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Hidden Gems in Bournemouth - Where to Eat, Drink and What To See

I moved to Bournemouth nearly a decade ago and whilst change is unstoppable, there's a lot that has remained the same over the years. By nature, I love to explore so I'd like to think that whilst I may have not tried and been in every bar/restaurant/attraction, I have definitely experienced most of what the town has to offer. 

 I thought it would be nice to do a post with my favourite spots and update this over time as new venues open to give anyone interested an idea of where to eat, where to drink and what to see that isn't necessarily reccomended on Trip Advisor. Summer is coming up and many people will venture down here in the South West to enjoy the sun, the sandy beaches and a lovely stay at a local  Bournemouth hotel

So without further due...let's get started!

Where to Eat 

For the vegans (and people who generally enjoy meat-less diets), there are many options, but the place that I would highly recommend is Mad Cucumber

Funky vibes, reasonable prices, good atmosphere and most importantly delicious food! My favourite on their menu is the bean chilli. 
A 30-second walk from there, you will find Twelve Eatery with their very chic and insta-goals interior, also serving vegan food. 

If your jam is Asian food, then do not worry, we have an outstanding variety of restaurants that serve the most delicious and authentic dishes. 
First and foremost, my all time favourite, Noodle Bar! I have introduced this place to all of my friends and I'm not even joking when I say that now all of them recomend it to their friends and families non stop. It's become a hit.
The portions are very generous, there's a different deal on every day and the service is excellent. I would suggest booking on weekends as it gets super busy. 
Alternatively, if you're more of a touch and go or take-away to the beach kinda person, you cannot miss out on Bentos - also known as the most low-key but best place to grab a Katsu Curry that beats the Wagamama's one by a mile. 

If you're more into Korean food specifically, then Kori and Koren Grill are the absolute top. For anyoe who questions how we know they serve authentic food - we ended up befriending a korean guy who was visiting town befire going back to his country and he praised the place for authenticity and even suggested us new dishes to try from the rather extensive menu. 

Last but certainly not least, for the lovers of authentic amazing Mexican food.. Casa GourMex is genuinely the hidden gem more people should know about. 

This tiny place is run by a lovely mexican man who literally brought his culture and flavours here to let us experience them whilst he single handedly makes the food in front of you. It's quite a funky experience but the homamde dishes he makes give you all the holiday vibes you need. 

Where to Drink 

Ah, the joy of bars. I have always prefered them to clubs so it's no surpise that I have visited pretty much all the ones in town. 

A little heads up - in case you didn't know - I do love rock music, so the places you'll see listed here will most likely appeal to a crowd who enjoyes music, live events and places that are nice but rough aroud the edges in a sense. 
Smokin' Aces is a little tucked away from the centre but the interior is lovely. Downstaires you'll find a little corner with a wall made entirely of Jack Daniels bottles where you and your friends can enjoy a catch up over, you guessed it, some whiskey. 

Along the same lines on the other side of town you'll find Zephyr and Anvil. The first one great as a night starter to get you tipsy and giggly and the latter is best after 2am when you're technically on your last legs but want to brave an extra drink with your friend who by that point just wants chips. 

Jokes aside the Anvil is great as well for gigs and a chill time until the 2am crowd arrives. 

If you're willing to venture a 5 minute drive from the centre and head to Boscombe, then you can enjoy one of UK's funkiest bars voted one of the best beer gardens in the country - Chaplin's! The interior here is insane, I may have taken a few too many photos to share...

For a less alternative crowd, 60 Million Postcards is great not just for their night scene but also during the day - with funny quiz days, a cute beer garden and a solid menu. 

If you're looking for somewhere interesting to drink in the day and I mean non alcoholic for the most part - my go-to place is Flirt. The decor is very different, the service is always friendly and lovely and the hot drinks and vegan home-made cakes are delicious. 

Tuesday is quiz night - it's not one to miss if you're around!

If you love your tea and want to up your insta game with a cute location  - the Vintage Tea Rooms are the best place to be. With shabby chic interior, old school music and most importantly it's dog-friendly!

What to Do 

Now, I won't make a massive list as most of you will come to enjoy the beach - and rightly so! However, if you like museums then I highly recommend you visit the Russel-Cotes gallery, especially if you're passionate about art and paintings in general. 

For science lovers, the Bournemouth Natural Science Society is fun and very educational. 

Something rather new in town is the Upside Down House, which quite frankly was a lot more fun to experience than I thought, which prompted me to add it to the blog post. Entry is £5 and you can get some pretty funny pictures! It's quite a unique experience. You also receive a 10% off voucher to use at Flirt Cafe which I mentioned above - score!

Last but not least; if vintage shopping is your thing, then you'll find a huge variety heading towards Boscombe. Two places I loved visiting are The Crooked Book and Vintage Emporium. The latter featured some creepy dolls and sinister paintings as well as old Chanel shoes - a very pleasing mix if you ask me! 

I'd love to know what you got up to if you visited Bournemouth recently and as more places become a favourite of mine I will make sure to update you all by adding them to my list here. 


  1. Oh my god Chaplin's looks like my ideal place to visit (I decided to go on their website too!) the decor is amazing and totally up my street. I went to an upside down house in Florida which was so much fun, so confusing though. Would love to visit Bournemouth and eat at some of your recommendations. x

  2. I've never been to Bournemouth but I'd love to go some time. I'm always on the look out for delicious vegan food so it's good to hear there's plenty of options!

  3. I went to Bournemouth last year just for a nights stay and we remained quite close to the beach and the views for much of it. The mexican restaurant sounds really nice though x

  4. I have never been here it looks fab thanks for making me add it to my list of places to visit!

  5. Oh now I am hungry haha.. looks delish!

    x Lisa |

  6. I've only ever had a flying visit to Bournemouth before and never got a chance to experience everything. The restaurants recommended sound diving; I can highly recommend the Sealife centre too

  7. I really need to explore more of Bournemouth, I went a couple of times last year when I lived down south.

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  9. Gosh been so long since I went to Bournemouth - and so good to see what a nice range of eating place have popped up - I think we ate in the Harry Ramsdens when we went as there wasn't much choice... :)

  10. It looks as though there are some fantastic places to eat in Bournemouth; something I always look for when choosing a new destination to visit. Perhaps I should get planning a trip for 2020!

  11. I live in Bournemouth and haven't heard of half of these places, although it isn't often we go out without the kids in tow. My favourite restaurant is Noa or Urban Reef though

  12. I have never been to Bournemouth before but it sounds like such a lovely place to live and there are certainly plenty of options when it comes to eat out by the sounds of it! All the food here looks really delicious and the vintage tea rooms sound right up my street!

  13. We have never been to Bournemouth actually. Although the hubby did go when he was tiny on holiday with his parents . It looks lovely .

  14. The food featured here looks incredibly delicious. Planning to book mark your page for when we head to Bournemouth, the Katsu Curry is something I would love to try

  15. I love that you've found some hidden gems - always prefer those sort of places to the big chains.

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