Whitstable will be forever associated with oysters and rightfully so - it is a superb foodie destination. It would almost be a crime not to try an oyster during a visit to this lovely seaside town in Kent, but if you don’t like seafood, don’t despair, eating marine bounty is not compulsory. There is no shortage of alternatives on offer at the best restaurants in Whitstable, so you won’t be stuck for choice come dinner time.
Thinking of a holiday in Whitstable? Well if you are staying in one of our great self-catering cottages in Kent, then eating out of an evening is an absolute must. Here is our local’s guide to the finest, the best value and the tastiest eateries in and around Whitstable in Kent.
A few miles west of Whitstable, in the rural suburb of Seasalter, is The Sportsman. Sat at the coast in sparsely beautiful Kentish countryside, this gastropub is well worth seeking out if you like upmarket pub-grub. Calling their fare pub-grub doesn’t do it a disservice, it really is a treat to find somewhere that takes dinner time classics so seriously. At the same time, there are fine dining options for gastronomes and the intrepid. Friendly staff and tasteful interior design makes The Sportsman one of the top choices for food and atmosphere in the county. We recommend the tasting menu – which is an orderly procession of small dishes concocted to showcase the best local seasonal ingredients – it is exceptional. Please check the website for food service times as they vary from day-to-day.
Best for: Close to the coast, walk off your meal with a stroll along the shore. The Sportsman's location is stunning in its simplicity.
The palatial Oyster Pearl is a seafood specialist, as the name suggests. Their a la carte menu is not to be missed and features a smorgasbord of culinary delights that include fish and shellfish dishes, vegetarian favourites and some traditional English classics. Situated in the western suburbs of Whitstable, The Oyster Pearl is popular with visitors and locals alike, so be sure to stop by if you are looking for a decent night out and a break from the cooking. Check their website for up-to-date special offers like their Friday fish nights and seasonal promotions.
Best for: Soak in the busy atmosphere of an active restaurant. A truly immersive dining experience.
Serving up oysters to the public since 1856, Wheelers is a quaint, candy-coloured establishment at the heart of Whitstable’s town centre. Diners can choose between eating inside the Oyster Parlour or the larger Seafood Bar; the menu changes with the seasons and reads like the supporting cast list from Aquaman, such is the variety. Try one of the colourful platters that rein in such deep-sea delicacies like squid, crab, and cod. An eating experience at Wheelers is almost like a local badge of honour so bypass this wonder at your peril. Bring your own alcohol if you like, as there is no corking charge.
Best for: Experiencing a local culinary delight for one of the town's mainstays.
Looking for the best chippy in town? Well, hunt no further – as it is said that VC’s is the one to beat. If the local legend is to be believed, they cook their chips in beef fat (veggies/vegans proceed on tiptoe) and they taste magnificent as a direct consequence. VC’s has been in the same family for three generations so you will be in the presence of Kentish master fryers – the queues are legendary so plan ahead.
Best for: You can't fail with a quality takeaway option. Head to the coast for a prime view to accompany your meal.
For something a little different, Whitstable’s Cheese Box is a quirky place that specialises in pasta. No, not really, obviously it sells cheeses from all around the world. You can dine inside and enjoy a cheeseboard and a glass of wine. Try out some local cheeses like Dark Horse Ancient Ashmore and Kentish Blue or something a little more exotic.
Best for: Buy your family and friends back home some exotic cheeses - a true foodie's delight.
If oysters are your thing, Whitstable capitalises on its reputation for oyster farming with an annual flagship celebration. The Whitstable Oyster Festival takes place around the end of July each year and the event consists of oyster tasting, live music, fireworks, and fancy-dress shenanigans. It’s a lively show and draws in thousands of visitors year-on-year. Be sure to check the local websites for event updates.
Whitstable is a lovely place to escape to for a seaside holiday escape. Whether you are travelling with your partner or your family, we have properties to suit you. Our collection of holiday homes includes fisherman’s cottages, large farmhouses, converted barns, sea view apartments and more. Why not take a browse of our selection today to feel inspired?