Way down the Ards peninsula, in the fishing village of Portavogie, you’ll find an authentic fishing village experience at The Quays, a pub and popular seafood restaurant in a picturesque location overlooking the harbour and the Irish Sea.
The exterior can be a little offputting but, once inside, visitors are immediately immersed in a fun, colourful maritime setting, with marine blues, wooden beam features and the odd lobster pot hanging from the wall. This welcoming family friendly atmosphere is complemented by warm staff, who serve up well cooked, honest food with an emphasis on the whatever locally caught seafood is available on the day.
At The Quays they’re clearly proud of the precious raw product that is landed on their doorstep and treat it with endearing modesty, offering simply cooked, unfussy food, with a focus on the freshness of the ingredients, and changing the seafood menu regularly to reflect seasonality.
Who could resist a classic prawn cocktail, for example, made with big, fat, juicy Portavogie prawns? Or fish & chips made with very thinly battered hake or haddock, perfectly cooked to be crunchy crisp on the outside and the fish just flaking apart?
People come here specially for the fish & chips, which is served with mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce and it's so popular that it's available in three sizes.
Non seafood lovers are well catered for too though, and you’ll find plenty of popular dishes offered, including a handful of appetising vegetarian options.
The Quays is the kind of place where you can have a pint and a plate of well cooked fresh seafood, with two of the best seasonings in the world: fresh sea air and the sight of moored fishing boats gently rocking in the harbour as you eat. Delightful.