Best restaurants in Whitstable

We, as Brits, have an insatiable appetite for the fresh air and salty twang of the seaside. With the ever-expanding population of towns and cities, any excuse to feel the freedom of the countryside is undoubtedly alluring. One of the most popular seaside towns of the south has to be Whitstable and no trip to the coast is complete without coming home feeling fiendishly full. It’s in this area Whitstable excels, with its selection of eateries. We’ve gathered together all of our favourite Whitstable restaurants below, to help guide you next time you’re lucky enough to find yourself visiting this little slice of seaside heaven.

Updated on 01 July 2020

The best restaurants in Whitstable are a funny bunch, scattered out across the sandy pebble-dashed beach and peppered throughout the quaint town. They truly offer something for everyone, but no visit here would be complete without an oyster or two, with the town’s most famous and prized export being these delightful shellfish morsels. So passionate about these crustaceans are the residents of Whitstable, that they put on a festival dedicated to them each year. If you too like the savoury hit of these molluscs, then make sure to get your hands on half a dozen or so next time you’re visiting; favourite spots to seek them out are Wheelers Oyster Bar and The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co.

A bit like Marmite, oysters are a ‘love it or hate it’ food, and haters need not despair – there are plenty more options when it comes to the delicacies Whitstable restaurants serve up. Grab a quick cuppa and cake in achingly cool Blueprint Coffee or tuck into Michelin Star pub grub at The Sportsman, for instance. Perhaps you’re a dedicated fish and chip fan though, who sees no point in visiting the shores of the UK without tucking into a bag of salty, vinegar-drenched fried goods (we are of that ilk, if you’re wondering). Fear not, Whitstable’s best fish and chips can be found just a short hop, skip and a jump from the shore, at VC Jones. These guys know a thing or two about what their customers want, having been crafting and perfecting their trade since 1962.

Okay, ready to choose a Whitstable restaurant for your next visit? Scroll below for a quick overview of each of our pick of the best restaurants in Whitstable and click through on your favourite to read our full review and to book.

The Old Neptune

The Old Neptune

Marine Terrace, Whitstable, CT5 1EJ

Set on the beach, this Whitstable institution draws hordes of tourists, but is still upheld as a local gem by residents. Dishes like fish and chips or pie and mash come accompanied by live music.
£30 - £49
Pubs
Fish
The Sportsman

The Sportsman

Faversham Road, Seasalter, Kent, CT5 4BP

This unlikely Michelin eatery serves up a thoughtful menu of market-fresh fish and seafood. Diners who are drawn in by the thought of some of Britain’s finest pub grub will need to book well in advance.
£50 - £79
British
Gastropub
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Potato Tomato

Potato Tomato

49 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT51DB

Given the town’s reliance on its fishing industry, vegan fare can be hard to find in Whitstable. Potato Tomato try to remedy this with its fully vegan menu, offering up plant-based soups, salads and sandwiches.
Under £30
International
Wheelers Oyster Bar

Wheelers Oyster Bar

8 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BQ

Potentially the most iconic of all Whitstable’s restaurants - and the oldest - this pastel pink-fronted townhouse serves up sparklingly fresh oysters in its miniature parlour as well as other deftly handled, regularly changing seafood classics.
£30 - £49
Fish
The Pearson

The Pearson's Arms

The Horsebridge, Sea Wall, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BT

A wooden-clad dining room gives this gastro pub a cosy, costal feel which is exaggerated by its position right on the harbourfront. Enjoy the striking views while tucking into plates of modern British pub food.
£30 - £49
Gastropub
Fish
Blueprint Coffee & Books

Blueprint Coffee & Books

4 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1DD

The owners of Blueprint take their coffee seriously, regularly travelling for inspiration and having trained as baristas in London. The results are a Scandi-cool café and bookshop that serves up impressively precise coffee and cakes.
Under £30
Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co

Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co

Horsebridge Beach, Whitstable, Unknown, Kent, CT5 1BU

Simple interiors reflect the pared back menu at Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co, which is famous for its straightforward cooking of beautiful ingredients: a ray wing with butter and capers or razor clams with garlic, say.
£30 - £49
Fish
Farm & Harper

Farm & Harper

25 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AP

Farm and Harper offer wholesome breakfast and lunches during the week, with opening extended to teatime come the weekend. Homemade soups, fish subs and generous pasta plates are all regulars on the ever-changing daily menu.
Under £30
British
JoJo’s

JoJo’s

2 Herne Bay Road, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 2AT

Often touted as a locals’ favourite, JoJo’s serves up wholesome Mediterranean tapas dishes from its position on the beachfront. Eat inside or outside and enjoy sharing plates like patatas bravas, garlicky tzatziki or chargrilled mackerel.
Under £30
Modern European
Tapas
Spanish
Harbour Street Tapas

Harbour Street Tapas

48 Harbour Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AQ

Vibrant dishes are the order of the day at Harbour Street Tapas. Classic tortillas come oozing and rich while plates of grilled chorizo, fried squid or baby artichokes with aioli add further reasons to visit.
£30 - £49
Spanish
Samphire

Samphire

Samphire, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BQ

This cosy family-run bistro is one of Whitstable’s more luxurious experiences with its gold and black Art Deco decor, making it perfect for celebratory meals. French classic recipes are bolstered by ever-changing fresh, local ingredients.
£30 - £49
British
Crab & Winkle

Crab & Winkle

South Quay, The Harbour, Whitstable, Kent, CT51AB

This unpretentious restaurant sources from the fishing boats daily and looks onto the hubbub of the working harbour. Seasonal shellfish platters are a firm favourite, while international dishes like prawn tikka masala are perennially popular.
£50 - £79
Fish
The Lobster Shack Whitstable

The Lobster Shack Whitstable

The East Quay, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AB

This canteen-style beach shack is always bustling and turns out tasty plates of lobster and fish and chips at quite a pace. There is also an oyster bar, which offers different shellfish varieties and toppings.
Under £30
Fish and Chips
Fish
Birdies

Birdies

41 Harbour Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AH

Birdies French menu offers respite from fish and chips, if you’ve happened to have your fill. This slightly old-fashioned bistro champions local produce in dishes like steamed saffron lobster, rich seafood bisque and beef Wellington.
£30 - £49
French
Fish
The Oyster and Chop House

The Oyster and Chop House

8 High Street, Herne Bay, CT6 5LH

This, we confess, isn’t in Whitstable itself but located a ten-minute drive away in Herne Bay. The menu of smoky barbequed meats and juicy lobster makes the journey worth it. Expect American style signature serves.
£30 - £49
Barbecue
Fish
VC Jones of Whitstable

VC Jones of Whitstable

25 Harbour Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AH

This queue-inducing fish and chip shop has been in business since 1962. Eat in at simple tables or takeaway to eat your spoils on the beach; either way don’t skip trying the cod and chips.
Under £30
British
Fish and Chips
Fish
The Forge

The Forge

1 Sea Wall, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BX

For no frills fun on the seashore, head to The Forge. This shack has a few picnic tables out front and deals in paper plates stacked up with plump oysters, fish and chips and doughnuts.
Under £30
Fish

Looking to cast your net further down the coast? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Brighton.