The best restaurants in Canterbury

The cathedral city of Canterbury may be well known for its student population, but that doesn’t mean its restaurant scene is all cheap eats and student bars. While you certainly can find all of the usual high-street chains and recognisable names in the city (plus trashy bars offering Jaeger Bombs and the like), Canterbury is also home to a thriving scene of smart independent restaurants, ranging from lively Mexican haunts to fine-dining establishments. Check out our pick of the best restaurants in Canterbury below to find the perfect venue for your next meal out with friends and family

Updated on 15 June 2021

When you think of Canterbury, the first place your mind likely wanders to is the landmark cathedral, which is among the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. While we would definitely recommend a visit to the Cathedral if that is your kind of thing, we also think it is important to note that Canterbury is home to an array of fantastic restaurants. The title of the best restaurant in Canterbury is a hotly contested one, with diners able to choose from casual and low-key spots, all the way through to special occasion venues for their next dinner out.

While the city is home to a large student population, Canterbury restaurants are not all cheap eats and rowdy cocktail bars (although these are certainly available should you fancy them). In the city, you will find well established high street chains sitting alongside welcoming independent ventures, so there really is something for everyone. Canterbury’s restaurant scene does a good job of representing the global stage too, with plenty of internationally inspired restaurants found in the area. Those seeking something a little more traditional meanwhile, can opt for the likes of fish and chips and afternoon tea at the various British bistros in the city.

Read below to see our pick of the best restaurants in Canterbury.

Fordwich Arms

Fordwich Arms

King Street, Fordwich, Kent, CT2 0DB

Upscale food in unfussy surroundings is the best way to describe The Fordwich Arms, a gastropub just a short drive from Canterbury. Hyper-local produce informs the menu, while the three-course Sunday lunch is a cracker.

£50 - £79
British
Gastropub
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Corner House Canterbury

The Corner House Canterbury

1 Dover Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3HD

Sourcing produce from local farms, The Corner House boasts the sort of menu where you want to try a bit of everything. Indulge with confit pork belly, before finishing up with sticky date sponge pudding.

£30 - £49
British
Chapter

Chapter

Chapter 11-12 Burgate, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2HG

The Faltstaff may be contemporary in look, but this hotel’s afternoon tea is resolutely traditional (and all the better for it). Tuck into homemade finger sandwiches and scones, paired with bubbles if you’re feeling fancy.

£30 - £49
British
Kathton House

Kathton House

6 High Street, Sturry, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 0BD

The personable nature of this family-run operation is at the heart of its success, as is the wide-ranging European menu which offers everything from cosy Sunday lunches to a six-course tasting menu for special occasions.

£50 - £79
Modern European
The Granville

The Granville

Street End, Lower Hardres, Canterbury, Kent, CT4 7AL

A more casual sibling to the Michelin-starred Sportsman in Seasalter, this casual gastropub is among the best of its kind. Expect a short but sweet menu of pub grub, plus a few more modern propositions.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Gastropub
The Ambrette at Canterbury

The Ambrette at Canterbury

14-15 Beer Cart Lane, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2NY

Offering a delicious curry-free menu which seeks to widen English people’s knowledge of Indian cuisine, The Ambrette is a fixture of Canterbury’s dining scene. It also benefits from being close to several major tourist attractions.

£30 - £49
Indian
The Skinny Kitchen - Canterbury

The Skinny Kitchen - Canterbury

7A St Peter’s St, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2AT

At this Ibiza import, expect Instagram-worthy interiors, fun cocktails and a health-conscious menu featuring the likes of a satay chicken burger with a side of sweet potato fries. Don’t miss the lively weekend brunches either.

£30 - £49
Oscar & Bentleys

Oscar & Bentleys

10 Guildhall Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2JQ

A traditional British bistro that’s kept up with the times by offering dedicated gluten and dairy-free menus to diners. Expect the classic likes of fish and chips, followed up with fruit crumble and ice cream.

Under £30
British
Bistro
Cafe des Amis

Cafe des Amis

95 St. Dunstans St, Canterbury , Kent, CT2 8AA

A rumoured favourite of Hollywood star Orlando Bloom, this lively Mexican offers a menu of crowd-pleasing sharing dishes in a colourful dining room. Check out the weekday happy hour for half-price cocktails, beers and wines.

Under £30
Mexican
Marlowe

Marlowe's Restaurant

55 St Peter's St, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2BE

Offering a reliably good menu of crowd-pleasers, Marlowe’s is a popular spot for casual catch ups. Top orders include the sea bass fillet and the house burger with chips, while little ones are welcome too.

£30 - £49
British
Cafe Mauresque

Cafe Mauresque

8 Butchery Lane,, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2JR

This subterranean Morocaan restaurant will transport you to the Mediterannean with its hanging lanterns and colourful mosaic tiles. On the menu, expect a tempting range of small plates, tagines and paellas, all best enjoyed family-style.

£30 - £49
North African
Tapas
Spanish
Chapmans of Canterbury

Chapmans of Canterbury

89-90 St. Dunstans Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 8AD

This seafood restaurant has wowed Canterbury locals and visitors for over 30 years. The secret to its secret? A sharing menu of top-quality seafood and classic British desserts, all paired with a fish-friendly wine list.

£30 - £49
Fish
The Drapers Arms

The Drapers Arms

The Drapers Arms 1-2 Sun Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2HX

Mere steps from the famous Canterbury Cathedral, this modern boozer is the place to come for quirky dishes and local craft beers - think the likes of Korean fried chicken wings and white Kinder Bueno waffles.

£30 - £49
British
The Falstaff in Canterbury

The Falstaff in Canterbury

8-10 St. Dunstans Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 8AF

The Faltstaff may be contemporary in look, but this hotel’s afternoon tea is resolutely traditional (and all the better for it). Tuck into homemade finger sandwiches and scones, paired with bubbles if you’re feeling fancy.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
The Goods Shed

The Goods Shed

Station Road West, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 8AN

A farmers market, food hall and restaurant, The Goods Shed is a must visit for any Canterbury foodie. An all-day menu driven by the market’s own produce and a diverse drinks list are big pluses.

£30 - £49
British

Prefer seaside towns? Check out our pick of the best restaurants in Whitstable.