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Dishy fishy fare: Crabshack is calling

Nestled delightfully by the beach on Worthing seafront, the wonderfully-named Crabshack does way more than crab and is far swankier than a shack. On a clear day, you can peer around the coast and see Brighton glistening in the distance. Feeling nearby, yet mentally far away, Worthing has many elements of our city – a chilled, bohemian atmosphere and jolly, quirky people, for instance – but in a simply more compact package. It’s a home from home but holiday-like and just 24 minutes travel via train. 

It was one of those rare sunny days when we visited in early April, on a Friday afternoon, with the scent of spring in the air and rows of upbeat venues beckoning you in. But we’re here to talk Crabshack, and if you don’t know it, then trust us and insert it into your dining wishlist at once. Owner Sarah exudes warmth, as does the entire team. There’s a palpable feeling of good times, service is professional yet informal, and the food is darn delicious. 

Owner Sarah at Crabshack holding bottle of wine. Beachside dining at the Crabshack Worthing
Crabshack owner Sarah

Owing to its success, Crabshack has now expanded into the next-door building, and it’s busy when we visit (booking is advised). Neighbouring tables seat a diverse crowd, many of whom offer compliments about the place and confirm they’re regulars. The plates of food emerging from the kitchen provoke salivation and swoons. This is seafood on another level. 

The menu is brilliantly small to ensure the kitchen can source and prepare everything freshly and cooked to order. There are specials each day that reflect the catch and, as the team says, they “believe passionately in honest, simple flavours and letting our amazing ingredients do the talking whilst giving great value for money.”

cockle and shrimp popcorn. Beachside dining at the Crabshack Worthing

We opted to start with the cockle and shrimp popcorn, which is floured (rather than battered) and lightly fried, dusted with paprika and served with lemon mayo. It’s easy on the tum – no heaviness here – just pops of well-seasoned, slightly spicy yum. The obligatory crispy squid tastes fresh and rubbery-free, served with a zing of chilli and garlic crisps and mayo. 

We’d heard that the sharing platter deserves attention so we dived in, and the array of fishy dishes is not only generous but quite remarkable. I mean, if you’re into seafood, this smorgasbord is ideal: old-school prawn cocktail, fritto misto, smoked salmon, smoked mackerel pate with red peppers, spicy pil pil prawns, dressed crab, skinny fries, salad and multigrain bread. The chefs here know how to take freshly caught delights and work with their natural flavours to enhance and elevate.

Crabshack Worthing big seafood platter. Beachside dining at the award-winning Sussex pub

The juicy king prawns are plump and full of flavour. The smoked salmon slides down with textural dexterity with oodles of lemon juice and black pepper. The dressed crab with mackerel pate sharing the upturned shell is moreish, especially when paired with the multigrain bread and cornichons.

close up shot of the seafood platter. Beachside dining at Crabshack Worthing

You are being served your own buffet here, designed for two and ready to feed the five thousand, so arrive hungry and keen to wash it all down with crisp and refreshing white wine (we sampled the El Camaron Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain).

The team is well versed in every dish and on-hand to suggest and recommend. We actually booked our next visit before we’d finished the main course, offering to showcase Crabshack to our uninitiated friends. That’s just the kind of sharing people we are. We know they’re going to appreciate it and we’re certain you will too. 

Want to know more about Crabshack Worthing?
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Getting there
Opening Hours

Tuesday 12:00pm6:00pm

Wednesday 12:00pm6:00pm

Thursday 12:00pm10:00pm

Friday 12:00pm10:00pm

Saturday 12:00pm10:00pm

Sunday 12:00pm6:00pm