Dining out is one of life's most simple yet rewarding pleasures, which is made that much better when you find the perfect seaside setting to have your meal. The numerous Whitstable restaurants offering specialty dining add to its unique charm, and are certainly something to be taken advantage of when visiting this serene seaside town.
While you will find big chain restaurants such as Zizzi or Prezzo while walking down Whitstable High Street, we would certainly recommend treating your taste buds to the unique taste of the restaurants listed below. Each of these restaurants has their own character, which is communicated in the building, the service, and of course, the food. Being local to the area, and huge fans of perfectly prepared meals, we've come up with a list of what we feel are the best places to eat in Whitstable.
1. Pearson's Arms
(Photos credited to Pearson's Arms Website)
Whether you're looking for a quick lunchtime bite on your tour of Whitstable town, or you're a self-proclaimed food critic looking for the perfect dish to complete your weekend, Pearson's Arms has masterfully placed itself to cater for all visitors. While a gem to the local community due to the friendly nature of the service staff and owners, it also welcomes tourists from far and wide, creating the perfect atmosphere for any manner of visit.
Another way in which Pearson's Arms has made itself an incredibly versatile place to eat or simply pass the time is the frequency of special events that occur there, whether it is simply a two for one on their cocktails, to live music performances that are more often than not accompanied by some great deals on food and drink.
There is also something to be said for the amazing layout and stunning taste of the fresh dishes prepared at the Pearson's arms. Having sampled several of their dishes ourselves, we can vouch for the broad spectrum of flavours their food provides, a personal favourite being their fish dishes served with freshly prepared chips.
We would recommend Pearson's Arms as an all-rounder establishment that will certainly leave you satisfied no matter what you're after.
2. JoJo's Restaurant
(Photos credited to JoJo's Restaurant)
The location of JoJo's speaks for its popularity, as it finds itself sitting in Tankerton along Herne Bay Road, a little further out than most other restaurants in Whitstable. While still sitting opposite the beach, you can enjoy a quiet visit to JoJo's and enjoying the views offered without having to see a heard of people staring in to "see if it's busy".
During daytime hours you will find JoJo's Coffee Shop, a charming cafe that welcomes visitors for hot drinks and fresh fruit, making it a perfect stop-off visit for your journey around Whitstable.
We would recommend visiting this coffee shop if you're prone to a sweet tooth, as their home-made cakes and pastries are expertly made, and always go down well with a fresh cup of tea or coffee.
JoJo's Meze, Meat, & Fish Restaurant is open lunchtimes and evenings during the later half of the week, and is definitely the side of JoJo's that requires you to book ahead. With glowing reviews in both local and national press (as well as our own personal approval!), it's safe to say that JoJo's serves up some of the best freshly prepared Mediterranean cuisine.
The menu at JoJo's is changed to keep on trend with the fresh seasonal items available to them, and they only use free range meat, local produce (when available), and sustainably sourced fish. All of this is certainly reflected in the fresh taste of the meals prepared here.
We recommend a visit to JoJo's if you want to get out of the busy Whitstable High Street, especially if you're a fan of fresh Mediterranean inspired cuisine - like so many of the celebrities that have been spotted dining at JoJos.
An important point to note is that JoJo's only accepts cash or cheques drawn on a UK bank, so make sure you bear this in mind before paying a visit!
3. The Sportsman
(Photos credited to Phillip Harris)
It is fair to say that if you're even slightly familiar with Whitstable, Kent, then The Sportsman needs no introduction. Boasting a Michelin star since 2008, The Sportsman has provided high quality food and drink to its visitors for years, which becomes obvious from the moment you set foot inside this beautiful establishment. Those who have visited The Sportsman in the past will not be surprised to find out that it has been named the UK's best restaurant in the 2016 National Restaurant Awards.
The Sportsman is located towards our end in Seasalter, and hence certainly not somewhere you can pop in to while walking around Whitstable town. However with this in mind and yet being such a roaring success, it is pretty obvious The Sportsman has an appeal to it that makes the journey to its doors worthwhile.
The success of The Sportsman is also made clear by the existence of a rather large waiting list, with pre-booking your table becoming a necessity to avoid disappointment.
