Riley's Fish Shack
King Edward's Bay, Tynemouth, NE30 4BY
Pick a superlative. Double it. Then add more. This is the best fish and seafood restaurant in the north of England. Seriously, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to enjoy it. For a start, it's less a restaurant, more a shipping container with a beachside deck plonked on a sandy Tynemouth cove, about 8 miles east of Newcastle city centre. They cook on a wood-fired grill and in a beehive wood-fired oven, with their daily catch chalked up on the board and everything served on homemade flat breads in paper cartons. It's sensational stuff – chargrilled mackerel, salt-cod fishcakes, daily changing empanadas, brill, turbot, oysters, lobster, you name it, with prices starting at around £9–£12 (though up to £40 for the lobster). Sides are things like samphire, chipotle chilli relish and sticky hot-plate potatoes, and there are great wines and good coffee. The secret is out mind, and queues form outside on the deck well before the service times so it pays to get there early. If you can't get a seat inside or on the deck, they also put out blankets and fire pits on the beach for takeaways.