisis of confidence as we watched the table next to us receive their plates. Food envy started to set in as our neighbours tucked into sea bream in garlic and parsley butter, spicy prawn linguini and crispy cod bites about which their recipient amazedly announced, “these are the best cod bites I’ve ever had!” What a review! Had we made a mistake?

Fish Cottage, Sandsend food: fish tacos

We’d both ordered the same – a full taco rack with one of each of the available fillings, served with skin-on fries. Upon arrival of our meal, our apprehensions were put to rest – just look at those beauties! Inside each of the three soft flour tortillas was a joyous explosion of colour, texture and flavour. First, the signature fish taco – crispy, lightly battered fish pieces on a bed of punchy, crunchy red cabbage slaw, topped with lemon and chilli aioli, spring onion, chillis, coriander and zesty lime. A great start! Next, tempura king prawns with lemon and garlic aioli, slaw and fiery red chillis. These were plump, sweet and crispy and were packed with flavour. Finally, a veggie option – curried cauliflower florets with cumin and lime aioli, cauliflower mole and refreshing pico salsa. These were absolutely wonderful and had an authentic chip shop curry taste. Each taco a triumph, we were delighted with our choice.


Now, good luck with not thinking about fish tacos…

Fish Cottage, Sandsend

Where can I find The Fish Cottage?

The Fish Cottage is in the lovely seaside village of Sandsend, a perfect place for a peaceful walk on the beach. It’s only 3 miles from Whitby, about a 40-minute drive from Middlesbrough and just over an hour from York. There are parking spaces outside, which may require a parking pass (free from the restaurant) on busier days. A second branch has opened in Robin Hood’s Bay.


Fish Cottage, Sandsend

What’s on at The Fish Cottage?

The Fish Cottage has varying offers and events throughout the year. Currently, there’s a bottomless mussels ‘happy hour’ on weekdays, senior citizens lunch specials, taco Thursdays and fish Fridays. Keep an eye on their Instagram and Facebook pages to find out what’s going on.

Fish Cottage, Sandsend

The Fish Cottage, Sandsend: Summary

-          Fantastic seafood

-          Celebrates local ingredients

-          Family-run, independent restaurant

-          Takeaway available (collection)

-          Extensive beer and wine list

-          Dog-friendly

-          Outdoor seating

-          Relaxed atmosphere

-          Carpark

-          Parking available

-          Seaside location


Where can I find out more information make a reservation?

For the latest opening times, menus and updates, follow The Fish Cottage on Facebook, Instagram and their website. Terrace seating is first come, first served, but reservations are recommended for the restaurant, which can be made via the website.


Did you enjoy our review of The Fish Cottage in Sandsend? Have you tried the tacos? Let us know what you thought and follow our blog for more reviews from Whitby and North Yorkshire!

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