The professionalism with which the food is created and presented is incredibly hard to beat. We're constantly impressed with the interesting and creative ways in which our food is presented, almost as much as we're impressed with the astounding taste.
We would recommend visiting The Sportsman to anyone with an appreciation for luxury food prepared and served to the highest standard.
When visiting Whitstable for a weekend, and hoping to dine at The Sportsman, then call ahead as soon as you can to check if they're available! If you find yourself visiting Whitstable or Seasalter for a chance to dine at The Sportsman, then please get in touch with us, as our B&B is perfectly situated for a visit to The Sportsman.
(Photos credited to the Samphire website)
If you're looking for a Kentish bistro that combines simple recipes using great produce then Samphire is the perfect Whitstable restaurant for you. Established nine years ago, Samphire pride themselves on working with only the best suppliers both locally and across the UK, as they make it obvious that the quality of the ingredients they use in their food is their number one priority.
The simplistic nature of Samphire, while managing to maintain high quality food, has attracted a great deal of
customers. The presentation of the food itself speaks for the pride that those at the Samphire take in their work.
Being open for brunch, lunch, and dinner seven days a week also makes Samphire one of our more reliable places to eat, with it always being an option when visiting Whitstable town. It is also apparent that Samphire has been established long enough to be know what works for them by way of their ingredients and their service.
You'll find Samphire along Whitstable High Street, making this another easily accessed restaurant in Whitstable. We'd recommend dining at Samphire if you're looking for a high quality restaurant that is hassle-free.
5. Salt Marsh
(Photos credited to Salt Marsh)
At the end of a quaint courtyard behind the Duke of Cumberland, you'll find the romantic setting of Salt Marsh restaurant. Salt Marsh pays particular attention to fresh produce from local suppliers, with a specialty being that it caters for 'food to share'.
The attraction that really lifts Salt Marsh out from being another standard restaurant, on top of the beautifully tasting food, is the clever and unique interior decor. It's clear a lot of time and effort has gone into creating the vibrant character that this restaurant possesses, and it has paid off, as many a visitor to Whitstable has chosen Salt Marsh for exactly this reason.
The food itself is Mediterranean themed, with a mildly "tapas" vibe, with the restaurant itself quoting "Salt Marsh food is made for sharing". Dining here is definitely an opportunity to open yourself up to trying several new dishes.
What's more, the Duke often finds itself host to some amazing live music, from some very notable artists. Hence if you're a fan of live music as well as good food, you can book your table at Salt Marsh before strolling down the courtyard to grab the best seats in the house before the music begins.
We'd say that Salt Marsh is perfect for a romantic meal for two, or even a family meal to celebrate a birthday, before going on to the Duke to continue the celebrations with music and some great beers and wines.
6. Wheelers Oyster Bar
(Photos credited to Wheelers Oyster Bar website)
A visit to Whitstable wouldn't be complete without sampling the famed Whitstable Oysters, and you don't just have to wait for the Whitstable Oyster Festival to be lucky enough to try these. Wheelers Oyster Bar sports both a small but memorable Oyster parlour, and a seafood bar.
With a menu consisting of six starters, six mains, and six desserts, you will be satisfied with a visit here whether you're an avid oyster fan, or much the opposite. This menu is altered seasonally to make use of the fresh ingredients available at the time, so be sure to try it at different times of year.
It's worth mentioning that Wheelers, rather impressively, grows their own greenery for the salads they create, and it's this personal approach to the ingredients they use that really brings the taste of their dishes to life.
With Wheelers Oyster Bar sitting on Whitstable High Street, it is a perfect place to pop in for lunch or dinner alike, and we can safely say that we've always left Wheelers feeling satisfied. Nothing will make you feel more like a Whitstable local than a visit here
7. Harbour Street tapas
Harbour Street Tapas is an informal tapas bar in the heart of Whitstable, serving food inspired by the culinary traditions of Spain’s many regions and various sherrys as the perfect accompaniment to compliment the dishes on offer.
Their menu changes daily to showcase the finest ingredients they can lay their hands on.
An absolute favourite of Driftwood Beach House and highly recommended.
So there you have it. Our comprehensive list of our top dining recommendations for your visit to Whitstable. If you do happen to dine at one of these restaurants during your next visit to this beautiful beachfront town, please let us know what you think!