The best restaurants in Rye

The medieval town of Rye is found near the coast in East Sussex. The area is steeped in fascinating history, with cobbled streets and half-timbered houses dotted around the town, plus centuries old buildings that tell tales of England protecting itself from invaders arriving via the nearby sea. Today, Rye’s historic charm is coupled with an abundance of leisure venues for locals and visitors to enjoy, including cosy pubs, modern boutique hotels and restaurants serving the very best of Sussex produce, from both land and sea. Read on to discover our pick of the best restaurants in Rye.

Updated on 13 July 2023

When you think of Rye, the first thing that comes to mind is the town’s place in history - it once acted as a medieval citadel, nestled between would-be invaders and the open sea. Although Rye has moved on since, there are still plenty of nods to history around, which draw in thousands of visitors every year. Whether you are a local who has never had time to take in the sites, or you’re just here for the weekend, you can explore the likes of the redbrick Lamb House which was once owned by the writer Henry James, the tower of the Norman St. Mary’s Church which overlooks the town, and the 14th century Ypres Tower, which once formed part of Rye’s defences. 

Aside from the local attractions, Rye is also home to an exciting emerging restaurant scene, replete with cosy pubs and independent operations, many of which prioritise making use of the abundant natural larder Sussex provides. Tuck into fresh seafood and sustainably farmed meats, or head to one of Rye’s boutique hotels for a classic English afternoon tea. Whatever you fancy, Rye restaurants are here to cater to your every whim. Check out our pick of the best places to eat in Rye below. Or if you'd like to explore all that's available in the area, have a look at our complete list of restaurants in and near Rye. 

Webbe

Webbe's at The Fish Cafe

17 Tower Street, Rye, Kent, TN31 7AT

Nearby fishing ports in Rye and Hastings provide a bounty of ocean jewels at this seafood restaurant. Children’s menus mean you can bring the whole family along, while we suggest grown-ups explore the fish-friendly wines.

£30 - £49
British
Fish
The Fig Rye

The Fig Rye

2 High Street, Rye, Kent, TN31 7JE

The Fig is well known around town for its delightful brunch offering, but the globetrotting evening menu is worth your time too - choose between the likes of pulled pork tacos and spicy Bombay fish cakes.

Under £30
International
Rye Lodge

Rye Lodge

Rye Lodge Hotel, Rye, TN31 7LD

Head for afternoon tea at this fab little hotel, where you can enjoy the traditional tea offering washed down with a glass of bubbles. Come evening, the menu switches to thin-crust pizzas and homemade desserts.

£30 - £49
The Union Steakhouse

The Union Steakhouse

8 East Street, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7JY

Originally built way back in 1401, The Union is a relaxed, rustic-chic restaurant with oodles of appeal. Come for the top-quality steak dinners, but stay for the fun house cocktails, which include a Marmalade Martini.

£30 - £49
British
The Mermaid Inn Rye

The Mermaid Inn Rye

Mermaid Street, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7EY

Dining rooms don’t come much more historic than the 600 year old Mermaid Inn. Cooking is as classic as you’d expect (think smoked duck breast with poached gooseberries), but fair prices are a welcome surprise.

£30 - £49
British
The Ship Inn

The Ship Inn

The Ship Inn The Strand, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7DB

The Ship is a quintessentially British inn which serves everything from hearty breakfasts to slap-up Sunday lunches, all in a convivial setting. Feel a food coma coming on? Retire to one of 10 boutique bedrooms.

£30 - £49
The Standard Inn

The Standard Inn

The Mint, Rye, Kent, TN31 7EN

This cosy inn looks like a traditional old-school boozer, but the menu of elevated pub grub is more contemporary than you’d think. Tuck into the likes of Korean glazed chicken wings followed by fruit pavlova.

£30 - £49
British
Landgate Bistro

Landgate Bistro

5-6 Landgate, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7LH

A best of British menu underpinned by seasonal produce and every dish being cooked fresh on site (down to the starting breads and ice creams for dessert) explains the popularity of this long-running Rye staple.

£30 - £49
British
The Globe Inn

The Globe Inn

10 Military Road, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7NX

Menus change often at this charming Rye haunt, but you can always expect a mix of classic and contemporary pub grub, underpinned by local produce. Plentiful parking (a rarity in Rye) is also a plus.

Pubs

Make the most of this stunning town by paying a visit during summertime. If you do, we've got an entire list of restaurants in Rye that offer outside seating, so you can soak up the sun while gorging on delicious food and drink. 

Explored everything Rye has to offer? Take a trip out of town and check out our pick of restaurants near Hastings and restaurants near Eastbourne. You're bound to find something in this stunning corner of southeast England to pique your interest. If you do, simply click through to the dedicated listing page to find opening hours, menus, FAQs and more.

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