Five Fabulous Seafood Shacks

Five fabulous seafood shacks to seek out

© Shutterstock


Five fabulous seafood shacks to seek out

© Shutterstock

1. The Seafood Shack, Ullapool, Scotland

Perched on the wild west coast of Scotland, the picturesque fishing port of Ullapool is a highlight of the spectacular road trip known as the North Coast 500. The seafood here is world famous, indeed much of it heads straight to foreign markets. Ullapool residents Kirstie Scobie and Fenella Renwick wanted to keep more of this fantastic produce back for local consumption, so in 2016 pooled their savings to open The Seafood Shack.

Open throughout the summer months, this simple trailer and rustic courtyard has been thrilling residents and canny tourists with its celebration of Scottish seafood specialities, many delivered fresh each morning by the fishermen themselves. The ever-changing options include prized langoustines as well as their lesser known cousin, known as a spiney, while hearty Cullen skink sits alongside more exotic Thai monkfish curry. There’s plenty of opportunity to indulge in Scotland’s famous smoked fish heritage too. If you can’t make the pilgrimage to Ullapool, The Seafood Shack recipe book beautifully captures the flavour of this venture.

2. Marie’s Fish Shack, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

It can be too easy to hug the tourist traps in the Caribbean, their pricy refinement a world away from this island region’s vibrant laidback image. Dip your toe into a more authentic experience with a visit to Marie’s Fish Shack at the north-western tip of St Lucia. A decades old institution still run with a firm hand by the indomitable Marie, although her sons are also on hand, this is a favourite destination for locals and in the know expats.

There’s no faulting the location at the southern end of Reduit Beach, a mile long stretch of golden sand, palm trees and perfect vistas. The nearby reef, teaming with sea life, is a snorkeler’s heaven. After a dip, take yourself to this simple wooden shack and soak up the lively atmosphere over a cold Piton beer or, if you’re feeling bold, the home-made rum punch. The menu revolves around freshly caught fish – think dorado, snapper and tuna – cooked over an open fire. Don’t be in a rush, don’t be fussy and don’t forget to keep track of your tab.

3. Taverna Agios Nikolaos, Folegandros, Greece

This is the stuff of chilly winter fantasies. The rugged coastline of Greece and its many islands are dotted with secluded beaches gently lapped by the blue Mediterranean Sea. They may feel remote, but don’t be surprised to find a small, welcoming, family-run taverna offering fresh fish and shady respite from the midday heat. That’s exactly what’s on offer here at Taverna Agios Nikolaos, which takes its name from a beach on the small Cycladean island of Folegandros.

There’s no pretension here, just deliciously fresh local specialities including octopus, sea bream, calamari and saganaki, all accompanied by refreshing Greek salad.

Work up an appetite and earn that pre-lunch swim by walking the footpath from nearby Agali, 15 minutes away. Or treat yourself to a five-minute boat ride along the coast. Visit for a moon-lit dinner and the owners will even run you back into the village on their boat.

4. Die Strandloper, Langebaan, South Africa

An hour’s drive north of Cape Town lie the white sandy beaches of Langebaan. It’s a popular destination for bird watchers, wind surfers, sailors and fans of the fish-centric Weskus cuisine. That’s exactly what you get here at Die Strandloper, which blends casual barefoot dress code and no electricity with a stomach-stretchingly serious 10-course menu. Braaied snoek, smoked angelfish, fish curry: dishes are the embodiment of this place’s “local is lekker” ethos. From the long serving staff to a policy of donating any leftover food to the underprivileged, Die Strandloper is deeply, proudly rooted in its community.

There is a fully licensed bar, but guests are also welcome to bring their own drinks corkage-free – just don’t forget ice to keep them cool. You won’t be doing anything too energetic after all that food, so kick back in the company of regular resident guitar player Danny, and feel free to bring your own instrument too.

5. Kuti Shack, Goolwa Beach, South Australia

People may not originally plan their visit to Australia for the food, but that’s invariably what leaves the deepest impression. Nestled among the sand dunes just over an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, Kuti Shack is a perfect embodiment of this country’s expertise in celebrating local ingredients with a light, creative but unfussy touch.

Kuti, also known locally as pipis or cockles, have been harvested on the beach here for thousands of years by the Ngarrindjeri indigenous people. Kuti Shack was set up as a collaboration between local chefs and nearby sustainable fishery business the Goolwa Pipi Co as a relaxed showcase for this regional speciality. From pipi and tiger prawn laksa to pipi, garlic and nori linguine, there’s no better place to indulge in these sweet, nutty shellfish treats.

Importantly, the Ngarrindjeri benefit from this community-minded venture too, whether it’s the jobs provided by traditional clam raking, their position as major shareholders in the fishing business or the striking artwork that adorns the side of Kuti Shack.