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Mr Porter Eats

Seven Restaurants Where The Dress Code Is Swim Shorts

The world’s best places to eat – straight from the beach

  • La Lancha, Guatemala. Photograph by Mr Gundolf Pfotenhauer, courtesy of The Family Coppola Hideaways

Diving into sun-dappled water when it’s scorching hot is one of the best things about summer. But just as pleasing is what happens when you get out. You sit back on your lounger, leaf through the latest Booker winner and realise you’re ravenous: you’ve got the post-swimming munchies. You want to eat now, in your Bermudas, but that can be problematic. Here, then, are five restaurants where Orlebar Browns won’t bar entry.

Palace Diner, US

  • Photograph by Mr Christopher Buerkle, courtesy of Palace Diner

Palace Diner in Biddeford, Maine, draws a loyal crowd from the nearby Saco River and Bay beyond. Set in a train carriage, it’s said to be the state’s oldest diner and has just 15 stools, which line the worn counter. Chef Mr Chad Conley, who cut his teeth at Chez Panisse and Daniel and in Mr Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s acclaimed kitchens, serves up the best buttermilk flapjacks with Maine maple syrup. The tuna melt, presented on a beguiling wedge of home-made griddled challah and slathered with pickles, is the stuff of legend. Palace Diner made it on to Eater’s list of the nation’s 38 Essential Restaurants in 2018.

What to pack

  • Polo Ralph Lauren Slim-Fit Striped Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt

  • Hartford Mid-Length Swim Shorts

Malibu Farm, US

  • Photograph by Mr Martin Löf, courtesy of Malibu Farm

Malibu Farm’s restaurant and café in California are perched on a pier with the mesmerising Pacific surf lapping below. Proprietor Ms Helene Henderson’s day-fresh ingredients come mostly from her two-acre hillside farm, a haven of vegetable patches, honeybees and olive groves. The menu is salubrious Cali fare, such as 21-mile crab cakes drizzled with caper aioli. Another dish popular with LA locals is “vegain bu thai”, a medley of vegetables, peanuts, jalapeño, peppers, coriander and tahini tamarind.

What to pack

  • Noon Goons Pharcyde Camp-Collar Cotton Shirt

  • Atalaye Fregate Recycled Short-Length Swim Shorts

Phum Baitang, Cambodia

  • Photograph courtesy of Zannier Hotels

If wandering around Angkor Wat doesn’t provide enough escapism, there’s always Phum Baitang, a five-star hotel a few miles yonder in Siem Reap. Not only is there a 50m fresh-water pool, enveloped by lemongrass and paddy fields, but neighbouring restaurant Bay Phsar, which means “rice market” in Khmer, offers a vibrant Cambodian ride. Dishes include delicious green papaya salad and bangkia bampong (crispy battered prawn, lime and black pepper). The onde-onde dumplings with vanilla-accented pandan leaf and fresh coconut will have you drooling.

What to pack

  • Loewe + Paula's Ibiza Mid-Length Printed Swim Shorts

  • Story Mfg. Embroidered Organic Cotton-Corduroy Bucket Hat

Ristorante Berton Al Lago, Italy

  • Photograph courtesy of Il Sereno

Whether sunbathing on the spring-green loungers around the breezy pool or dining at Ristorante Berton Al Lago, Hotel Il Sereno on Lake Como puts on a first-rate Italian shorts-dining experience. Multi award-winning chef Mr Andrea Berton and his executive Mr Raffaele Lenzi take a hyper-local approach. So the lake’s fish and aromatic herbs, the Valtellina valley’s superb wines, cheeses and meats and rice from the paddies of Pianura Padana are strewn across the Michelin-starred menu. There’s also a vegetarian tasting menu.

What to pack

  • Loro Piana Grandad-Collar Linen Shirt

  • Tod's Mid-Length Printed Swim Shorts

La Lancha, Guatemala

  • Photograph by Mr Gundolf Pfotenhauer, courtesy of The Family Coppola Hideaways

In the two-tiered aquamarine pool at Mr Francis Ford Coppola’s retreat La Lancha, you’ll hear the howler monkeys roaring and toucans squawking in the surrounding jungle where the Mayan ruins of Tikal lie. After a swim in the lake or pool, head to the main lodge’s open-air, palm-thatched restaurant. There’s a wood-fired oven for familiars such as pizza, but more thrilling are the Guatemalan staples, including parrilla-grilled meat and authentic tortillas cooked on a comal (the proper griddle for tortilla making). The signature dish is pepian, a spicy chicken stew with tomato and pumpkin seeds.

What to pack

  • Brunello Cucinelli Slim-Fit Cotton and Linen-Blend Polo Shirt

  • Rubinacci Mid-Length Printed Swim Shorts

La Terrasse, France

  • Photograph by Mr Benoit Linero, courtesy of Les Hôtels d’en Haut

Michelin star? Tick. Heavenly wild sea-water pool? Tick. La Terrasse and its all-day sibling restaurant, La Plage, are slap bang on the perpetually sun-licked Côte d'Azur. Under the aegis of hotel chef Mr José Bailly, they’re celebrated for their seasonal Provençal menus. The best tables are al fresco. Listen to neighbouring splashes of summer hedonism while enjoying dishes such as pouprihoun e tóuteno (small octopus, squid and seaweed) and lou mourre de gat (small purple stuffed artichokes). La Terrasse is always popular, so book ahead.

What to pack

  • J.Crew Camp-Collar Printed Cotton-Ripstop Shirt

  • Pink House Mustique Mid-Length Swim Shorts

Ulu Cliffhouse, Bali

  • Photograph courtesy of Ulu Cliffhouse

Swanky Ulu Cliffhouse is just a blink from Bali’s most sought-after surf. Alongside the 25m infinity pool, you’ll find The Cliff Restaurant run by Peruvian chef Mr Diego Muñoz, formerly of Astrid y Gastón in Lima. A zesty parade of signature dishes includes ceviche starters and playful plates such as crab hush puppies with mango salsa, lime, chili, ginger and sweetcorn mayo, and exhilarating tiraditos. Vibe-wise it attracts a creative/musical clientele. There’s an on-site recording studio and a regular roster of DJs, including Fat Boy Slim and Beastie Boy Mike D.

What to pack

  • KAPITAL Printed Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt

  • CDLP + Grand Hotel Tremezzo Piscina Short-Length Swim Shorts